Story of the Neighborhood . . .
From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, Greenwich Village has been a center of artistic expression, with writers, visual artists, and musicians calling it home. Henry James, a key figure for literary realism, was born on Washington Square in 1843. In 1931, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney purchased a series of buildings on West 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, which became The Whitney Museum of American Art until 1954. In the ‘50s, you could find Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Frank O’Hara at the now-closed Cedar Tavern, where people would gather and share burgeoning ideas. Today it is home to ever-expanding New York University. You’ll notice purple flags on every block!
The West Village is one of New York’s most beloved neighborhoods. Thanks to the determination of its local residents and its protective landmark status, the neighborhood still retains a strong sense of its original identity, maintaining a refreshing intimacy due to the scale of its buildings. Wandering through the West Village and Greenwich Village is always a delightful adventure as streets criss-cross, sometimes in illogical ways, where you might find West 4th Street at the corner of West 10th! What happened to the 6 blocks in between?
Further West, the Village turns into the Meatpacking District. Its name derives from its years of receiving nightly trainloads of meat from slaughterhouses across America’s Midwest, which were prepared for morning delivery to some of the city’s most fashionable restaurants. Today, the incredibly popular High Line Park inhabits the skeleton of the elevated portion of the train tracks. This district offers a transition from a successful workday to a fun-filled evening: velvet ropes line the sidewalks as people from all over New York emerge to drink, eat, and dance at its chicest nightclubs. The Meatpacking District’s newest star is the newly constructed Whitney Museum, designed by world-renown architect Renzo Piano.