Since you’re visiting my website you must have an interest in Greenwich Village or The Upper West Side, or maybe both? I very much relate to that feeling and those two neighborhoods have always been favorites in all of NYC. What’s not to like?
There’s of course the incredible architecture, the cultural institutions, and the restaurants, but the reason why I feel so connected to these two areas is the general atmosphere and the people. Both neighborhoods are what I like to call fully mature. No one group dominates, but rather, everyone is represented, regardless of cultural background, socio-economic status, or age. The specific ethnic identity of the mainly Chinese 8th Avenue in Brooklyn offers a rich and interesting cultural heritage, or if you’re a hedge fund manager or a movie star looking for 10 million bachpad, in TriBeCa you’ll find many likeminded folks. Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side, in my view, are the opposite of that. You see people from all walks of life, kids, retirees, all ethnic groups, people on fixed income, CEOs, and everything in between.
While the people walking on the street seem similar in the variety, there are big differences too. The most obvious of those differences is the scale of buildings. Greenwich Village is the epitome of quaintness with its three to four story townhouses, after which the UWS can seem almost grand. The streets are wider, the buildings higher, and as the UWS was built after the commissioner’s plan of 1814, the grid layout gives it a more modern and organized feel.
It is, however, the underlining progressive and open-minded attitude that drives both neighborhoods. It’s no surprise that artists for many generations have so often resided and worked in Greenwich Village and The Upper West Side. Edward Hopper lived almost his entire career across the street from Washington Square Park in the Village, and Rachmaninoff did a lot of his composing at his apartment on West End Avenue on the UWS.
I could go on and on about this stuff…..but let’s talk more when I see you in person. J