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. This area stretches 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. Some of the best dive bars, clubs, restaurants and tattoo shops have transformed First and Second Avenues. 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, although the neighborhood still holds its generations old identity as an artists’ enclave.
The old stomping grounds where The Ramones, the Talking Heads, and Blondie rocked to prominence, home of the Bowery and CBGB’s, is 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!). 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, Michellen Star Japanese restaurant, Jewel Bako and Veselka (Ukranian). Abraco, a beloved espresso bar is located on East Seventh Street.
For early-in-the-evening entertainment such as theatre or film, the East Village offers numerous options, including the Orpheum Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, La MaMa Experimental Theater, New York Theater Workshop (where shows such as Rent and Avenue Q were first work-shopped), Anthology Film Archives, CC Village East Cinemas, Theatre for the New City, Millennium Film Workshop. 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, Drom, a dance club, Sidewalk, KGB, Please Don’t Tell (PDT for short) an intimate speakeasy -- complete with low ceilings, brick walls, and taxidermied animals 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 Blind Barber offers daytime haircuts & drinks in the front room morphs into a lively back-room cocktail bar at night.
Cultural pursuits that can be found in the East Village include the Ukranian Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum of the American Gangster. The East Village additionally hosts a slew of annual outdoor festivals and events, including the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the HOWL! Festival, honoring Alan Ginsburg and celebrating poetry, music, dance, and more, and we can’t forget about the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade for canine lovers. The area is also known for its impressive vintage clothing stores options and Yoga to the People, a donation based yoga studio on Saint Marks.
In years past, East Village had more "tenement"-style walk-ups than buildings with doormen and elevators but that is quickly changing. Within the last few years there are several new rental and condo buildings that popped up in the Alphabet City portion of East Village. Some of those luxury projects include 100 Avenue A, Arabella 101, a 78-unit building atop the LES Girls Club, and an upcoming six-unit building with 1500 Sq. Ft. apartments on East 7th Street between Avenues C and D. Currently, a doorman studio in the East Village averages around $2,900/month, and prices go up from there.
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 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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