A City within a City
A City within a City
Manhattan’s East Village is located on the East side of Lower Manhattan, just north of the Lower East Side and east of Greenwich Village, and south of the Flatiron District. People across the city flock to this lively neighborhood for its arts scene, off-broadway theaters, and restaurants.
The East Village has gone through many historical phases that contribute to its modern-day character. Initially colonized by the Dutch as part of the New Amsterdam colony in the seventeenth century, the East Village became one of the most luxurious neighborhoods in Manhattan in the early nineteenth century. The many Greek Revival-style Colonnade Row and Federal-style townhomes in the neighborhood date to this period. In 1846, the New York Evening Post stated Second Avenue was destined to be one of ‘the two great avenues for elegant residences,’ the other being Fifth Avenue. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the neighborhood was mostly settled by large waves of immigrants and became a multicultural hub. Remnants of this era survive in the neighborhood today: Little Ukraine, located within the neighborhood, was initially settled by Ukrainian immigrants in the late nineteenth century. By the 1960s, the East Village developed a new identity once more as a haven for artists and musicians, and students, and soon became the birthplace of punk music. As the art scene grew more successful, more people across the city flocked to the neighborhood.
The East Village has a cozy yet urban feel. Most of the residences in the area are pre-war walk-up buildings, particularly closer to the water. During the day the neighborhood is quiet compared to neighboring SoHo and NoHo and gets more lively towards the evening hours as the bustling bar scene heats up. Interested in slam poetry, live jazz, and comedy? Swing by Nuyorican Poets Café, an iconic East Village Establishment since the 80s. Consider going to their open mic night to let your inner performer shine! Film buffs across the city flock to Anthology Film Archives, an East Village institution dedicated to preserving and displaying avant-garde and experimental cinema.
The East Village boasts some of the best food in NYC. Many of the iconic dining establishments in the neighborhood trace their origins back to immigrant families who settled in the area. Veselka is one of these neighborhood staples. Located in the Little Ukraine section of the neighborhood, this establishment has been serving up traditional Ukrainian food since 1954. Hungry for dessert? Try out Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffe! Established in 1894, this restaurant is famous for its traditional Italian confections. The East Village is also home to some of the city’s most well-loved vintage stores, like David Owens Vintage and Cloak & Dagger. Other East Village clothing stores, like Trash and Vaudeville on St. Marks Place, have their roots in the 70s punk scene.
Check out the video below to learn more about Randy’s favorite spots!