Downtown Manhattan, from the Bowery to the East River, and between 14th Street to Houston Street
The popularity of the East Village has been off the charts in recent years, thanks to this neighborhood’s thriving nightlife, shopping and restaurant scene and a still-detectable bohemian sensibility born out of the Beatnik generation. The area’s history – as well as its boundaries – often overlap with the Lower East Side’s, and both neighborhoods still offer ample evidence of their tenement roots. But thanks in part to nearby New York University, the East Village now boasts more prosperity and diversity than its immediate neighbors. Just amble through Tompkins Square Park on a sunny day, and you’ll see a slice of this flourishing, multigenerational community: pampered pets and their owners at the dog run, toddlers on the swings, college kids on their way to brunch and seniors sharing a park bench. It’s an ever-changing scene that makes living here a spontaneous adventure.
There are 330 buildings that make up The East Village/Lower East Side Historic District encompasses 330 buildings, most of them along Second Avenue between East 2nd and 6th Streets. A combination of Greek Revival row houses and tenements are typical of the style of neighborhood buildings.
The East Village was originally a farm purchased by Peter Stuyvesant in 1651. His family held on to the land for more than seven generations.
Before the beatniks, political activists and artists arrived, the East Village was home to waves of European immigrants. Their influence remains in places like Saint Brigid’s Church, built by Irish immigrants in 1848, the Russian and Turkish Baths, which still offers old-world spa treatments, and Veselka, a Ukranian restaurant serving borscht and pierogis for close to 60 years.
In 1968, rock promoter Bill Graham opened the legendary Fillmore East in the former Yiddish Theatre on Second Avenue. The venue quickly became known as “The Church of Rock and Roll.”