East Village

Neighborhood Image

East Village (including Alphabet City) LOCATION: Southeastern part of Manhattan. Houston Street to 14th Street between Lafayette/Fourth Avenue and the East River. SUBWAYS: Subway stops: 6 to Astor Place. HISTORY: The name is derived from the East Village's "parent neighborhood" called "Greenwich Village". Originally, the area was considered part of the Lower East Side, but since the 50's, when artists, writers and bohemians started their slow migration east in search of cheaper rent, the neighborhood has been associated more with Greenwich (West and Central) Village and its artsy community than with immigrants living on the Lower East Side. The area was once the home of the wealthy Astors and Vanderbuilts, but eventually became a melting pot for early immigrants coming into New York City. The Great Hall at Cooper Union located on Third Ave. once hosted speakers such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain CHARACTER: The East Village is an edgy and diverse area largely populated by younger people and containing coffee houses, cafes, artists' residences, and book shops. The East Village dwellers who make up this mass of people are varied, from the eclectic artists and the young, hipster kids who are most visible on the streets to the Ukranian, Polish, and Hispanic peoples who have lived there for years. The green space around here is scattered, from Abe Lebewohl Park on 2nd Ave in front of St. Mark’s Church to the park on Houston and 1st Ave that can provide a quiet little getaway in the summer. The largest park here is Tompkins Square Park on 9th Street and Avenue A. The East River Park is also decent place to catch a picnic or walk your dog. Alphabet City, formerly considered a dangerous slum, is now a trendy part of the East Village in downtown Manhattan. Its name comes from Avenues A, B, C, and D, the only avenues in Manhattan to have single-letter names. It is home to a number of artists, musicians and students, although a less bohemian population has been moving in since the late 1990s. FOOD/NIGHTLIFE: The neighborhood is heaven for those looking for cheap and moderately-priced restaurants. Because of the neighborhood demographics, there aren't many overly formal places, so casual or smart casual dress will be perfectly ok almost everywhere. Second Avenue is known for the number and variety of ethnic restaurants: Caribbean, Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Yemeni, Italian, Japanese, Tibetan, Mexican, and Israeli cuisine can all be found here. East 6th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, is Manhattan’s Little India—with more than a dozen restaurants. The East Village is a neighborhood with active nightlife, so the avenues and many of the streets are filled with people long after midnight. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in the area also cater to these fringe groups with everything from Indian cuisine which seems to be a favorite in the East Village to the standard Ale houses. Nightclubs vary from the hardcore punk and rock to subdued lounges to huge techno venues with revolving promoters. With-it music types hang out at world-famous CBGB, the seedy Continental, or the earnest-young-touring-group favorite Lakeside Lounge.