The West Village is arguably the most beautiful residential neighborhood in the city, and the neighboring Meatpacking District has been called the most fashionable. Occupying the western half of Greenwich Village, these esteemed neighborhoods run from 14th Street to Houston Street, between Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River.
Once known as Little Bohemia, the West Village has had a long-standing reputation for embracing the avant-garde and counterculture. The Sheridan Square-Christopher Street section welcomed the country's first racially integrated nightclub in 1938, and 1969 riots at nearby Stonewall Inn gave rise to the modern LGBTQ-rights movement. In 2015, the West Village's early artistic underpinnings were solidified by the opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. In the Meatpacking District, fashion and cocktails rule with myriad high-end designers and exclusive nightclubs lining streets that once housed 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants.
Predominantly residential, the West Village's charm is amplified by its curvy (and confusing) cobblestoned streets established prior to the city's 1811 grid plan. In a neighborhood where West 12th Street is a distant cousin to Little West 12th Street, and West 4th terminates at West 13th, West Village neophytes would be well advised to keep Google Maps close at hand. With much of the West Village-Meatpacking District area protected by historic districts, and modern high-rise development limited by recent rezoning efforts, housing is largely situated in historic townhouses and walk-up buildings, which, while abundantly charming, can also seem outdated and cramped.
Once an Upper East Side mainstay, the Whitney Museum of American Art decamped to a new Renzo Piano-designed building at the southern terminus of the High Line in 2015.
Recognized as both a city and national landmark due to its historic significance in the gay-rights movement, the Stonewall Inn remains a popular local bar to this day.
Originally a Tenderloin courthouse so busy it hosted the nation's first night court sessions, Jefferson Market Library is a beloved community gathering place and an architectural preservation milestone.