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Living in Greenwich Village

Half a century after the days of Jack Kerouac and his beatnik brethren, "the Village", as the locals call it, attracts those seeking the consummate Manhattan experience. House hunters are inevitably drawn to this lush and leafy neighborhood, which contains several community gardens. Jefferson Market garden is a welcoming and popular market situated in a verdant landscape – you won't want to miss the free jazz concerts held there most Sunday evenings.

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Greenwich Village sits on the west side of lower Manhattan. Convenient subway and public transportation takes you fast and gets you close to destinations throughout Manhattan. From SoHo boutiques to refurbished buildings in Tribeca, it’s just as easy to head up to Chelsea and midtown. For a view of the city's past, nearby Battery Park promises and delivers a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty.

Greenwich Village real estate

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The common image of leafy New York suburbs with brownstones and the archetypal front stoop for watching the neighbors remains at the heart of Greenwich Village. But this hip enclave also features contrasting, updated designs. Unique, modern lofts showcase contemporary amenities, like dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. If your taste is more traditional, you'll discover state-of-the-art condominiums that maintain pre-war charm, with extra-high ceilings, oversized windows and Juliet balconies. “The Village” has over 1,000 preserved Pre-Civil War buildings with original row houses, stables and architecture.

Generations of artists and writers, including Henry James, Jackson Pollack and e.e. Cummings, gave the neighborhood its early, edgy vibe. Today, celebrities line up with local residents at Florence Meat Market, the butcher shop serving the community since 1936. Even today, customers sit on two rickety wooden benches, waiting for their meat and poultry, always fresh cut to order.

Greenwich Village's history

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Following the American Revolution, the neighborhood was a pastoral suburb. During the 1780s, the city used an eight-acre parcel of land, now Washington Square Park, as a potter’s field where the poor and indigent were laid to rest. After much development, this modest park is now the keeper of a vibrant and colorful history, standing as the modern day village green. Chess fans flock to the park’s southwest corner, to watch, or play a "chess hustler" for $5 a hand.

Indeed, this very textured history has cultivated an environment and inspired the architecture for some of the most desirous Greenwich Village apartments for sale and as rentals. The late 19th century brought a massive influx of immigration. The result was a need for more housing, such as the traditional row houses and predominately brick multi-family buildings. When you walk through Greenwich Village today, you cannot miss these restored dwellings that originally housed many newcomers to the city. Immigration also brought the need for educational institutions, such as New York University, that continue to thrive and prosper today.

Greenwich Village restaurants

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The inherent diversity of Greenwich Village residents means the food offerings need to include student-style affordable grub, upscale hip, and everything in between. Locals flock to affordable eateries, such as Artichoke Basille's for pizza and Saigon Shack for original Vietnamese fare. Who serves the best burger in NYC is always debatable, hot spot Minetta Tavern is definitely on the shortlist. Home of the “Original Cappuccino”, Caffe Reggio, has been literally and figuratively stimulating local scribes and residents since 1927. National Historic Landmark, The Stonewall Inn, is the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement and continues to attract students.

Greenwich Village nightlife

Greenwich Village is long known for a certain broad cultural acceptance reflected in a myriad of nightlife and entertainment options, certain to appeal to every taste. Relatively small in size, the Village's nightlife options are big. Since 1935, The Village Vanguard has attracted the jazz elite and today, you can watch saxophonist Ravi Coltrane perform on the same bandstand where his father brought enduring glory back in '61. Other noted music venues include multimedia art cabaret, Le Poisson Rouge and since 1981, the legendary Blue Note. This iconic club has featured jazz greats like Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie, but ever the innovator, new acts continue to make their world debut at this legendary club.

Greenwich Village is home to many great acts, from music to comedy and to catch a laugh, The Comedy Cellar is a storied place where you might catch a surprise appearance by a big-name comedian in an intimate setting.

Greenwich Village shopping

The best way to describe shopping in Greenwich Village: If you can't find it here, it probably doesn't exist. This neighborhood specializes in trendy, unique and hard-to-find bits and bobs, yet Bleecker Street, known as boutique alley, delivers an upscale mix of designer royalty shops, such as Ralph Lauren and Cynthia Rowley. If you're looking for true Village style, local fashion designer Carrie Hammer is creating clothes for women that are stylish, affordable and custom-made from her 1,000 square-foot Bleecker Street apartment.

Craft shops and antique boutiques sidle up beside vintage and consignment shops, such as the much-beloved Beacon's Closet. Pampered pooches will woof with delight after your spree at Canine Style, the shop with designer togs for the dogs and other must-have items for your precious pup.

Greenwich Village attractions

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Greenwich Village is the neighborhood that surrounds Washington Square Park, the centerpiece of this charming, vibrant and cosmopolitan landscape. When you pass beneath the Washington Arch — the giant structure marking the Fifth Avenue entrance of Washington Square Park — you're literally stepping into one of the city's most recognizable public spaces, made famous by movies and iconic photographs. Immortalized in film, print and video games, West 4th Street's basketball court, known as “The Cage”, has been a proving ground for NBA stars like Stephon Marbury and Anthony Mason. Popular for its fast and ferocious play in the summer league, enthusiastic crowds surround the court, shouting encouragement and sidewalk referee calls.

Where Downtown Comes Together

"My first home in New York, I keep coming back to Greenwich Village for the shops, nightlife, and wonderfully walkable neighborhood. From comedy to cupcakes, playgrounds to piano bars, the Village has it all."
Robert Millis
Robert               Millis
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What's In The Area: Greenwich Village

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Greenwich Village from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Greenwich Village tips




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