Must-See West Village
by David Sokol, 03/30/2011
Abingdon Square (left) by Stefano Giovannini; Magnolia Bakery photo by Alexander Thompson
In New York, change is the only constant, and the West Village embodies that fact. Its web of cobblestone streets, lined in Federal and Greek Revival townhouses, Italianate brownstones and deco-era apartment buildings, has largely withstood history. Yet those structures have contained waves of literati, progressive visual artists, equal-rights activists and, today, a fairly upscale population of gay couples, families and longtime denizens. Although some argue that this genius loci has strayed too far from the West Village's boundary-pushing past, previous generations are still apparent. A tour of beloved destinations involves experiences of culture and politics as well as commerce—perfectly reflecting everything New York City has to offer.