The West Village is part of the western section of the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. West Village is surrounded by the Hudson River to its West and Sixth Avenue to the east, spreading from West 14th Street south to West Houston Street.
The neighborhood is filled with 19th-century townhouses and cobblestone streets, which have not changed much from the time they were built. West Village has been part of social and counter-cultural movements such as the breakthrough of experimental theater and Beat literature in the 1950s and the Stonewall Riots that sparked the national gay liberation movement. These are some of the moments that still characterize the West Village now, as evidenced by the displays of its diversity and commitment to tolerance and inclusion.
Five West Village Must-Sees
This area is one of New York’s most famous neighborhoods, filled with trendy restaurants and designer boutiques. A popular barhopping neighborhood, there are other attractions that make the West Village what it is today. Here are some of the places you can check out.
1. Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street was once the focal point of the folk scene in the sixties, as well as the home of the basement apartment where Bob Dylan wrote “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. A walk down this street will introduce you to a mix of bars and souvenir shops as well as graffiti riddled tenements and dive bars. As you keep moving along the street, you’ll get to the more designer friendly part of the street where you’ll see well maintained townhouses with locals draped in designer clothes.
2. Magnolia Bakery
The much loved West Village bakery opened it’s first location the neighborhood in 1996. Magnolia Bakery is well
known for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor and inviting atmosphere. A change in ownership in 2007 saw the bakery expand to other locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo, Moscow City, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Kuwait City and Doha. With a cupcake of the day on the menu 7 days of the week as well as baking classes on offer, there is plenty to love about Magnolia Bakery.
3. The Church of St. Luke in the Fields
True to the neighborhood’s inclusion history, The Church of St. Luke in the the Fields, is an Episcopal parish with two female reverends and is attended by a strong gay and lesbian congregation. St. Luke’s is known as both progressive and pro-active. The thrift shop that is part of the church sells designer clothing and other trinkets that help the parochial school. The church was built on land that was donated by Clement Clarke Moore, author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.
4. Hudson River Park
The Hudson River Park is the longest waterfront park in the United States. It is a four mile transformation of decaying piers and parking lots along Manhattan’s West side. Now it is an urban recreational paradise that attracts over 17 million visitors a year. The Park has plenty of recreational and educational activities for both locals and visitors, and it plays a pivotal role in protecting the Hudson River environment.
5. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center was founded in 1938. The center is used by more than 400 groups, including groups like Trans Friends & Families and organizations such as ACT UP. There are over 12,000 LGBT books and videos that you can borrow from the small lending library in the center. There is also a Keith Haring mural in the building that commemorates the Stonewall Riots‘ 20th anniversary.
Neighborhood Demographics & Crime
The West Village has roughly 34,000 residents according to the 2010 Census Tracts for Manhattan Community District 2. The neighborhood is made up of 10% of people who are less than 20 years old, 45% are between the ages of 20-39 years old. Females between the ages of 20-39 make up 25% of the people in the West Village. 80% of the population was born in America. The average household income in accordance to census tract was $180,000 in comparison to $51,000 average household income by state for all of the US.
In terms of crime in the neighborhood, there were roughly nine crime complaints per day in the West Village area year-to-date as of May 12, 2013.
Emergency Contact Details
The NYPD Sixth Precinct serves this area and their contact details are as follows:
For any hospital visits, the Lenox Health Greenwich Village is the closest in the area.
Lenox Health Greenwich Village
30 7th Avenue
New York, New York 10011