The East Village
I certainly believe the East Village is the most underrated area of Manhattan.
It is not as “historic” as the West Village/Greenwich; it is not as “trendy” as TriBeCa; it is not as “new” as the Lower East Side; it is not for tourists like uptown; it is not as “family oriented” as the Upper East or West sides. It sits somewhere in the middle – over looked and forgotten to most, except the eclectic group who live there. I, however, believe it has the best restaurants, the best bars, the best boutique shopping and the best thrift shops. The East Village is historic, trendy, new, perfectly touristy and family oriented all in one place.
And it is home to St. Marks Place. The craziest street in the city filled with speakeasies, frankfurters, pizzanini’s and the oddest people. It is always thriving, but manageable, and holds true to the grunge that is The East Village. I must admit that I have shunned it since moving here two years ago; afraid to walk with the tourists and the crazies. Afraid to have a store owner shove beads in the my face asking me to “buy something!” But lately…
St. Marks Place has history that makes me wonder what Manhattan was like before this decade, before I moved here, before I was born. Jimi Hendrix performed and Andy Warhol lived on this street. It stood strong during prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, the 60s and 9/11. Mad Men, in their 6th season premiere portrayed this part of Manhattan as dingy, dirty and, ultimately scary, which seems to be untrue.
Regardless, the history is here and every day I want to explore it more.
I’m going to take a walk down St. Marks this weekend and let you know what I find…