I didn't know whether to post this in "New York for New Yorkers", "News and Politics" or here, so I revisited the "Highway 61" album, fired up a ceremonial J and pondered things awhile. I guess you can see where my ponderings led me.

I lived in The Village around the time Bob Dylan did, in a 2-room walkup on Thompson St, and I worked at the local businesses and patronized a lot of the clubs where he performed. The Gaslight, Gerde's Folk City, The Village Gate and others were cheap places to hang out, dive joints that served 50-cent bottles of Rheingold and dollar burgers and catered to the large population of hippies, music lovers and artistic types who were drawn to the neighborhood by the ambiance, cheap rents and $15 an ounce pot.
The Boomer generation was just learning how to shave and avoid the Draft and man, were we having fun hanging out in Washington Square, hooking up and partying until dawn. MacDougal and Bleeker and Fourth were busy all day and night long with locals and tourists looking at each other, deciding if they wanted to be a part of the circus or leave NY altogether.

I might have seen him perform, I just don't recall. Dylan wasn't yet "Dylan", he was just another sidewalk performer, so i may have passed him on the street or sat next to him at the Buffalo Road House.

Greenwich Village can no longer hatch people like him. Then, it was a great incubator for the the young artistic crowd. Now, the singers and poets and broke NYU students who want to be in New York can't afford the rent or look for jobs at the record stores or the bookstores that are no longer there, and besides, NYU has occupied most of the real estate where the clubs and cheap apartments once flourished, so the entire landscape of the place is 180 degrees different from 50 years ago.

But you should have seen it.
The Village was overflowing with 20-somethings, kids who loved the music and had to belong to the Scene--and we turned NY into a must-go-there destination for thousands, millions. We grooved on the atmosphere, grew up, moved away, bought nice suits, the latest Dylan album and started our families, but we've always looked back in fondness at the early hippie days in The Village, a place where soon to be revered people like Dylan and Dave Van Ronk and Paul Simon once grazed among us, creating the background music for our generation.

Live long, Bobby...