Tour guide education is an on-going process. We can’t just write the tour script, hand it to a new tour guide, and force them to memorize it. That’s not how you get great tours. As often as possible, we take our tour guides out into the neighborhood to meet the chefs, eat the food, and learn more about the culture and history. It’s also a great way for the tour guides to spend time together and get to know each other, since most of their time is otherwise spent giving tours.

Last week, we went on a private Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl tour to learn even more about the neighborhood. The pub crawlers included tour guides from our Greenwich Village food tour and our Central Village/SoHo food tour, as well as owner Todd and Director of Operations Amy.
Full group shot of the day: Cindy, Barri,
Todd, Susan, Ted, Amy, Bert, Heather, and Marie.
They began the tour at The White Horse Tavern, which opened in 1880 and is one of the oldest continuously running bars in NYC. The most famous legend is that the poet Dylan Thomas drank himself to death here in the ’50s. Dylan Thomas is probably most famous for his line, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
According to Heather, this is a bit of an exaggeration. “He did drink 17 whiskeys,” she concedes. “Then he went back to the Chelsea Hotel and had one more and passed out. But! He woke up the next day, went back to the bar, then passed out on his way out and ended up in the hospital.” Apparently, he died a few days later of an “insult to the brain.” No kidding!
Bert sits at Dylan Thomas’ favorite table.
Thomas is said to haunt his favorite table at the White Horse, which also hangs a painting of one of the last photos ever taken of him. He died in 1953 at the age of 39, having spent the last three years of his life in the United States after growing up in the United Kingdom. An excerpt of his most famous work:

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Stay tuned for part 2, featuring Heather outside in the freezing cold and the ghost of Thomas Paine.