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Joseph Mitchell, "The Old House at Home"

Joseph Mitchell’s classic piece of literary journalism, published in 1940, paints a vivid portrait of a neighborhood saloon in New York’s Lower East Side.


Full text:

The Old House at Home

McSorley's occupies the ground floor of a red brick tenement at 15 Seventh Street, just off Cooper Square, where the Bowery ends. It was opened in 1854 and is the oldest saloon in the city. In eighty-six years it has had four owners-an Irish immigrant, his son, a retired policeman, and his daughter -and all of them have been opposed to change.

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Annotated version

(abridged)

This annotated version was created in 2014 by students at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

(Please note: This only displays correctly on a computer browser. Do not use your phone — the annotations won’t appear, and the paragraphs will be in the wrong order.)