Thursday, October 26, 2006

Devil_1 The Complete Willabeast Haunted Tour of NYC.
Fill your pockets with treats, grab some water and poopie bags and set out this Halloween weekend on a tour of the Willabeast's favorite haunts.

Hold the mouse down on the map and you can move around NYC. Also click on the red labels for information on each establishment. You can also zoom in or out on the left side of the map.
We begin on the Upper West Side.

Menaghost1_003_2 1. The Dakota 1 W 72nd Street

A perfect Halloween visit. This apartment building is where Rosemary's Baby was filmed. Also, it's rumored that John Lennon is seen out by the surrounding fence. He was shot and killed in front of this building when he lived here.

Menaghost1_002_1 2. Cafe des Artistes at the Hotel des Artistes 1 W 67th Street

Legend says the ghost here likes to touch visitors. After the Willabeast's visit, she was hit on the head with a ladder being carried down the street. Coincidence, maybe. But the ladder didn't look that close. I think the ghost liked Mena and followed!

Menaskateghost_004 3. Wollman Rink in Central Park

You can see the rink and people skating behind the Willabeast. If you believe the stories, sometimes you can see the figures of two young girls doing figure 8's on the ice.

Menaghost2_003Menaghost2_006_1 4. Landmark Tavern 626 11th Ave. at 46th

You tell me if you see a ghost at this 1868 building. Open and save the picture where you can see all three floors. Zoom in to the far left window on the second floor. Doesn't that look like it could be the face of the confederate soldier shot in a bar brawl? He allegedly died in the second floor bath tub that is still there. It's also rumored the ghost of a young girl who died of typhoid fever lives on the third floor. The brunch menu looks delicious.

Menaghost2_023 5. Palace Theatre 1564 Broadway

Because of construction across Broadway from the Palace, getting a picture was difficult here. You can see the horizontal sign that reads Palace. We didn't stay around long. Rumor is if you see the ghost of the acrobat who broke his neck here, you will soon die. It's also said more than 100 ghosts haunt this theatre, including Judy Garland, who might be seen near the orchestra rear door built for her.

Menaghost2_012Menaghost2_014_1 6. Belasco Theatre 111 W 44th Street

Check out this architecture. The Belasco looks like it should have a ghost. It's one of the city's oldest theaters. Supposedly the builder, David Belasco, sometimes gives accolades to actors, sometimes even high-fives. Too bad he didn't offer a palm to the Willabeast. She loves giving high-fives and tens. His possible companion, the Blue Lady, is also seen here.

Menaghost2_019 7. The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel 59 W 44th Street

Members of the Round Table, a group of writers that met at the Oak Room for lunch everday after World War I, are reportedly seen by hotel guests. The writers called themselves the Vicious Circle, and included screenwriter Dorothy Parker, humorist Robert Benchley, The New Yorker editor Harold Ross, and journalist Jane Grant.


8. New Amsterdam Theatre 214 W 42nd Street

If you are seeing a show here, but witness a player dressed in a green beaded gown with beaded headpiece holding a blue bottle, then you are probably seeing the ghost of Olive Thomas, a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl. She supposedly killed herself by overdosing on her husband's syphilis medication. He is said to have been a womanizer and an alcoholic.

Menaghost3_050 9. Washington Square Park W 4th and MacDougal

There is a nice dog park here in Washington Square. I've seen dogs run and play in it, but not dig. However, if one were to engage in throwing up dirt, you could say he was digging for bones. This is former burial ground where 15,000 bodies still lie. It was also used as a hanging ground during the American Revolution.

Menaghost3_048 10. "The House of Death" 14 W 10th Street

A historical marker on this building reads "Mark Twain lived here 1900- 1901." It also says he wrote Tom Saywer. However, it says nothing about the rumor that the writer haunts the stairwell. Supposedly it's also haunted by 22 people who died in this home.



11. One If By Land, Two If By Sea 17 Barrow Street

This building, now a romantic restaurant, is famously known as once being Aaron Burr's carriage house. Title records, however, don't list Burr as an owner. According to a New York Time's article, Burr died in 1836, two years after tax and other records reveal 17 Barrow was built. Whatever the case, supposedly the former vice president haunts this joint. It's also said his daughter, Theodosia, removes earrings from female patrons at the bar.

Menaghost3_01312. White Horse Tavern 567 Hudson Street

The horror story here involves 18 shots of Whiskey. It must have been the cheap kind because the binge killed poet Dylan Thomas. Allegedly he can't get enough. He returns to the bar turns his favorite table like he did when he hung out here. Other literary greats, such as Anais Nin and Jack Kerouac frequented this haunt. (But as far as anyone knows, only while they were alive.)


13. Chumley's 86 Bedford Street

If you "86" any stop off this tour, make sure its not this one! I saved Chumley's for lucky last 13 because it's dog friendly and after a more than ten-mile walk, the Willabeast needed a burger and beverage. Chumley's was a working bar during prohibition and the trap doors still exist now. There are also book jackets from writers who have visited all over the walls. Supposedly when police would call 86 Bedford street to inform of a bust, they would call and just say the address. 86 came to be known as "get rid of it or them." The bar would hide it's best customers, but leave a few for the bust. Speaking with the owner, Steve, he confirms the most recent hauntings, but says they aren't hauntings, rather incredible occurances. He had several firefighter employees die during 9-11. He says on their birthdays or other special events, they will play their favorite song on the unplugged juke box.

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 23, 2006

White Horse Tavern, Hudson Street

White Horse Tavern, Hudson Street
Originally uploaded by hrkovar.

567 Hudson Street.
Writer Dyland Thomas drank 18 shots of whiskey here. He later died at a hospital because of his record breaking antics. However, it's said he comes back for more. While he might not be able to sneak whiskey, he supposedly rotates his favorite table, like he used to do when he frequented
this establishment.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway

Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway
Originally uploaded by hrkovar.

We finally made it to the Palace Theatre on Broadway. It's between 46th and 47th. It was difficult to take this picture because directly across the street from the Palace is construction. We had to snap this in a cross walk between bouts of people walking by and stealing her attention from the camera.
Hopefully we didn't get too much attention from the more than 100 reported ghosts that still stay at the Palace. Especially one. Its said people who see the ghost of the acrobat who died when he broke his neck there, will soon die. On a nicer note, Judy Garland supposedly is sensed near the rear orchestra door built for her. The next stop on the Willabeast Tour brings us to the West Village.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Belasco Theatre

Now we sit in front of the Belasco Theatre on West 44th street. The Theatre is between 7th and 6th, yet almost at 6th.
Legend has it the builder of this Broadway showhouse, David Belasco, is still hanging around his 1907 establishment. He is reported to give kudos, even high-fives to performers. (Hey, high-five! That is one of Willamena's tricks. But she barks if a high-five is given to someone other than her. I guess her performance outside the theatre wasn't good enough for Belasco.)
It's also said a possible lady companion to Belasco is seen inside.

This picture takes us to our next haunting legend. Walk East to cross 6th on 44th to the Algonquin hotel. In this picture, you can almost see how close the Algonguin is to the Belasco. The Belasco sign and short brown structure can be seen in front of the red brick building on the left side of the picture.

As for the Algonquin Hotel, guests have reportedly claimed to see members of The Round Table, a group of famous writers that met at the Oak Room of this hotel on a daily basis for lunch after World War I.

The next stop: The Palace Theatre on Broadway. We're backtracking a little North and West. Walk back along 44th to Broadway, then West to between 46th and 47th. The Willabeast will see you there soon!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Willabeast Haunted Tours Moves into Midtown

Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street
Originally uploaded by hrkovar.

For those of you who frequent the theaters of New York City, the Willabeast has compiled stories of ghosts who can't seem to stop performing.
She starts at 111 West 44th Street, the Belasco Theatre, between 7th and 6th Avenues.
Details on its hauntings, as well as on other Broadway theatres, COMING SOON!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Haunted Tour Guided by Willabeast continues

Landmark Tavern, 11th at 46th
Originally uploaded by hrkovar.

After leaving the Upper West Side, the next stop on the tour is the Landmark Tavern. Its on 11th Avenue at 46th street, just across from one of New York City's best BarB-Q establishments, Daisey Mae's.
Allegedly a young girl who died of typhoid fever still lives on the third floor of the 1868 established Landmark Tavern. The other reported ghost is that of a confederate soldier. He was shot in a bar brawl, and died in a bathtub on the second floor. Its supposedly still there. I believe he is too. When I zoom into the the far left window on the second floor, I see a face smiling back. Plus there is a red streak in the ground floor window that wasn't in any of the first pictures taken.
However, I checked out the brunch and dinner menu, and I am ready to try it out!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday 13th: begin ghost tour with the WILLABEAST

menaghost1 002
Originally uploaded by hrkovar.

Your first stop on the New York City Ghost Tour hosted by WILLABEAST is the Cafe de Artistes at 1 West 67th street.
Haunted lore says a cloudlike apparition reaches out and touches people here. Marcel Duchamp, Isadora Duncan and Fiorello Laguardia all frequented this cafe.
Menaghost1_003_1After taking this picture, about an hour later on our walk, Willamena was lightly bonked on the head by a man carrying a ladder. Not too hard. But still. However, the incident was after also visiting another allegedly haunted establishment, the Dakota. On W. 72nd, John Lennon was murdered outsite this building in 1980, and it's rumored he haunts the area around the gate. Prior to that, construction workers in the 60's said they saw the ghost of a child. Plus this building was the setting for the movie Rosemary's Baby.
Menaghost1_004Menaghost1_005Not to fear. Before we ended our short tour, we stopped in Central Park for a beer and, in spilling most of it, offered it up to the spirits.

Your tour continues through October with the Willabest. In the meantime, you can check out this website for a preview of some of the hauntings we'll visit.

OCTOBER 10th, 2006

In Menapig_015honor of Columbus Day this past Monday, Willamena visited Columbus Circle and the Columbus monument in Central Park. However, since it was also John Lennon's birthday, she stopped by Strawberry Fields as well. Read more about her voyage, as well as some history involving Columbus Day and the monuments here. Menapig_025

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Speaking of new camera, I just aquired the Pentax Optio W20 - Waterproof - at Friday night's TechFest live auction at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. David Pogue was the auctioneer; the only research I did on the camera prior was watch his New York Times review plus briefly featured it myself in the news piece I did to promote the event. Read more from the blog I keep for News 12.

Bottom line, though, watch out Willamena! As soon as I have time to dress you up and take you out, you are going to have to endure multiple pictures as I learn my new camera.

Since it has 7.0 megapixels, first I have to figure out how to change the settings so I take lesser quality pictures. Otherwise, if I post them on this blog, the file will be so big it will jam up your computer when you click on it. Plus when the picture would finally open, it would be so big so all you would see is one eye or just a corner of the pic. You'd have to scroll around it, like when you get one of those big file pictures in your email. Tell those people to reduce their settings!

I'll figure that out soon. Instead I've been fiddling with my new DVD recorder.

I guess I'm just putting off the inevitable. As tech savy as I try to be, I resisted getting a digital camera. I was in love with old Canon Elf. I bought it back in 1998. It captured all my memories of living all over upstate New York into moving to New York City. Despite carrying it with me everyday and dropping it just about every other hour, that little camera excelled. It is the source of nearly every picture on this blog and Willamena's prior to this posting.

The one time I thought my Canon was a goner was after some sticky drink was spilled on it one New Year's Eve.
It's insides were all gummed up. The film wouldn't wind. I finally got it out, and when processed, the pictures were all bleary. It took a few rolls, but that little camera pulled through. And that was five years ago!
I have hope for my new Pentax, because while it claims its waterproof, its only so up to five feet. That basically means all my spills, Willamena slobber and bouts in the snow and rain shouldn't damage it too much.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm often stressed over managing time and money. The bills pile up on the desk next to the computer. Not that I don't have the money, but to actually sit down and figure out all the passwords to access my accounts so I pay them is the time killer.
I really try not to let that happen often. But it does sometimes. The last time I didn't pay a bill on time is because I could not access my account. I tried calling customer service but got tired of sitting through menus and being on hold.
I estimate that the time spent trying to pay that bill was worth a hundred bucks. That is some fee.
Besides, what is money without time to enjoy it?
I found what I consider the best description of wealth on the blog of a civil engineer,

How do I define Wealth: I define wealth as an abundance of life, resources, and material possessions. A wealthy person in my mind is someone who has the time to be spouse, parent, sibling, or mate, live their life on their terms, manages to have an extra dollar in his/her pocket, and has set aside an estate for their heirs. Money is not wealth, what money buys can lead to wealth. Living by principal and honor also leads to wealth.

Notice abundance of life and resources comes before material possessions.
We feel so exhillarated when we purchase a new gadget. A new suit. A new camera. But before long the same old craving feeling creeps back in. Investing in life and resources first just might fill that hole.