Greenwich Village in New York
Greenwich Village in New York is located in Manhattan. The neighbourhood is fondly called ‘The Village’. 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 and West Village
The western part of Greenwich Village is West Village. Since these two areas overlap so much, it is sometimes confusing when we are talking about Greenwich Village and when West Village is meant. You can roughly say that Greenwich Village, compared to West Village, has an extension on the east side, from 6th Avenue to Broadway. This includes Washington Square Park and NYU.
History of Greenwich Village
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 a 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 Friends
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. Book the New York film and television tour if you’re interested in seeing more locations from the screen in real life.
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.
My favorite place to have breakfast in New York is in Greenwich Village as well. Buvette Gastrothèque offers dishes with a French twist throughout the day. I regularly order a small breakfast from this cozy bistro or go there for a Sunday brunch.
Hotels in Greenwich Village
There are not that many hotels in Greenwich Village. Chains cannot be found here, but if you would like to stay in this district, there are some authentic hotels in different price ranges. Walker Hotel Greenwich Village is a nice hotel with good facilities and even rooms with balconies. Other options include the classic The Jane Hotel and Washington Square Hotel.
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 High Line Park Greenwich Village Food Tour 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 High Line Park and Greenwich Village Food Tour 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
- Those who walk on the wild side should definitely experience Greenwich Village with the Rock ‘n’ Roll walking tour. A 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
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