"Passing Stranger" is an audio walking tour of poets and poetry associated with the East Village, created by award-winning radio producer Pejk Malinovski. The tour – narrated by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, with music by new music pioneer John Zorn – provides an anecdotal, digressive tapestry of the poetry that lived and continues to live in the neighborhood.
You can download the map and audio file for free here. Expect recordings from all the Village greats-- Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Koch, and Joe Brainard--and commentary from Richard Hell, Ron Padgett, Ed Sanders and Anne Waldman.
The tour clocks in at about an hour and a half so you'll have plenty of time to pause your MP3 player and make detours--maybe a sandwich at Veselka? An open mic at the Nuyorican Cafe? A slam at the Bowery Poetry Club?
And if it's been awhile since you've read the poetry of our great city, may we humbly suggest these two verses from Miguel Pinero's "A Lower East Side Poem" to get you going:
From Houston to 14th Street
from Second Avenue to the mighty D
here the hustlers & suckers meet
the faggots & freaks will all get
on the ashes that have been scattered
thru the Lower East Side.
There's no other place for me to be
there's no other place that I can see
there's no other town around that
brings you up or keeps you down
no food little heat sweeps by
fancy cars & pimps' bars & juke saloons
& greasy spoons make my spirits fly
with my ashes scattered thru the
Lower East Side . . .
"Passing Strangers" is produced with support from The Poetry Foundation and is not the only substantive walking tour in New York. For a look at some others, check out the slideshow below: