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THE HELL HOLE - Catholic Worker odds & ends
April 5th, 2009
02:08 pm


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"It was more fun to hang to hang around the Provincetown Playhouse where Eugene O'Neill and others of my friends had plays in rehearsal. After rehearsal, or after performances, the usual meeting place was the back room of a saloon on the corner of Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue, nicknamed Hell Hole, by its customers...No one ever wanted to go to bed, and no one ever wished to be alone. It was on these cold bitter evenings that I first heard "The Hound of Heaven," in an atmosphere of drink and smoke." ---from "The Long Loneliness" by Dorothy Day. Harper & Row, 1952.

The saloon, The Golden Swan, was torn down in 1928 to make room for the Sixth Avenue subway. The space is now occupied by the Golden Swan Garden and there is a plaque on the metal fence surrounding it which tells of some of the famous people who hung out there. Dorothy is not mentioned. The photos below depicts the garden in March, 2009. RS

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:April 5th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I really appreciate these memories of Dorothy Day and (especially) Ammon Hennacy
[User Picture]
Date:April 24th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Agnes Boulton writes in her memoire "Part of a Long Story" : "Dorothy (Day) would sit in a sort of trance when sometimes Gene (O'Neill) would recite 'The Hound of Heaven.'

'I fled him down the night and down the days.'

" She even managed to get him to recite the poem one night from beginning to end at the Hell Hole while the Hudson Dusters listened admiringly."
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