Known as a home to the Beat Generation and the birthplace of punk rock, the East Village retains its ultra-hip, artistic image to this day. Bounded by the East River and the Bowery, from 14th Street to Houston Street, the East Village includes storied "Alphabet City," once the archetypical crime-ridden neighborhood of New York. Today, the East Village has shunned its gritty past to become a beloved "Old New York" enclave that attracts a vibrant mix of youthful newcomers and lifelong city dwellers.
Now in the early stages of gentrification, East Village housing includes a large number of older tenement buildings, mostly devoted to rental use. Many "pre-law" buildings - those erected prior to the Tenement House Act of 1901 - feature retail spaces on the ground floor, giving East Village streets their lively character, lined with shops, bars and restaurants. Some pre-war co-ops and new development condos can also be found in this evolving district.
Life in the East Village caters to an energetic crowd with decades-old dive bars standing shoulder to shoulder with new, avant-garde restaurants and boutiques. The area's artistic traditions live on in the experimental theaters and poetry venues found throughout the neighborhood.
A site of public protests since its inception, ten-acre Tompkins Square Park boasts a dog run, playgrounds, seasonal greenmarket, ball fields and a rich calendar of annual events.
The location of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery has been a center of Christian worship for more than 350 years. Today, St. Mark's is an Episcopal church and site of notable arts gatherings and community events.
John V. Lindsey East River Park runs along the eastern edge of the East Village and Lower East Side offering a running track, ball fields, tennis courts and more within its 57-acre expanse.
McSorley's Old Ale House , founded in 1854, is the city's oldest continuously operating saloon.
Built in 1886, landmarked Webster Hall began as a hall for hire and is now known for its exciting concert lineup.