Whitman at Pfaff's.

Whitman at Pfaff’s.

A couple of weeks ago we told you what we’d learned from one of two new books about Walt Whitman and the crew of eccentrics who spent time at Pfaff’s, the beer cellar that may well have been the city’s first hipster bar. Now we’re delighted to hear that Justin Martin, the author of Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians, will be appearing at the Strand to share more. 

If you thought New York’s bohemian scene started with the Beats, you’ll definitely want to head to the bookstore — just up the street from the former home of Pfaff’s, which was at Broadway and Bleecker — on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. That’s when John Strausbaugh, another Village historian who has plumbed the scene at the subterranean saloon, draws Martin into a conversation about characters like “The Hasheesh Eater” Fitz Hugh Ludlow, “Poet of Beer” George Arnold, and “King of Bohemia” Henry Clapp, Jr. — just to name a few of the men (not to mention women like “Queen of Bohemia” Ada Clare) who caroused in the vault under the sidewalk. 

Coffee was three cents a cup at Pfaff’s, but this event will cost a bit more: you’ll have to buy a copy of Rebel Souls or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend.