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Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village (40)

Welcome to Greenwich Village, the large residential area on the west side of Manhattan, known as the Village. 

Bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River to the west, Houston Street to the south and 14th Street to the north, it's easy to tell where the Village begins and ends, thanks to the low houses and winding alleys that make up a landscape more akin to a rural village than a New York City neighbourhood. 

The ground beneath you was originally a swampy, wooded terrain that the Indians called Sapokanikan. Then, when the Dutch settlers arrived on the island, they named the land Noortwyck and established a tobacco plantation on it. In 1696, British settlers arrived and renamed the area Greenwich Village. Gradually, they began to build houses around the pastures and transformed the area into a thriving town dedicated to maritime trade. In the early 19th century, the village expanded at a frantic pace. Many New Yorkers settled in Greenwich after fleeing the epidemics that ravaged the southern part of Manhattan, and the population quadrupled. It was a golden age, and with it came speculation, mansions, elegance and, of course, the upper classes. But in the late 19th century, the neighbourhood returned to his modest roots with the arrival of European immigrants. In the early 20th century, it took another little turn thanks to the artists, intellectuals and writers who settled in the neighbourhood. They dressed in a bohemian and avant-garde style that, even today, can still be seen in the streets, which are home to a growing leisure and entertainment scene.

We encourage you to explore it! Walk through the streets, with its small shops and cafés, and soak up the friendly atmosphere of this peaceful and picturesque area. 

Start at Washington Square, the geographical and spiritual heart of Greenwich Village. This is a very lively area frequented by artists, residents, tourists and students from New York University, which is located at the southern end of the park.

But if you are looking to immerse yourself in the most picturesque area of the Village, go west of Seventh Avenue and lose yourself in Bedford, Grove and Commerce streets. Wooded areas, small houses, charming restaurants... The area is extremely charming and hides two gems. At 77 Bedford Street you will find the oldest house in the Village, and at 75 1/2, the narrowest house in New York at just three metres wide. 

And if you are a fan of the popular sitcom Friends, you mustn't miss the building where the main characters supposedly lived. Approach the corner of Bedford with Groove and take a photo.

Another landmark is at 51 and 53 Christopher Street. This is the location of the Stonewall Inn, the scene of the famous riots of 27 June 1969 that took place between homosexuals and New York police and gave rise to the gay liberation movement. The revolt is celebrated every June as part of the famous Pride March. Curiously, it is worth noting that the term "the Village" soon became synonymous with a gay lifestyle and was even borrowed by the famous group "The Village People".

Greenwich hides a secret that you will discover as you stroll through its streets: it is an open-air museum that offers a panorama of three centuries of architecture. Wooden houses, Victorian Gothic buildings, neoclassical mansions... 

A cosy place where several generations of writers and artists have lived and worked. Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Mark Rothko, Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan have all been residents here. 

Today, the Village remains one of the most vibrant areas of New York and it's really worth spending a day soaking up the atmosphere here.

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