When I first moved to New York back in August of 06. A dear friend of mine and I moved into an East Village studio, a super small space we shared for about two years. This was my "dorm time" since I never experienced college life. The East Village just may be one of the most eclectic neighborhoods in all of NYC. A little bit everything thrown in to one area. When you think of New York this is definantly one of the main neighborhoods one would picture. Everything you could every want, every type of cuisine, availible all hours of the day, to your doorstep. Now that I live in Brooklyn (which I love and prefer) and I work in the West Village, I dont find myself hanging out in the East Village. I went today to grab lunch with a friend and I wanted to explore the old hood. Things change quick in New York, before you know it things turn over. New things pop up before your eyes.
Looking at the food and restaurant scene in the East Village it is unlike any other part. You literally can eat anything you want, anytime of the day. Indian, Polish, Burgers, Falafel, Pizza, Sushi, French, Latin, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Chinese, you name it, they got it. A little bit of each part of the world thrown into about 14 blocks. Underground saki bar? No problem, Korean BBQ? right down the street, Oyster Happy Hour you betcha. Belgian French Fries smothered in whatever your heart desires at 4am coming up. Some amazing wine bars, Swedish spots, hidden bars in hot dog joints. Aussie meat pies and Irish pubs. Amongst all the restaurants are a variety of Asian massage spots, nail salons, antique shops, new modern boutiques, and vintage clothing shops. Like I said it's all here. Living in this neighborhood can be great and also shit. Friday and Saturday nights are a mess full of drunk bridge and tunnel crowd. Screaming and keeping you up at night. Its not very clean and you tend to have a unwelcome guest hanging out on your stoop. We had a crazy neighbor below us; male in his late 50's, a dealer of sorts, who would play loud classical music and wear tropical printed shirts which he would tie in a knot, belly out. He would dance in the street so very proud. Interesting things are always happening right outside your doorstep.
As all things change, more and more modern buildings are overcoming the old brick ones. It's going through a moment, a place in between. A push and pull between old and new. Large modern structures pop up, 20 year businesses are gradually going out of business and being revamped into something new. It's an interesting transition to watch. Some people prefer the old while others embrace the new. Have you ever been to the East Village? Do you live here? Share your thoughts :)