Friday, April 3, 2020

East Village Rock n’ Roll Tour

Posted by Stu On January - 9 - 2013

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Photos from November 2011


I laugh whenever anyone says history classes are boring, because I’ve taken some really cool and unusual ones, case in point The History of Rock n’ Roll.  Yes, I swear that was a real class, and an excellent one at that.  For a class trip, we took a guided “Rock n’ Roll Tour” of New York City’s East Village.  Unfortunately, after only a half hour or so, the batteries in my camera died, so I had to resort to my phone’s camera.  And THEN it started to rain.  Oh well.  Still had a fun time seeing places significant to rock history and roaming around the city a bit.

One thing I noticed right away was the way power lines and traffic signals were decorated:




Most of the places visited fell under one of three categories:  they were old clubs, places photographed for album covers, or former residences of rock stars.  I know some of this doesn’t translate well into a write-up, especially pictures of apartment buildings, but I will do my best.

One of our first stops was this mural on the side of the Niagara bar.  Joe Strummer was the singer and rhythm guitarist for The Clash.



We visited the sites of three influential clubs in the Village:  The Continental, Fillmore East, and CBGB.  The Continental is still a bar, but bands no longer play there.  The other two are no longer clubs.

The Continental was important during the beginnings of the punk and new wave scenes in NYC.  The Ramones, Iggy Pop, and many, many more played here.


This place must have been crammed when bands were playing.


The Fillmore East is now a bank.  Due to construction, I couldn’t get a good pic of the entire building front.  The Allman Brothers Band’s famous live album was recorded here.


CBGB closed in 2006.  Countless bands played there over the years, but again this club was very important to the New York punk and new wave scenes.  Bands including Blondie, the B-52’s, The Talking Heads, and again the Ramones got their starts playing in this and other local clubs.  It is now a vintage clothing store.  Some remnants of its club days remain, such as the layers of band stickers stuck on the walls and even ceiling.  I tried to get a picture of some of these stickers, but a big bouncer dude came over, jammed his finger into my shoulder, and said, “You can’t take no pictures in here.”  I was then asked to leave.  Leave it to me to get kicked out of a club when it’s not even a club anymore.  So just an outside shot will have to suffice.



The next batch of places are locations from various album covers.

The Gem Spa is a famous newsstand in the Village.  It’s also featured on the back cover of the New York Dolls’ first album.



This may look familiar to Led Zeppelin fans:


These buildings were used for the cover of Physical Graffiti, minus one floor:


Unfortunately, the gate was closed, so I couldn’t get closer to this next one.



OK, so what’s the significance of that wall?  It’s where the first Ramones cover was shot:


The tour briefly stopped at a building where Charlie Parker, famous jazz musician, lived.  His home is actually on the National Register of Historic Places.  There’s a plaque on the front of the building, but the tour moved on before I could approach it and get a picture.  Right next to this building is an apartment where Iggy Pop stayed.

Charlie Parker Residence:


Iggy Pop’s apartment building:


One of our last stops was a building where Madonna stayed early in her career:


All in all, this was a fun trip.  Again, I know it’s not much to look at; can’t really do much to make pictures of apartments interesting.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Lizzie Borden House & Grave

Posted by Stu On October - 21 - 2006

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“Lizzie Borden took an ax…” You know the rest. Or at least you should.
All the way back in 1992, my 6th grade class did a mock trial of Lizzie Borden at the Ocean County Courthouse. I played Dr. Bowen, who examined the bodies at the murder scene. Ever since, I was always interested in the case because it was never officially solved. Most think it’s pretty obvious Lizzie murdered her father & stepmother with an ax, but others think it could have been the maid. Some groups say they could solve the case using forensics, but the town likes the mystery and won’t allow the bodies to be dug up.

I’d wanted to visit the Borden House for a long time, but Fall River was always too out of the way to include in any of our previous trips. I made sure to include it in our ’06 outing to New England. We were lucky and arrived roughly 5 minutes before the final tour of the day. I was surprised to find out the woman giving our tour knew about my trial 14 years earlier.

That ax did a heck of a job.

Andrew and Abby at the scene – and my ghost taking a pic of Andrew.

The house is pretty much the same as it was in the Bordens’ day; it’s been updated a bit since it’s now a bed & breakfast, and none of the furniture is original, but overall it’s the same house. After having read and heard about the case so many times, it was pretty odd being in the same rooms where Abby and Andrew Borden were killed.

For only $250, you can sleep where Abby Borden got nineteen, not actually forty, whacks.

Stairs leading to the attic.

Again, the official Lizzie Borden House website is Tours are a half hour to an hour, depending on group size, and cost $10.

We were delighted to find out the Bordens are all buried together not far from the house. Arrows are painted in the cemetery to bring visitors directly to their graves.

Later in life, Lizzie changed her name to “Lizbeth.”

There’s also an impressive Civil War section in the cemetery:

Popularity: 31% [?]

Marie Zimmermann House

Posted by Stu On May - 21 - 2006

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I read a bit about this place before a camping trip up on the PA side of the Water Gap; I didn’t know much except it used to be an artist’s home and it’s now abandoned. We found out it was only 4 miles away from out campsite, so we checked it out.

It’s just off Rt. 209 but is so well hidden most aren’t aware of its existence. The house, built in 1912, was to have been restored; a sign says “for 2000” so they seem to be running a bit late. From what I’ve been told, the house, while in national park property, isn’t yet officially recognized (it’s not on maps or considered a tourist stop). I didn’t see any maps to confirm this. The sign said to take a pamphlet for more info; there weren’t any.
There are 2 smaller buildings behind it. There’s supposed to also be an old farmhouse and barn about a quarter mile away, but we had about 15 minutes of daylight to play with so we didn’t get to check it out. One nearby trail had a stone wall on its side.

Popularity: 3% [?]

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I’ve known about this place for years. Why I took this long to visit it I’ll never know.

Not many know a member of the Lincoln family (yes, as in Abraham Lincoln) is buried in NJ. Deborah, our 16th president’s great-grand aunt, was only 3 when she died in 1720. I heard so much about her grave that I figured hers was the only one left from the cemetery. How wrong I was….there’s an entire graveyard.

Approaching the graveyard from the trail.

Behind the marker is a trail. After going uphill a bit you come to the cemetery. There are a few old wooden posts that were part of a fence around the cemetery’s perimeter. I was surprised at the size of the place. Some of the graves, including Debbie’s, had iron railings around them. Supposedly Deb’s is the oldest readable stone (the sign says the cemetery was founded in 1695; she was buried in 1720). There are many stones that are nothing but stumps now. Parts of the graveyard have been restored, but the parts where the stones are gone or broken are still overgrown. The paths even go over a few of the older stones. The newest grave we saw was from 1911.

These stones were next to each other. No dates are given for Willie.

Debbie’s grave is near the front. Her stone, along with a few others, is hand carved, like a few of the stones we found at the Quaker Cemetery.

It was tough to read, so I traced it with my finger.

Deborah Lincon
Aged 3Y 4M
May 15 1720

Yes, it’s spelled “Lincon.” I read that this is how the last name was spelled in the 1700’s, but genealogical records show the second L. Maybe it was just a misspelling.
It’s interesting to point out there are 4 generations and 145 years between her death and President Lincoln’s. This wasn’t even a country when she was alive, while Abraham was trying to put it back together in his time.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Gillette Castle

Posted by Stu On October - 20 - 2004

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I honestly didn’t know much about this place before deciding to visit it. I found out it was the home of the guy who played Sherlock Holmes on stage, a fact I admit I didn’t really care about at the time. I just figured it was a cool-looking castle in Connecticut. It’s pretty impressive nevertheless…definitely not a normal house.

I didn’t get many pics of the inside of the castle since we got yelled at twice. First I was told flash was not allowed inside. That’s fine, but you’d figure they’d have a sign stating this. Secondly, once you go upstairs, they don’t let you back downstairs. Once again, a silly rule that isn’t mentioned or written anywhere. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have rushed to the top.

Overall, Gillette Castle is a cool place…quite different from the norm. The people running it, however, need to let visitors know before they go upstairs that they can’t go back down. Yeah, I’m still annoyed about that.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Old Burying Point Cemetery

Posted by Stu On October - 20 - 2003

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The oldest cemetery in Salem, Burying Point has at least 1 Mayflower passenger and many people involved in the Salem Witch trials. Many of the stones are from the 1600’s, which I found fascinating. We don’t have cemeteries that old down this way. Many of the stones were in pretty bad shape, but a few have withstood 4 centuries quite well.

Some stones that have been broken are fastened together, like the 2 in this pic.

Others were put into ‘frames’, so to speak. That still didn’t help these 2, though.

Judge Hathorne’s stone. He was the judge for the Salem Witch Trials.

Some stones we found at the base of a tree


We went back to Salem for the first time in 3 years, and we were very disappointed to see the place has become even more touristy. Old Burying Point now has nighttime candlelight tours, and the alley in front of it was lined with kettle corn and other food stands. The last time we went to Salem, we were about the only ones in the graveyard (mind you we went the 1st week of October both times). This time, I could barely take any pictures because of all the people there. And it really pissed me off because there were kids laying on the graves, tripping over them, etc…Show some respect. And for the love of god, parents, teach them some respect.

…anyway, here are some new pics.

This poor soul is right in the middle of the path.

Popularity: 6% [?]

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