New York City, New York audio tour: INFINITE CITY #2: Tragic Obsession and Beatnik Hell Holes

INFINITE CITY #2: Tragic Obsession and Beatnik Hell Holes

Walking Tour

30 mins

About the Tour

INFINITE CITY is a series of walking tours exploring New York City in endless detail. And this is the second tour in the series.

On this thirty-minute tour, we’ll walk two loops around a section of Greenwich Village. Each successive trip around the block reveals another layer of information about the people, buildings and trees surrounding you. First, you’ll learn of the bacchanalian and tragic history of a block that was once the center of Bohemia, the imaginary kingdom of artists and eccentrics that would eventually mutate into the beatniks and hippies. Then, on the second loop, you’ll uncover the foundations of the building’s predecessors on this ever-changing street.

Join us on a walking tour unlike any other where, by putting this city block under a microscope, you'll learn about:

• The tragic story of the King of the Bohemians
• Midnight suicide parties
• Hell holes and pipe dreams
• The first Gay Pride Parade
• Underground rivers

Each tour in the INFINITE CITY series is an accumulation of a particular place’s memories, and an obsessive compendium of its endless minutiae. Keep a look out for the release of other tours in the series on the VoiceMap app soon!

Tour Producer


Akiva Saunders

Akiva Saunders is a New York City teacher who uses technology and software to explore the frontiers of education. He is the chair of Latin at the Latin/Greek Institute, a teacher in the NYC public school system and a founder of Spectacle Theater, a microcinema in Brooklyn now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Major Landmarks

  • Washington Square Park

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins at the corner of Washington Place and MacDougal Street, on the west side of Washington Square Park. When you've found the park, walk to the west edge, which is MacDougal Street. Running right into the park is Washington Place. Stand on the southwest corner, with the park across the street. Nearby subways include the A, B, C, D, E, F, M, R, W and 6 lines.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Volare Italian restaurant, Galanga Thai restaurant, Sammy's Halal for a quick snack.

Best time of day



Stay aware of traffic, especially bicyclists who can come from both directions.


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INFINITE CITY #2: Tragic Obsession and Beatnik Hell Holes