Bleecker Street is a west–east street in New York City borough of Manhattan. It is most famous today as a Greenwich Village nightclub district. The street connects a neighborhood today popular for music venues and comedy, but which was once a major center for American bohemia. The street is named after Anthony Bleecker, a 19th-century writer whose family farm the street ran through.
Bleecker Street is named by and after the Bleecker family because the street ran through the farm of the family. In 1808, Anthony Bleecker and his wife deeded to the city a major portion of the land on which Bleecker Street sits.
Originally Bleecker Street extended only as far west as Sixth Avenue. In 1829 it was joined with Herring Street, extending Bleecker Street northwest to Abingdon Square.
LeRoy Place is the former name of a block of Bleecker Street between Mercer and Greene Streets. This was where the first palatial "winged residences" were built. The effect was accomplished by making the central houses taller and closer to the street, while the other houses on the side were set back. The central buildings also had bigger, raised entrances and lantern-like roof projections. The houses were built by Isaac A. Pearson, on both sides of Bleecker Street. To set his project apart from the rest of the area, Pearson convinced the city to rename this block of the street after the prominent international trader Jacob LeRoy.
Bleecker Street is served by the 4 6 <6> B D F M trains at Bleecker Street/Broadway – Lafayette Street station. The 1 2 trains serve the Christopher Street – Sheridan Square station one block north of Bleecker Street.
Traffic on the street is one-way, going southeast. In early December 2007, a bicycle lane was marked on the street.
- Bayard-Condict Building
- Bleecker Street Cinemas, closed in 1991
- Lynn Redgrave Theater, formerly known as Bleecker Street Theater
- Our Lady of Pompeii Church, Carmine Street
- Washington Square Park
- Bleecker Sitting Area contains a sculpture by Chaim Gross and won a Village Award.
- The Bitter End at 147 Bleecker Street
- Cafe Au Go Go was at 152 Bleecker Street
- The Back Fence at 155 Bleecker Street (corner of Bleecker and Thompson)
- (Le) Poisson Rouge at 158 Bleecker Street
- The Village Gate was at 160 Bleecker Street
- John's of Bleecker Street, famous pizzeria established in 1929
- Kesté, highly rated Neapolitan style pizzeria established in 2009
- Music venue Cafe Wha?, where Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Kool & the Gang, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and many others began their careers
- The CBGB club, which closed in 2006, was located at the east end of Bleecker Street, at the corner of Bowery.
- James Agee lived at 172 Bleecker Street, above Cafe Espanol (1941–1951)
- Mykel Board
- Robert De Niro grew up on Bleecker Street
- Robert Frank
- Mariska Hargitay
- Alicia Keys
- Cookie Mueller lived at 285 Bleecker Street, above Ottomanelli's (1976–1989)
- John Belushi lived at 376 Bleecker Street (1975)
- Craig Rodwell lived at 350 Bleecker Street (1968–1993)
- James Roosevelt at 58 Bleecker Street
- Edward Thebaud
- Mark Van Doren
- Dave Winer
In popular culture
- Valenti Angelo's 1949 novel The Bells of Bleecker Street is set in the Italian American community in that neighborhood.
- Bleecker Street is referenced in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, notably in The Wolves of the Calla.
- The Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street is mentioned in the novel Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes as a hangout for emaciated young women.
- In The Bear Comes Home, Rafi Zabor names a jazz album 'If There's a Bleecker Street Than This One, I Don't Know Its Name.'
- Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has written a poem about Bleecker Street entitled "Bleecker Street, Summer."
- Bleecker Street is referenced in Theodore Dreiser's story "Old Rogaum and His Theresa"
- In Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain, the character Coleman Silk takes the woman who would later be his wife to a Bleecker Street cafe early in their relationship.
- Bleecker Street and Pasticceria Rocco are mentioned in José Domingos Costa's short story "The Living Museum".
- The main character of Warren Ellis' novel Crooked Little Vein visits "some freak bar on Bleecker Street."
- In Marvel Comics, 177A Bleecker Street is the location of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
Film and television
- Bleecker Street is in Shaft's Big Score!, and a street sign is pictured.
- Bleecker Street is in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008).
- Bleecker Street Cinema is mentioned in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan (1985).
- 11th and Bleecker is mentioned in New Line Home Entertainment's production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
- Peter Parker tells Mary Jane that he saw her billboard advertisement on Bleecker in Spider-Man 2 (2004).
- Long-running television series Friends featured Bleecker Street signposts in several cut-scenes.
- Much of the film No Reservations (2007), starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, is set in a restaurant on the corner of Bleecker and Charles Streets. The name of their fictitious restaurant is 22 Bleecker.
- In The WB series What I Like About You, Holly and Valerie live in an apartment on Bleecker Street.
- In the remake of The Time Machine (2002), starring Guy Pearce, Pearce's character at one point early in the film requests to be taken to Bleecker Street.
- The Happy Carrot restaurant Woody Allen's character owned in the movie Sleeper (1973) was on Bleecker Street.
- Bleecker Street is mentioned in the movie Gangs of New York (2002).
- In the movie Sid and Nancy (1986), Sid and Nancy are seen exiting a subway towards Bleecker Street.
- The I Love Lucy episode entitled "Lucy and the Loving Cup" mentions Bleecker Street as Lucy's destination while traveling the subway.
- The Matthews family in Girl Meets World live near Bleecker Street and frequent the Bleecker subway station.
- The Saint of Bleecker Street, an opera by American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1955.
- Peter, Paul and Mary changed "Chestnut Street" to "Bleecker Street" in their 1963 recorded version of the song "Freight Train" (Elizabeth Cotten).
- Simon and Garfunkel recorded the Paul Simon song titled "Bleecker Street" for their debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964).
- Richard Barone recorded the Paul Simon song "Bleecker Street" on his "Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s" album (2016).
- Folksinger Fred Neil sang about "standing on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, wondering which way to go" in the title song off his album Bleecker & MacDougal, released in 1965.
- Country Boy and Bleeker Street, a psychedelic rock song by Chicago band H. P. Lovecraft from their eponymous album H. P. Lovecraft (1967).
- Joni Mitchell sings in her album Hejira, "Song for Sharon": "There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street; I went in to see her as a kind of joke; And she lit a candle for my love luck; And eighteen bucks went up in smoke." Also, in the song "Tin Angel" from her album Clouds, she sings: "In a Bleecker Street cafe I found someone to love today."
- Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki visited Bleecker Street during recording of her (Miss)understood album. The pictures were later published in Hamasaki's famous "Deji Deji Diary" that is published in each issue of ViVi Magazine.
- Bleecker Street is mentioned in the Steely Dan song "Almost Gothic" from the album Two Against Nature.
- The Marcy Playground song "The Vampires of New York" mentions "All the whores on Bleecker Street".
- Bruce Springsteen, frequent visitor of the Bleecker Street club Cafe Wha?, says "Cat somehow lost his baby down on Bleecker Street" in his song "Kitty's Back" off his album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.
- Willie Nile says "I'm down here on Bleecker Street tryin' to read your mind" in Cell Phones Ringing (In The Pockets Of The Dead) from his Streets of New York album.
- On his 2013 album American Ride, Willie Nile sings "Life On Bleecker Street".
- Iggy Pop discusses dying on Bleecker Street in his song "Punk Rocker".
- George Watsky mentions Bleecker Street in his song "The Legend of Hardhead Ned".
- Paolo Nutini sings "Took her down Bleecker Street" in his song "Better Man".
- The band AJR sings "That we’d grow old on Bleecker Street" in their song "Growing Old On Bleecker Street".
- The song "The Famous Jane" by Arc Angels has the line "She ended up on Bleecker Street".
- The Tom Paxton song "Cindy's Cryin'" has the line "gonna be a hooker on Bleecker Street".
- Bleecker Street is mentioned in some versions of the traditional sea shanty "New York Girls". An example is on the Steeleye Span album Commoners Crown.
- Bleecker Street is the name of a trail at Hunter Mountain.
- Bleecker Street is the name of a unisex fragrance by Bond No. 9 New York.
- COACH has a handbag collection named after the street.
- Allen Edmonds has a boot named after the street.
- Sanctum Sanctorum is located at 177A Bleecker Street.
- The original San Remo Cafe, actually a bar and sometimes referred to as San Remo Bar, was at 189 Bleecker.
- The first Gay Pride Parade was organized from the apartment of march founder Craig Rodwell at 350 Bleecker Street, Apt 3V.
- The humorous web comic Alien Loves Predator features Bleecker Street in some episodes and also on an "ALP" T-shirt.
- The Market NYC, an indoor designers, arts, vintage and flea market, which is located in the historic building that once housed Circle in the Square Theatre.
- Moscow, Henry. The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Hagstrom, 1978. ISBN 0823212750, p.29
- Crane, Frank W. (November 18, 1945). "Many Titles in 'Village' Area Traced Back to Old Ownerships; Admiral Warren, Who Gave Greenwich Its Name, and Aaron Burr Appear Frequently – Trinity and Rhinelanders Big Holders". Real Estate. The New York Times. p. 121.
It was Anthony Bleecker, one of the most prominent members of the family, who with his wife deeded to the city the greater part of Bleecker Street in 1808.
- Harris, Luther S. (2003). Around Washington Square : an Illustrated History of Greenwich Village. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-8018-7341-X.
- Burrows, Edwin G. & Wallace, Mike (1999). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195116348., p. 459
- "Changing Types of City Dwellings: Statuary Marble Mantels Indicated the Fashionable Home of Former Age" New York Times (November 22, 1914)
- "LeRoy Place" Moving Uptown, New York Public Library exhibition
- "NYC Parks — Bleecker Sitting Area". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Bleecker Street Sitting Area Renovation". GVSHP. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Curley, Mallory (2010). A Cookie Mueller Encyclopedia. Randy Press.
- Jim Naureckas. "Bleecker Street: New York Songlines". nysonglines.com.
- "Ayumi Hamasaki". Memorial Hamasaki — DataBase pour Ayufans.
- Bleecker Street Cap-Toe Boots Retrieved November 19, 2014
- San Remo Bar at Ephemeral New York website Retrieved July 30, 2011
- Nagourney, Adam (June 25, 2000). "For Gays, a Party In Search of a Purpose; At 30, Parade Has Gone Mainstream As Movement's Goals Have Drifted". New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
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