For New Yorkers, Greenwich Village is simply “The Village.” This largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan was once a bohemian capital and the New York epicenter of movements ranging from the Beats to punk rock. Running from Houston Street to 14th Street, and from the Bowery to Seventh Avenue, Greenwich Village is notably more posh than it was in its movement-incubating days. Still, as a mecca to the creative, rebellious and bohemian for more than a century, it’s hard to blame Villagers for taking pride in their neighborhood's unique history and live-and-let-live spirit.
Living in the Greenwich Village is like living nowhere else in Manhattan. The mid-rise apartments and 19th-century row houses are a sharp contrast to the high-rise condominiums and co-ops that dominate the landscape in midtown Manhattan and on the Upper East and Upper West Sides. As part of NYC Historic District -- a section of more than 50 blocks in the area up to 14th Street -- redevelopment in the neighborhood is strictly restricted and even renovations need to preserve the façades and aesthetics of the buildings. Greenwich Village remains eternally youthful, though, despite all that history. Some of this is due to the presence of New York University’s primary campus, and the nightlife and music scene surrounding it. The reliably wild annual Halloween Parade, the nation’s largest Halloween celebration, helps there, too.
Washington Square Park is the center and heart of the neighborhood, but the Village has several other parks. One of the most famous of these has no green space at all -- the legendary basketball court "The Cage,” on Sixth Avenue, has hosted many of NYC’s roundball visionaries. History and art lurk around every corner in the Village. It is home to many Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theaters. Cherry Lane Theater, at 38 Commerce Street, is NYC’s oldest continuously running Off-Broadway theater. Dozens of cultural and popular icons, from Bob Dylan to The Ramones, got their start on the Village’s still-vital cutting-edge music scene. It’s easy to get lost in the Village, as the narrow, curvy streets are named rather than numbered and take a casual approach to obeying Manhattan’s usual grid system. But Greenwich Village remains one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan in which to get lost.