Neighborhood Highlights

Must-See Washington Square

by Jonathan Zeller, Christina Parrella and Jonathan Durbin, 10/02/2013

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  • Greenwich Village, the neighborhood surrounding Washington Square Park, is the center of New York University's "campus" (the park is ringed by freshman dorms and other university buildings). There could be no better place to introduce wet-behind-the-ears undergrads to New York City. It's bustling, filled with 24-hour dining, shopping, nightlife and arts, but still cozy, with ample greenery and architecture that's more low-rise brownstones than high-rise office buildings. It's the neighborhood where Louis C.K. comes out of the subway, grabs a slice of pizza and heads to a gig during the opening credits of Louie. It's the home of the Village Halloween Parade—a mind-boggling spectacle that you’ve got to see to believe—and boasts a proud history as a focal point of the Beat movement and hippie counterculture. Only the Village could have spawned The Village Voice, one of America's first "alternative weeklies." (Started in 1955, it's still in print nearly 60 years later.) While the neighborhood's demographics have changed—today, you'll have to earn a pretty substantial living to make your home there—it still retains the intimate feel and nonconformist character that have made it a popular attraction for years.

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