You can find an authentic restaurant sitting on every block of the East Village – from Polish diners to Japanese Izakaya, to an entire street of brightly-lit Indian eateries. Nightlife is also a major draw of the area, from rustic bars with local flavor to late-night clubs that attract people from all over the city. Coffeehouses and chic boutiques mingle with poetry clubs and community gardens. The birthplace of punk, conceived at pioneering rock club CBGBs (now the site of a John Varvatos boutique), the East Village was once home to famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, pop star Madonna and rocker Iggy Pop. Today its creative urban charm draws a harmonious mix of people. Once known as “Little Germany,” the East Village has since the 17th century been the go-to destination for successive waves of immigrants. Notable sites include several landmarks: St. Marks Church, where East Village ancestor Peter Stuyvesant is buried, the Old Merchant’s House, the Marble Cemetery and McSorley’s Old Ale House, the oldest continuously-run “saloon” known for such famous guests as Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon and Woody Guthrie.
Bordered by Houston Street to the south, 14th Street to the north, Fourth Avenue on one side and the East River on the other, the East Village sits just above the trendy Lower East Side and features many famous thoroughfares, like St. Marks Place, Loisaida (Avenue C) in Alphabet City and the Bowery. Ten and a half acres make up historic Tompkins Square Park, connecting Avenue A to Avenue B. Another 57 acres of recreational space flank this vibrant neighborhood to the east.
Getting much of its character from genuine pre-war walkups, with the occasional new luxury high-rise mixed in, the East Village is connected to the rest of the city by the 6, L, F and M subways, several bus lines and the FDR Drive. Residents also eagerly await the impending Second Avenue subway.