Stop a lifelong New Yorker on, say, Christopher Street and Sixth Avenue and ask for directions to Morton Street or Abingdon Square, and they may be stumped even though both are just a few blocks away. The idiosyncratic street plan is part of the charm of this neighborhood, which is part of larger Greenwich Village and off to the side of Manhattan’s grid. Beautifully restored 19th-century rowhouses line many streets to form a, well, village within the city. Much of the neighborhood’s distinct character has survived thanks to the Greenwich Village Historic District; a pioneering effort when it was established in 1969, the district became a model for others throughout the city and country. The West Village is not, however, preserved under glass; restaurants, shops, and newer additions like the High Line and the Whitney Museum draw New Yorkers to this corner of the city.