Sidewalk Cafes on Broadway and Amsterdam

Our premier local hangout, the West End Gate, was, in a grubbier incarnation during the fifties and sixties, a haunt of Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, et al. Here is a quote from Vanity of Duluoz, Kerouac's novel about his time at Columbia:

"The soft city evenings, the cries of "Rimbaud!", "New Vision!", the great Gotterdamerung, the love song "You Always Hurt the One You Love," the smell of beers and smoke in the West End Bar, the evenings we spent on the grass by the Hudson River on Riverside Drive at 116th St. watching the rose west, watching the freighters slide by." (p.214)

The snappish Diana Trilling, wife of the famous literature professor Lionel Trilling, disparaged it as "that dim waystation of undergraduate debauchery." It is now rather yuppified, but still offers live jazz, and comedy too sometimes. The facade you see here has since been replaced by a restoration of what was there when the building was new, thanks to Bill Scott of Columbia Real Estate.

Nacho Mama's

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