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Allen Ginsberg, Revisited by His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 4

Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 2.54.05 PMPaula Litsky Bob Rosenthal at Ginsberg’s funeral.

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, so here’s the final installment of our interview with Bob Rosenthal, conducted at Allen Ginsberg’s old 12th Street apartment, where Mr. Rosenthal worked as his secretary for nearly two decades. (Parts one, two, and three of this leisurely conversation ran last week.) As Ginsberg grew older and ill, his assistant followed him to a 14th Street loft purchased from the painter Larry Rivers; when Ginsberg died in 1997, Mr. Rosenthal became executor of the poet’s estate and guardian of one of his last meals.

Allen’s Addictions
Allen always had some pot around – he was a pot propagandist and so if a joint was being passed around and someone was going to take a photograph he would grab the joint so he’s got it. But actually, I rarely ever saw him smoke. He had pot for boyfriends – it’s a good line: “Oh, you want to come up and smoke?” It was really for them. He would go to LSD conventions with the big guys – the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library guys, Huxley and all those guys. They would give him acid and he would come home and put it in the refrigerator and that was cute. There was a little vial of LSD and it said “Do not take without permission of Allen or Bob” – so I guess Bob had permission. So that was nice. But I never saw him on LSD. Read more…

A Library’s Little Advocate

Ada Xie, 9, campaigning to keep Tompkins Square Library openIan Duncan Ada Xie, 9, holds a petition calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to cut library funding.

With residents mounting a citywide campaign to stave off budget cuts and The Observer coining the term “bibliopocaplyse” to describe the future of New York’s libraries, the Tompkins Square branch has deployed its secret weapon: cuteness.

Yesterday afternoon, 9-year-old Ada Xie was stopping library users just inside the entrance and confidently presenting them with a petition. “The library could close because there’s not enough money,” she told The Local.

Ada added that it was her second day on the job and that she had collected “quite a few” signatures.

According to a New York Public Library campaign Web site, 533 Tompkins users have written to elected officials protesting the cuts. Across the city, more than 90,000 letters have been written.

The Day | Quiet Streets, Vintage Photos

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Good morning, East Village.

As we return from a relatively quiet weekend, we were struck by this story in The Post, which describes how some Lower East Side businesses are considering using uniformed off-duty police officers to patrol the area between Houston and Delancey Streets to help cut down on noise complaints. If the move is approved by the police, could a similar plan be in the works for the East Village?

EV Grieve has a then-and-now look at life on Avenue A using historical photographs from the New York Public Library’s photo archives. Ephemeral New York also offers a look at World War II era photos, these from Fifth Street between Avenues A and B.

DNAinfo has an obituary for Howard O’Brien, the beloved bartender over at Sophie’s on East Fifth Street.

And NYU Journalism’s own Dave Winer reports that shooting will take place on the Bowery Wednesday for the new Chris Rock film, 2 Days in New York.