A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
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Entry from November 19, 2015
Hare Krishna Tree (American Elm in Tompkins Square Park)

The “Hare Krishna Tree” is an American Elm in Tompkins Square Park, under which the Hare Krishna movement began in America in 1966. Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) established the International Society of Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue, near 2nd Street. On October 9, 1966, he and his followers went into the nearby Tompkins Square Park, sat under the tree, and chanted, ”Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

A New York (NY) Times headline on October 10, 1966 was:

“Swami’s Flock Chants in Park to Find Ecstasy; 50 Followers Clap and Sway to Hypnotic Music at East Side Ceremony.”

Other famous New York City trees include the “Dinosaur,” the “Hangman’s Elm” and the “Tree of Hope.”


Wikipedia: Tompkins Square Park
Tompkins Square Park is a 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) public park in the Alphabet City portion of East Village, Manhattan, New York City. United States. The square-shaped park, bounded on the north by East 10th Street, on the east by Avenue B, on the south by East 7th Street, and on the west by Avenue A, is abutted by St. Marks Place to the west.
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Elm trees
One of Tompkins Square Park’s most prominent features is its collection of venerable American Elm (Ulmus americana) trees. One elm in particular, located next to the semi-circular arrangement of benches in the park’s center, is important to adherents of the Hare Krishna religion. It was beneath this tree, on October 9, 1966, that A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, held the first recorded outdoor chanting session of the Hare Krishna mantra outside of the Indian subcontinent; participants in the ceremony included Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The event is seen as the founding of the Hare Krishna religion in the United States, and the tree is treated by Krishna adherents as a significant religious site.

NYC Parks
Tompkins Square Park
Hare Krishna Tree

One of Tompkins Square Park’s most prominent features is its collection of venerable American elm (Ulmus americana) trees. One elm in particular, located next to the semi-circular arrangement of benches in the park’s center, is important to adherents of the Hare Krishna religion. After coming to the United States in September, 1965, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896–1977), the Indian spiritual leader, founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York. He worked from a storefront on nearby Second Avenue that he used as the Society’s American headquarters. Prabhupada and his disciples gathered in Tompkins Square Park in the fall of 1966 to introduce the East Village to the group’s distinctive 16-word mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

On October 9, 1966, Prabhupada and his followers sat beneath this tree and held the first outdoor chanting session outside of India. Participants chanted for two hours as they danced and played cymbals, tambourines, and other percussive instruments; the event is recognized as the founding of the Hare Krishna religion in the United States. Prabhupada’s diverse group that day included Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997). Krishna adherents continue to return to the tree to acknowledge its significance.

New York (NY) Times
Swami’s Flock Chants in Park to Find Ecstasy; 50 Followers Clap and Sway to Hypnotic Music at East Side Ceremony
By JAMES R. SIKES
October 10, 1966,
Section , Page 24
[ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ]
Sitting under a tree in a Lower East Side park and occasionally dancing, 50 followers of a Hindu swami repeated a 16-word chant for two hours yesterday afternoon to the accompaniment of cymbals, tambourines, sticks, drums, bells and a small reed organ.

YouTube
Hare Krishna Tree Tompkins Square Park
Christopher Colm
Uploaded on Apr 5, 2009
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Off the Grid (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)
The Hare Krishna Tree
BY DREW – AUGUST 27, 2013
POSTED IN: EAST VILLAGE
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The large American Elm tree near the curved row of benches close to the center of the park was the site of the birth of the Hare Krishna movement in the United States in 1966.

As the New York Times reported, “In 1965, after a difficult month on a steamship, a spiritual leader named Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada arrived in New York convinced that if Americans would embrace his conception of Krishna consciousness, the other countries in the world would follow. In 1966 he founded the International Society of Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue, near 2nd Street. On October 9, 1966, Swami Prabhupada led a group of followers to the nearby Tompkins Square Park.  Under the leafy canopy of an American elm tree they began to chant a distinctive 16-word mantra: ”Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” It was Swami Prabhupada’s first outdoor chanting ceremony outside of India and it was the birth of the Hare Krishna religion.’

Among those in attendance was poet and East Villager Allan Ginsberg. He later noted, ”The ecstasy of chant or mantra has replaced LSD and other drugs for many of the swami’s followers.”

USK NYC (urban sketchers)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Great Trees of NYC - Sketching for April 26, 2014
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THE HARE KRISHNA TREE
Our third and last stop will be Tompkins Square Park, site of The Hare Krishna Tree.  A giant American Elm of undetermined, but significant height and width. It was one of the trees that survived the Dutch Elm disease epidemic of the 1930s.  The site is actually considered sacred by the followers of the Hare Krishna religion. On October 9, 1966 A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the movement’s founder, held his first outdoor chanting session in the US under the shade of this tree.  An enthused audience chanted, sang and danced for two hours.  Included among the many who attended was the famous Beat Poet – Allan Ginsberg.  To this day the Hare Krishna faithful pay tribute to the tree, leaving flowers and other tokens of respect at its base.

EV Grieve
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
Checking the Hare Krishna tree for Dutch Elm Disease in Tompkins Square Park
A bit of a startling sight this morning when a tree crew towing a shredder pulled up to the Hare Krishna tree in the middle of Tompkins Square Park.

Workers were there, though, just to inspect the American Elm, which was the site of the birth of the Hare Krishna movement in the United States in 1966.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Thursday, November 19, 2015 • Permalink