How safe is the West Village
Manhattan's West Village
Insider tips for New York West Village visitors
Gay rights movement
The Stonewall Inn - a national monument - is considered the birthplace of the gay movement. The tavern is located in the heart of the West Village on Christopher Street, next to the Christopher Street subway station on Line 1. On June 28, 1969, police raided the property and started the movement. The historic Stonewall has been officially a memorial since June 2015. In nearby Christopher Park, life-size sculptures depict homosexual partners who took part in the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969.
Further north, on a street lined with brown sandstone houses, is the LGBT Center (LGBT Community Center). In addition to health and wellness offers, art, entertainment and cultural events are offered there. The center is open to locals and visitors. Coffee and snacks are available in the Think Coffee.
The West Village and its winding avenues are easy to explore on foot. The area between Greenwich Avenue and Bleeker Street and from Christopher Street to Bank Street offers a very special view of the neighborhood.
Between the sandstone houses there is the narrowest house in NYC and the apartment complex from the Friends series with the Little Owl Restaurant on the ground floor (90 Bedford St.). An unknown, but all the more beautiful park is The Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields, which has a calm and contemplative atmosphere in the middle of the city.
Those who enjoy jogging or cycling should head to the Hudson River Park to the west of the neighborhood in the warmer months. Pier 45 on Christopher Street provides a real beach feeling in summer with its green sunbathing lawns. From there you can wonderfully admire the city's architecture.
From chic boutiques along Bleeker and Christopher Street - including James Perse, Cynthia Rowley, Brunello Cucinelli and Rag & Bone - to hidden gems like the city's only monocle shop on Hudson Street, the bookstore Three Lives & Company (West 10th), the Greenwich Letterpress (for stationery fanatics) and the Doodle Doo's (combination of children's toys and lounge) - on Christopher Street there is everything a shopper's heart desires.
The perfect New York date ends with a visit to a restaurant in the West Village. There are cozy restaurants like Buvette, hidden eateries like Hudson Clearwater and Decoy (right under the famous dim sum restaurant Red Farm) and well-known restaurants like Keith McNally’s Morandi, Ristorante Rafaele or April Bloomfiled’s Spotted Pig. Depending on your mood, the district offers a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy good food. Burger fans should pay a visit to Westville or the Corner Bistro.
There is particularly good cheese at Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker Street and those who prefer it sweet should stop at Big Gay Ice Cream. The famous Magnolia Bakery on the corner of Bleeker Street and West 11th Street, known from the Sex and the City series, is always worth a visit. Absolute chocolate fanatics will get their money's worth at Li-Lac Chocolates with homemade pralines. If you haven't had enough after all the goodies, don't miss the almond croissant, brioche and quiches at Patisserie Claude on West 4th Street, one of the best pastry shops in New York City. There is good coffee at The Elk, Joe or Jack’s Stir Brew.
Entertainment & night life
Tips for jazz lovers are the Smalls Jazz Club and the legendary Village Vanguard, also known as the "Carnegie Hall of Jazz".
Off-Broadway fans can choose from the Lucille Lortel Theater on Christopher Street, the Cherry Lane Theater on Commerce Street, or the Bank Street Theater, home of the Labyrinth Theater Company.
There are numerous gay bars in the West Village, such as Juliu’s Pieces for karaoke fans. At The Duplex, The Monster and the Stonewall Inn you can play pool or watch a drag show, while the piano is played at Marie’s Crisis. Well-known lesbian bars are the Henrietta Hudson or The Cubbyhole further north.
A great place for dinner and drinks is the retro-style Employees Only, which is noticed by the clairvoyant in the entrance area.
With the Insider Guide, NYC & Company presents the new documentary film that revolves around the history of the West Village and above all focuses on the gay rights movement. More information about the neighborhood and the film at nycgo.com/insiderguides.
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