EXPLORE GREENWICH VILLAGE

DESCRIPTION

Greenwich Village carries a weighted significance across the landscape of New York City’s diverse history. Energetic, eclectic and offbeat, the neighborhood is one that drops all pretenses in the same vein as its name: simply, “The Village.”

Though exceedingly popular, the area stays true to its name, offering a village-like vibe at every turn of the corner. Century-old Italian meat markets, Faicco’s and O. Ottomanelli & Sons lie on the Village’s outskirts, only to introduce boisterous bars and restaurants, cozy cafes and venues featuring a mix of musical flavors throughout the rest of the area.

While Greenwich Village has called some of the city’s most prominent historical figures its regular patrons, the neighborhood retains a constantly refreshed youthful atmosphere, largely thanks to NYU. Students often flock to the same coffee shop that David Bowie would grab breakfast at, Caffe Reggio, or the same hangout that Bob Dylan would jam at, Café Wha. Both are located on Macdougal Street, a street brimming with many other beloved shops, restaurants and specialty stores.

HISTORY

Originally known as Grin'wich, The Village is deep rooted in New York's psyche. Its earliest residents came in the late 1600s. Unlike neighborhoods to the south, specifically what is now the Financial District, Greenwich Village was unscathed by the Revolutionary War. In the late 18th Century, fresh produce markets appeared; so did the potter's field purchased in the late 1780s that later became Washington Square Park - named for the first president of the U.S., Gen. George Washington, who resided in the city of New York, once the capital of the country.

The Village also has a rarely-seen side of its personality between Fifth and Sixth Avenues north of Washington Square graced by rows of townhouses and where occasional high-rise buildings reside on quiet, tree-lined streets. New York University grew on the east side of Washington Square as of 1836, and the neighborhood soon became the mecca of art clubs, photo galleries, fine hotels, shopping of all types and theaters.

During the 20th Century, Greenwich Village became a central character for artistic and social change, as the Beat movement and homosexual revolution came to fruition from its streets. To this day, many of its representative and still popular establishments stand, namely The Blue Note, The Back Fence, Café Wha and The Stonewall Pub.

LANDSCAPE

The area extends from 6th Avenue to Broadway and from West Houston Street to 14th Street. At the heart of the neighborhood is Washington Square Park, which still audibly beats to the sound of area residents, poets, street performers and musicians alike. The area around the Arch has stood as a gathering place for expression, protest and chess-players for well more than a few years. Other parks and recreation spaces in the neighborhood include Father Demo Square, Sheridan Square (named for a Civil War general) and the popular West 4th Street basketball courts, better known as "The Cage."

Running as far east as Broadway and west to Seventh Avenue, the Village and its countless personalities can be experienced between West 14th Street and Houston Street, with a small pocket north of Houston between Broadway and Laguardia Place now donned NoHo. The area's main arteries include Bleecker Street, West 4th Street, Christopher Street, West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue.

The section north of Washington Square Park and below 14th Street between 5th and 6th is far different in appearance and architecture than south and west of the park. It features both high-rise buildings that rose between the 1930s and 1960s and well-kept brownstones and townhouses that have somewhat of a secluded feel, as the stretch between Fifth and Sixth Avenues does not have pass-through streets like the rest of the neighborhood.

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