Greenwich Village is bordered by Houston Street to the south and 14th Street to the North. It extends east-west from 6th Avenue to Broadway. With Washington Square Park at its heart, the Village is a neighborhood that attracts a mix of NYU faculty and students, families, and young professionals. Many of its streets are narrow and densely treed, making the Village feel more like Europe than a neighborhood in New York. The Washington Mews, just north of the park, looks like it was transplanted directly from Paris.
Greenwich Village is the categorical name given to the district below 14th Street, subdivided into two distinct areas: the West Village, demarcated by Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River; and the East Village, which stretches past First Avenue and includes a bohemian block known as Alphabet City. Though both neighborhoods can lay their claims as the birthplace of the Beat movement and the folk music scene, today's Village has two distinct feels.
The West Village, with its narrow, winding, tree-lined streets, Victorian courtyards and 19th-century townhouses, nearly resembles a charming European city completely removed from the New York grid. Home to many celebrities, fashion luminaries and Wall Streeters who want to live a stone’s throw from their work, West Village property values have soared in recent years. Competition for more traditional homes has also become fierce and National Historic Landmark designations restrict the number of high rises going up – even the renovation planned for the former St. Vincent’s Hospital. Still, many new high-rises along the West Side Highway offer splendid views overlooking the city and the river, and Bleeker Street – the main thoroughfare of Greenwich Village – abounds with a vibrant selection of shops and restaurants, including long-time coffeehouses and bakeries, which hark back to the Beat Generation era.
On the other hand, the East Village hues to the city grid, though each street offers residents and visitors a distinct flavor, from rock n’ roll dive bar, to swanky lounge, vintage everything and tattooed punk. To the East of Washington Square Park – the heart of Greenwich Village and the site of the city’s most impressive arch – lies New York University, one of the country’s top-rated liberal arts colleges and the source of the neighborhood’s youthful feel. A good amount of low-income and student housing takes up the East Village, but in recent years, developers have erected several high-rises and loft buildings for the new tech-start-up ruling class. These augment classically beautiful brick townhouse apartments on quiet, tree-lined streets, including lower Fifth Avenue area between 13th and 9th Streets – one of the City’s most elegant stretches. Despite the market fluctuations, apartment prices in both “villages” remain high, as does its reputation as downtown’s most desirable residential area.
The Village is home to a wide variety of landmark music venues, from rock at the Bitter End to jazz at the Blue Note. If you're feeling kitschy, Bowlmor Lanes is a popular place to knock back a few beers and some pins. With NYU pumping in new youth each semester, the Village will always have a vital nightlife.
Did we mention Washington Square Park? This New York gem features a gorgeous stone arch, large fountain, street performers of all kinds and a dog run. It's the perfect place to while away a Sunday afternoon. From there, stroll along the streets on its western edge for some old world charm.
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