West Village is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city, with its perfectly preserved 19th-century townhouses and cobblestoned streets, which exude urban charm.
As a bustling center of NYC culture, West Village has been the site of numerous social and countercultural movements, like the breakthrough of experimental theatre and the fight for house preservation.
The national gay liberation movement also took root in the West Village – and the neighborhood holds proud displays of its diversity, to date.
Located in the western section of larger Greenwich Village, West Village’s boundaries meet up with the Hudson River to the west and Christopher Street to the south.
West Village is true to its name; it's serene and still, but with all the amenities that an upscale, modern neighborhood can offer. The city’s hustle and bustle seems to disappear as soon as you step foot in this area, and the charming cobblestoned streets with Federal-style townhouses give an absolutely regal vibe to the neighborhood.
West Village is popular for drawing out the most fashionable of crowds to its high-end designer boutiques and trendy restaurants. Most of these establishments are small and independently owned by residents. There are also numerous piano bars, cabarets, and theaters in this artsy area.
West Village’s role has been crucial to the historical development of bohemian culture in America. The area was widely popular and filled with artistic residents, who propagated a new alternative culture with their increasingly progressive views. This made West Village a hub of ideas and movements – be it political, cultural or even artistic.
Starting from the 19th century, and continuing into the 20th century, small art galleries and amateur theatre thrived here – which earned West Village it’s unofficial title ‘Little Bohemia’ in 1916.
The Village was the focal point of the bohemian world towards the West. Lots of classic artists chose it as the spot for their lofts; for example, Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi and WestBeth Artists Community, both called West Village home
The hotel has been a cultural representation of Greenwich Village from the late 19th century onwards. This hotel opened in the 1880s, and after much consideration, was named after the owner’s brother – who made it his home and painting studio.
Some famous guests to have stayed at the Hotel Albert include Mark Twain, Robert Lowell, and Robert Loius Stevenson.
Located at 38 Commerce Street, Cherry Lane Theatre is New York’s oldest off-Broadway theatre – it was established in 1922, and has become one of the most famous theaters in the US.
Back in 1817, this landmark was originally a farm silo – it has since been used as a tobacco warehouse, and even a box factory. Finally, Edna St. Vincent Millay, a key member of the Provincetown Players, stepped forward to convert the building into a theatre.
The theatre officially opened with the play, The Man Who Ate the Popmack, in 1924. Since then, The Living Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, and Downtown Theatre movement, have all taken root here.
Cherry Lane Theatre now has a reputation for being the place where aspiring playwrights can easily showcase their work.
West Village is known for being the home of important socio-cultural movements. This was where the first racially integrated night club, Café Society, opened its doors to the public in 1938.
West Village also hosts the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, which is the world’s largest Halloween parade, and America’s only major night time one. All of this has combined to make West Village a truly exciting place to live in!