It was a beautiful day in May when we decided to give you a little tour of Greenwich Village – home to a community of people who arguably changed the world. This small area below 14th Street and west of Broadway has been home to rebels, nonconformists, beatniks, bohemians and starving artists for over 100 years now.
This is the closest you’ll get to a Parisian feel in New York. You’ll find tightly packed low-rise brownstones with tiny gardens, second hand stores, tons of cafes and restaurants… and lots of history.
Click above to watch this video: Video Tour of Greenwich Village.(3:25)
Starting in the late 1800s, Greenwich Village became the epicenter of art and music in New York. Artists and musicians from all over flocked to the Village where they found camaraderie, inspiration and affordable housing.
After the Second World War, the Village was taken over by the Beat Movement. Beatniks, with their bohemian “live and let live” lifestyles, spent their time in the many coffeehouses, jazz clubs, and poetry reading forums of the Village. The paths of many famous musicians writers and actors passed through the eclectic streets of Greenwich Village including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mark Twain.
A great place to start our tour of Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park. It is home of the famous Washington Square Arch, which was built in the late 1800s to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States.
The park is a meeting place for both young and old. You’ll find impromptu live music, playgrounds, street performers, chess tables and more. Surrounded by the New York University campus, this area is young and alive with an almost carnival atmosphere.
The interesting thing about Greenwich Village is that the starving artists were the ones who brought charm and appeal to the area. Ultimately the very appeal they created started attracting wealthier New Yorkers, which drove the prices up and, eventually, caused most starving artists to relocate elsewhere in the city.
Luckily, the charm remains strong in the Village and Greenwich Village and West Village are great places to rent a furnished apartment during your next trip to New York. We have furnished apartments throughout the Village to suit any taste.
For example, we have this beautiful apartment studio in the heart of Greenwich Village (NY-12360). It’s just a couple blocks away from Washington Square Park. Iit features a fully equipped kitchen.
Another great option is this Greenwich Village one bedroom furnished apartment (NY-14983) in the heart of the action on Bleecker Street.
So if you’re looking to get a taste of how Dylan or Hendrix lived, skip the hotel, and find a vacation rental to live like a true Villager in Greenwich!
MacDougal Street is a one-way street about 6 blocks long in Greenwich Village. It has been the subject of many songs and poems. It’s been frequented by numerous famous individuals including Bob Dylan, Matthew Broderick and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Cafe Wha? – at 115 Macdougal Street
Located at 115 Macdougal Street, Cafe Wha? is a club in Greenwich Village that has been home to various musicians and comedians. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, The Velvet Underground, and Kool and the Gang are just a few of the many icons that have found their beginnings at the Café Wha?
Mamoun’s Falafel – 119 MacDougal St
Back in the 70s, the starving artists knew that all they needed to eat was 25¢ . Because a quarter was all it took to get a Falafel at Mamoun’s on MacDougal St. Today, the prices have gone up, but the falafels are still amazing.
At the West 4th Street Courts, also known as “The Cage”, you will find some of the finest street ball players in the country.
The Speakeasy – 106 Perry Street
In the time of Prohibition back in the 1920’s, secret bars known as speakeasies sprung up all over the city. Many were located right here in Greenwich Village. American author Henry Miller opened a short-lived speakeasy in the basement of his home at 106 Perry St.
Sex and the City – 66 Perry Street
Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Sex in the City may have fictitiously been located in the Upper East Side, but the apartment is actually located right here in Greenwich Village. If you want to see the house of Sarah Jessica Parker, the real Carrie Bradshaw, and her husband Matthew Broderick, take a stroll down Charles Street, you might see them cleaning their sidewalk.
The Friends Building – 90 Bedford Street
If the names Joey, Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel and Phoebe mean anything to you, make sure you visit the corner of Bedford St. & Grove St. in Greenwich Village to pay homage to the “Friends’ Building”. This is the building where the Friends supposedly lived in the hit sitcom we all know and love. In fact, before the producers decided on the title “Friends”, the working title of the show was “Once Upon a Time in the Village”.
Narrowest House in NYC – 75 ½ Bedford St
Coming in at nine and a half feet wide, you’ll find the narrowest house in NYC at 75 ½ Bedford St. The Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived there for a short while.
Well, that’s all we could fit in for today. But there’s tons more to see and experience in Greenwich Village. If I’ve missed some of you’re favorite Village must-sees, be sure to leave them share them in the comments below.
And don’t forget, one of the best ways to experience the Village is to live there. What better way to live there than by renting a vacation rental in Greenwich Village or the West Village from New York Habitat. Visit our website where you’ll find hundreds of vacation rentals and furnished apartments of all shapes and sizes all over New York City.