North America,  Travel Guides

How to Spend a Day in the Village – A Mini Guide to Manhattan’s Most Beautiful Neighborhood

Oh, the sweet, sweet joy of living in a Manhattan apartment. It’s a fantasy I think even the people who actually do live in NYC apartments, still relate to. Sex and the city, friends, every second rom-com ever made – what a life, and you know what?  I think anyone who has been will tell you, until you see these beauties for yourself; you can’t even imagine how much that dream will come to the surface and take over your life. (We literally think about moving to Manhattan every day, whoops.)

There’s one particular district in the big apple that will capture your heart, and if you haven’t guessed already, that little slice of heaven is known as Greenwich Village or more commonly to the locals as simply; The Village. It’s where Union Square park ends and Washington Square park begins, it’s where Bleeker St meets Broadway, the home of the New York University and that famous Perry St. Apartment belonging to a Carrie someone?

Think, tall green luscious trees, narrow streets, gorgeous steps and entrances to every building, a bike out the front, bright colors, one of a kind boutiques and of course the classic fire escapes, every time you look up.

Our first day ever in New York City was incredibly well spent exploring this classic part of Manhattan and one we will never forget. We started on 5th Avenue, it was the day of the Pride parade and never in our lives had we seen a sea of so many bright colors and weird & wonderful outfits, the city lit up with love. As we danced our way through the streets, watching the parade and meeting new friends, we entered the village in all its beauty much by accident – it was such an overwhelming experience to be surrounded by thousands of people, celebrating their love for the city and each other. This is where our love for New York City started evolving.

Greenwich Village is located west of Broadway and has two sister villages that are equally chic; The West village, funnily enough West of Greenwich Village itself and The East village – everything east of the Bowery & 3rd Avenue. These neighborhoods are located in the lower of the Manhattan grid, north of the financial district and south of the funky residential area, Gramercy. With a French café here, a record store there and a lush park on every corner, it is the perfect balance between the big city life and the privacy of quaint luxury.  The lifestyle screams excitement, amazing winter fashion, the smell of Mandelas Bakery and the taste of cantaloupe mimosa’s. The locals love it here so much; they even knit for their trees.

As this is not a complete guide, for now, here are a couple of absolute must visits in the village neighborhoods and their surrounds, a mini guide for the perfect day in the Village;

Magnolia’s Bakery

Not only is it 1000 times cooler than we ever envisioned visiting this famous little number in the flesh, but the cupcakes are so delish – inside the bakery you will find so many colorful treats and the décor has such a vintage vibe.

Music Inn

This funky instrument store is home to one of the loveliest and musically talented locals of the area – It has everything from vinyl to the most unique instruments – some of which we had never even heard of! We spent a good hour here chatting and jamming with the owner who was full of travel stories. He actually makes a lot of the instruments himself including these beautiful bongos.

Bookmarc

Yes, you recognize the spelling of ‘Marc’ for a reason.. this absolute gem is the Marc Jacobs bookstore! Who even knew there was such a thing? We came across this store completely by accident and it was so divine.  It was artistic, vibrant and fresh as feck. We purchased a little number called ‘The Hungover Cookbook’ – it gets a run quite regularly in our home.

Jacks Wife Freda

This funky Mediterranean restaurant has THE friendliest staff plus they serve cantaloupe mimosas’… need I say more?

Joe’s Pizza

This borderline, hole in the wall pizza joint is exactly what you would expect and more when thinking about trying your first NY slice. They have been open since 1975 and in our opinion serve the bestttt pizza in the city. Be sure to allow a bit of time for waiting in line here, as you can see it’s quite a popular choice.

Washington Square Park

If you get the chance and are visiting NYC in the warm weather, definitely put aside an hour or two for Washington Square Park – it is the most stunning park for summertime plays, we hung out with locals here after the pride parade watching street art & performances, listening to live music and taking in enough happy vibes to get us through the rest of the season!

Perry St

We have saved the best for last, perhaps the prettiest street in all of the village, this street is home to the lovely external building we saw the one and only Miss Bradshaw enter and exit for years on end. Ladies, if you want to meet some new girlfriends – look no further than here. Fellas – you better start practicing your photography skills cos your better half is about to do it for the gram’ like never before.

Greenwich village is perfect for independent travel as all you need to enjoy this stunning part of the city, is the air that you breathe and your itchy feet to get wonderfully lost.  It’s a place that stays with you and makes your heart warm. It’s wandering the streets of beautiful neighborhoods like the village that makes us want to continue to travel, or maybe it’s just the compelling magic of NYC. Either way, living in this amazing community is on our bucket list.

Where in the world have you visited that you would move to in a heartbeat? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Peace, Love & Happy Travels

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