Greenwich Village in New York City
Greenwich Village (often simply referred to as "the Village") is a well-known, largely residential district in Manhattan, one of the boroughs of New York. The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north.
Note that the "East Village" was not historically part of Greenwich Village and is still considered by many New Yorkers to be part of the Lower East Side, but the term "West Village" is synonymous with Greenwich Village, or at least that part of the neighborhood that is west of 6th Av. or so. In the 19th century, the Greenwich Village district was better known as Washington Square. Washington Square Park remains a neighborhood landmark, but the terms "The Village," "Greenwich Village," and "West Village" are practically interchangeable.
Greenwich Village was once a large industrial park; later, it was colonized by radicals, bohemians, beatniks, artists, and literary greats squatting in abandoned factories. High rents exclude most of their ilk today (their countercultural counterparts are NYU students with parental support) but the Village (as it is known) still has its charm.
Greenwich Village, home to a vibrant artistic and literary community in the 1950s, occupies the space between Houston Street and 14th Street. The central portion surrounds Washington Square Park and includes NYU's large campus and a thriving B&T (bridge & tunnel - a pejorative term) nightlife scene on MacDougal Street. West of University Place are many historic and attractive brownstones and some of the city's best restaurants and bars. The area's traditional avant garde reputation - it was a major center of the gay rights movement in the 1970s, for example - has somewhat faded as yuppies and movie stars move in.
Many people worldwide who have never been to the Village are familiar with the Village Voice newspaper , which is actually published in the East Village.
Greenwich Village is also the main setting for the TV series Friends as Monica's apartment has a Grove St. address, and there are numerous references to nearby areas such as Bleecker St. and SoHo (although the series was actually filmed in the Warner Brother studios in Los Angeles).
Greenwich Village is served by many subway lines:
- The 1, 2, and 3 lines run under 7th Avenue, with the 1 stopping at Christopher Street station (next to the picturesque Sheridan Square) and all three stopping at 14th Street (a passageway allows free transfer to 14th St./6th Av. station).
- The A, B, C, D, E, F, and M lines stop in the middle of the Village at the West 4th Street station (at the intersection of West 4th Street and 6th Avenue), with the A, C, and E serving 14th St. and 8th Av. station and the F and M lines serving 14th St. and 6th Av. station (a passageway at 14th St./6th Av. allows free transfer to 14th St./7th Av. station).
- The R line runs under Broadway, along with the N at night and on weekends, serving the 8th Street NYU and Union Square stations on the edge of the neighborhood.
- The L line runs under 14th Street, stopping at the 14th St./6th Av., 14th St./8th Av., and Union Square stations.
- The 4, 5, 6, and Q lines also serve Union Square.
- PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) stops at Christopher St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. and at both 9th St. and 14th St. at 6th Avenue.
The PATH train, a subway-style transit system, is convenient and inexpensive for going to points on 6th Av. up to 33 St. (one block east of Penn Station) and to Hoboken and Journal Square in New Jersey. One can transfer from Journal Square to the PATH line that terminates at Newark - Penn Station (not to be confused with New York's Penn Station), and get from there to Newark Airport by local Newark bus.
The double-decker tour buses whisk their way up 6th Av., but why not take an MTA bus, get off, and do your own tour?
In this neighborhood, the following uptown/downtown buses operate:
- The M20 goes uptown on Hudson St. and 8th Av., downtown on 7th Av.
- The M5 and M6 go uptown on 6th Av.. The M6 goes downtown on Broadway, the M5 on 5th Av. to 8th St., then east on 8th and downtown on Broadway to its terminus on Houston St.
- The M3 goes uptown on University Place and downtown on 5th Av.
- The M2 goes uptown on 4th Av. and downtown on 5th Av.
- The M11 goes uptown on Greenwich St. and downtown on Hudson St. to and from Abingdon Square.
- There is also the M7, which has its downtown terminus on 14th St. and Broadway, just south of Union Square.
There are also crosstown buses:
- The M14 goes across 14th St.
- The M8 goes west on 9th and Christopher Sts., east on 10th and 8th Sts.
The M14 is by far the most frequent at all hours. There is also a crosstown bus on Houston St., the M21, but it runs fairly infrequently and tends to get backed up in traffic, so it is not recommended if there is a good alternative. The M21 does not run between approximately midnight and 6 A.M. See the MTA website  for more information.
If you are close enough to walk to the Village, do it. Walking is the best way to experience the character of neighborhoods in Manhattan and the contrast and continuity between them.
Walking tours are available at Greenwich Village Walking Tours
The park along the Hudson River has a popular bike path. Many people also ride along city streets in this neighborhood, many of which are pretty quiet side streets.
- New York University
The main campus for NYU is found in Greenwich Village, centered around Washington Square Park.
- Washington Square Park (address: btwn Washington Square North, Washington Square South, Washington Square East, and Washington Square West)
The park and the famous arch is located in the heart of the Village. Though located in the middle of an affluent neighborhood, the park attracts a hodgepodge of people.
- The New School
- Grove Court (address: Grove Street) (directions: just off Hudson Street)
The setting for O'Henry's famous short story, The Last Leaf.
Greenwich Village has developed as a home for a significant number of off-Broadway theater companies and lots of music venues.
- Cherry Lane Theater (address: 38 Commerce Street) +1 212 989-2020
- Bitter End (address: 147 Bleeker St) +1 212 673-7030
Historic music club ("New York's Oldest Rock Club") opened in 1961 with legendary 60's acts before they were legendary. Some of the acts to play here include Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Jim Croce, David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie...you get the idea. Still has several live acts each night for little or no cover charge. Extremely intimate bar atmosphere.
- Village Vanguard (address: 178 7th Avenue South) (directions: just south of 11th St.) +1 212 255-4037
Presents a great lineup of jazz performers in a quiet room (except for the music) that has good acoustics.
- Blue Note (address: 131 West 3rd St.) (directions: between 6th Av. and Macdougal St.) +1 212 475-8592
Also has a lineup of famous jazz and blues performers. It feels a little more like a bar (with people talking during the show) and a little less like a venue that's only about the music.
- Small's (address: 183 W. 10 St.) (directions: between W. 4th St. and 7th Av.) +1 212 675-7369
A great place to hear excellent jazz at low prices.
There are several stores where only the phonograph records of oldies are sold, and neither CDs nor tapes. One of them is located on Carmine Street.
- Generation Records (address: 210 Thompson Street) +1 212 254-1100
Best place in the city to buy hardcore, metal, industrial, punk, and alternative records.
- Three Lives & Company- 154 W. 10th Street (at Waverly). A local independent bookstore, this microscopic yet utterly delightful place is the essence of Greenwich Village, with an extremely knowledgeable and passionate staff.
You'll find hundreds of restaurants and sidewalk cafés of virtually every culture. All-American, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Polish, Pakistani, Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese...the list goes on... At many spots you'll find affordable eats with the chance to enjoy your meal on the sidewalk. There are also some well-known upscale restaurants in the neighborhood.
- Arturos (address: 106 West Houston Street) (directions: at Houston and Thompson) +1 212 677-3820
open: Su 3PM-12AM, M-Th 4PM-1AM, F-Sa 4PM-2AM
- Tea and Sympathy (address: 108 Greenwich Avenue) +1 212 989-9735
open: M-F 11:30AM-10:30PM, Sa-Su 9:30AM-10:30PM
Describes itself as "a quintessential corner of England in the heart of Greenwhich Village", typically English meals are available here (perfect for the Anglophile or homesick Brit!)
- Dragon Fly (address: 47 7th Ave) +1 212 255-2848
Pan-Asian at very reasonable prices plus a large vegetarian menu. Beautifully calm setting. Closed for renovations as of March 2008.
- Babbo (address: 110 Waverly Place) (directions: between Washington Square West and 6th Av.) +1 212 777-0303
The most famous of Chef Mario Batali's restaurants, and especially well-known for its pasta tasting menu. Reserve a month in advance or stand on line before opening time (5:30 on weekdays and 5:00 on Sundays) to try to get a seat at the bar or one of the tables kept open for walk-ins. Babbo is one of the hardest restaurants to get a reservation at in New York, which should indicate something about its popularity. Do not expect a cheap meal, but this is one you don't have to dress up for.
- Blue Hill (address: 75 Washington Place) (directions: between Washington Square West and 6th Av.) +1 212 539-1776
An upscale American restaurant known for its fresh ingredients and subtlety. Call ahead for reservations.
- Otto (address: 1 5 Av.) (directions: corner of 8th St.) +1 212 995-9559
The pizzeria in the Batali chain. Prices are much cheaper here than at Babbo, but the entire concept of the restaurant is different, so take it for what it is. The antipasti and gelati as well as the pizza are well thought of.
- Red Bamboo (address: 140 W. 4th St.) (directions: one block SW of Washington Square Park) +1 212 260-7049
Excellent vegetarian soul food, organic wines.
- Lupa Osteria Romana (address: 170 Thompson St. between West Houston and Bleecker Sts.) +1 212 982-5089
open: Daily Noon-Midnight
This is yet another restaurant associated with Mario Batali, but the Executive Chef is Steve Connaughton. This is a very good, relatively informal, mid-priced eatery, with a good and fair-priced wine list. Every fan has their own favorite dishes. First-timers may want to share several smaller dishes instead of having full meals, in order to sample the cuisine, but the primi and secondi are also worthy. The excellent Tartufo is their best dessert. Reservations recommended; otherwise, you may have a long wait.
- John's Pizzeria (address: 278 Bleecker St) (directions: at Bleecker and Jones) +1 212 243-1680
A classic New York pizza place - a gritty joint with brick oven, thin crust pizza. The lines are often long but the service is fast. Whole pies only, no slices. Cash and travelers checks only.
- Joe's Pizza (address: 7 Carmine Street) (directions: at 6th and Bleecker) +1 212 366-1182
A very popular corner pizza joint that serves huge, thin crust slices fresh out of the oven. This is classic New York fast food - service is quick but the place is tiny, so you'll want to take your slice outside to eat.
- The Town Tavern (address: 134 W. 3rd St.) (directions: off Sixth Ave.) +1 212 253-6955
Popular hot spot for the wild parties and friendly people.
- Stonewall Inn (address: 53 Christopher Street) +1 212 488-2705
A veritable icon of the worldwide gay community, not just New York's.
- Washington Square Hotel (address: 103 Waverly Pl) (directions: near Washington Square Park) +1 212 777-9515
This hotel offers art deco styled furnishings and complimentary internet access at the lobby bar and considers itself a haven for writers, artists and visitors.
Located right by the NYU campus, Web2Zone is an internet cafe offering regular internet services, a gaming section, a digital lounge in the basement and a small cafe.
The Village thrives on French tourists, honeymooners from Texas, and day-trippers from uptown. Having lots of people around all the time makes it feel safer, and the residents appreciate that. Most will happily take your picture, give you directions, and advise you about where to eat, etc. At the same time, the Village isn't an amusement park. The people who live there are generally rather sedate, and they cannot be on perpetual holiday. Most need a good night's sleep so they can get up for work in the morning. Have a heart: Don't make a lot of noise, or do anything else in public that you wouldn't want someone to do in front of your house!