The East Village neighborhood has undergone quite a renaissance over the years. From the cramped tenement buildings of the 19th century to one of the hottest neighborhoods in Manhattan, the East Village has seen it all.
The area was once generally considered to be part of the Lower East Side, but began to develop its own identity and culture in the late 1960s, when many artists, musicians, students and hippies began to move into the area. The neighborhood has become a center of the counterculture in New York, and is known as the birthplace and historical home of many artistic movements.
As the United States industrialized during the 19th century, immigrants and workers from the countryside were housed in former middle-class houses and other buildings, such as warehouses, which were bought up and divided into small dwellings referred to as tenement buildings. Today these small apartments still define the East Village’s unique flavor.
The East Village of today has a mix of history, a dash of counterculture and a whole lot of interesting shops and sights. The Strand is an enormous secondhand bookstore. You can take a step back in time to its old world stacks of books where you can find out-of-print and rare books.
At the intersection of 4th Avenue, East 8th Street, and Astor Place, is the Alamo, a huge black cube, which you can spin on its axis. Make your way down St. Mark’s Place and you’ll find everything from tattoo parlors to free yoga studios to unique restaurants. If you’re looking for a dose of history and modern culture head to the East Village and see what this slice of New York City is all about!