A Stroll through New York City’s West Village
Growing up, I visited New York City countless times. However, my visits were almost always limited to the borough of Manhattan, and more specifically, midtown and the Upper West Side (remember New York City comprises five boroughs-Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island). Not a bad thing per se but when you only visit these Manhattan neighborhoods, you have a rather skewed view of one of the world’s most popular cities. To me it was the equivalent of traveling all the way to Hawaii and never venturing beyond Waikiki Beach. You see more tourists than locals and find less authentic experiences than anywhere else.
Once I graduated from high school and started doing more international travel, New York City lost some of its allure for me. And then I ended up moving far away from it so visits became far and few. But now that I’m in my 30s, I wanted to re-visit New York City, only this time have an experience like I had never had before, one focused on food and everything else I had never taken advantage of on previous visits.
This time I ended up staying in Greenwich Village (specifically Union Square-hotel review coming soon) and going on a food tour in the West Village (I learned the “Village” is rather big so even that is divided into sub-neighborhoods). Food tours take a while to write since there’s SO much to write about so for now I wanted to share some photos of this absolutely stunning Manhattan neighborhood. (And unfortunately extremely pricey, quite a stark change from a century earlier when it was home to countless immigrant populations.)
Tips for visiting:
Transportation: If you’re coming from uptown, take the 1 (get off at the Christopher Street station), C, or E trains (get off at the Washington Square station) going downtown.
Sites of interest (beyond just wandering): Washington Square Park, Cherry Lane Theater (New York’s oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater), the Friends apartment (the exterior that is), and countless independently owned bookstores.
Eats: You will NOT go hungry here. Even though it’s technically not Little Italy (that’s southeast of the West Village), large droves of Italian immigrants once settled here and their culinary influence remains. For pizza there’s Joe’s (7 Carmine Street), and anything on Bleecker Street is a treasure trove for the stomach.