Greenwich Village in New York
Greenwich Village in New York, also known as ‘West Village’ or fondly called ‘The Village’, is located in Manhattan. The area’s intimate, European vibe, with its relatively low buildings, makes it a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon stroll. There are lots of courtyards and gardens here, and due to the lack of high buildings you’ll catch more sun than anywhere else in New York City.
Greenwich Village: a creative incubator
When it comes to Greenwich Village, there is no such thing as ‘boring’. This part of the city has always been an important sanctuary for counterculture in the United States. In the 30s and 40s, lots of artists and folk singers established themselves here. In the 50s, it was known for drug experiments and in the 60s it attracted loads of musicians. They used to have a large amount of influence on one another, which resulted in new musical genres and artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond. Dylan even mentions The Village in some of his songs. Within this ‘free’ environment, a vivid gay scene quickly arose. In fact, the world’s first Gay Pride took place here, back in 1970.
Greenwich Village in popular TV shows
Expect to see quite a few familiar buildings in Greenwich Village. Remember Sex and the City? The show’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw, supposedly lived at 66 Perry Street. Are you more of a Friends fan? It may be disappointing reading that Central Perk, the hangout of the six most famous friends in the world, never truly existed. But The Little Owl, situated at the bottom of the ‘Friends’ building where the six used to ‘live’ may offer some comfort, and with a mouthwatering menu, it is a good alternative.
Are you interested in seeing more locations from the screen in real life? Take the New York film and television tour.
Shopping and dining in Greenwich Village
Although Greenwich Village has its share of chain stores, the charm of this area lies with the local entrepreneurs and their smaller, unique shops and restaurants. On 260 Bleecker Street you’ll find Faicco’s Pork Store, full of delicious Italian delicacies. Pick your favourites and then head to Pasticceria Rocco for a cheap coffee and the best cannoli ever! Enjoy it all together on a picnic by the water at Hudson River Park (about a 10-15 min walk). You’ll also find the two favourites from my top 5 pizza restaurants in Greenwich Village. My number 1, John’s Pizza, is on Bleecker Street (made famous by that Simon & Garfunkel song). Are you a fan of both pizza and Spiderman? Then be sure to visit and grab a slice at Joe’s Pizza. This place, on Carmine Street, was featured in Spiderman 2.
Tours of Greenwich Village
There are a number of tours you can take to see Greenwich Village. Taking a tour is a great way to get to know (part of) the city and hear stories and experiences from a local. You can explore Greenwich Village by taking one of these tours:
- The Family Greenwich Village Tour is a 2,5-hour tour and great for kids. As parents, you’ll learn about the bohemian history of the neighbourhood while the kids get to have fun in the playground. And eat cupcakes. (Don’t worry, there’s one for you!)
Book the Family Greenwich Village Tour here
- The Greenwich Village Food Tour and High Line Park is actually two tours in one! Firstly, enjoy a walk in High Line Park to work up an appetite for the best bit of the tour: the food! You’ll stop at 6 (!) places for a snack. Warning: don’t eat breakfast! This tour takes 3,5 hours.
Book the Greenwich Village Food Tour and High Line Park here
- The ‘Regular’ Greenwich Village Tour is a 2-hour historical tour of the neighbourhood. You’ll see where Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin performed, where the gay movement began and much more.
Book the Greenwich Village Tour here
- On the Greenwich Village: Beatniks, Beer and Pizza Tour, you’ll be taken to multiple pizza places. Wash the slices down with complimentary beer at local bars, previously frequented by Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac and their contemporaries, while your guide tells you stories about their turbulent lives.
Book the Beatniks, Beer and Pizza Tour here
- Those who ‘walk on the wild side’ should definitely experience Greenwich Village on the Rock ‘n’ Roll walking tour. The local and very knowledgeable guide will show you where rock-stars used to live and perform. You can start the tour in Greenwich Village or in East Village.
Book the Rock ‘n’ Roll Walking tour here