Possibly the oldest surviving building in Manhattan, 54 Pearl Street was constructed in 1719 as the home of Stephen Delancey (Delancey Street was named after his son James), converted to the Queen’s Head Tavern in 1762, and later renamed Fraunces Tavern.
The Tavern is inextricably tied up in New York’s history; besides the connection to the Delanceys, it was the site of George Washington’s farewell dinner for his troops, and briefly housed government offices, before the capital of the United States moved to Philadelphia.
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A dark bar on the corner of Hudson and West 11th Street, White Horse was established in 1880, and first gained popularity was a sailors’ bar, being near the Hudson River. Later it became notorious as a writers’ hangout; most infamously, Dylan Thomas drank there a few nights before his ignominious death.
Now White Horse is both unconcerned with its history and unable to forget it. There are no plaques or informational signs, and you get the impression that asking the employees for stories would be frowned upon. On the other hand, an entire wall in a back room is covered with a photograph of Dylan Thomas sitting at the bar. An “Established 1880” sign is hidden away in a window. And, frankly, there’s not much besides its historicity to recommend it as a destination.
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