This is My New York
“The West Village is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, 19th-century townhouses and tree-lined streets. You may even forget that you are in a big city here, as village life has an easy, more relaxed pace.”
1. THE TEA SET | 235 West 12th St
I start my day at the Tea Set, a fantastic brunch spot with a wide selection of sangria and organic Bloody Mary varieties.
2. JEFFERSON MARKET LIBRARY | West 10th St & 6th Ave
Originally a courthouse, then a women’s prison and now a library! Mae West spent time behind bars here for “lewd behaviour” on stage after one of her shows. Today’s Jefferson Market Library, complete with Victorian Gothic details, was once voted one of the nation’s most beautiful buildings.
3. MAGNOLIA BAKERY | 401 Bleecker St
This bakery, well known for their cupcakes, is a popular spot any day of the week. The red velvet cupcake became world famous after appearing on an episode of Sex and the City. If you have tried the cupcakes, stop in for their famous banana pudding.
4. WHITEHORSE TAVERN | 567 Hudson St
Whitehorse tavern was a favourite watering hole of Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Norman Mailer and many other celebrities known for their Bohemian-esque lifestyles.
5. WESTBETH | 55 Bethune St
Art lover? Well you won’t want to miss Westbeth. It is the world’s largest artist commune and occupies an entire city block. I enjoy the gallery, or an occasional poetry reading showcasing the talents of people who live there.
6. MARY’S FISH CAMP | 64 Charles St
Mary’s is a very small and casual restaurant that specializes in seafood. If they have a line, the staff will take your cell phone number and call you when your table is ready, or you can enjoy a glass of wine on the street in front of the restaurant – a practice that is illegal in the city but completely acceptable in the Village.
7. THE STONEWALL INN | 53 Christopher St
Located on the street “where pride began,” the Stonewall Inn has had quite a history with the gay rights movement. After a police raid here in the early hours of June 28, 1969, a riot broke out in protest of the routine police harassment of gay patrons. The next day, riots broke out all over the city, sparking the movement and gay pride worldwide.
8. ANTIQUE SHOPPING | West 10th St
See the greatest antique shops the West Village has to offer while strolling down West 10th Street.
9. SMALL’S | 183 West 10th St
Start your night with some of the best jazz music in the city at Small’s. Head here as early as 7:00 pm or as late as 2:00 am, as musicians from other clubs like to jam here when they finish their gigs.
10. THE OTHER ROOM | 143 Perry St
If you prefer wine bars, you’re in luck! The West Village has the most charming after-hours bars in the city. My favourite is the Other Room, a romantic space for drinks and conversation both indoors and out.