What’s the deal with the East Village?
The East Village is many things to many people—it's the birthplace of punk, a haven for artists, an oasis for the odd, where to go for a fun night out, and for over 65,000 New Yorkers, it's home.
The neighborhood, which is bound by the Bowery and Third Avenue to the west, 14th Street to the north and Houston Street to the south, used to be considered part of the Lower East Side, but it was rebranded in the mid-20th century when beatniks and artists moved in. The downtown nabe has undergone many changes over the years, and while we've seen many quintessential East Village businesses fold (R.I.P. Gem Spa), the area is still loaded with dives, grungy tattoo shops, and old-school record stores. Whether you're in the neighborhood to have a picnic in Tompkins Square Park, slurp drinks at tiki bars, or scoop up sweet throwbacks at vintage clothing stores, the East Village has so much to offer for people of all walks of life, and that's the beauty of it.
If you only do one thing
Grab a bagel from Tompkins Square Bagels and then walk down St. Marks place from Tompkins Square Park to Astor Place and stop in every small shop, bar, clothing store or bookstore that catches your eye.
Go off the beaten track
Stuyvesant Cove is lovely waterfront green space on the other side of the FDR just north of 14th St. You can also hop on the NYC ferry from a ferry stop there.
On a sunny day
Lay out, picnic or play tennis at East River Park.
On a rainy day
Peruse the book selection at Book Club, Strand or East Village Books or Pick up some spell books and magic candles at Enchantments, Inc.
Fourth Arts Block is a great resource for all the theatrical and arts offerings in the neighborhood at the moment or check out the Barnes Foundation's programming both in person and online.
Pick up some amazing and unique herbal teas from Tea Drunk.
Nearest subway stations
Take the train to Astor Place or Second Avenue, but the Broadway-Lafayette Street and First Avenue subway stations are nearby, too.
What else is nearby?
The Lower East Side is just south of the East Village and is chock full of live music venues and bars along Orchard, Ludlow and Essex streets between Rivington Street and Stanton Street. The gritty but historic Bowery lies to the southwest for those who want to hang at trendy bars and restaurants and still see remanants of its punk rock history.