About East Village
Manhattan’s East Village is quite possibly the most colorful neighborhood in the entire city, where punk rockers, business people, college students, and tourists all contribute to the funky, artistic flare of lower Manhattan. The Village, as it’s commonly called by locals, is as diverse as the people who live here, offering gourmet cafés and fancy boutiques, inexpensive vintage shopping and ethnic cuisine, a thriving night life, play houses, college campuses, and community parks.
Start out your tour of the Village by taking the R or W train to the 8th Street and Broadway stop, or the 6 train to Astor place. Walk over to 3rd Avenue and begin your journey through the vendors of St. Marks Place. The main shopping area on St. Marks is the stretch between 2nd and 3rd avenues, where you’ll find hats, t-shirts, sunglasses, and jewelry for sale in the outdoor shops. Since many of the vendors sell similar items, you can try haggling their price down a few dollars until you find middle ground.
Step into Trash and Vaudeville to get a sample of alternative lifestyles. This two-story duo located at 4 St. Marks Place is actually two stores, Trash underground and Vaudeville situated atop a black iron staircase. Both carry a multitude of fetish wear and punk rock gear, from red vinyl pants to blue hair dye to 6-inch stiletto boots to rubber spiked purses and backpacks.
Stop by Dojo for a cheap, healthy lunch. In warmer weather, outdoor seating is offered, and the extensive menu gives many options for a full meal under $5. Grab yourself an ALT (one of Dojo’s signature sandwiches with avocado, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, served inside a whole wheat pita with special Dojo Carrot dressing) and spend some time people watching.
Make sure not to miss the numerous vintage shops on and around St. Marks for an opportunity to buy inexpensive, funky t-shirts and jeans. Make a right on 2nd Ave to find Love Saves The Day, a cluttered chock full of collectibles, vintage clothing, 70’s memorabilia, and gag gifts. One block over you’ll find Pomme Frites, a specialty French Fry shop that serves thick, crispy fries with over twenty-five different sauces. Don’t miss the Parmesan Peppercorn and Roasted Garlic Mayo. A few more blocks down 2nd Ave and you’ll hit A Salt and Battery, New York’s only fish and chips shop, located at 80 2nd Avenue. For something sweet, you won’t want to miss ChickaLicious, 203 E 10th St, New York’s dessert-only restaurant, where $12 will get you a three course ‘meal.’ Some favorites include pink peppercorn ice cream and cantaloupe sorbet.
If live music is what you’re looking for, make sure to check out the legendary CBGB, which launched the careers of Blondie and The Ramones. CBGB usually has nightly shows at 315 Bowery St, at the corner of Bleeker. Lastly, a trip to the village wouldn’t be complete without a taste of Beard Papa’s cream puffs on Astor Place. Each day the shop offers specialty flavors like Pumpkin, Mocha, and Green Tea.