The first several times I went to visit New York City, I wanted to be close to the places I came to see – Rockefeller Center, the Theater District, MOMA. So I stayed in Midtown, and it felt right. But on my most recent trip, I wanted to have a real neighborhood experience. And what better choice than maybe the most famous neighborhood in the world – Greenwich Village.
Physically, the Village is bordered by 14th Street on the north, Houston Street on the south, Broadway on the east, and the Hudson River on the west. A generation ago it was a home for the young and the beat generation, hosting writers such as Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Today, most artists can’t afford to live in the Village, which has gentrified over the years.
Reflecting its history, some of the streets are narrow and proceed at irregular angles. Good luck finding your way when West 4th Street crosses West 11th.
Some of the places that make the Village special include: Washington Square Park, NYU, clubs such as the Village Vanguard, The Blue Note and The Bitter End, the fabulous Magnolia Bakery, and great restaurants like Agave, Tartine, Po, Spotted Pig, and Little Owl.
If you go, the Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour is a great way to see the neighborhood. A local guide will take tell you about the area’s history and culture, and you’ll go to small mom and pop restaurants for tastings of the local cuisine. A feast for the eyes, the mind, and the palate!