Must-See West Village
by Christina Parrella, 12/09/2015
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Much of the West Village’s charm rests in its 19th-century townhouses and cobblestone streets, which look much the same as they did when the neighborhood was at the center of some of history's most influential social and countercultural movements. Just over the past half century or so, those have included the breakthrough of experimental theater and Beat literature in the 1950s; the fight for housing preservation in the '60s; and, in 1969, the Stonewall Riots that spurred the national gay liberation movement. Those moments still characterize the West Village today, as the neighborhood proudly displays its diversity and dedication to tolerance and inclusion. "What happened in 1969 is visible and palpable now—the history of New York City is still here and people come here for it," says Glennda Testone, executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
That legacy is evident in the area’s abundant gay bars and friendly locals as well as at the organization where Testone works. The neighborhood just saw the debut of a new park in front of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, the centerpiece of which will be the NYC AIDS Memorial, set to open next spring.
The West Village is also home to a formidable dining scene—the lengthy wait times at Tartine, Buvette and the Spotted Pig are a testament to that. For a comprehensive look at Village restaurant offerings, check out this roundup of our favorites.
For more on the West Village and what to see and do there, read on.
How to get there
Take the 1 train to Christopher Street, or the A, C, E, B, D or F to West 4th Street. Don’t get confused when you see, say, West 4th and West 10th streets intersect; it just means you’ve arrived in a neighborhood where the rules of the grid are suspended.
To explore more and stay longer, book an NYC hotel.