Greenwich Village, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 77 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • The house of Edna St. Vincent Millay
    The house of Edna St. Vincent Millay
    by SOLODANCER
  • Unusual Interestion: W. 4th & W. 11th Sts.
    Unusual Interestion: W. 4th & W. 11th...
    by von.otter
  • Unusual Interestion: W. 4th & W. 13th Sts.
    Unusual Interestion: W. 4th & W. 13th...
    by von.otter
  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Take it easy in the Village

    by toonsarah Written Nov 12, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outside a Village bar
    3 more images

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • raraavis's Profile Photo

    Best cupcakes in the world

    by raraavis Written Nov 7, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Magnolia Bakery makes the world's best cupcakes. It's a small, but famous dive frequented by locals. The limit is such each person is only allowed to buy a dozen at a time. The cupcakes come in chocolate and vanilla. You must also try the "banana pudding" which sell out pretty quickly during the day.
    Cupcakes and banana pudding are pretty cheap. Less than $5 for both.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dutchnatasja's Profile Photo

    Walking in Greenwich Village.

    by Dutchnatasja Written Oct 28, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Greenwich Village
    4 more images

    The Village of Greenwich has certainly got its charm! Today it is a joy to walk through the streets of Greenwich Village. It has quiet streets with beautiful homes, it was almost like staying in another city. Greenwich Village offers a great respite with its calmer, more manageable feel, and Greenwich Village's shorter buildings allow more sunshine to reach the streets. There are many secret courtyards and small gardens nestled between townhouses in the residential blocks of Greenwich Village. Manhattan's Greenwich Village offers visitors an escape from the skyscrapers. I highly recommend a walk thru this area.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Sentimental Pilgrimage at the Village

    by lynnehamman Updated Feb 24, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Walking the Neighborhoods - Commerce Street

    by davequ Updated Jun 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ♫♪ Surrey down2A stoned soul picnic
    4 more images

    Anymore I spend less & less time running around to the NYC well-known "sights"

    and instead I enjoy spending most of my quality time walking Manhattan neighborhoods.

    One of my favorite places for strolling in the late afternoon or early evening is the area around Commerce Street in the Village.

    It's beautiful, quiet, and though gentrified
    (like imo most of Manhattan)
    still has (to me) a really good feel to it. You can tell the neighbors really love their little piece of the village.

    One of my favorite spots is the quiet corner / alcove next to the Cherry Lane Theater.

    Sadly one of my favorite Village Bars, the Blue Mill Tavern is closed for now
    (? wha' happened ?) but there is still a little bench between the tavern and the theater where you can park, relax and people-watch.

    Some really fun little places to eat & drink close by too -
    Moustache on Bedford, White Horse Tavern & others on Hudson

    A really peaceful neighborhood to walk or just cool out & pass the time.

    ... maybe I'll bump into you there someday ...

    Hats off to the Bedford-Barrow-Commerce Block Association

    Here's a MAP if you're not familiar with the area.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    A Literary Walk - Part 2

    by Jefie Updated May 1, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Minetta Tavern, Greenwich Village
    4 more images

    I had so much enjoyed walking around Greenwich Village on my first trip to NYC that I decided to go back and see if I might be able to find a few more sites with an interesting literary connection. The first place we located was the Minetta Tavern at 113 MacDougal St. (Photo 1). Minetta Tavern dates back to 1937, and for a while it became a favorite with local and visiting authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings and Eugene O'Neill. Just down the street at 130-132 MacDougal St. (Photo 2) you'll find a house that used to belong to Louisa May Alcott's uncle. She lived there for a while, and it is believed that she wrote the children's classic "Little Women" while she was staying at her uncle's. Another famous story was written at 11 Commerce St. (Photo 3), the house where Washington Irving's family lived in the early 19th century. It is believed that Irving wrote "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" while he was living there, a story that would greatly contribute to his international fame. At 14 West 10th St. (Photo 4), there is a small plaque that reads: In this house once lived Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) author of the beloved American classic "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Twain lived in New York City for about 10 years at the beginning of the 20th century, spending most of those years in Greenwich Village. Finally, just a few steps away from the Jefferson Market Library, you'll find a small alley called Patchin Place. There's is a gate but it's never locked so you can walk in to take a look at No. 4 Patchin Place (Photo 5), the house American poet e.e. cummings lived in for about 40 years. Again, there is a plaque that reads: "The poet and painter, who made art of commas and parentheses, lived here for the last forty years of his life. He characterized himself as "an author of pictures, a draughtsman of words".

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    time to write a poem!

    by mindcrime Updated Jul 29, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square park in Greenwich Village
    4 more images

    I visited Greenwich Village some nights for some nice small blues venues but one morning I passed by again to see the area under the day light because I always knew that this was the area of bohemians in the 20th century, the beatniks, alternative artists etc. The truth is that I didn’t see anywhere the old artistic feeling but it was nice to walk around here anyway although I knew that the high rents brought here some celebrities while the artists had gone in other parts of NY. The locals call the area simple “The Village” and the area is very popular among the homosexual community, Stonewall Inn is one of their landmarks. I got lost in the tiny streets that were too complicated in comparison with other parts of Manhattan. What’s more most of them are named rather that numbered so I had to check the map all the time :) This district is interesting if you check the 19th century row houses, the small alleys and tiny squares but there are also too many buildings that belong to New York University (law school etc) and I always thought they must be in a separated area.

    Washington Square park is a popular public park where families, dogs and street artists try to find a free space. You can also see a lot of people playing chess (pic 1), some picnic tables, the Stanford White Arch(the first Arch was built in 1889 from wood but some years later a marble arch created), a fountain and some statues like the Giuseppe Garibaldi monument(pic 2). What I liked most here were the small squirrels running on the wires over the trees of the park! Opposite the square is the Judson Memorial Church (pic 3). It was built in 1892 and it has some nice vitro windows. If you go down Thompson street you’ll find a lot of cafes and pubs.

    At the north side of the square at 5th avenue(at 10th street) you will see the Church of the Ascension (pic 4), a neo-gothic church that was built in 1840 by Richard Upjohn (he also built Trinity Church). One other interesting building is the Jefferson Market Library with the “Old Jeff” Tower (pic 5) that housed a fire bell the old times. It’s located at 425 Avenida of the Americas. It was originally a courthouse from 1877 till the middle of 20th century

    Don’t miss the nightlife of Greenwich village. A dozen of blues and jazz venues, you can also watch an alternative performance at one of the Off Broadway theatre or a stand up comedy performance.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mahieu's Profile Photo

    One of my favourite districts: Greenwich Village

    by Mahieu Written Nov 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For some reason or another I really liked The Village. Washington Square and its surroundings don't give you the impression at all to be in New York. It's a pretty quiet neighbourhood. In the area you have some nice restaurants and you feel immediately that the reigning atmosphere is very open in that part of NY: the gay rainbow flag on lots of houses, gay-friendly sexshops, ...
    Unfortunately it's one of the most expensive areas to live in.

    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    The Village in the Big City

    by Jefie Updated Dec 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The sign says it all!
    4 more images

    Greenwich Village was by far my favorite spot in New York City! We ended up spending almost an entire day wandering through its streets, which are not "square" like in the rest of the city, and where skyscrappers give way to smaller brick buildings, and where life just seems to go on at a slower pace.

    Greenwich Village truly started out as a small, slightly remote village back at the beginning of the 19th century, which explains its unique urban design. During the first half of the 20th century, the Village became an artists' refuge, and is especially associated with the Beat Generation of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and, later on, with folk singer Bob Dylan, among many others. During the last few decades, however, housing prices have drastically changed the demographics of Greenwich Village and today's villagers are more likely to be movie stars than penniless writers. But those who live there still seem to appreciate the history of the place, and perhaps this is the reason why Greenwhich Village has managed to keep some of its unique flavor.

    Because of its distinctive origins, the Village is a great place to go to spot unique architecture (see photos), such as No. 75 1/2 Bedford St., the smallest house in New York City (it is only 2.90 m wide), or the beautiful Jefferson Market Courthouse (425 Ave. of the Americas), which is now a branch of the NYC Public Library, or Twin Peaks (102 Bedford St.), a rather unusual house built in 1830 which later became an artists' residence (they believed the house's original achitecture would foster their creativity).

    Also, thanks to its numerous restaurants and charming cafes, Greenwich Village is a great place to go for lunch or dinner. So don't miss this little gem on Manhattan Island!

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    A Literary Walk in Greenwich Village

    by Jefie Updated Dec 12, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square, made famous by Henry James
    4 more images

    Another reason why I enjoyed walking around Greenwich Village so much is that I got to see where many famous authors have lived, written, drank, and even died. Henry James, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, e.e. cummings, Simone de Beauvoir, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Edward Albee and J.D. Salinger - just to name a few - have all contributed to creating an immortal tie between literature and the Village.

    It was at No. 116 Waverley Place (Photo 2), then the home of an English professor, that Edgar Allan Poe performed the first public reading of his poem "The Raven". Edith Wharton lived at No. 7 Washington Square North (Photo 3), while Henry James's grand-mother's house, located at No. 18 Washington Square North (Photo 4), became the house of Catherine Sloper in his novel "Washington Square" (1880). I also made a quick detour to see the White Horse Tavern, located at 567 Hudson Street (Photo 5), where Dylan Thomas drank his very last beers before dying just a few days after his 39th birthday.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Cornelia Street - the village "restaurant row"

    by davequ Updated Jun 13, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cornelia & W 4th in the village
    4 more images

    Positively 4th Street
    If you're walking around the west village and you get tired or hungry here is a good street:
    Cornelia between W 4th and Bleecker

    On one block, good & affordable Cuban at the Little Havana; trattoria Po; Palma (Italian with a little indoor terrace); Gigot (a little NY/french bistro); Home (good specials & upscale comfort food); there's sushi on the corner at Bleecker (Sushi Mam Bo); and my fave hangout, Cornelia Cafe in the middle of the block.

    For people-watching and passing the time, Cornelia Cafe has an outdoor terrace w/tables, Palma more of an indoor terrace, but it's open/no windows in good weather.

    I doubt many blocks in the village or even Manhattan have this tight concentration of places to eat delicious food & hang out.

    Excellent people-watching and a great variety of places to eat and pass the time.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Christopher Park

    by von.otter Updated Jun 9, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Christopher Park, Spring 2008
    4 more images

    Christopher Park, in Greenwich Village, was once part of a tobacco farm owned by Wouter Van Twiller in the 1630s. Skinner Road was laid out separating the Twiller farm from two others. It was later renamed Christopher Street, to honor Charles Christopher Amos, an heir of a trustee to one of the other farms.

    In 1835 a destructive fire blazed through this densely populated area. In order to provide much-needed open space the City granted the request of local citizens to condemn the buildings on a triangular block where Christopher, Grove, and West 4th Streets intersected. Christopher Park was created from the City’s action on April 5, 1837.

    Directly across the street from the park on June 27, 1969, following a police raid, a riot took place on Christopher Street at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. For several days, in what came to be known as the Stonewall Rebellion, thousands of protesters took to the streets rallying against police harassment of gays and their Constructional right to peaceful assembly. Christopher Park became a symbol of the gay rights movement. In 1999 the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding neighborhood were placed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and added to the National Register.

    Two sculptures are located within the Park.

    “Gay Liberation Monument” (see photos #2 & #3) by George Segal (1924–2000) honors the gay rights movement and the events at the Stonewall Inn.

    In the late 1970s Peter Putnam (1927-1987), a patron of the arts from Louisiana, commissioned “Gay Liberation Monument,” with the stipulation that the work “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people . . . and it had to have equal representation of men and women.”

    Because of a public outcry over the work and renovations to the park, the white-finished bronze sculptural grouping was not unveiled until June 23, 1992.

    The other sculpture (see photos #4 & #5) in the park is that of an over-life-sized figure of the Civil War general, Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888). The bronze, by Joseph P. Pollia (1893-1954), was dedicated in 1936, the 72nd anniversary of General Sheridan’s victory at the battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley. Because of the presence of General Sheridan’s bronze likeness, Christopher Park is often mistaken for nearby Sheridan Square Park, named for the general in 1896.

    In this impressive work of art a fierce-looking General Sheridan stands in full-army regalia, booted and spurred with a sword at his side. The Conway green granite pedestal bears the inscription in praise of Sheridan that is attributed to General Ulysses S. Grant, “He belongs to the first rank of soldiers, not only of our country, but of the world.”

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Bleecker & Macdougal

    by davequ Updated Jun 25, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The area of Bleecker & Macdougal St in the village is an enjoyable walk, both day and nightime.
    There is so much history and for me
    so many musical ghosts to chase.
    Some of the best music & major influences from my teen years originated in this part of town.

    from my favorite Fred Neil ... (Here's a classic & beautiful Fred Neil 'Dolphins' clip - c/o the Sopranos)

    the Blues Project / Cafe Wha? & the Bitter End, the Velvet Underground scene with Andy Warhol to the best early Dylan.The Greenwich Village music scene from as early as the 1920s to 1964 was the precursor to the major wave of musical influence that spawned out on the West Coast and later in 1966 / 67 washed over the entire country,
    cleansing and changing everything.

    Even if music history isn't your thing, though now a gentrified, expensive neighborhood (like most of Manhattan these days) there are still lots of off-the-wall interesting little businesses & cafes: everything from psychics, tattoo parlours & unique / collector record shops to coffeehouses - great places to hang out & people-watch.Speaking of NY gentrification: Comdomania (pictured 2nd) is yet another victim of skyrocketing Manhattan rents
    C-mania closed
    (gee, maybe they'll slam in another fu#%ng Starbucks ...)

    Sorry, the Bleeker St / Village webcam appears to be gone.

    Though it is definitely not what it was then (what IS?) the area of Bleecker & Macdougal still can be a very interesting & fun walk, not to mention (if you are an aging musician) a both happy & sad stroll down "nostalgia lane."

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    St. Luke’s-in-the-Fields’ Secret Garden

    by von.otter Updated Apr 18, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Garden at St. Luke���s-in-the-Fields, 04/2010
    4 more images

    St. Luke’s in the Fields is an Episcopal church named in honor of the evangelical physician saint. As outbreaks of yellow fever were commonplace at the time of its founding in the 1820s the name was appropriate.

    The church property occupies an entire block between Hudson Street on the east and Greenwich Street on the west, Christopher Street to the north and Barrow Street to the south.

    Its enchanting, walled garden, with its abundance of well-tended greenery and well-placed benches, is worthy of your visit. Try to see it in the spring when its many trees are in full-flower. The autumn is equally nice when the leaves turn color.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • davesut's Profile Photo

    Greenwich Village Base

    by davesut Updated Apr 21, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Another Greenwich street
    1 more image

    Greenwich did have that village feel to me with residents meeting in bars and walking dogs. There are loads of restaurants to choose from that cater for a wide variety of tastes and wallet size.

    My tip, take an afternoon to wander around Greenwich village, take in some shops if you must, choose a place to eat, if warm spend time in Washington Square Park.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: New York City

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

104 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Greenwich Village
4.0 out of 5 stars
6 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
6 Reviews
0.2 miles away
4.5 out of 5 stars
0.3 miles away
Show Prices

View all New York City hotels