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Neighborhood In Focus: Greenwich Village, New York City

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 9 February 2017
Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan is a neighborhood that’s undergone many changes. It was known as the epicenter of the LGBTQ movement in the 1970s, as well as a haven for up and coming artists and forward thinkers; now it’s one of the most highly trafficked neighborhoods in New York City.

Though much has changed since the 20th century, it’s still possible to stroll Greenwich Village and experience remnants of its past. Many of the historical sites are still functioning in some way or another, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve become part of the fabric of the new neighborhood.

One of these such historic ‘monuments’, for example, is The Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub that has become the national landmark for the birthplace of the modern Gay Rights movement – all whilst remaining open as usual each evening. In 1969 patrons of the club rioted against police who had been mistreating them, and The Stonewall Riots broke out in consequence. These riots were the first time the gay community fought against their oppressors, and it sparked Gay Rights movements around the country.

#stonewall #newyork #village #greenwichvillage #history #rights

A photo posted by Renzo Ongaro (@renzo_ongaro) on

The art scene of the 20th century can be found tucked away in pockets around the neighborhood, as well. Establishments like The Bitter End have been around since the era of Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and more, and remain packed every night. The Comedy Cellar is another great place to spend an evening; New York’s top stand-up comedians call it their home away from home, and there are multiple shows every evening.

If you’re looking for a meal, there’s no shortage of options in Greenwich Village. Some of the restaurants and eateries in Greenwich Village have been around for decades, including Mamoun’s – New York City’s first falafel shop. Or, if pizza is more your thing, three of the city’s most famous and beloved late night (or anytime) slice shops are here. There’s Joe’s if you’re looking for a truly classic slice, Artichoke if you’re looking to indulge in something unique, and neighborhood gem Bleeker Street Pizza – all three are incredible.

To the rescue for lunch and late nights since '71. Thanks for the 📷, @thesweetlifeoflina!

A photo posted by Mamoun's Falafel (@mamounsfalafel) on

For a more serious meal, Minetta Tavern has one of the world’s most famously delicious and decadent burgers. Carbone is famous for over-the-top Italian, but if you’re looking for something light try by CHLOE. This all-vegan restaurant opened fairly recently, and ever since the lines have wove around the block. Even for meat lovers, the food is delicious.

The wonderful thing about Greenwich Village is that there’s so much packed into a small space. The history is still there for all to see, you just have to know where to look.