A Day in Greenwich Village

From the very moment you step foot into Greenwich Village, you feel connected with history. This is where Beat Movement began in the early 1960’s. Greenwich Village is also where most of the counterculture found its beginnings. In the thick of it all is one of the country’s best schools – NYU. On the west, you’ll stumble upon the centerpiece of the LGBT movement. Wherever you turn in Greenwich Village, you’ll find a little piece of America in the making.

Washington Square Park

In Manhattan, of course, there’s Central Park. But in these parts of the island, you’re bound to fall in love with Washington Square Park, possibly one of the most iconic of all New York City’s parks (except for that really, really big one.) You’ll get a chance to enjoy greenery, plentiful benches, playful water fountain at the park’s center… which lights up in the evenings. But the park’s triumphal arch is the gleaming landmark, and has become a favorite meeting point for all New Yorkers. The arch, easily one of the most photographed architectural structures in the city, is made of Tuckahoe marble and celebrates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States in 1889.


Angelika Film Center

Not too far from Banter is the veritable NYC mecca of Indie film. Since 1989, The Angelika Film Center has been helping bring independent and art house films to the forefront. Angelika’s became a film lover’s bucket-list pilgrimage spot since the hit IFC show “At the Angelika.” Today, the theater remains a popular choice amongst cinephiles and film students at NYU. The interior remains almost exactly the same since the spot first opened in The Cable Building, at the corner of Houston and Mercer streets. You feel compelled to discover some rare specimens of art film.


The Cage

The historic background in arts in Greenwich Village also includes some athletic legendary locations such as The Cage, also known as the West Fourth Street Courts. The basketball courts have become an important piece of the city’s history of streetball. The courts, which host one of the most competitive amateur basketball tournaments in the city every year, have attracted the future NBA stars such as Anthony Mason, Julius Irving (Dr. J), Walter Berry and Jayson Williams. In fact, those NBA stars came here to learn to play tougher, given that the courts have a small regulation size that forces players to be more physical. Today, the courts remain active and popular — mainly because of their lengthy history — making it extremely tough to even get a chance to play on them. So today you decide to play bystander.

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Time to get some good ole joe. In Greenwich Village, a small Australian coffee shop by the name of Banter produces some tasty coffee and morning treats like the Nutella French Toast. You could also go for the tasty chia pudding bowl (coconut pudding, nut crumble, maple yogurt and strawberries). And, of course, they offer pastries that change daily.



Choices for your mid-day meal abound. Among the locals, Mamoum’s Falafel on MacDougal Street, or the Saigon Shack and Pommes Frites not too far down the same street, are favorites. There’s also The Press Shop on Bleecker Street, or burger joint on West 8th Street. Today, you go with Amelie. The contemporary French eatery blends old with new (the menus are clipped to vintage record albums). The food is equally quirky and great, like the wheat-flour ravioli with Comte and cottage cheeses. Traditional choices would also count as good decisions, including for example sautéed mussels and steak tartare.


DO: Cookie Dough Confections

The treat of the day is DO: Cookie Dough Confections. The spot is so great that you will have to wait in line for at least an hour to get in. Totally worth it. They sell such a variety of cookie dough styles that your head may start spinning just trying to decide on which one to get. It all starts with the basics here: one scoop in a cup. But then things get crazy with the Ice Cream Sandowich (two pieces of blue marble cookie dough with ice cream in-between). There are also cookie dough milkshakes, cookie dough ice cream pie, and the cookie bomb (stuffed cookie cup topped with cookie dough buttercream frosting). Yum. YUUUM!

A Night in Greenwich Village


Minetta Tavern

The yumminess doesn’t stop there. It’s dinner time, and you will have your work cut out for you. There are SO MANY great restaurants to discover in this amazing NYC neighborhood. For instance, there’s Mario Batali’s Babbo, then The Mermaid Oyster Bar, Gotham Bar and Grill and the famed Blue Hill. But you can’t miss a chance to dine at the legendary Minetta Tavern. This old-school NYC restaurant (opened in 1937), keeps much of original décor with its speakeasy style (the checkered black & white linoleum floors is a dead giveaway). Minetta Tavern is home to possibly the best burger you will eat in your entire life. The Black Label Burger is $33 and it’s worth it, beyond doubt. The reason it’s pricey is because the ground beef is made from prime dry-aged beef cuts. Tonight, though, you are on a hunt for something different, and you decide to go for the pan seared Nova Scotia halibut with roasted bone marrow. At Minetta’s, it’s difficult to go wrong with anything you choose.


Down the Hatch

All those laughs have you craving good drinks. The nightlife is always happening in the Village. You will have your choice of dive bars such as Down the Hatch, 3 Sheets Saloon and Off the Wagon. There’s also the great craft beer spot 124 Old Rabbit Club (think speakeasy with beer as you sip your drink in the basement of a building). But there are also some all-around classy watering holes here, with The Up & Up (1960’s vibe with craft cocktails that are sure to make you feel like you’re in Mad Men), and the super sleek Analogue. And finally, you get to stretch your legs at Amity Hall.

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Comedy Cellar

The West Village has the jazz clubs, and the Greenwich Village has the comedy clubs. In fact, the neighborhood is the epicenter of comedy, since so many comedians got their start on its streets. Today, the comedy world uses this part of the city as a muse of sorts, running shows like “Louie” and “Crashing” in their settings. You should take a trip to the Comedy Cellar, The Bitter End, The Grisly Pear and The Greenwich Village Comedy Club. While you’re at it, you may want to also discover some great musical spots such as the Blue Note.

Words by Arte Vincent

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Erik Serras
Erik Serras
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