When most people think of New York, they immediately picture a bustling city buzzing with frenzied activity. While life in the Big Apple is generally fast-paced, there is another, relatively more laidback side of the city worth exploring. It’s a little quirky, a little offbeat, and very appealing to art lovers and the free spirited types.
Greenwich Village, a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan, is known as the city’s “neighborhood for artists.” This is where to go if you want to spend the day browsing through quaint boutiques, old bookstores, and vintage record stores. It’s where to grab a bite if you’re into more bohemian fare such as sushi or authentic Italian cuisine. It is also home to Washington Square Park—arguably one of NYC’s best parks—popular comedy clubs, and the ghosts of New York City.
Yes, you read that correctly. Being one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods, Greenwich Village naturally has a lot of history, and some of it is quite dark and tragic. If you want to learn more about its rich and complex past, New York City haunted tours are the way to go. Book one of these walking ghost tours, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Tours are conducted by knowledgeable and engaging guides, who will lead you through the historical streets and buildings of Greenwich Village, and thrill you with stories about paranormal activity and ghost sightings. Perhaps the most chilling thing about these stories is that they are not mere tall tales, but based on actual facts and research.
If spooky ghost tours aren’t your thing though, there are plenty of other ways to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Greenwich Village. Take a stroll through Washington Square Park and marvel at the famous marble Washington Square Arch, which was built to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States. Make your way to Washington Mews and check out the charming carriage houses which were built way back in the 19th century.
Greenwich Village also plays host to several art galleries and museums. The Children’s Museum of the Arts is a 10,000 square foot haven that houses 2,000 pieces of international children’s art. It also offers workshops, screenings, and other fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. The New York City Fire Museum is also definitely worth checking out. What used to be a firehouse active from 1904 to 1959 is now a museum filled with fire-related gadgets ranging from 18th century hand-pumped fire engines to the latest modern equipment. It also houses a permanent exhibit in honor of the brave firefighters who demonstrated heroism after 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
Lastly, as mentioned above, Greenwich Village is home to some of the most popular comedy clubs, bars, and jazz lounges in the city. The best of NYC’s nightlife can be found in this small neighborhood. Notable live music venues include the Blue Note and Le Poisson Rouge, while the Comedy Cellar is an intimate venue where some of the biggest names in comedy often perform.
All in all, Greenwich Village is a captivating and well-rounded little area that often gets overlooked by tourists visiting the city for the first time. On your next trip to NYC, you should definitely make time to check it out—there’s a lot to see and do, and there’s definitely something for everyone.