Commonly known as “the Village” by locals, Greenwich Village is a neighborhood found on the West Side of Lower Manhattan. There are four zip codes that make up the Village- 10011, 10012, 10013, and 10014, and living in any one of these zip codes does not come cheap with all zones ranked as the most expensive in America according to Forbes.
Greenwich Village’s Bohemian Reputation
Greenwich Village has been widely known as a haven for artists as well as a bohemian capital and the place of the modern LGBT movement. The Village is considered colorful due to its artistic residents, and the alternative culture they are a part of. The residents have also had a reputation for having progressive attitudes making it the central place for new movements and ideas in different facets of life. Part of the progressive nature of the Village came about in the 19th and 20th centuries when art galleries, small presses and experimental theater developed.
Some of the events that carried on the bohemian progressive reputation of Greenwich Village include the Village hosting the first racially integrated nightclub in America when the club Cafe Society opened its doors in 1938. Cafe Society promoted African American talent and was purposed to be the American counterpart of political cabarets in Europe pre-World War II. Legendary artists such as Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Lena Horne and so many more performed there.
Another notable achievement of the neighborhood is the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade which started in 1974. The creator of this parade was puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee. The Halloween parade is known to be the largest in the world and is the United States’ only big after dark parade. The parade attracts over 60,000 Halloween costume-clad participants and is viewed by over 100 million people via television.
Off-Off Broadway & Musical Experiences In The Village
In the 1950s the Village attracted a wave of residents running away from perceived social conformity, made up of writers, poets, artists, students, and Beatniks who shaped the next decade of the hippie scene. Off-off Broadway started in 1958 as a contrast to Broadway and a rejection of commercial theater. Here are some of the places that came from the area’s music and theater renaissance.
1. Cherry Lane Theatre
Located in a landmark building in Greenwich Village, Cherry Lane Theatre describes itself as an important “lab for the development of new American works and is the home for groundbreaking productions of both new and classic theatre”. Opening in 1924, this theatre has produced plays by well known, at the time budding, writers such as F.Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Odets, T.S. Eliot, David Mamet among others.
2. The Bitter End
Founded in 1961, The Bitter End is New York City’s oldest rock and roll club. It is in the heart of Greenwich Village where the club has welcomed legends like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Curtis Mayfield, Neil Diamond, Norah Jones and so many others. What you can expect in the club on any given night is a variety of live music such as rock, blues, alternative, hip-hop, spoken word, a capella, jazz, funk, and country. On some nights they host open jam sessions for newcomers and aspiring musicians.
3. The Blue Note
Recognized as a cultural institution in the Village and one of the premier jazz clubs in the world, The Blue Note has experienced over 30 years of success since it started in 1981. The Blue Note aims to preserve the history of jazz and also encourages progression and innovation to the foundations of jazz. The Blue Note has been pivotal in developing local musicians in the area by allowing them the opportunity to perform there. There are two other Blue Note venues, one in Milan, Italy and the other in Japan.
How To Get There
Greenwich Village has many subway lines that pass through the area. You can take the 8th Avenue A, C, E trains, or the 6th Avenue B, D, F, M trains, 14th Street L trains and the 7th Avenue 1,2,3 trains among other subways available going to the Village. Buses available are the M5, M7, M11, M14, and M20.
Where To Get Help
Lenox Health Greenwich Village and NYPD 6th precinct are the closest hospital and police departments serving the area and the contact details are as follows:
30 7th Avenue
New York, New York 10011
NYPD 6th Precinct
233 W 10th St,
New York, NY 10014