Interested in New York City?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for New York City each week.
Topics include Dining Scene, United States: For Foreign Visitors & more!
The East Village, east of Bowery from Houston Street to 14th Street, represents the mulitcultural and everchanging history of New York City. This region has been home to diverse immigrant populations including Ukrainian, German, Polish, Irish, Jewish, Japanese, and Indian. Additionally, the East Village has been home to counterculture groups of artists, writers, and musicians, and now has a significant student population due to its proximity to NYU.
Originally, this region was a farm owned by Dutch Governor Wouter van Twiller. In the seventeenth century, Peter Stuyvesant and his family received the deed to the farm, which was kept in the Stuyvesant family until the 1800s. In the mid 1800s, Irish and German immigrants flocked to the area, which became known as Klein Deutschland ("Little Germany"). In 1904, the burning of the SS General Slocum led to a dispersal of Germans from the area as more than 1,000 women and children perished in the tragedy. In the 19th Century, Ukrainian immigrants called the East Village home, with a large number of Ukrainian diaspora moving to the area after WWII.
During the 1950s, counterculture "beatniks" and "hippies" moved in, bringing artistic flare and appreciation for beauty and downtrodden lifestyles to the neighborhood. This region has been known as a significant contributor to American arts and culture throughout its rich and changing history.
Today, one can find elements of the diverse cultural groups that have lived in the East Village. By exploring the neighborhood on foot, one can view historic buildings that represent the changing faces of this exciting area, including architectural sites including St. Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church (the second oldest church in Manhattan), Cooper Union (a free college established by inventor and philanthropist Peter Cooper), McSorely's Ale House (the oldest bar in Manhattan), and vibrant St. Mark's Place with its shops, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants.