NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

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East Village

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Incredibly diverse and endlessly lively, the East Village is a perennial attraction for both residents and visitors who are mesmerized by its seemingly infinite unique diversions. Boasting authentic Ukranian diners, top-rated Japanese ramen and sushi, bespoke cheeseburgers, and everything in between, there is hardly a better neighborhood to find an amazing meal. Avenues are lined with an unbelievable variety of nightlife attractions, from Bavarian biergartens to some of the most exclusive clubs in the city. In the 1970s, the East Village gave birth to punk rock in the US, and although it has softened its edges with charming coffee shops and boutiques, it still maintains a thriving art scene full of poetry clubs, experimental theater, and emerging art galleries. A strong neighborhood identity remains, and residents proudly maintain beautiful community gardens while supporting small shops and businesses, thus protecting local charm and spirit. This breeding ground of so many recent artistic movements has been the home of poet Allen Ginsberg, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, actress Chloe Sevigny, and musicians Madonna and Lou Reed. Today its offbeat charm and vibrant community boasts a wonderful array of enthusiastic residents, famous, infamous, and otherwise.


Landscape

The East Village is the area north of Houston Street, south of 14th Street, and east of Fourth Avenue all the way to the East River. Among its many famous streets are the ever-trendy St. Marks Place, Loisaida (Avenue C), the Bowery (an old Dutch word for “farm”), and Stuyvesant Street, one of the few true East-West streets remaining in Manhattan. The-10.5 acre historic Tompkins Square Park contains one of the most exciting dog runs in the city, along with a large children’s playground and a beautiful green market showcasing organic fruits and vegetables from local farms every weekend. The newly re-developed East River Park offers an additional 57 acres of recreational space on the far east side of the neighborhood, including tennis courts and running track. The neighborhood owes much of its aesthetic to the character of its many prewar walkups, but is now slowly incorporating more modern condominium developments and hotels into its humble skyline. East Village residents commute throughout the city on the 6, L, F and M subways, several bus lines and the FDR drive, and they await the anticipated Second Avenue subway currently under construction.


History

Once owned solely by the Stuyvesant family from the mid-17th century to the early 19th century, the East Village later housed the largest population of Germans outside Berlin and Vienna, earning its early moniker “Klein Deutschland” (Little Germany). Successive waves of immigrants have followed since, until the neighborhood became a creative mecca when Beatniks arrived in the 1950s. Its landmarks include St. Marks Church, the Marble Cemetery, the Old Merchant's House, and McSorley's Old Ale House, the oldest Irish tavern in New York, whose motto reads,“We were here before you were born.”