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Manhattan/Greenwich Village

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The arch in Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village (often simply referred to as "the Village") is a well-known, largely residential district in Manhattan, one of the boroughs of New York. The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th St on the north. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north.

Note that the "East Village" was not historically part of Greenwich Village and is still considered by many New Yorkers to be part of the Lower East Side, but the term "West Village" is synonymous with Greenwich Village, or at least that part of the neighborhood that is west of 6th Avenue or so. In the 19th century, the Greenwich Village district was better known as Washington Square. Washington Square Park remains a neighborhood landmark, but the terms "The Village," "Greenwich Village," and "West Village" are practically interchangeable.

Understand[edit]

Greenwich Village was once a large industrial park; later, it was colonized by radicals, bohemians, beatniks, artists, and literary greats squatting in abandoned factories. High rents exclude most of their ilk today (their countercultural counterparts are NYU students with parental support) but the Village (as it is known) still has its charm.

Greenwich Village, home to a vibrant artistic and literary community in the 1950s, occupies the space between Houston St and 14th St. The central portion surrounds Washington Square Park and includes NYU's large campus and a thriving B&T (bridge & tunnel - a pejorative term) nightlife scene on MacDougal St. West of University Place are many historic and attractive brownstones and some of the city's best restaurants and bars. The area's traditional avant garde reputation - it was a major center of the gay rights movement in the 1970s, for example - has somewhat faded as yuppies and movie stars move in.

Many people worldwide who have never been to the Village are familiar with the Village Voice newspaper [1], which is actually published in the East Village.

Greenwich Village is also the main setting for the TV series Friends as Monica's apartment has a Grove St address, and there are numerous references to nearby areas such as Bleecker St and Soho (although the series was actually filmed in the Warner Brother studios in Los Angeles).

Get in[edit]

Greenwich Village Map

By subway[edit]

Greenwich Village is served by many subway lines:

  • The 1, 2, and 3 lines run under 7th Avenue, with the 1 stopping at Christopher St station (next to the picturesque Sheridan Sq) and all three stopping at 14th Street (a passageway allows free transfer to 14th St/6th Ave station).
  • The A, B, C, D, E, F, and M lines stop in the middle of the Village at the W 4th St station (at the intersection of W 4th St and 6th Ave), with the A, C, and E serving 14th St and 8th Ave station and the F and M lines serving 14th St and 6th Ave station (a passageway at 14th St/6th Ave allows free transfer to 14th St/7th Ave station).
  • The R line runs under Broadway, along with the N at night and on weekends, serving the 8th St NYU and Union Square stations on the edge of the neighborhood.
  • The L line runs under 14th St, stopping at the 14th St/6th Ave, 14th St/8th Ave, and Union Square stations.
  • The 4, 5, 6, and Q lines also serve Union Square.

By PATH[edit]

  • PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) stops at Christopher St between Hudson and Greenwich Sts and at both 9th St and 14th St at 6th Ave.

The PATH train, a subway-style transit system, is convenient and inexpensive for going to points on 6th Ave up to 33 St (one block east of Penn Station) and to Hoboken and Journal Square in New Jersey. One can transfer from Journal Square to the PATH line that terminates at Newark - Penn Station (not to be confused with New York's Penn Station), and get from there to Newark Airport by local Newark bus.

By bus[edit]

The double-decker tour buses whisk their way up 6th Ave, but why not take an MTA bus, get off, and do your own tour?

In this neighborhood, the following uptown/downtown buses operate:

  • The M20 goes uptown on Hudson St and 8th Ave, downtown on 7th Ave
  • The M5 and M6 go uptown on 6th Ave. The M6 goes downtown on Broadway, the M5 on Fifth Ave to 8th St, then east on 8th and downtown on Broadway to its terminus on Houston St.
  • The M3 goes uptown on University Pl and downtown on Fifth Ave
  • The M2 goes uptown on 4th Ave and downtown on Fifth Ave
  • The M11 goes uptown on Greenwich St. and downtown on Hudson St to and from Abingdon Sq.
  • There is also the M7, which has its downtown terminus on 14th St and Broadway, just south of Union Sq.

There are also crosstown buses:

  • The M14 goes across 14th St.
  • The M8 goes west on 9th and Christopher Sts, east on 10th and 8th Sts.

The M14 is by far the most frequent at all hours. There is also a crosstown bus on Houston St, the M21, but it runs fairly infrequently and tends to get backed up in traffic, so it is not recommended if there is a good alternative. The M21 does not run between approximately midnight and 6AM. See the MTA website [2] for more information.

On foot[edit]

A tree-lined street in Greenwich Village

If you are close enough to walk to the Village, do it. Walking is the best way to experience the character of neighborhoods in Manhattan and the contrast and continuity between them.

Walking tours are available at Greenwich Village Walking Tours [3]

By bicycle[edit]

The park along the Hudson River has a popular bike path. Many people also ride along city streets in this neighborhood, many of which are pretty quiet side streets.

See[edit][add listing]

  • New York University (NYU), [4]. The main campus for NYU is found in Greenwich Village, centered around Washington Square Park.  edit
  • Washington Square Park. The park and the famous arch is located in the heart of the Village. Though located in the middle of an affluent neighborhood, the park attracts a hodgepodge of people.  edit
  • Grove Court, Grove St (just off Hudson Street). The setting for O'Henry's famous short story, The Last Leaf.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Cherry Lane Theater

Greenwich Village has developed as a home for a significant number of off-Broadway theater companies and lots of music venues.

  • Cherry Lane Theater, 38 Commerce St, +1-212-989-2020, [5].  edit
  • Bitter End, 147 Bleeker St, +1-212-673-7030, [6]. Historic music club ("New York's Oldest Rock Club") opened in 1961 with legendary 60's acts before they were legendary. Some of the acts to play here include Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Jim Croce, David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie...you get the idea. Still has several live acts each night for little or no cover charge. Extremely intimate bar atmosphere.  edit
  • Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave S (just S of 11th St), +1-212-255-4037, [7]. Presents a great lineup of jazz performers in a quiet room (except for the music) that has good acoustics.  edit
  • Blue Note, 131 W 3rd St (btwn Sixth Ave and Macdougal St), +1-212-475-8592, [8]. Also has a lineup of famous jazz and blues performers. It feels a little more like a bar (with people talking during the show) and a little less like a venue that's only about the music.  edit
  • Small's, 183 W 10 St (btwn W 4th St and 7th Ave), +1-212-675-7369, [9]. A great place to hear excellent jazz at low prices.  edit
  • Terra Blues, 149 Bleecker St (btwn Thompson St and LaGuardia Pl), +1-212-777-7776, [10]. Su-Th 6:30PM-2:30AM, F 6:30PM-3:30AM, Sa 6PM-3:30AM. Terra Blues is a modern-day Blues saloon in the heart of Greenwich Village. It's arched ceilings have carried the sounds of the best Blues performers from all around New York and the country. Each night begins at 7pm with an acoustic set, and is followed by a full electric band at 10pm. Having served up great music and good spirits for over 20 years, Terra Blues is a Greenwich Village fixture that will be here for 20 more. $10-20.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are several stores where only the phonograph records of oldies are sold, and neither CDs nor tapes. One of them is located on Carmine St.

  • Generation Records, 210 Thompson St, +1-212-254-1100, [11]. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. Best place in the city to buy hardcore, metal, industrial, punk, and alternative records.  edit
  • Three Lives & Company- 154 W 10th St (at Waverly). A local independent bookstore, this microscopic yet utterly delightful place is the essence of Greenwich Village, with an extremely knowledgeable and passionate staff.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Groceries and eateries can be found on almost every street of The Village

You'll find hundreds of restaurants and sidewalk cafés of virtually every culture. All-American, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Polish, Pakistani, Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese...the list goes on... At many spots you'll find affordable eats with the chance to enjoy your meal on the sidewalk. There are also some well-known upscale restaurants in the neighborhood.

  • Arturos, 106 W Houston St (at Houston and Thompson), +1-212-677-3820. Su 3PM-midnight, M-Th 4PM-1AM, F Sa 4PM-2AM. A popular local pizza restaurant with an "old-time" theme, serving coal oven pizza with a lightly charred, crispy crust. There is often live jazz.  edit
  • Tea and Sympathy, 108 Greenwich Ave, +1-212-989-9735, [12]. M-F 11:30AM-10:30PM, Sa Su 9:30AM-10:30PM. Describes itself as "a quintessential corner of England in the heart of Greenwhich Village", typically English meals are available here (perfect for the Anglophile or homesick Brit!)  edit
  • Babbo, 110 Waverly Pl (btwn Washington Sq W and Sixth Ave), +1-212-777-0303, [13]. The most famous of Chef Mario Batali's restaurants, and especially well-known for its pasta tasting menu. Reserve a month in advance or stand on line before opening time (5:30PM on weekdays and 5PM on Su) to try to get a seat at the bar or one of the tables kept open for walk-ins. Babbo is one of the hardest restaurants to get a reservation at in New York, which should indicate something about its popularity. Do not expect a cheap meal, but this is one you don't have to dress up for.  edit
  • Blue Hill, 75 Washington Pl (btwn Washington Sq W and Sixth Ave), +1-212-539-1776, [14]. An upscale American restaurant known for its fresh ingredients and subtlety. Call ahead for reservations.  edit
  • Otto, 1 Fifth Ave (cnr of 8th St), +1-212-995-9559, [15]. The pizzeria in the Batali chain. Prices are much cheaper here than at Babbo, but the entire concept of the restaurant is different, so take it for what it is. The antipasti and gelati as well as the pizza are well thought of.  edit
  • Red Bamboo, 140 W 4th St (1 block SW of Washington Sq Pk), +1-212-260-7049, [16]. Excellent vegetarian soul food, organic wines.  edit
  • Lupa Osteria Romana, 170 Thompson St (btwn Wt Houston and Bleecker Sts), +1-212-982-5089, [17]. Noon-Midnight daily. This is yet another restaurant associated with Mario Batali, but the Executive Chef is Steve Connaughton. This is a very good, relatively informal, mid-priced eatery, with a good and fair-priced wine list. Every fan has their own favorite dishes. First-timers may want to share several smaller dishes instead of having full meals, in order to sample the cuisine, but the primi and secondi are also worthy. The excellent Tartufo is their best dessert. Reservations recommended; otherwise, you may have a long wait.  edit
  • John's Pizzeria, 278 Bleecker St (at Bleecker and Jones), +1-212-243-1680 ‎, [18]. A classic New York pizza place - a gritty joint with brick oven, thin crust pizza. The lines are often long but the service is fast. Whole pies only, no slices. Cash and travelers checks only.  edit
  • Joe's Pizza, 7 Carmine St (at Sixth and Bleecker), +1-212-366-1182, [19]. A very popular corner pizza joint that serves huge, thin crust slices fresh out of the oven. This is classic New York fast food - service is quick but the place is tiny, so you'll want to take your slice outside to eat.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Three Sheets Saloon (formerly The Town Tavern), 134 W 3rd St (off Sixth Ave), +1-212-777-1733, [20].  edit
  • Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St, +1-212-488-2705, [21]. A veritable icon of the worldwide gay community, not just New York's.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Washington Square Hotel, 103 Waverly Pl, +1-212-777-9515, [22]. This hotel offers art deco styled furnishings and complimentary internet access at the lobby bar and considers itself a haven for writers, artists and visitors.  edit

Contact[edit]

Respect[edit]

The Village thrives on French tourists, honeymooners from Texas, and day-trippers from uptown. Having lots of people around all the time makes it feel safer, and the residents appreciate that. Most will happily take your picture, give you directions, and advise you about where to eat, etc. At the same time, the Village isn't an amusement park. The people who live there are generally rather sedate, and they cannot be on perpetual holiday. Most need a good night's sleep so they can get up for work in the morning. Have a heart: Don't make a lot of noise, or do anything else in public that you wouldn't want someone to do in front of your house!


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