Neighborhood Guides

Must-See East Village

by staff, 03/03/2015

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  • The Arts Scene

    The likes of the Ramones and LaMaMa ETC—the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway theater—took off in the East Village. And while rents make it much harder for a struggling artist to live there today, the neighborhood remains a creative hotbed. For example: the aforementioned LaMaMa still stages productions at its 4th Street location, where it's been since 1974. A few blocks away The Public Theater continues to make waves with groundbreaking shows; it started the frenzy for Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton (which has since blown up on Broadway), a hip-hop musical about Federalist Papers author and tragic duelist Alexander Hamilton. And if you hang out in the mezzanine of the Public's atrium (which is free and open to the public), you might run into Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks for periodic Watch Me Work sessions, during which she pounds out her latest play on a typewriter and answers questions about writing. The attached Joe's Pub hosts cabaret and music performances. Another worthy entry is UCB East, the Upright Citizens Brigade's second NYC location. The comedy shows here are cheap—always $10 or less—and the stand-up, sketch and improv acts are a mix of the well-known (the likes of Janeane Garofalo and Sarah Silverman sometimes show up) and those scrapping to make a name for themselves. Find more comedy at EastVille (if you hang out by the bar, you might hear the comics making small talk with one another), theater at Under St. Marks, contemporary art at The Hole, experimental music (mostly) at The Stone, a slew of performing arts (poetry, sure, but also music and comedy) at the historic Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Bowery Poetry and independent cinema at Anthology Film Archives—JZ

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