Greenwich Village in New York
Greenwich Village in New York, also known as ‘West Village’ or fondly called ‘The Village’, is located in Manhattan. The area’s intimate, European vibe, with its relatively low buildings, makes it a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon stroll. There are lots of courtyards and gardens here, and due to the lack of high buildings you will catch more sun than anywhere else in New York City.
Greenwich Village as a creative incubator
When it comes to Greenwich Village, there is no such thing as ‘boring’. This part of the city has always been an important sanctuary of the counterculture in the United States. In the 30s and 40s, many artists and folk singers established themselves here. In the 50s it was known for its drug experiments and in the 60s it attracted loads of musicians. They used to have great influence on one another, which resulted in new musical genres and artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond. Dylan even mentions The Village in some of his songs. Within this free environment, a vivid gay scene quickly arose. In fact, the world’s first Gay Pride took place here, back in 1970.
Greenwich Village in popular TV series
Expect to bump into quite a few familiar buildings in Greenwich Village. Remember the series Sex and the City? The show’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw, supposedly lived at 66 Perry Street. Are you more of a Friends fan? It may be disappointing reading that Central Perk, the hangout of the six most famous friends in the world, never truly existed. But may The Little Owl comfort you: situated at the bottom of the building where the six used to ‘live’ and with a mouthwatering menu, it surely is a good alternative.
Are you interested in seeing more decors from the screen in real life? Here you find everything you would want to know about the New York film and television tour.
Shopping and dining in Greenwich Village
Although Greenwich Village has its share of bigger chains, the charm of this area is in the multiple local entrepreneurs with their smaller, unique shops and restaurants. On 260 Bleecker Street you will find Faicco’s Pork Store, full of delicious Italian delicacies. Pick your favourites and stop by Pasticceria Rocco to score the best cannoli ever and cheap coffee. Enjoy it all together during a picnic down by the water at Hudson River Park (about 10-15 min walking distance). Here you’ll also find the two favourites from my top 5 pizza restaurants. My number 1, John’s Pizza, is on Bleecker Street. Yes indeed, the street made famous by that Simon & Garfunkel song. Are you a fan of both pizza and Spiderman? Have a look and a slice at Joe’s Pizza. This place at Carmine Street is featured in the movie Spiderman 2.
Tours of Greenwich Village
There are various tours of Greenwich Village. Taking a tour is a great way to get to know (part of) the city and hear stories and experiences from a local. You can explore Greenwich Village by taking one of these tours:
- The Family Greenwich Village Tour is a 2.5-hour tour that is great for kids. As parents you’ll learn about the bohemian history of the neighbourhood while they get to have fun in the playground. And enjoy the cupcakes as well. (Don’t worry, there’s one for you!)
Book the Family Greenwich Village Tour here
- The Greenwich Village Food Tour and High Line Park is actually two tours in one. You’ll first enjoy a walk on the High Line Park to work up an appetite for the best bit of the tour: the food! You’ll stop at 6 (!) places for a snack. Warning: don’t eat breakfast! The tour lasts 3.5 hours.
Book the Greenwich Village Food Tour and High Line Park here
- The ‘Regular’ Greenwich Village Tour is a 2-hour historical tour of the neighbourhood. You’ll see where Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin performed, where the gay movement began and much more.
Book the Greenwich Village Tour here
- On the Greenwich Village: Beatniks, Beer and Pizza Tour, you’ll be taken to multiple pizza places. Wash away the slices with complimentary beers at the famous local bars Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac and their contemporaries used to visit, while your guide tells you stories about their turbulent lives.
Book the Beatniks, Beer and Pizza Tour here
- Those who walk on the wild side, they should definitely experience Greenwich Village with the Rock ‘n’ Roll walking tour. Local and very knowledgeable guide will show you where rock-stars used to live and perform. You can start the tour in Greenwich Village or East Village.
Book the Rock ‘n’ Roll Walking tour here