Gay History Walking Tour of Greenwich Village
1:00pm check in and depart (come early and enjoy an yummy treat). Leave from Big Gay Ice Cream Shoppe, 61 Grove Street
Led by our professional tour guide from Oscar Wilde Tours
We all know about the Stonewall riots in 1969. But who knows that Mae West was arrested in Manhattan for producing a pro-gay-rights play in 1926? Or that Walt Whitman read his homoerotic poems to friends at a bar on Broadway? Professor Andrew Lear has designed this tour to bring New York's gay *history* out of the closet.
On this tour, we venture into the heart of Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall riots took place and the first Gay Pride parade started a year later. But the Village's gay history goes back a century before that, to Walt Whitman's time. Like Paris' Left Bank, the Village has been the center of all of the city's many countercultures and artistic movements, from the Bohemians of the World War I period to the Beats, the Abstract Expressionists, the New York School, Pop Art, the creators of Off (and Off-Off) Broadway, and of course the gay liberation movement.
We see the places where Villagers have lived and loved, including the sites of the drag shows and gay bars which have dotted the Village for 150 years–in particular the Stonewall Inn. The list of LGBT greats we discover reads like a history of American culture: Herman Melville and Henry James, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, and Andy Warhol.
About your guide: Ron Janoff has lived and worked in New York for more than 50 years, and has been leading tours of Manhattan and Brooklyn since the 1980's. He specializes in tours related to artists and writers, especially the Beat Generation in the Village, Stonewall and LBGTQ sites in Greenwich Village, the abstract expressionists from the 40's to the 60's, art "sites" such as Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and the High Line/Chelsea. He also leads tours of historic and cultural sites in Brooklyn, especially Literary and LBGTQ Brooklyn, Wallabout, Fort Greene Park, and the Brooklyn Cultural District. Dr. Janoff is a classics professor, Latin teacher, and co-President of the New York Classics Club. He is a retired New York University director. Janoff conducts tours for private groups and organizations, including customized tours for re-located companies, for travelers to the city, and for families. He lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.