view of New York City's Washington Square Park.
away from the honking horns and crowded sidewalks of
midtown Manhattan sits Greenwich Village, a downtown
neighborhood that spans west of Broadway to the Hudson
only a quick subway ride from bustling Grand Central
station, Greenwich Village (known simply as "the
Village" to locals) seems almost like a different
city entirely, its streets lined with ivy-covered houses
and candlelit restaurants.
many New York City tourists don’t venture beyond the
likes of Times Square and the Empire State building, this
quaint neighborhood in lower Manhattan has something for
everyone and offers a quiet haven in the midst of the city
that never sleeps.
brunch lovers: Westville
comforts such as hot dogs and challah French toast, this
aptly named restaurant opened in 2003 to provide simple
and tasteful foods at a good price. Since then, it has
expanded with locations in East Village, Chelsea and
Hudson, but the original tiny spot on West Tenth Street is
a great place to start the day on a weekend. Market sides
like honey Dijon-covered Brussels sprouts pair well with
sumptuous sandwiches or fresh fish dishes, and the
butterscotch pudding is a splendid finish.
the avid reader: Strand Bookstore and Jefferson Market
Strand tradition began in 1927, when 25-year-old Ben Bass
opened up shop on Fourth Avenue’s "Book Row,"
a span of six blocks with 48 stores catering to literary
lovers. The store was moved to its current location on
12th Street and Broadway in 1957 and has served as a
beloved part of Greenwich Village ever since. Today, the
store houses more than 2 million used and rare books.
Passersby can be seen gathering around its $1 book carts
outside the store, but there’s plenty to discover inside
the corner of West Tenth Street and Avenue of the Americas
is Jefferson Market Library, a castle-like brick building
with a pointed clock tower and storied past. Completed in
1877, it was originally used as a courthouse, and its
basement served as a holding place for those awaiting
trial or jail time. Its winding staircases and stained
glass windows serve as stunning examples of Victorian
Gothic architecture and make it a great place to sit and
read. The library holds a collection of rare books on the
history of New York City as well as an archive with
photographs of the building’s history.
outdoor enthusiasts: Washington Square Park
chess tables, a dog park, a large fountain, tribes of
acrobats and a grand piano that sits in the middle of a
path, what happens at this park on a given day is anyone’s
guess. Highly priced red brick houses, known as "The
Row," line the north side of the park, and an
imposing white arch pays tribute to George Washington.
Regarded as a cultural hub in Greenwich Village, the park
is a great place to bring a lunch, take a stroll or to
simply plant yourself on a bench and people-watch.
the sweet tooth: Magnolia Bakery and Big Gay Ice Cream
quiet corner of Bleecker Street sits the original Magnolia
Bakery, a small shop that dates back to 1966. Behind its
lace curtains are crowds of eager customers awaiting
freshly baked cupcakes, as Carrie and Miranda did in
"Sex and the City." But its best offering may be
the banana pudding, a rich, creamy treat with sliced
bananas and vanilla wafers mixed in.
soft-serve is more your style, head to Big Gay Ice Cream,
a colorful parlor started by two New York residents eager
for a change of pace. After launching an ice cream truck
in 2009, the soft serve was so popular that they opened up
a brick-and-mortar shop in East Village and later expanded
to West Village. Sweet-savvy New Yorkers aren’t the only
ones taking note. In 2012, USA Today ranked Big Gay Ice
Cream as the top ice cream parlor in the United States.
The Salty Pimp, a decadent combination of vanilla ice
cream and sea salt swirled with caramel and dipped in
chocolate, does not disappoint.
the athletically-inclined: Hudson River Greenway
down West Tenth Street and you’ll hit the Hudson River
and a bike path that runs beside it. For picturesque views
across the water to Hoboken, rent a bike at Waterfront
Bicycle Shop on West Street or simply lace up your
sneakers and jog or walk. The path stretches up through
Chelsea and past Pier 66 and up to the Upper West Side and
beyond. The scenery is particularly lovely at sunrise and
sunset, an ideal time for a bit of exercise.
craft beer connoisseurs: Peculier Pub
its name from "Old Peculier," an English beer,
this pub established itself as New York’s first beer bar
over 30 years ago. Gathering specialties from around the
world, the dive-esque space now offers over 350 bottled
options and 27 beers on draught. With an eclectic young
crowd, the people-watching is nearly as enticing as the