At the heart of Greenwich Village lies Washington Square Park, where on any given day you can see NYU students huddled against a tree with their reading, local songwriters strumming on their guitars, artists sketching the variegated scene, and even old men playing chess. In the middle of the park is a large round fountain, which is at the center of activity in the summertime.
Greenwich Village has always been a haven for artists, leftist thinkers, political movements, and new ideas. It hosted a big Beatnik community in the sixties, who moved there to escape what they perceived to be social conformity and oppression.
The Hotel Albert on E.10th st, which dates back to 1868, used to be a hub for the latter--Mark Twain, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dali were among many of its illustrious clientele. The Bowery Hotel is also a really cool old spot. Sitting on its red velvet loveseats once can almost feel the 1920s in the air.Find Greenwich Village apartments
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Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theatre also thrive in the Village. New York Theatre Workshop, which does excellent work showcasing up-and-coming playwrights and talent, is located on E. 4th street. The oldest off-broadway theatre in the village however is the Cherry Lane Theater, which before its inauguration as the first Off-Broadway theater in New York in 1927, functioned as a farm silo, a tobacco warehouse, and a box factory.
South of 11th Street, you have a mix of pre-war buildings and townhouses. To the West and North of Washington Square, there tends to be a higher concentration of townhouse rentals. The West and North have several blocks of tree lined streets with charming 3 and 4 story brownstones.
Determined to land a place in "The Village," but can’t afford the brownstones? There are several pre-war low-rise apt buildings, and high-rise buildings on 8th Street with amenities such as doorman, in-building washer-dryer and elevators. Immediately north of Washington Square are several fancy 5th avenue buildings that offer rentals and high-end amenities. In addition, just South of Union Square are several new, doorman buildings with large windows and great views of the square. The posh gym, Equinox, has one of its flagship locations right in the heart of the Village, featuring a pool, a yoga studio, and four floors of fitness.
Greenwich gets its name from the Dutch term, Groenwijck, which means Green District. It is located smack in the middle of the East and West Villages, and spans both east and west.