Spring walks

Girlies, ghosts and ghetto rhymes: We review five of the season's best walking tours.

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Photographs: Amy Plitt

5. Women Movers & Shakers Tour

The gist: Forget the dudes—this two-hour, three-quarter-mile tour is all about the awesome ladies who influenced the art, culture and politics of NYC's hippest 'hood. Guide Andrea Coyle concentrates on the Bowery and shares tidbits about everyone from Emma Goldman to Patricia Field and Madonna.
Who goes: Womyn, counterculturists and, yes, men, too
High: Even longtime Villagers will learn something new about their nabe—for instance, the corner of Bowery and 2nd Street once held a flophouse nicknamed "McGurk's Suicide Hall" for the high number of prostitutes who offed themselves there.
Low: The tour hammers home just how much history has been lost in the East Village. The Fillmore East, where Janis Joplin once performed, is now an Emigrant Bank; the Amato Opera will close in May. And so it goes.
Before you go: Fuel up at Think Coffee (1 Bleecker St at Bowery, 212-553-3366), and search for cute vintage frocks at KGB Bar (85 E 4th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-505-3360), modern dance at La MaMa (74A E 4th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-475-7710) or the New York Neo-Futurists' long-running show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, at the east-village.com to register.
If you like that, try this: The East Village History Project produces a variety of neighborhood tours; delve into its seedy underbelly with Gangsters, Murderers & Weirdos (avenuea.org), covering the more gruesome parts of the Village's history (avenuea.org)—Amy Plitt

 

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