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How Well Do You Know NYC Landmarks? (Poetry Edition)

LPC_Horiz_Red
 
 
April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, take our quiz about famous poets who lived and worked in New York City and wrote about landmarks across the five boroughs.
 
Find more #LoveNYCLandmarks content on our Twitter, Facebook, and Medium pages!
 
Learn more about the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission here.
 
View our interactive map of New York City landmarks here.
 
LPC_Horiz_Red
 
 
April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, take our quiz about famous poets who lived and worked in New York City and wrote about landmarks across the five boroughs.
 
Find more #LoveNYCLandmarks content on our Twitter, Facebook, and Medium pages!
 
Learn more about the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission here.
 
View our interactive map of New York City landmarks here.
 
Where did Edgar Allan Poe, the author of “The Raven” (1845), find solace and spectacular views of the Harlem River?
 
Hint: This individual landmark, completed in 1848, was designated in 1970.
 
Image: Library of Congress/Rare Book and Special Collections Division
Brooklyn Bridge
High Bridge
Queensboro Bridge
Washington Bridge
Edgar Allan Poe, author of “The Raven,” often traversed High Bridge, a key piece in the Croton Aqueduct, connecting Manhattan with the Bronx. The Poe Cottage at 2640 Grand Concourse, where he lived from 1846-48, was the first landmark designated in the Bronx, in February 1966.
 
I was a child and she was a child,
 
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love --
 
   I and my Annabel Lee --
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
 
From "Annabel Lee", Edgar Allan Poe, 1849 (written while living in Poe Cottage in the Bronx)
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Jim.henderson
Edgar Allan Poe, author of “The Raven,” often traversed High Bridge, a key piece in the Croton Aqueduct, connecting Manhattan with the Bronx. The Poe Cottage at 2640 Grand Concourse, where he lived from 1846-48, was the first landmark designated in the Bronx, in February 1966.
 
I was a child and she was a child,
 
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love --
 
   I and my Annabel Lee --
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
 
From "Annabel Lee", Edgar Allan Poe, 1849 (written while living in Poe Cottage in the Bronx)
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Jim.henderson
Where is the first monument to an American poet in New York City?
 
Hint: This scenic landmark was the first large-scale, public park in the nation designed and constructed according to a plan.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Carlos Delgado
Prospect Park
Bryant Park
Central Park
Fort Tryon Park
A monument dedicated to Fitz-Greene Halleck is located in the Central Park Scenic Landmark, on the Central Park mall near 68th Street. A 19th-century writer of satirical and romantic verse, Halleck was influenced by Walter Scott and Robert Burns, who have statues close by.
 
Believe it not -- though lonely
  Thy evening home may be;
Though Beauty's bark can only
  Float on a summer sea;
Though Time thy bloom is stealing,
  There's still beyond his art
The wild-flower wreath of feeling,
  The sunbeam of the heart.
 
From "The World is Bright Before Thee", Fitz-Greene Halleck
 
Image: Wikimedia Common/Elisa Rolle
A monument dedicated to Fitz-Greene Halleck is located in the Central Park Scenic Landmark, on the Central Park mall near 68th Street. A 19th-century writer of satirical and romantic verse, Halleck was influenced by Walter Scott and Robert Burns, who have statues close by.
 
Believe it not -- though lonely
  Thy evening home may be;
Though Beauty's bark can only
  Float on a summer sea;
Though Time thy bloom is stealing,
  There's still beyond his art
The wild-flower wreath of feeling,
  The sunbeam of the heart.
 
From "The World is Bright Before Thee", Fitz-Greene Halleck
 
Image: Wikimedia Common/Elisa Rolle
In which historic district did Emma Lazarus, author of the poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty that includes the line “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” live in New York City?
 
Hint: This historic district, designated in 1969, is the largest in the city.
 
Image: Julienne Schaer 2015/Mayoral Photo Office
Brooklyn Heights Historic District
Greenwich Village Historic District
Jackson Heights Historic District
SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District
Emma Lazarus lived at 18 West 10th Street, in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Located on a bronze tablet in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, her 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus” declares:
 
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
 
Image: Greenwich Village, Wikimedia Commons/Sam McIntosh
Emma Lazarus lived at 18 West 10th Street, in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Located on a bronze tablet in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, her 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus” declares:
 
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
 
Image: Greenwich Village, Wikimedia Commons/Sam McIntosh
In which historic district did poet Maya Angelou reside for almost two decades? 
 
Hint: This historic district, designated in 1971, features rows of handsome townhouses and several notable churches.
 
Image: Angelou at Clinton inauguration, William J. Clinton Presidential Library/Wikimedia Commons
Mount Morris Park Historic District
Central Harlem-West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District
Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic Disrict
St. Nicholas Historic District
The poet Maya Angelou lived at 58 West 120th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District. Angelou owned this brownstone townhouse for nearly two decades, splitting her time between North Carolina and New York City.
 
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
 
From Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, 1978
 
Image: West 120th Street, LPC
The poet Maya Angelou lived at 58 West 120th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District. Angelou owned this brownstone townhouse for nearly two decades, splitting her time between North Carolina and New York City.
 
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
 
From Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, 1978
 
Image: West 120th Street, LPC
Which scenic landmark contains a 150-year-old tree that was saved by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Marianne Moore, who wrote “The Camperdown Elm”?
 
Hint: This scenic landmark, designated in 1975, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Garry R. Osgood
Central Park
Bryant Park
Prospect Park
Fort Tryon Park

Marianne Moore wrote the poem “The Camperdown Elm” in 1967, inspiring advocacy to protect and care for the tree planted in the 1870s within what is now the Prospect Park Scenic Landmark. Moore called this magnificent gnarly specimen, located behind the boathouse, “our crowning curio.” She lived in the Fort Greene Historic District.

Props are needed and tree-food. It is still leafing;
still there. Mortal though. We must save it. It is
our crowning curio.
 
From "The Camperdown Elm", Marianne Moore, 1967
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Antigng

Marianne Moore wrote the poem “The Camperdown Elm” in 1967, inspiring advocacy to protect and care for the tree planted in the 1870s within what is now the Prospect Park Scenic Landmark. Moore called this magnificent gnarly specimen, located behind the boathouse, “our crowning curio.” She lived in the Fort Greene Historic District.

Props are needed and tree-food. It is still leafing;
still there. Mortal though. We must save it. It is
our crowning curio.
 
From "The Camperdown Elm", Marianne Moore, 1967
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Antigng
Which scenic landmark is named for a New York poet and journalist?
 
Hint: This scenic landmark, designated in 1974, was originally known as Reservoir Square.
 
Image: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office
Fort Tryon Park
Central Park
Bryant Park
Prospect Park
Originally known as Reservoir Square, Bryant Park was renamed for William Cullen Bryant in 1884. A memorial to Bryant is located on the raised terrace behind the New York Public Library, featuring a monument designed by Thomas Hastings and a statue by the sculptor Herald Adams.
 
And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
 
From "To a Waterfowl", William Cullen Bryant, 1818
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Billy Hathorn
Originally known as Reservoir Square, Bryant Park was renamed for William Cullen Bryant in 1884. A memorial to Bryant is located on the raised terrace behind the New York Public Library, featuring a monument designed by Thomas Hastings and a statue by the sculptor Herald Adams.
 
And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
 
From "To a Waterfowl", William Cullen Bryant, 1818
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Billy Hathorn
Fill in the blank: Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s poem “My Sad Self” begins with the line, “Sometimes when my eyes are red, I go up on top of the ____ Building, and gaze at my world, Manhattan—”
 
Hint: This individual landmark was designated in 1985, and has been the location of movies and TV episodes.
 
Image: Dijk, Hans van / Anefo, Wikimedia Commons/Universal Public Domain Dedication
Chrysler
Woolworth
RCA
Empire State
The RCA Building, later known as the GE Building, and now the Comcast Building, is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, part of Rockefeller Center. Allen Ginsberg, author of Howl, dedicated his poem “My Sad Self” (1958) to another New York poet, Frank O’Hara.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone
The RCA Building, later known as the GE Building, and now the Comcast Building, is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, part of Rockefeller Center. Allen Ginsberg, author of Howl, dedicated his poem “My Sad Self” (1958) to another New York poet, Frank O’Hara.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone
In which hotel did the celebrated Irish poet and author Brendan Behan (left) stay when he visited New York City in the 1960s?
 
Hint: This individual landmark, designated in 1966, has always been a favorite among writers and artists.
 
Image: Brendan Behan with Jackie Gleason in Gleason's dressing room at show "Take me along" / World-Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 
Plaza Hotel
Ansonia Hotel
Chelsea Hotel
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Chelsea Hotel honors Behan with a bronze plaque and this quote: "To America my new-found land: the man that hates you hates the human race."
 
Image: Chelsea Apartments, LPC
The Chelsea Hotel honors Behan with a bronze plaque and this quote: "To America my new-found land: the man that hates you hates the human race."
 
Image: Chelsea Apartments, LPC
Where did Patti Smith, the poet and pop star, first gain notoriety in New York City?
 
Hint: This individual landmark was designated in 1966.
 
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Beni Köhler
Saint Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church
Astor Library
St. George's Church
The Roosevelt Building
Patti Smith first read her poems in public in February 1971 at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church, a New York City landmark on 10th Street in the East Village that was constructed in 1799.
 
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.

From Patti Smith, Early Work 1970-1979

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Momos

Patti Smith first read her poems in public in February 1971 at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church, a New York City landmark on 10th Street in the East Village that was constructed in 1799.
 
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.

From Patti Smith, Early Work 1970-1979

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Momos

Poet Hart Crane wrote a “groundbreaking” poem about this bridge.
 
Hint: This individual landmark, designated in 1967, is a milestone in the history of American engineering.
Queensboro Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Carroll Street Bridge
Washington Bridge
Hart Crane wrote The Bridge, a series of lyric poems, about the Brooklyn Bridge while living in Brooklyn Heights during the 1920s.
 
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path -- condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

From “The Bridge: To Brooklyn Bridge,” Hart Crane, 1930

Image: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Hart Crane wrote The Bridge, a series of lyric poems, about the Brooklyn Bridge while living in Brooklyn Heights during the 1920s.
 
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path -- condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

From “The Bridge: To Brooklyn Bridge,” Hart Crane, 1930

Image: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

In which historic district did prominent poet, essayist, feminist, and Civil Rights activist Audre Lorde live for much of her important career?
 
Hint: Her house is also an individual landmark.
 
Image: (c) Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Greenwich Village Historic District
Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
St. Paul's Avenue/Stapleton Heights Historic District
Crown Heights North II Historic District
From 1972 to 1987, Audre Lorde lived at 207 St. Paul’s Avenue in the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, where she wrote many of her most famous poems and books, including her third volume of poetry, From a Land Where Other People Live, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1973. In 1991, Lorde was appointed as the Poet Laureate for New York State for her contributions to literature and activism. Her neo-Colonial-style house, which was constructed in 1898, was designated an Individual New York City Landmark in 2019.
 
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.
 
From "Who Said It Was Simple", From a Land Where Other People Live, Audre Lorde, 1973
 
Image: 207 St. Paul's Avenue, LPC
From 1972 to 1987, Audre Lorde lived at 207 St. Paul’s Avenue in the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, where she wrote many of her most famous poems and books, including her third volume of poetry, From a Land Where Other People Live, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1973. In 1991, Lorde was appointed as the Poet Laureate for New York State for her contributions to literature and activism. Her neo-Colonial-style house, which was constructed in 1898, was designated an Individual New York City Landmark in 2019.
 
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.
 
From "Who Said It Was Simple", From a Land Where Other People Live, Audre Lorde, 1973
 
Image: 207 St. Paul's Avenue, LPC
Harlem-born poet, novelist, essayist, and civil rights advocate James Baldwin “read every single book” in the New York Public Library’s 135th Street branch as a child and studied under the legendary Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen. In which historic district is the house where he lived from 1966-1987 located?
 
Hint: His house was also designated an individual landmark in 2019.
 
Image: James Baldwin, Wikimedia Commons/Allan Warren
Central Harlem -- West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District
St. Nicholas Historic District
Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
Greenpoint Historic District
The author of canonical LGBT-themed novels and poems including “Guilt, Desire and Love,” James Baldwin grew up in Harlem and left New York for Paris in his mid-20s before returning to purchase the small apartment house at 137 West 71st Street in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District. The house, designated an individual landmark last year, became a gathering place for writers such as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, and Rosa Guy.
 
Just as the birds above our heads
circling
are singing,
knowing
that, in what lies before them,
the always unknown passage,
wind, water, air,
the failing light
the failing night
the blinding sun
they must get the journey done.

From “Munich, Winter 1973 (for Y.S.)”, from Jimmy’s Blues, James Baldwin

Image: 137 West 71st Street, LPC

The author of canonical LGBT-themed novels and poems including “Guilt, Desire and Love,” James Baldwin grew up in Harlem and left New York for Paris in his mid-20s before returning to purchase the small apartment house at 137 West 71st Street in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District. The house, designated an individual landmark last year, became a gathering place for writers such as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, and Rosa Guy.
 
Just as the birds above our heads
circling
are singing,
knowing
that, in what lies before them,
the always unknown passage,
wind, water, air,
the failing light
the failing night
the blinding sun
they must get the journey done.

From “Munich, Winter 1973 (for Y.S.)”, from Jimmy’s Blues, James Baldwin

Image: 137 West 71st Street, LPC

Which prominent Harlem Renaissance poet and chronicler of urban African-American life wrote the canonical work "Montage of a Dream Deferred" while a resident of 20 East 127th Street?
 
Hint: The house is a New York City landmark, named for the poet.
 
Image: 20 East 127th Street, LPC
Claude McKay
Langston Hughes
Countee Cullen
Gloria Douglas Johnson
As a poet, columnist, novelist, dramatist, and activist, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the foremost creative voices of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a resident of the brownstone row house at 20 East 127th Street—now the individual landmark Langston Hughes House—from 1947-1967. Hughes wrote of his attraction to New York City: "More than Paris, or the Shakespeare country, or Berlin, or the Alps, I wanted to see Harlem, the greatest Negro city in the world."
 
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
 
From “Dreams”, Langston Hughes, 1932
 
Image: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, facing left. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
As a poet, columnist, novelist, dramatist, and activist, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the foremost creative voices of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a resident of the brownstone row house at 20 East 127th Street—now the individual landmark Langston Hughes House—from 1947-1967. Hughes wrote of his attraction to New York City: "More than Paris, or the Shakespeare country, or Berlin, or the Alps, I wanted to see Harlem, the greatest Negro city in the world."
 
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
 
From “Dreams”, Langston Hughes, 1932
 
Image: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, facing left. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
In the beloved 1856 poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry", poet Walt Whitman describes his trip on the deck of a crowded East River ferry-boat. Which New York City landmark districts might such a journey have connected?
 
Hint: One of the historic districts was the site of the newspaper Whitman edited.
 
Image: The Edward W. C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps and Pictures, Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold, 1954, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Greenpoint and the Upper East Side
DUMBO and Gramercy Park
South Street Seaport and Fulton Ferry
Long Island City and Tudor City
Brooklyn resident Walt Whitman was probably describing his frequent trips between the South Street Seaport in Manhattan and Fulton Ferry in Brooklyn, both historic districts. The offices of the Brooklyn Eagle were located within what is now the Fulton Ferry Historic District when Walt Whitman worked there as editor; the Eagle Warehouse and Storage Company building was built on the site in 1893-94 and bears a plaque honoring Walt Whitman.
 
Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me!
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
 
From “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” Walt Whitman, 1860
 
Image: Eagle Warehouse, LPC
Brooklyn resident Walt Whitman was probably describing his frequent trips between the South Street Seaport in Manhattan and Fulton Ferry in Brooklyn, both historic districts. The offices of the Brooklyn Eagle were located within what is now the Fulton Ferry Historic District when Walt Whitman worked there as editor; the Eagle Warehouse and Storage Company building was built on the site in 1893-94 and bears a plaque honoring Walt Whitman.
 
Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me!
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
 
From “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” Walt Whitman, 1860
 
Image: Eagle Warehouse, LPC
Which venerable watering hole located within a historic district was especially popular with New York City poets?
Old Town Bar, Ladies Mile Historic District
White Horse Tavern, Greenwich Village Historic District
Pete's Tavern, Gramercy Park Historic District
McSorley's Old Ale House, East Village/Lower East Side Historic District
The White Horse Tavern at 567 Hudson Street, corner of West 11th Street in the Greenwich Village Historic District, was frequented by James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, and Dylan Thomas, among others.
 
Image: White Horse Tavern, 1961. Phyllis Twachtman, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.
The White Horse Tavern at 567 Hudson Street, corner of West 11th Street in the Greenwich Village Historic District, was frequented by James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, and Dylan Thomas, among others.
 
Image: White Horse Tavern, 1961. Phyllis Twachtman, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.
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