Greenwich Village – A Magical Place in New York's Urban Jungle
In the olden days, the name "Greenwich Village" was spoken in awe, as if it was that one spot in the megalith that is New York City where magic can still happen. The more artistically inclined certainly thought so. For them, Greenwich Village was a bohemian paradise, a tightly knit community where they can live unfettered from the strictures of society, where they can put their ideas on their chosen medium – whether it is canvas, paper, a musical instrument, or the stage – and simply breathe life into them without any fear.
Greenwich Village was indeed an artists' enclave and an icon of alternative American culture. It is where literary luminaries such as Henry James, Edith Wharton, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Edna St. Vincent Millay penned their novels, poems and plays. It is where Hans Hofmann housed his art school for Abstract Expressionism and where Mercedes Matter founded her New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. It is where many music legends such as Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor got their start.
Greenwich Village Today
Today, however, Greenwich Village is no place for starving artists surviving on nothing but their ideas. Greenwich Village is currently one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City. Nonetheless, it is still a neighborhood that bravely clings to its bohemian past and strives to preserve its heritage for future generations to enjoy.
It is definitely worth visiting Greenwich Village. You can come here to enjoy the food, the art scene, the nightlife, and the relics of 18th-century architecture quirkily blending with the architecture of this century. The best way to explore Greenwich Village is on a walking tour, or at best with a map. Unlike the rest of New York City, the streets of Greenwich Village are a maze in which even locals can get lost.
When you are in Greenwich Village, you shouldn't miss visiting the following landmarks:
- Washington Square Park, with its marble arch modeled after Paris' Arc de Triomphe
- Judson Memorial Church, with its lovely stained glass windows and its avant-garde arts
- Stonewall Inn, site of the historic Stonewall riots and now an active LGBT center
- Bleecker Street, home to the dives where the 60s' artists found their inspiration in liquor and smoke
Visit Greenwich Village today and be mystified by the magic that is still there.