Ted Berrigan in front of Gem Spa
Corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place, NYC
In 1969, in the first article written about Jim Carroll (as an artist, that is), poet Ted Berrigan wrote about meeting Carroll for the first time . . . when Carroll approached him at Gem Spa to give him a copy of his first book of poetry, Organic Trains:
"Jim Carroll first appeared in my life as a huge white paw hung purposefully from the near end of a long brown corduroy arm. It was late one Wednesday evening, in front of Gem's Spa, the corner at 2nd Avenue & St. Mark's Place, in the Spring of 1967. A slight grey rectangle blocked my further view. I stopped short, although none of this is the least bit unusual at Gem's Spa. But the giant who materialized behind the hand certainly was unusual. It seemed to be saying, Pay attention, and I did so. "I'm Jim Carroll," the giant said and became a very interesting person. "I've just had this book of poems published, and I'd like to give you a copy to read." "I'd love to read it," I said. (That's what I always say.) So, I took the small pamphlet of Jim Carroll's poems home to read."