The East Village has come into its own as a neighborhood in recent years, forming a distinct personality within Greenwich Village, and a grittier counterpart to its sister West Village. Like much in Manhattan, though, this is fast-changing...
While still a bit scruffier than its western counterpart, and with more "tenement"-style walk-ups than buildings with doormen and elevators, this area, stretching east of 5th Avenue & University Place, and from 14th Street south to Houston Street, is now at the cutting edge of what’s hip and happening.
First and Second Avenues have been transformed in recent years with new restaurants, bars and some of the best clubs in town. And while many up-and-coming bands still prowl the clubs, streets and studios down here, this is no longer quite your father’s East Village.
The old stomping grounds where The Ramones, the Talking Heads, and Blondie rocked to prominence, home of the Bowery and CBGB’s, can no longer be called a "less desirable part of town". Even the previously rundown and dangerous area further east, known as Alphabet City (Avenues A, B, C, etc), and the setting of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Rent, now brims with clubs and restaurants and has been incorporated into the greater East Village.
Older residents, often immigrants, live side-by-side with students and hipsters. Smart new restaurant and bistro arrivals rub shoulders with all manner of ethnic food staples (notably, Indian and Ukrainian joints abound!). And with slightly more affordable rents for many, and its overall shaggy haircut vibe, the East Village is a natural draw for young people...and the young at heart.
Local restaurants that have been drawing in customers for years include the 2nd Avenue Deli, a world-famous Jewish delicatessen, Pommes Frites, B Bar & Grill, The Elephant, Jewel Bako (Japanese food), and Veselka (Ukranian).
For early-in-the-evening entertainment such as theatre or film, the East Village offers numerous options, including the Orpheum Theater, La MaMa Experimental Theater, New York Theater Workshop (where shows such as Rent and Avenue Q were first workshopped), Anthology Film Archives, CC Village East Cinemas, Theatre for the New City, Millennium Film Workshop, and the beautiful Sunshine Cinemas, an independent filmhouse done in the style of a reconstructed 1940s cinema. For later-in-the-evening entertainment, bars and clubs, people flock to places such as the ACME Bar & Grill, Burp Castle, McSorley’s Old Ale House, Vazac’s, Sidewalk, KGB, and Webster Hall. People also love strolling until the wee hours, along the famous St. Mark’s Place, running from Third Avenue to Avenue A, which is full of small shops and restaurants.
The East Village additionally hosts a slew of annual outdoor festivals and events, including the Mayday Festival, May 1st of each year, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the HOWL! Festival, honoring Alan Ginsburg and celebrating poetry, music, dance, and more, East Village Radio Festival, the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade for canine lovers, and the East Village Theater Festival.
Cultural pursuits that can be found in the East Village include the Ukranian Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Famous or notable hotels in the neighborhood are The Bowery, Second Home on Second Avenue, The Village House East Village, Bowery's Whitehouse Hotel of NY, and Jazz on the Town.
School districts within the East Village are zoned as public schools PS19, PS63 and PS196 as well as IS196. Private high schools include the Brearly School and the Chapin School.
The East Village is serviced by MTA subway lines 4, 5, and 6, as well as the L and the F and V lines on the upper and lower boundaries, respectively. Notable crosstown buses include the M8, the M14, the M14A and the M14D.
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