New York – Exploring the East Village
Once home to an eclectic crew of beatniks and hippies, the East Village in New York is a melting pot of art and culture. This makes it a must-explore neighborhood for every traveler. The area consists of neighborhoods like Alphabet City, aptly named after its avenues that derive their names from the letters A to D. The Bowery and Little Ukraine, have a beautiful Eastern European cultural thread woven through it. With past residents including sculptors, musicians and actors. Its checkered and colorful past have helped to shape this neighborhood to what it is today. It that boasts some of the best food, accommodation, and nightlife that make it worthy of exploration.
What to do? Music, Food, Shopping, Chilling
In August, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival comes alive with talented industry legends and newcomers. They passionately blow up Tompson Square Park playing fast-tempo, bebop and jazz standards in honor of the music virtuoso. If you can, make a reservation at Please Don’t Tell, do it. It’s a speakeasy that’s unpretentious and cozy with creative drinks and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The entrance is via a phone booth at Crif Dogs, a hot dog place that’ll change your life after a big night out.
Once you smell the aroma of handmade bagels coming out of the oven over at Tompkins Square Bagels, you’ll waft your way through the door. That’s, if the artwork hasn’t already been enough to make you stop. Rated very highly for its gluten-free options, which is hard to do in the bagel world. This place also garners a lot of love because they have a philosophy of also giving back to the village. The owner has been making bagels since he was 15 and the shop features talented local artists who keep 100% of the profits from art sales.
Forget Canal street, check out Tokio 7 on East 7th Street, near First Avenue. It’s a consignment store boasting vintage and designer, funky clothes and accessories for those who enjoy a bargain hunt. You’ll need to go early though as the place can get busy with other “in the know” fashionistas searching for their most coveted items.
Serious music curators and aspiring DJs, you’ve got to check out Turntable Lab over on East 10th. Whether you’re looking for rock, soul, funk, reggae, or jazz to name a few, you’ll find it here. Right amongst the knowledgeable and friendly staff and visually stunning space. Need a new set of headphones? Even if you’re not a vinyl aficionado or budding DJ, this place is just too cool not to stop in to have a look.
Whether you’ve had a long day of exploring or you’re just looking for an excuse to soak in unexpected paradise. Then a visit to the Russian & Turkish Baths will both soothe and invigorate you. Making sure that you’re ready for whatever is next on your agenda. Since 1892, this rustic, no-frills establishment has been serving the East Village and its visitors. With a rooftop deck for lounging and a restaurant with a menu in keeping with its Eastern European heritage, it’s a world away from your typical high-brow spa. Home to one of the few authentic Russian saunas in the U.S, each steam/sauna room offers a different experience. Also the facility has treatments such as their Dead Sea Salt Scrub Black Mud Treatment which are very reasonably priced. Either way, you’ll be refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.
In conclusion, although the East Village in New York has been somewhat ‘gentrified’ with more young professionals and hipster types taking up residence. There remains a remnant of the colorful tapestry from its history woven throughout the neighborhood making it photographer’s playground.