Once a quaint farming village two miles from New York City proper, Greenwich Village is famous for its historic buildings and unusual, partially ungridded streetscape. Lining the streets around Washington Square Park are historic red-brick townhouses, many of which have remained single-family homes over the last two centuries, and which come at a commensurate price. But though the housing stock in Greenwich Village tends to vary between the old and the very old, there are newer options and canny renovations. A building like 66 East 11th Street, for example, combines a historic exterior (built in 1897) with all-new, ultramodern interiors and amenities — an increasingly popular formula. Some venerable co-op apartment buildings offer other good options, especially in the area north of Washington Square Park.
As you’d expect given its location at the very center of Manhattan, Greenwich Village is ideally situated for transit both within New York City and the greater metropolitan region. The 1, 2, and 3 Subway lines stop along Seventh Avenue at Christopher Street. At Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue, a large station offers access to the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M lines. R and W trains stop at Eighth Street and Broadway, and 6 trains stop at Bleecker and Broadway. With all of these connections, getting to Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal — and thus out of Manhattan — is simple. If you’re in more of a hurry, cabs and Ubers cruise at all hours through Greenwich Village’s thronging streets.
Greenwich Village offers far more schools than its compact size might at first suggest. Local parents love the PS 41 Greenwich Village School, which earns a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10. As for private options, the Little Red Schoolhouse and Elizabeth Irwin High School provide a holistic, progressive education to students from pre-K through 12th Grade. Other nearby private institutions include the Academy of St. Joseph School, the K-8 Village Community School, and the City and Country School.
The jewel of Greenwich Village is undoubtedly Washington Square Park, a gorgeous green expanse right in the middle of the neighborhood that offers everything a top-notch urban park should: playgrounds, green space, people-watching, a dramatic fountain, clusters of buskers and street performers, and of course, that famous arch — a replica of the Arc de Triomphe celebrating George Washington’s inauguration as the first president of the United States. Numerous smaller squares and plazas also line Sixth Avenue, providing footsore gawkers with bench seating and sportsmen with (highly in-demand) basketball courts. The most scenic neighborhood in Manhattan will not leave you without plenty of open space from which to appreciate it.
Restaurants and Bars
Greenwich Village is one of the best neighborhoods in New York for eating and drinking, with institutions at every point on the price scale that are famous around the city and, in some cases, the world. The finest in farm-to-table cuisine is served at Blue Hill, while Carbone updates the Italian-American supper club to 21st-Century specifications. Staples of Greenwich Village fare include the popular Umami Burger, the magical potatoes at Pommes Frites, and the slices of pizza at Joe’s. As for bars, suffice it to say that Greenwich Village offers the full spectrum of drinking options in New York City, from subterranean beer dens to dimly lit speakeasies, top-end wine bars, and everything in between.
Greenwich Village is home to an exhausting array of shopping options, nearly all of which are quirkier and more unique than what you’ll find elsewhere in Manhattan — especially in Midtown and the chain-ruled Lower Broadway business district. This is the place to come for one-off boutiques and independent stores specializing in bags, hats, musical instruments, records, books, and gifts. It’s also an excellent place to buy culinary specialties like cheese, wine, gelato, and baked goods. But if you desire a one-stop destination for your daily needs, Greenwich Village has a few full-service grocery stores, too.
Landmarks and Culture
Greenwich Village has pretty much everything you could want in terms of major landmarks and local culture. Venues like the Cherry Lane Theater are major outposts of New York City’s Off-Broadway scene, while subterranean holes-in-the-wall like the Comedy Cellar attract a lot of people who make you laugh on television. Broadway singers and their fans gather to sing showtunes over cocktails at Marie’s Crisis, while the greatest jazz talent in the world stops in for stays of a week or more at the Village Vanguard and the Blue Note (as well as a spate of smaller jazz clubs). Rock venues like Le Poisson Rouge offer more modern sounds. And with the myriad offerings of New York University and The New School (both of which are based in Greenwich Village), there’s so much going on here that it’s basically impossible to do it all — or get bored.