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One of my favourite areas
Greenwich village is lovely. Tranquility away from the honking horns of midtown although only a hop skip and jump away!
This is a lovely place to wander around, taking in the atmosphere, grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat and pretending you are a local :-)
I think if i was going to live in New York (and I was obviously very rich!) I would choose to live here in a loft apartment - to me this is what I think of when I think of New York.
Some of the places to eat are lovely, and there are some lovely and unusual shops in the area. The pace of life is much slower here than other parts of the city and I really enjoyed my time wandering around here.
Grace Church, The Exterior
Grace Church, designed in the Neo-Gothic style by 23-year-old James Renwick, Jr. in 1843, sits on land purchased from Henry Brevoort. The church is a National Historic Landmark.
Consecrated in 1846, construction crews for this Episcopal church included inmates from the State Prison, who cut the stone.
Grace Church is well known for its musical programs which include regular organ recitals of music by classical composers.
Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, the Mrs. Astor, worshiped here in the last quarter of the 19th century.
- Arts and Culture
Saint Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church
One of New York's oldest churches, Saint Mark's-in-the-Bowery was built in 1799 as a replacement to an older chapel dating from 1660. The original church was built by Petrus Stuyvesant, the Governor of New Amsterdam (NYC under the Dutch), as a family chapel, on land he had acquired from the Dutch West India Company. The land was intended to be used as a "bowery", i.e. a farm, hence the name of the church. It now finds itself in the middle of the East Village in New York, not too far from Saint Mark's Place, a street notorious for its many punks who are attracted to the body piercing and tattoo artists (see attached photo). Also nearby is Stuyvesant Street, which is known for its beautiful 19th century historic townhouses. Saint Mark's-in-the-Bowery is an Episcopal church.
- Historical Travel
Although this striking row of Corinthian columns seems as old as the remains of the Temple of Hadrian in Rome, it dates only from 1833. Still, for New York City, it is considered as ancient, but perhaps not as valuable, for they seem neglected and in ruins. Known as Colonnade Row, and previously LaGrange Terrace, these columns belong to four townhouses, which are all that remain from a row of nine identical houses that once lined Lafayette Street. They were designed in a Classical Revival style as luxurious residences. Notable individuals, including Charles Dickens, are known to have stayed in them. Unfortunately, five of the nine townhouses were destroyed for newer construction. Luckily, these four remain and are currently used by different business, but are in desperate need of restoration.
Jefferson Market Library
Voted in the 1880s as the fourth most beautiful building in America, the Jefferson Market Library is certainly a looker. The Gothic castle-like edifice was built in 1877 as the Third Judicial District Courthouse, but quickly became known as the Jefferson Market Courthouse, after a neighbouring market. The fairy tale castle design is the work of two architects, Frederick Clarke Withers and Calvert Vaux. The latter is better known for designing the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an older wing of the Museum of Natural History, both in New York City. The building narrowly escaped demolition in the late 1960s and was subsequently renovated for use as a branch of the New York Public Library, which continues to occupy the building to this day.
The Standard Hotel
The latest addition to New York's list of trendy hotels, the Standard opened its doors in the Meatpacking District in 2009. Its ultra modern design is said to have been inspired by Le Corbusier and is built on stilts over the High Line. The area immediately surrounding the hotel, called the Meatpacking District, has become in recent years New York's trendiest shopping, restaurant and club district. The hotel is built such that all of the rooms enjoy views over the Hudson River, and rumour has it, so that everyone outside would enjoy the views into the rooms! It is said that the hotel has been the scandalised by certain exhibitionists who in the evening appear to leave the curtains drawn, lights on and allow the outside world to see them in their acts! If that's not your flavour, then try going to the attractive Standard Grill on the ground floor for lunch or dinner, outdoors too weather permitting.
New York's newest architectural intrigue, the new Cooper Union building, was completed in July 2009. It is a new annex to the establishment of higher education, officially called "The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art." The striking new building was designed by the architect, Thom Mayne, who is known for designing ultra modern buildings all over the United States, such as the Federal Building in San Francisco. Other than being extremely unconventional, the building's design is very "green" and energy efficient. Naturally, Thom Mayne's design in New York was met with some criticism, but with much applause by many others. Personally, I have grown to like his building, particularly the way he has challenged the perpendicular lines of the city. The original Cooper Union building, diagonally across from the new one is also an architectural landmark. It was built overlooking Astor Place in the 19th century using New York's brownstone in an Italianate architectural style (see attached photos).
The High Line
Opened in mid-2009, the High Line is one of New York's most creative rehabilitation projects. An abandoned and partially destroyed elevated railway track on the West Side of Manhattan, dating from 1930, has been transformed into a stunning public park with views over the Hudson River through a combination of genius landscaping, clever lighting and a sleek design. Although the project is still only partially complete, the section that is open to the public is deemed a great success. It is possible to walk the length of the tracks of the opened section, sit at one of the many benches or tables, take some sun on one of the chaises longues, or eat a sandwich at its café, Craftwich. When complete, the High Line will stretch a much longer length, but currently the opened section only runs from 12th Street in the Meatpacking District up to 18th Street in west Chelsea.
Sentimental Pilgrimage at the Village
Richard and I came on a sort of sentimental "pilgrimage" to Greenwich Village. We are both ardent Bob Dylan fans- and this area is where Dylan really made his mark-and the rest is history.Not only did he live in the village- he wrote many songs about it. We had to visit 4th Street (positivly!)
This is what Dylan said about New York and the Village after arriving here in January 1961.He was 19 years old.
"New York was a dream... It was a dream of the cosmopolitan riches of the mind. It was a great place for me to learn and to meet others who were on similar journeys." (Bob Dylan, speaking on Westwood One Radio, 1985)
Greenwich Village played a major role in the development of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Three of the four members of The Mamas and the Papas met there. Guitarist and folk singer Dave Van Ronk lived there for many years. Developments in New York City would influence the simultaneously occurring folk rock movement in San Francisco, and vice versa. Dozens of other cultural and popular icons got their start in the Village's nightclub, theater, and coffeehouse scene during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, notably Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, The Velvet Underground, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Jimi Hendrix and Nina Simone.
The village used to be very bohemian- it is now a very upmarket cosmopolitan residential area that is home to rich and famous , including a number of movie stars. The streets are lined with coffee shops and chic boutiques. It does, however, still maintain much of its old world charm, and we managed to actually visit a few of the surviving clubs where Dylan performed. It was a buzz.
- Arts and Culture
Union Square, Washington Equestrian Bronze
“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”
— George Washington (1732-1799)
At the southern most point of Union Square Park stands an equestrian bronze of George Washington by Henry Kirke Brown; it was installed here, facing East 14th Street, in 1856.
This equestrian bronze of George Washington, known in America as “the Father of our Country,” is the oldest sculpture that the New York City Parks Department owns. It has been in the park since its unveiling. It shows General Washington on Evacuation Day, 25.November.1783, when he reclaimed the city from the retreating British. With his outstretched hand, it has been suggested that Washington offers a gesture of benediction to his troops. This is an ancient gesture; it has its most famous example in the equestrian bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on the Capitoline Hill in Rome (see von.otter’s Rome Things To Do Tips: “Campidoglio/Capitoline Hill: Marcus Aurelius Monument” and “Musei Capitolini, Marcus Aurelius” for photos of this ancient work).
Henry Kirke Brown, the sculptor of this monument, worked on it for 18 months in Brooklyn. Brown also made the bronze of Abraham Lincoln in the park. The sculpture was cast at the Ames Foundry in Chicopee, Mass. Following the Civil War, the Ames Foundry changed operations from casting cannons for the War Between the States to casting bronze figures for Civil War monuments throughout the East. It became one of the earliest art foundries in the country.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Very fun unique experience
Accomplice: The Village is a really cool experience. I should not write anything at all other than to go - It's full of surprises and super fun. Takes place all over Greenwich Village and there are improv actors - it was hilarious - part theater, part tour and part game. Great for all ages - even our teenagers said that they loved it! Don't want to ruin it but check it out if you're looking for something different. We saw the "Village" version. I believe the "New York" version opens in April. Have fun!
The Carmine Street Mural, the Carmine Street Pool
Take in some street art when you are walking the charming residential streets of Greenwich Village.
The Carmine Street Mural was painted in August 1987 by graffiti artist Keith Haring (1958–1990) on the wall that faces the Carmine Street Pool, part of the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center at the corner of Clarkson Street and Seventh Avenue South.
The mural measures 18 feet high by 170 feet long. Haring was inspired by the colors of the pool’s underwater surface; the mural features fanciful images of fish and children and abstract shapes in black, white, yellow and blue.
The outdoor pool, built in the 1930s, is a city public pool open to city recreation members for a small fee.
The mural’s creator, Keith Haring, was born on May 4, 1958 in Pennsylvania, and died of AIDS on February 16, 1990.
- Arts and Culture
Free NYC Dessert Fest
This is a free walking event. There are no memberships, administrative or registration fees. The desserts are free to drool over, but affordably priced for consumption.
Now that we’ve cleared up what’s free, let’s concentrate on those succulent works of art, the desserts. This inaugural monthly walking tour will take us to the West Village, for tasting delicious hand-made chocolates, gelatos and cupcakes.
Meet our tour guide in the red ball cap saying “Free NYC Dessert Fest” on Sunday December 7, 2008 at 10:30am at Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker Street at West 11th Street. Then over to L’Arte Del Gelato, and our last stop we’ll be at Jacques Torres Chocolate. Tour lasts approximately 2 hours. Walking distance 1 mile.
For questions or comments http://www.walkingtoursmanhattan.com click contact
- Food and Dining
- Hiking and Walking
Take it easy in the Village
This is almost certainly the best known of New York’s downtown districts and has been a focal point for alternative city living for over a hundred years. It is generally considered as being bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north, though this varies slightly according to the source you consult – some for instance regard the West Village (west of Seventh Avenue) as a separate district. Unlike more northerly districts of Manhattan, its historic streets are laid out in a more European fashion rather than a geometric grid, with diagonals and even bends quite commonplace. This makes exploring here more of a challenge but also more fun, as getting lost is the best way to encounter unexpected sights and events.
It grew up as a distinct village and was only later absorbed into the fast-growing New York City. Perhaps because of this it has always been seen as a focal point of new movements and ideas: political, artistic and cultural. Artists were attracted to its bohemian image, and in the 1950s it saw the birth of the Beat culture, attracting writes such as Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsburg and Dylan Thomas. And growing up in the 1960s and 70s I first heard about “The Village” as the place for American folk music and my favoured musical genre, the folk-influenced singer-songwriters. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, Tom Paxton and many others lived and played here. More recently the area played a key role in the gay liberation movement – see my separate tip on the Stonewall Inn for more on this. These days this is an expensive area in which to live, so it has perhaps lost its former beatnik charm, but the presence of lots of students (New York University has its main campus here) keeps it young and lively in tone. There are still plenty of music and comedy clubs, bars and excellent coffee shops.
This is exactly the sort of area that makes exploring New York such a delight in my view. You can be walking the skyscraper-walled canyons on midtown Manhattan in the morning, and by lunch-time find yourself, as we did, on the much more human-scale streets of the Village. This is a people-watcher’s paradise. Take a seat at a pavement café or in a local bar, maybe bring along a book to fit in (although on this visit we saw as many Apple Macs as we did books!), and relax and watch the world go by. Or wander in and out of some of the more eclectic shops to be found here – left-wing bookshops, vintage clothing stores, old vinyl record shops and much more. You could easily spend the best part of a day exploring just a few streets, and still not see everything.
My photos were taken mostly around Bleecker and McDougall Streets.
Walking around the West Village
One of my most enjoyable experiences in NYC is to walk around aimlessly in the West Village. This is a peaceful, wealthy neighborhood, still in Manhattan, but away from the noise and congestion of Midtown and other neighborhoods like Midtown (ie. UES, UWS, Murray Hill, you know who you are).
Also, there are lots of little boutique stores like Marc Jacobs, enjoyable cafe spots , celebrities incognito, renowned cupcake shops (Magnolia Bakery), a really nice vibe overall. Walking through the streets of the West Village is a perfect antidote to the madness of the rest of New York.
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