MacDougal Street's Son-of-a-Beats
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
July 7, 1960, Vol. V, No. 37
Where Do We Go From Here?
By J.R. Goddard
St. John's Red Storm Men's Basketball vs. Georgetown Hoyas Men's Basketball
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 12:00pm
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 5:00pm
New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 7:30pm
New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
TicketsSun., Feb. 26, 5:00pm
The heroes and villains of MacDougal Street -- actors all in a minor epic of our time -- have a habit of disappearing almost as soon as they have "arrived" as painters, writers, entertainers. After the war the place was overrun with the G.I. crowd. Most are gone now. Then came the beats -- new heroes like Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso -- who had their brief hour, then decamped for the East Side or the Cedar Bar.
In 1960 the actors get younger. "Second-generation" beats (for want of a more definitive term) now step out on a stage well worn by the hundreds who have gone before.
They are many in number. There are satiric young poets like John Brent or Hugh Romney, featured on a recent LP entitled "Beat Generation." There are singers like Varda Karni, struggling for individuality amid the highly partisan, opinionated world of folk music. There are loafers: a neurotic dog named Lamont Cranston, local Jewish girls singing blue-grass songs, Southerners warbling Elizabethan ballads. There are the adventurers, the fugitives from Omaha or White Plains. There are the hip, the beat, the off-beat, and occasionally, the mad.
These, in short, are MacDougal's most colorful inhabitants. Some are talented. Few, however, have proved their talent conclusively, even on these short blocks. But the fact that the young -- especially the entertainers -- still do have a chance to present themselves to a large public is perhaps one of the street's few real virtues...
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.