Thursday, April 2, 2009

Where in the World is William Shakespeare?

'09 Literary Tour Extravaganza
Next Stop: Next Stop New Yawk - Fuhgeddaboudit

Hey folks. Padfoot and Prongs here bringing you what we hope will be a new fun weekly (possibly bi-weekly depending on brain capacity) post about the wide world of literary places to visit. Both Padfoot and Prongs have an intense desire to one day take a road-trip across the country (and maybe one day other countries) to see some of the places that inspired some of the great works of literature that we love. In preparation for that, and as a treat for all of you, we have decided to start putting up a post once a week featuring different states and some of their literary tourist points. Now we realize we might not hit all of the books and reference points that every one out there would like to see, but we are going to do our best to get some of the main ones. If you have any suggestions please feel free to throw them out there.
Each week we will be doing a new state until hopefully we get all 50. (Prongs - I'm pretty much convinced nothing cool ever happened in Idaho but I guess we will see. Sorry if you are from there.)
Alright so if you couldn't tell by the title, this week we are doing the great state of New York!! Not only is New York Prong's alma mater , but it is also home to some of the most prominent writers of our time. Joining Prongs on the list are Walt Whitman, Jonathan Lethem, Henry James, William S. Burroughs, and F.Scott Fitzgerald along with countless others.
So where would we stop on our literary tour? We can thank New York times for pretty much doing the work for us on this post
. Here you can find a pretty amazing compilation of some of the best works that came out of literary history, and find where they are referring to on the map of Manhattan. #9 is Ellison, with a reference to Invisible Man, and for any King fans out there, #42 is spoken about in the Dark Tower series. However here are the ones we would most be interested in stopping at:

#81 Washington Square Station - Reference: William Burroughs, Naked Lunch
The beat generation is possibly on of the most interesting movements in recent literary history, and it all started in NYC. I'm sure you all know who the 'Beats' are but just in case you need a refresher, some names include Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
"I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil-doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square station, vault and turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train."
#42 727 and 5th Avenue - Reference: Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Alright so while possibly known better for the movie, this short novel by Capote still came first and it is important for everyone to remember the roots of the things we love. The Tiffany's store still stands today, and sometime you see those crazy die hards out front trying to live vicariously through Audrey Hepburn.
"Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. "

#38 Central Park - Reference: J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
While Holden Caulfield may possibly be one of the most annoying, immature characters in literary history... at least he was being whiny somewhere cool. The best part (to us) about Catcher in the Rye is hearing all of his expereiences across NYC.
"Hey Horwitz," I said. "You ever pass by the lagoon in Central Park? Down by Central Park South? "Yeah, what about it?" "Well, you know the ducks that swim around in it? In the springtime and all? Do you happen to know where they go in the wintertime, by chance
And of course no stop in New York would be complete with out the strand. While not necessarily the site of one of the most significant moments in literary history, it is still a mustttt for any book lovers. With over '18 miles' of books, it is basically our Mecca.

Alright folks so if you are still hanging in there after this incredibly long post then congratulations! We hope you have enjoyed yourself on this weeks post please make sure to grab all of your belongings before leaving. Make sure to stop by next week when ever visit our homeland, Ohio!

-mischief managed-


  1. great idea! I'm going on a tour of the country this summer, so I can understand your idea of connecting books and travelling..

    then, when I think New York, I can hardly not think of the rosy crucifixion.. Henry Miller hated New York, but he still the one who put it in the most beautiful words..

  2. Too true about Henry Miller! Sigh I need to start Tropic of Capricorn. I loved Cancer so much.

    Well hopefully on your tour of the country you will be able to use some of the ideas we are going to be throwing out here in the next few months.

  3. I recently worked at the "American Globe" theatre. It's right near Times Square, so if you guys ever do come this way be sure to stop and see a show there. They're the American equivilant to Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London and they put on some fantastic productions of not only Shakespeares work, but Chekhov and Ibsen also.

  4. OMG, Most Amazing Post eva! This is the best idea I've ever heard! I love it! How did you guys get to be so amazing at such a young age! Awesome!! I'll be back for more of your travels :)

  5. no queensboro bridge from Gatsby? a bit surprised it isn't there... No O.Henry? (gramacey) or the White Horse Tavern in the West Village? So many great literary haunts in that funky town.

    keep up the good work.

  6. I love this idea! Totally great! You guys have such good ideas! And we are going to NYC in a few weeks -- now it will be more meaningful!

  7. Yea I almost included Gatsby but decided to just try and keep it at 3 a post, more seemed like over kill. I threw his name in at the top though, wanted to make sure I got it in there.

    Chic- Hahaha awww thanks seriously. We are glad you approve. We have talked about doing a literary tour for quite a bit now and finally decided to just start picking some actual spots. But thanks so much for the compliment. I actually used to live in NY and have been to over half the places on that map, just for their literary standing alone. It is just crazy to me to think that I am standing in a place that inspired a work of pure genius. It's hard not to try imagine you feel what they feel, and be inspired yourself.

    Hopefully it will come in handy someday for any one traveling that has some spare time on their hands to check these spots out.

  8. Aw Jenners thanks! That's more than we could have expected to here. Make sure to mark a couple places down that are important to you off that big map of them. I love NYC and miss it terribly, so I am sure you will have a great time!

  9. Really great idea! Now I'll have something to go by the next time I visit the states. I think three is a good number, as well. Just enough for one post. :]

    Slightly miffed that I missed The Strand when I was in New York a few months ago, sigh.

  10. Oh man! I haven't been to New York for about five years. You both are awesome! Ahhhh...I miss it so. :)

  11. Nice idea. That could be a book, you know - a literary guidebook. Combine it with a sort of road saga stroke journey of discovery, Blue Highways style, with lots of b/w photos, then hand them into a publisher and youve got a hot property on your hands!

  12. Thanks Gary. I actually was kind of toying around with the idea of something like this. I would either want to do a strictly reference point book, meant for travel purposes. Or I would like to do some kind of Gonzo journalism throwback and combine some fact with fiction. I think once I have a good build up of places that we really are going to do the road trip then I will make some decisions from there.

  13. This rocks! I love this idea. I will be interested to know what literary things you will find for NC, where I am from. I can think of 2 off the top of my head (I mean, every Nicholas Sparks book is set here), but I wonder what else there is that I don't know?

    And I am so glad you included the Breakfast at Tiffany's stop! That is a must in my book!


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