Greenwich Village, also known as “The Village”, is a cool and lively neighborhood in the west side of Lower Manhattan, bordered by Broadway in the east, Hudson in the west, Huston St. in the south and 14th St. in the north. In the 1960s, the neighborhood was a bohemian and artistic center, and the birthplace of many artists and art movements, including Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation. Like most of Manhattan neighborhoods, The Village underwent a gentrification process, but it is still a fun place to visit, especially on weekends.
credit: David McSpadden
Things to Do in Greenwich Village
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is one of the iconic symbols of Greenwich neighborhood. Its main attractions are the famous 77-foot high arch, built for the centennial of the US first president’s inauguration, the big fountain in its center, and the artistic crowds that frequent the park, often improvising music, breakdance and stand-up shows. The park is surrounded by the buildings of the New York University (NYU), and when the weather gets warmer you can sunbath with masses of students.
credit: Jeffrey Bary
Grey Art Gallery
Located in the NYU campus near Washington Square Park, the university’s fine arts museum displays its rich art collection, which includes artworks by De Kooning, Alex Katz, Matisse, Miro and others, as well as changing exhibitions.
Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East
Most of the music clubs from the folk music scene heydays (recently shown in the Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis) no longer exist, but some of them remained. For example, The Bitter End, on 147 Bleecker Street, is described as the oldest rock club in NYC. The club was opened in 1961 and featured shows by Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Tim Hardin and many others. The place is still active and its rich legacy attracts many visitors.
Greenwich Village is also the home of many Jazz clubs. The famous Blue Note, the first Jazz club in the chain that spread worldwide, was established at the Greenwich Village in 1981, when Jazz music was considered a thing of the past. The intimate club hosted performances by Jazz and R&B giants such as Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles, and became an economic engine to the neighborhood. Great musicians are still performing there and the place is usually fully packed.
Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 W. 3rd St
Cherry Lane Theatre
The Cherry Lane Theatre is oldest active off-Broadway theatre in NYC. Originally a tobacco warehouse and box factory, the 38 Commerce St. building was reincarnated as a theatre in 1924 and served as a stage for emerging play writers for several decades. Cherry Lane Theatre continues to serve as an artistic lab for local plays works and a stage for innovative productions of new and classic theater.
Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St.
Bleecker Street is Greenwich Village’s main street and the most famous one. The long and narrow street is filled with coffee shops, restaurants, shops and history. It is recommended to walk the street, grab a coffee and a bagel from Think Coffee Bowery, look for vintage finds at the second-hand stores or just stroll peacefully and absorb the atmosphere.