Photo: Courtesy the Family Archives of George Edgerly and Ann Marie Harris, Hibiscus and the Angels of Light


Allen Ginsberg


After becoming well-known as a Beat-era poet, Allen Ginsberg became heavily involved in the downtown’s activist and arts scenes during the 1960s, when Hibiscus (George Harris III) met Ginsberg and the two became lovers. [more]

Amiri Baraka


Known as LeRoi Jones when he collaborated with Diane di Prima on the mimeo poetry zine The Floating Bear; this poet, playwright, and writer later relocated to Harlem and disassociated himself from the downtown scenes and became a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement. [more]

Arthur C. Clarke


Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke was a resident of the Chelsea Hotel, where became friends with Shirley Clarke; during her time in the Chelsea, Patti Smith sometimes lurked by his door hoping to get a glimpse of him. [more]

Ed Sanders


Ed Sanders was a mimeo publisher, frontman of the Fugs, and potty-mouthed poet who opened the influential Peace Eye Bookstore on the Lower East Side, cofounded the Yippies, and was also involved in the underground film scene. [more]

Jane Wagner


Well before she became Lily Tomlin’s longtime collaborator and partner, Village resident Jane Wagner met Andy Warhol in 1965 and developed several Factory connections, including Jackie Curtis, who befriended Wagner. [more]

Richard Hell


After moving to the Lower East Side in 1966 and became part of the underground poetry scene, Richard Hell eventually transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll with his old friend Tom Verlaine, with whom he started the Neon Boys and then Television, before quitting to form the Heartbreakers and then his own band, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. [more]

Susan Sontag


Writer and theorist Susan Sontag famously used drag and camp to think through the relationship between performance, artifice, and sexuality—something that was partially inspired by Caffe Cino’s outrageous shows and free-thinking atmosphere. [more]

William Burroughs


William Burroughs was the author of Naked Lunch and was a Beat era icon who, by the mid 1970s, was living with poet John Giorno in the Bowery, a couple blocks south of CBGB and a few doors down from the Blondie Loft. [more]