Poe Cottage, Poe Park
2460 Grand Concourse & East Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10458
|Subway: D or #4 to Kingsbridge Road Bus: Bx12 to Grand Concourse; Bx35 or Bx28 to 194th Street Liberty Lines Express Bus 4A, 4B
The tiny Poe cottage in the Bronx was the last home of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the great American poet and author of early mystery stories. Set in a small park on the Grand Concourse, it is the only house left from the old village of Fordham. In 1812, John Wheeler built the one-and-a-half-story cottage, typical of the workmen’s houses that once dotted the Bronx.
Thirty-four years later, Poe and his wife Virginia leased the house for $100 a year from John Valentine. Virginia, who was 13 when she married her first cousin in 1836, had tuberculosis and was in failing health when Poe decided that the Bronx country air might revive her.
Poe was penniless despite his literary success, having lost his savings in a magazine venture that went bankrupt. Virginia’s mother, who lived with them, had to forage in neighboring fields to feed the family. During these troubled times, Poe wrote many poems in Fordham, including “The Bells,” “Eureka” and “Annabel Lee.” Virginia finally died in 1847; and her husband, one of this country’s most gifted writers, died two years later during a trip to Baltimore. Their cottage, saved from destruction in the 1890s by the Shakespeare Society and moved from its original location on the other side of Kingsbridge Road in 1913, preserves a precious chapter of New York’s literary heritage.
Poe Cottage, painted white with green trim, is one of four Poe house museums in America (the others are in Baltimore, Richmond and Philadelphia). The main floor is sparsely furnished with, among other items, a 19th-century cast-iron stove, a desk, and a rocking chair, straw bed and mirror that may have been used by Poe. A narrow staircase winds up to the couple’s attic bedroom, whose ceiling is barely six feet high.
Painted and sculpted portraits of the author, as well as early photographs and drawings of the cottage, are displayed. An audiovisual show created by The Bronx County Historical Society, which operates the house, details Poe’s life in Fordham and his creative genius.
Since we’re already walking, why not walk across the Brooklyn Bridge? I did it several years ago when there was a blackout in New York and New Jersey. I was working in Brooklyn at the time, a short distance from the bridge. I had to make it to New Jersey and had heard that there was ferry service to Hoboken from lower Manhattan which was not where I was going but at least it was in Jersey. One of my co-workers also lived in Jersey so we walked together with hundreds of other folks trying to figure out how they would get home. It was summer which was good. Of course no one expected a blackout so neither of us had on walking shoes which was not good. By the time I got to Jersey by ferry, some service was slowly being restored. Had to wait in Hoboken on the train scheduled to go to Newark for an hour or so before that service was restored. Was thinking about walking up a dark stairwell to my 12th floor apartment but the blackout didn’t last that long in New Jersey and everything was working when I got home. Still, it was still a great walk and I’m going to incorporate it into my weight loss walking routine. Crisis brings out the best in New Yorkers.
The Brooklyn Bridge connects lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can access the pedestrian walkway from Brooklyn at Tillary/Adams Streets or a staircase on Prospect St between Cadman Plaza East and West. You can access the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side near City Hall Park at Park Row and Centre Street.
Nearest Subways to the Brooklyn Bridge:
To walk across the bridge from Manhattan, take the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, N/R to City Hall or the 2/3 to Park Place. To walk across the bridge from Brooklyn, take the A/C to High Street or the 2/3 to Clark Street.
Brooklyn Bridge Hours & Admission:
The Brooklyn Bridge is open 24 hours. There is no charge for walking across and no toll if driving.
Brooklyn Bridge Official Website:
This enduring, historic monument is the southernmost of New York’s East River bridge crossings. With its Neo-Gothic towers, you can’t miss it — and neither have many artists over the years who have been inspired by its majesty, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keefe and Walt Whitman.
Carefully cross the traffic pattern at either end of the bridge and make it to the pedestrian walkway, which is a boardwalk like no other. The planks that pattern the path lead you over the river and a memorable journey. Bring your camera because the views are stunning.
Now this really sounds like fun for writers and those who read the works of great writers. Just remember that you don’t have to have a drink at each stop and be sure to wear good walking shoes.
Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl
If you’re curious about the many writers who called Greenwich Village home, this Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The enthusiastic tour guides offer lots of insightful information about Greenwich Village literary figures, history and architecture, and their fun attitudes are contagious.
- Friendly, entertaining tour guides
- Great introduction to Greenwich Village
- Good choice for entertaining out of towners
- Fun tour for meeting other travelers
- Not geared toward children
- Drinks are extra and can add up
- Easy to get tipsy during the tour
- Bars Featured on Tour:
- Kettle of Fish
- Minetta Tavern
- White Horse Tavern
- Learn about Greenwich Village’s famous writers and their favorite watering holes on this Pub Crawl.
- Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl Price: $15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors (drinks extra)
- The tour is offered on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and leaves from the White Horse Tavern.
- The tour lasts about 3 hours and includes about a mile of walking.
Guide Review – Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl
Greenwich Village has been a popular place for artists and writers to live and work throughout history. Exploring Greenwich Village with a knowledgable tour guide is a great way to avoid getting lost among the neighborhood’s winding streets while learning about the rich literary and architectural history of the neighborhood.
Our tour guides were actors who work with the Bakerloo Project, and revenue from the Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl helps to support this non-profit theater company. Our pair of tour guides were brought the neighborhood and history to life, particularly through their dramatic readings of works that were written in Greenwich Village. They were both knowledgable and played off each other quite a bit, making the tour not only educational but also really fun.
Working our way from bar to bar, our tour guides stopped frequently along the way to point out where famous writers lived and worked, as well as other neighborhood landmarks. At each bar we had a chance to have a cocktail or beer (additional charge), while the tour guides shared information about the history of the bars and the writers who hung out there.
Do be warned: having a drink at each bar is likely to leave you soused by the end of the tour. This can make it fun to hang out with your fellow tour takers, but it can make it tough to see or do anything more in the afternoon.
Some Writers Featured on the Tour:
- Dylan Thomas
- Edgar Allen Poe
- Bob Dylan
- Susan Glaspell
- Louisa May Alcott
- Eugene O’Neil
- Henry James
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
- Hart Crane
- Allen Ginsberg
Every heard of Weeksville located in Brooklyn? Neither had I until several years ago when I visited the Weeksville Society Museum located at 1698 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11213, between Buffalo and Rochester Avenues.
The Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC) documents and preserves the history of the free and intentional 19th century African American community of Weeksville. The Hunterfly Road Houses are the original domestic structures of this historic community, dating from 1840 to the 1880’s.
Some history: in 1838, just eleven years after the abolition of slavery in New York, James Weeks, a free African American, purchased some land in Brooklyn, which marked the establishment of Weeksville, a free community of laborers, laundresses, craftsmen, doctors, entrepreneurs and professionals, all African Americans. This community also boasted schools, an orphanage, a home for the elderly, churches and other benevolent associations, newspapers and was very active in anti-slavery activities.
The houses had been threatened by urban renewal near the end of the 1960s until they were granted landmark status in 1971 by the New York City Landmarks Commission, restored and opened to the public in 2005.
Weeksville is now one of the only African American historic sites in the Northeast still on its original property and among the ten most prominent African American cultural organizations in New York City.
In 2009, Weeksville began construction of a new 19,000 square foot Education and Cultural Arts Building set to open in early 2012. This new building will house a performance space, exhibition space, education and workshop rooms, a Resource Center and a media lab.
Sounds like a great place to visit. I visited the original house back in the 1990’s. Definitely intend to revisit once the new building is open. Make this one of your Nuggets in the Hood to see when you come to New York.
THE WINERY is a very special wine store located at 117th Street, 2166 Frederick Douglas Blvd, or 8th Avenue to the Old Timers who knew the street names before they were changed . It is open 7 days a week, from 1pm to 7pm. Free wine tastings on Friday and Saturdays evenings. Discounts for 6 bottles or more. Delivery to anywhere.
You can reach The Winery online at http://www.thewineryonline.com or 212-222-4866.
Drink responsibly and enjoy.
Just came from a 5 hour jazz event in New Jersey that was wonderful. One of the groups has a weekly set in New York City that I wanted to share. This is the real deal, for the purists and those who really love good music.
Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks Orchestra
Sofia’s Restaurant (look for Club Cache downstairs at the Edison Hotel, every Monday and Tuesday, 8pm to 11pm, Doors open at 7pm.
221 W 46 Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue, New York City
$15 Cash Cover, $15 Food/drink minimum
For reservations, call 212-719-5799
Dining and Dancing to Music of the 1920s and 1930s
You will enjoy the music. I sure did!!!