East Village in New York
East Village in New York is full of small shops, restaurants and low-rise buildings, all of which make it an interesting place to explore. The East Village is the area east of 3rd Avenue and the Bowery on the East River, between 14th Street and Houston Street.
East Village in New York is the first neighbourhood in New York I lived in, and it’s not just me who’s enthusiastic about it! Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop are just a few celebrities who also lost their hearts to this special part of New York City.
East Village in New York
The East Village is a trendy neighbourhood, tailored to the many young people living here. The area is home to many NYU students, which makes it a very socially involved neighbourhood. When exploring the East Village there’s a big chance that you’ll come across some graffiti art or posters supporting current social movements.
St. Marks Place
St. Marks Place is basically the beating heart of East Village. This street is full of alternative shops and a lively music scene, which really nails the vibe of the neighbourhood. You’ll find a lot of record shops, such as Stranded Records NYC. It’s also the place to find delicious food; there are many small eateries serving all kinds of cuisines.
During and after World War II, many Ukrainians came to New York. Housing in the East Village was affordable and there were plenty of jobs, which made it a melting pot of cultures, and none more so than Ukraine. Now you will find many Ukrainian restaurants and bakeries serving traditional dishes here.
On the corner of 2nd Avenue and E 9th Street, you will find Veselka, a busy Ukrainian restaurant that serves great food. Their menu combines authentic Ukrainian dishes, such as pierogi, with American classics like turkey.
Tompkins Square Park
Tompkins Square Park is also worth mentioning, as it’s a great place to walk through and see the daily lives of local New Yorkers. It is a good spot to have a coffee.
Alphabet City, formerly known as ‘Little Germany’, might sound familiar but is actually just a residential area. The special thing about this neighbourhood is its street names. While you usually find numbered avenues in New York, letters are used here instead. Avenues A, B, C and D make up Alphabet City.
Shopping in the East Village
East Village is a great place to go shopping in New York. You’ll discover many original little specialty shops, as opposed to larger chain stores. Toy Tokyo, for example: a shop packed with Asian toys where you’ll really get a taste of Japan. If the sun starts shining unexpectedly? Head to Fabulous Fanny’s! This mini-shop sells sunglasses in nearly every imaginable shape and size. Whether you’re more of a Brigitte Bardot or a Kanye West, this is the place to find the right pair of sunnies. In case it doesn’t work out: the helpful staff will happily customise any of the frames for you.
Food and Drink in East Village
In the East Village, you will come across all kinds of nice restaurants. On 7th Street, for instance, there is Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe, a (to my mind at least) century-old Jamaican restaurant with an interior that immediately makes me smile.
On 2nd Avenue you can find San Marzano, an Italian restaurant known for its pastas.
East Village tours
Taking a tour through East Village is a great way to get to know a part of the city and hear stories and experiences from a local. You can explore East Village by taking a tour:
The Rock n’ Punk Tour lets you discover genres of music that helped form the rock culture in East Village. During the tour you’ll see where bands like Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, and The Ramones wrote and performed their music.
Hotels in the East Village
If you’d like to book a hotel in the East Village, I recommend the East Village Hotel, which really captures the vibe of the area. Another good option is The Standard East Village. This nice hotel has a good location and feels luxurious.
You can also book the Moxy East Village; a hip hotel with a rooftop bar from which you have views of Manhattan.
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