As a neighborhood, the Greenwich Village / West Village area has played an outsize role in American art, culture and politics. Throughout the 20th century artists, poets, musicians and writers have nurtured their talents in the neighborhood’s boarding houses, tenements and bars, giving birth to new artistic genres and political movements. The list of influential Americans associated with Greenwich Village and the West Village is long: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dylan Thomas, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, E.E. Cummings, Eugene O’Neill, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan, to name just a few.
Now fully in the mainstream, the West Village of today is a wealthy and prosperous neighborhood, the province of affluent professionals and big-name celebrities — although many famous landmarks of 60s and 70s counterculture and Bohemia are still in operation, including Stonewall Inn and White Horse Tavern.
Architecturally, the West Village is full of surprises. Famous for its seemingly hidden cobblestone streets revealing 19th-century townhouses, the West Village is also growing increasingly renowned for its modern architecture. At the start of the 21st century, the Far West Village became a hotbed for cutting-edge buildings designed by world-renowned architects. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, a member of the New York Five, was a pioneer in the movement, designing three mid-rise residential buildings in the area. Other noteworthy buildings include One Jackson Square and 70 Bethune Street, designed by Robert A.M. Stern.
With the revitalization of the Meatpacking District in the northwestern corner of the neighborhood, the West Village is now a prime single’s destination, with popular restaurants and bars, such as Spice Market and the rooftop bar at the Hotel Gansevoort. In the heart of the West Village, many smaller restaurants such as Annisa have become important culinary destinations.
The neighborhood offers excellent options for both public and private schools, and is easily accessible via multiple subway lines in and around the West Village and Greenwich Village, including the A, C, E, L, B, D, F, M, 1, 2, and 3 trains.