The most upscale of the "Villages" and also known as the "West Village", Greenwich Village is both cultured and yet, very bohemian. It is considered the closest any American neighborhood comes to a section of Paris. Long time home to artists, writers, entertainers, intellectuals, and bohemians, the area features charming architecture from cobbled streets to townhouse mews. Washington Square Park is at the heart of the Village; its 9.5 acres host street performers, strollers, chess players and also serves as a communal backyard for its residents.
For over a century, writers and artists have made the West Village their home. These luminaries include: Henry James,
Edith Wharton, Edgar Allen Poe,
Mark Twain, Walt Whitman,
Eugene O'Neill, Norman Rockwell,
Mark Rothko, Wilhem de Kooning,
Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg
and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The Village has always had an electricity to its life- the Beat Generation of the 1950s, was a notable example.
The soul of that Generation is alive and well in the West Village at night. Coffeehouses abound as they always have, joined today by sushi and African fare. Shops- primarily boutiques, stay open late so the area teems with life well after dark.
An annual holiday event is the fabulous "Halloween Parade." As the district is home to many working in fashion and theatre, highly imaginative costumes are truly sights to see. It is a creative festival on every level. During the "Shopping Holidays", too, the neighborhood is a popular destination for those seeking discriminating gifts, often unique or handmade, yet relatively inexpensive next to Midtown counterparts.
As this area is more residential than the East Village there are fewer restaurants and shops, but it is still a wonderful, more relaxed atmosphere to kick back and enjoy life lived at a different pace.