There was this strange little room on a second floor behind a Scandinavian restaurant, called The Bohemian Embassy. The significance of it's name was lost on me the first few times I visited it, but I absolutely LOVED the people who inhabited it. Old poets, folksingers, dissolute novelists, drunks, ladies with long hair and black leotards, dopers....in short, the kind of people that I had hoped existed, but wasn't sure. One night, the crusty blues singer and picker Dave Van Ronk shuffled onto the stage, accompanied by a very inebriated young harp player.
Next time I saw the young kid, it was in a 1500 seat hall. (still looked pretty blitzed though)
Another little place that I dearly loved was called "Gastons's". It was at the corner of Avenue Rd. and Davenport, and was open most of the night. It catered to "old beats" (who bemoaned that Kerouak had gone "commercial"), young French 'revolutionaries' and failing art students (like me). One night,('bout two in the morning) Gaston Schwalb, the owner, asked me to get out the guitar and accompany a friend of his. She was very pretty and seemed verrry french. She didn't sing "Downtown", but her name was Petula Clark. Actually I'm trying to remember what she DID sing....might have been a Jacques Brel song or two.