Known to residents as "The Village". Area in Manhattan New York City which is noted as a haven for avant-garde artists and Literati and Jazz music. Composed of the West Village and East Village. For 100 years a mecca to the creative, rebellious and Bohemian.

My favorite Village story: In about 1917 or 1918, Marcel Duchamp climbed up on top of the arch in Washington Square Park. From the top, he declares "the people's republic of Greenwich Village"!

As Wonder Llama accurately observes, the legend of the Village, and the contemporary reality of the Village are two very different things. The Village embodies the very word "gentrification" wherein the rents go up and up until the artists and the musicians cannot possibly pay it. They move out, the boutiques and Home Accessory shops move in. Today Greenwich Village is closer to an outdoor Mall than an area where revolutionaries mingle.

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Sources: Gruen, John, "The New Bohemia", a capella books, Chicago, 1990. Gaylord, Bruce, "Picture Book of Greenwich Village", Gaylord's Guides, NY, 1985 Sanders, Ed, "Tales of Beatnik Glory", Citadel Underground, New York, 1975 Last updated 05.28.03

Sure, all of the cool, independent theaters, playhouses, clothing shops, record stores, bars, restaurants, tattoo/piercing studios are in the Village. And it's nice to be within a few minutes walk from the art galleries in the SoHo area. Once upon a time, the Village was home to Kerouac, Warhol and an army of bohemians, but things have changed. Think of what the word "bohemian" really means... The whole world knows about Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. In fact, they were in my eleventh-grade public school english textbook. Brilliant, inspired work? IMHO, yes. Still subversive? Apparently not.

I think that the real measure of a neighborhood is the people who live there, not its stores or its history or people that go there to get some shopping done. The truth is that there aren't any struggling poets that can afford to live in the village. Not even struggling poets that hold down nine-to-five dayjobs in the East Village can break the $2,000 mark. The truth is, most of the people that live in the Village are white collar professionals. The rest are generally students whose parents are backing them. Years and years ago, when mainstream people went out in search of a "cool" and "hip" place to live, the area's reputation as a haven for alternative ideas, people and culture did it in. Ironic, isn't it?

I'm probably going to take some heat for this write-up, but it accurately describes the current situation as described to me by many, many people who have lived there. Most of them have since moved away, unsuprisingly...

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