In New York City, the small area below 14th Street and north of Houston Street, known as Greenwich Village, has been a Mecca to the creative, rebellious and Bohemian. Greenwich Village is where Jimi Hendrix built the Electric Lady sound studios and Andy Warhol and Lou Reed created the citadel of Hippiedom at the Electric Circus on St Marks Place. While, today, no starving artist could afford to live there, the vibe still lingers and the beat goes on in The Village and nearby SOHO with on and off-beat activities that will make your walking, shopping, dining and people watching experiences memorable ones.
- Head down to the area around 6th Avenue & Bleecker Street to start the day. Here you can either grab a bagel and a coffee from Bagels on the Square and enjoy your breakfast in the adjacent square or sneak down Carmine Street and enjoy a nice breakfast at the Grey Dog Cafe. The Grey Dog is a cool, independent coffee house that serves amazing “Village Pancakes” and “Challah French Toast.”
- Take a walk down Bleecker Street and Christopher Street. Stop and browse in the many cool shops like Bleecker Street Records or walk by the now closed Oscar Wilde Bookshop.
- Visit the Martin Lawrence Galleries located on Broadway between Prince Street & Houston Street. The gallery is distinguished by works of art from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and many more noted artists.
- Check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex on Mercer Street. Recently opened, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex is an engaging and dynamic music experience that takes you on a journey through the defining moments in rock history. Be sure to see the New York Rocks section that centers around an interactive map of Manhattan which highlights the sites around the city that are significant to the history of rock & roll, such as The Chelsea Hotel and the recently closed CBGB club.
- Shop for vintage dresses repurposed as modern frocks at Hairy Mary’s Vintage and Design. Located on Orchard Street, between Rivington Street & Stanton Street, this not-exactly-budget, vintage shop is a must for anyone who likes vintage inspired clothes. The ambiance of this shop is the best part with colorful art on the walls and that unique scent of vintage clothing.
- Take a walk through Washington Square Park. This iconic park is home to the Washington Square Arch, which is currently being refurbished, and many intense chess games. No trip to Washington Square Park would be complete without a visit to the famous chess area located on the southwest corner of the park even though it’s no longer the impenetrable fortress of chess prowess that it was back in the days when Bobby Fischer played here. It’s easy to get a game going with the locals. You may be better off paying the going rate of about $5 for 2 games instead of gambling with the hustlers.
- Feast on baby back ribs for dinner and stay for the live performance at the Blue Note. The stage at this restaurant and jazz club, located on 3rd Street between MacDougal Street & 6th Avenue, has been graced by such notable musicians as the late Dizzy Gillespie.
- Experience Indian Restaurant Row on 6th street between 1st Avenue & 2nd Avenue in the East Village. As you walk along the south side of 6th Street, you’ll be constantly accosted by the restaurant hustlers who try to entice passers by into trying their food. Keep walking though. Around the corner on 1st Avenue, there are 2 Indian restaurants next to each other at the top of the stairs. Go to Milon, the one on the top left. There will be restaurant hustlers from each trying to sell you on why their restaurant is better, but go to Milon. The entire experience is amazing.
- Grab a beer at the Telephone Bar on 2nd Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets. It’s the one with the big red phone booths out front and it’s a great spot to go if you’re just looking to sit down and have a few drinks.
- Sip sangria and groove to the sounds of live musicians of all genres at Cafe Wha?, located on MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane. Cafe Wha? is a legendary stomping ground for performers such as Bod Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Kool and the Gang and Richard Pryor, to name a few.
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