How does one "do" Greenwich Village?

Jun 12th, 2007, 01:14 PM
  #1  
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How does one "do" Greenwich Village?

When I was last in New York, it was on business and a group of us had a nice dinner in Greenwich Village. I remember thinking that I'd love to return with my husband and just wander around. Well, we are returning, but with three kids (ages 16, 14 and 11). How does a family "do" Greenwich Village? I have the walking tour that MaureenB received from another fodorite, and it includes Greenwich Village. The kids aren't big on just wandering, especially if it's hot. Would it possibly work out better if we made a dinner reservation there and wandered before or after?
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Jun 12th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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The tour is a blast. I strongly recommmend it.
www.foodsofny.com
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Jun 12th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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The food tour looks like something that 3 of us would love and 2 of us would hate! Maybe on a later "adults only" trip........
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Jun 12th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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maj
 
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I think they would enjoy Washington Square Park, at least on the weekend. I've only been there on Saturday afternoon twice so I don't know what it is like during the week. It is full of people and activity -- street performers galore, people with dogs (there is a dog park in it) -- just a really fun place. There are street vendors not far from there to wander around and look at their wares. You can go into Roccos to buy cannolis, etc.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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The village really is about just wandering--there aren't really any major touristy sights, and if your kids are antsy, then settling for dinner and a short walk before or after sounds about right.
But, when are you coming? There might be some event (a street fair, or an outdoor concert)going on in the area than might make it more acceptable to the kids
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Do to our schedule, we'll have to be there on a weekday...sounds like it's more of a late afternoon/evening place than a first thing in the morning place. My kids love street entertainment.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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How about Chelsea Market? It's indoors out of the heat and sun (or rain), and you can snack your way from one end to the other and back.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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And, the kids would probably much more enjoy South Street Seaport. Fantastic views of the Brooklyn Bridge. If it's hot out, a one-hour boat cruise is terrific.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Most of the food, in the Greenwich Village Foods of NY tour, is pizza and pastries--I think the kids would love almost all of the food. We took the tour last year and at almost every stop had a chance to sit down. It was a hot day (and I am not a hot weather person), but I was perfectly comfortable with it.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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For all of you New Yorkers.....New York rocks! (I love it. At least what I've seen.) I also love the New Yorkers. People are so nice there. Helpful, direct and very very very service oriented! From the cabbies to the restaurants.....fabulous. Brilliant. =D>
 
Jun 12th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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TC
 
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Missy, Have you considered taking your kids to see Blue Men Group? Its in the East Village. You could wander a little, have a quick, easy dinner (I like Bobby Flaye's Miracle Grill) and then see this show. Astor Place Theater, 434 Lafayette St. (between E 4th & Astor Pl.)
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Jun 12th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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I am actually considering taking them to Blue Man Group on the Boston leg of the trip.

I guess I'm also a bit afraid of the food tour due to my own nut allergy. I saw on the form that there is a place to note food allergies when reserving. Seems like when there are pastries involved, I always lose out!
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Jun 12th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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TC
 
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Missy, I've seen Blue Men in several different cities. There is nothing to compare with the NY experience. It is the original and there's just something about the little theater that its in that is perfect for the show. May I humbly suggest that you fit in a different show in Boston and do BM in NY? Just think about it.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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Bostix (like TKTS in NYC) almost always has half price tickets available for Blue Man Group.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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missypie, do you remember where in Greenwich Village your dinner was? I ask because there is a distinctly different feel between the East and West Village: west is probably more classically cute and quaint; east is more hipster. Washington Square Park and NYU sit in the middle. Both neighborhoods are great, especially in the late afternoon into the evening, as you thought. The good news is that there's usually a fair amount going on, even on a weekday.

Let us know what kind of food you might want that day and we can help!
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Jun 13th, 2007, 02:54 AM
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bigonion.com has a Greenwich Village walking tour (sans food) that you might consider.
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Jun 13th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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TC, it's not that I don't believe you about it being great to see Blue Man Group in NYC...but Boston doesn't have Broadway, and that is how our nights in NYC will be spent. I don't have any night time entertainment set for Boston yet, however.

Thanks for the reference to Bostix, too.
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Jun 13th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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There is almost always something going on in Washington Square Park when the weather is nice. If not street performances, then at the very least, some of the best people-watching in the city. Don't rule it out just because you won't be there on a weekend. If you're going to be in the area anyway, at least take a quick stroll thru. It's a small park.
Also, google NYC street fairs and see if there are any in the village during your visit. You can't beat street fairs for great fun, cheap shopping and greasy food!
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Jun 13th, 2007, 05:41 AM
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missypie, can you post a link to the walking tour you received? I remember walking around a few blocks in the West Village with my daugher, and was very disappointed with how tawdry it was -- streets lined with tattoo parlors and sex gadet stores. It would be good to know which are still the best streets to walk on, as I'm sure the whole W. Village can't have descended like that...
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Jun 13th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Here is what MaureenB posted:

"Here's the walking tour written for us, by Fodorite Ellenem, because we wanted to visit Ground Zero, Wall Street, and walk through the other neighborhoods north of our hotel:

"Walking tour from Embassy Suites:
From your hotel (North End Ave?) walk south to the World Financial Center marina. Walk east through the plaza and enter the Winter Garden (featuring palm trees). This space was heavily damaged when the WTC fell and the original palm trees died. Walk up the wide steps for a great overlook of the WTC site. This spot used to be the begining of a pedestrian bridge to the WTC complex. (Look to the far right (south) and you will see an existing pedestrian bridge for which you are heading.)

Follow signs to the right through the building complex (Two World Financial Center, then into One World Financial Center) to the South Bridge. This bridge ends along the southern edge of the site (Liberty St) where there are a number of displays mounted on the surrounding fence, describing original construction, the attack, and listing those who were lost that day.

Continue walking east to Broadway. Turn right (south) and a few blocks down visit Trinity Chapel (Aleaxander Hamilton is in the graveyard) and Wall St which is opposite.

Head back up Broadway (north) to Fulton St and St Paul's Chapel (George Washington's church and rest stop for many WTC rescue workers).

Continue north on Broadway. At Barclay St is the Woolworth Building (once the tallest in the world) and City Hall Park and City Hall opposite.

North of City Hall, go west on any side street to West Broadway. You are now in Tribeca. Walk north along West Broadway, taking in side streets as you like.

Continue north on West Broadway and cross Canal St. Now you are in Soho. Walk north along West Broadway, taking in side streets as you like.

Continue north on West Broadway and cross Houston (pronounced How-ston) St. Now you are in Greenwich Village. Walk north along Laguardia Place (the continuation of West Broadway) which ends at Washington Square Park.

You might walk along the south side of the park, or take a left (west) on Bleecker St before reaching the Park.

Two alternate routes:

1) Take Bleecker St left (west) through the center of the Village--shops, clubs, bars. You can follow it across 6th Ave (Ave of the Americas) where it angles slightly north. This begins the West Village. You'll pass John's Pizzeria before you reach 7th Ave. Across Seventh you can enjoy more quaint streets with cute little houses. If you go this way, I'd recommend turning west on Grove St, looking at the truly skinny houses on Bedford St near Grove and checking out the house in the mews (Grove Court?) on the left just before you hit Hudson St (8th Ave). Continue northish on Bleecker or Hudson to West 10th or West 11th St and turn right (east). Follow these back east, through the central village, past some of the prettiest and more expensive little houses in Greenwich Village (bet 5th and 6th). (If you take 11th St, you'll have to go south to 10th St since the street doesn't go through at Broadway.)

Keep going all the way to 2nd Ave, the main drag of the East Village. Second Ave and the side streets (10th, 9th, St Marks, 7th, 6th, 5th, and more) are full of fun little shops nad restaurants.

2) Washington Sq South is also West 4th St. This is NYU territory--their large library and main campus is just east of Laguardia along the park.

Walk into the park and walk north to the Washington Square Arch located at the foot of 5th Ave. Note the nice townhouses along the north side of the park, many owned by NYU. Walk north a short block and turn right into the Washington mews, a street of carriage houses, many now owned by NYU. When you come out of the mews, you are facing an NYU dorm. Turn north on Univeristy Pl and walk a short block to 8th St. Turn right (east) and walk along a shopping street, cross Broadway, pass the big black cube at Lafayette St and give it a spin. 8th St does odd things here--over a span of three blocks it changes its name to Astor Place and then St Marks Place (at 3rd Ave). St Marks Place is a teenagers delight, with T-shirt shops and other stuff parents may not like them to buy--but they'll have ball. Second Ave and the side streets (10th, 9th, St Marks, 7th, 6th, 5th, and more) are full of fun little shops and restaurants."
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