Thursday, July 2, 2009

Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York -Theme Thursday

It is Theme Thursday again and this week's cool theme is "funky" Thanks to Padraig for this week's suggestion.

According to Wiktionary the definition of funky is: "Not quite right; offbeat, unconventional or eccentric; Of or pertaining to the smell of funk." To me no place better personifies the definition of FUNK than the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York City.

I had an appointment in the Village recently on a rainy afternoon. I'd like to take you around to see some of the sights I saw that day of one of my most favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. I've already shown you a few places and events in Greenwich Village in prior posts, and you can go back at this link and scroll through them all -- the famous Halloween parade, the Art Fair held along the perimeters of Washington Square, the former home of poet e.e.cummings at Patchin Place. To read about McSorley's --the oldest Irish tavern in NYC in the East Village, go to this link.

To me, the Greenwich Village neighborhood is a romantic and unique type of place that, no matter where you are, there is always something unusual or interesting to see. You can spend a whole day, or days, just wandering around enjoying the ambiance. There are many blocks with rows and rows of pretty homes and brownstones such as the ones in the photo above.

It's filled with many wonderful ethnic restaurants, such as Monte's Trattoria on MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker. This restaurant has been family owned and operated since 1918 and serves authentic Italian cuisine. When my daughter was an undergraduate student in New York University we had many enjoyable dinners together in this restaurant-- it's a warm and cozy spot.

Greenwich Village was known in the late 19th – earlier to the mid 20th centuries as the bohemian capital and the birthplace of the Beat movement. It is now a rather expensive area to live in, but artistic expression and freedom of speech are still personified. The Village has traditionally been a focal point of new movements and ideas, whether political, artistic, or cultural. This tradition as an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture was established by the beginning of the 20th century when small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived.

It is full of nook and crannies and winding streets such as Minetta Lane located between Sixth and MacDougal, which somehow winds up at Sixth and Bleecker. It originally followed the ancient Minetta Brook.

The House Of Oldies located at 35 Carmine Street, specializes in rare and out of print vinyl records from the '50s, '60s and '70s. In operation since 1968, the store now has over 1,000,000 vinyl records in stock!

The Village has not been immune to the demise of unique boutiques and stores which were replaced by big box chain stores, but much of it's old New York bohemian charm still exists.

This rakishly angled 6-story apartment building at 1 Seventh Avenue South is at the intersection of the avenue with Carmine and Clarkson Streets. Notice the floor to ceiling windows on the lower floors!

I'd love to go back soon to poke around in the The Unoppressive Non Imperialist Bargain Bookstore on 34 Carmine Street. According to the Village Voice Newspaper who previously reviewed the store, books start at $2 and don't go much higher in price!

The Jefferson Market New York Public Library located at 425 6th Avenue, has a long and varied past to read about at the link provided. The building was originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse between the years 1874-1877 .

This is the view the poet e.e. cummings would have had of Jefferson Market when he lived at 4 Patchin Place during 1923–1962

The gated alley of Patchin Place, # 4 was on the left side.

Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe located at 264 Bleecker Street, and established in 1969 is "An experience in Herbs, Spices and Essential Oils". They are recognized as one of the oldest and most complete herb and spice shops in the United States.

Olivers & Co. Mediterranean Food Merchant located at 249 Bleeker Street sells premium Mediterranean olive oils and balsamic vinegars, tapenades, herbs and spices.

But where is the Funk you say? How about Cafe Wha? located on 115 Macdougal, between Bleecker and W 3rd. Their web site says it all:

"Since the 1950s the Café Wha? has been a favorite hot spot cornered in the heart
of Greenwich Village. The 60s was an impressionable and revolutionary era.
Artists of the time frequented the Café Wha? as it was known to be a sanctuary
for talent; Allen Ginsberg regularly sipped his cocktails here. The Café Wha?
was the original stomping ground for prodigies Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Bruce
Springsteen, Peter, Paul & Mary, Kool and the Gang, as well as comedians,
Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby also began their road to stardom on this historic
stage. The Café Wha? encompassed the Beat Generation and continues to hold its spirit, entertaining all walks of life."

If you click on to enlarge this photo you can see "the home of rhythm and blues and funk" is Groove Bar & Grill. Information from their web site:

"The Groove is the only place in New York City to hear live R&B, Funk,
& Soul music 7 nights a week. What started off as a group of talented
musicians jamming at the legendary 101 bar in the early 90s, has evolved into a
roster of rotating house bands comprised of the best musicians, and performers
in the city. Sure the bands have changed slightly over the years, but as
musicians have come and gone, the thing that remains consistent about the Groove is the unbelievable talent of all the bands."

Did you notice the mural on their exterior wall? Now that's what I call "FUNK"!

To see more Theme Thursday "Funk" entries go the the Mr. Linky links on the Theme Thursday blog.


steviewren said...

I enjoyed the tour! When I think of Greenwich Village I think of Barefoot in the Park with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford...wasn't it supposed to be set in the Village?

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Another wonderful tour of the Big Apple. I am just longing to visit NY after each of your tours, Pat. City Hall needs to pay you for being a great tourism advocate!


Sheila :-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's such a great place! Thanks for the lovely pictures and interesting post!



Catherine said...

So glad I came by to visit. Never a disappointment!

Tracy said...

Such a fun walk, Pat...I love when you take us places! Happy Day :o) ((HUGS))

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Great tour Pat however it's probably a good thing that I can't get in the door of that bookstore!

Anonymous said...

That was a great post. The pictures and narrative are truly informational. I have planned a post about my one visit to NYC, of course you can give us places I did not get to go to. Only one day there from when our son lived in Kingston, is not enough time to see it all. Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Wow, this was an awesome look around! I enjoyed it so much but particularly the trees on Minetta Lane and the library...SO IMPRESSIVE! I would love to go there and read!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love wandering around the village - some of the places you posted are new to me though.

Leah said...

I've lived here my whole life, and you've actually shown me some new things, thank you thank you! I especially want to check out the vinyl...

ARLENE said...

Thanks for the memories, Pat. Used to frequent the village and subscribed to The Village Voice for years. How did I get so old? LOL. Another great tour. An FYI--I recently caught a great quilt exhibit at the American Folk Art museum. Don't know if you're into textiles, but this was an incredible show and lunch at McCormick's and Schmick's didn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic tour! I'm off to that bookstore( cool name ) and the library :)But first luncheon at that Italian eatery!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

This post really brought back memories for me. This was a favorite area of the city for my parents, and I can remember being mesmerized by all of the bohemian funk when I was a little girl. I remember my parents taking us to dinner on a Sunday to such unique restaurants as the Cookery and La Fonda del Sol. As a teenager, I would walk these streets with my boyfriends and I remember my husband taking me to the record store in the 80's to find the "It's a Beautiful Day" album of my youth. This was just a wonderful post, Pat...thank you.
♥, Susan

Wings said...

Now that's a FUNKY TOWN!

Thanks for the tour! :)

Brian Miller said...

thanks for taking us on that walk. had the pleasure of visiting the village a couple years back. love the wall mural...such interesting things.

Mel said...

Oh, I want to spend an entire day in that library!

Thanks Pat.

Sue said...

This IS the epitome of funky and bohemian charm! Thanks once again for a great tour of the city. xo Sue

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for the tour! I would love to poke around there on a rainy afternoon. Especially those record and book stores. CD's will never sound as good as vinyl to me.

Wishing you a most Happy 4th!!
And Leo, too! His first!

Marianna said...

This blog has become one of my favorites!! Thank you so much for this post, NY is a dream destination for me :) I'm definitely following you!

Happy TT

JGH said...

I haven't been to the village in awhile but you've highlighted some of my favorite places - especially Monte's. (Another favorite is Cafe Reggio - the old espresso place!) Some new places to try out, too!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I was only in Greenwich Village once in my life, and after seeing all of your pictures I just know I could spend days there wandering from place to place. Each picture was so fascinating to me, especially the little bookstore, the architecture of the homes along the street. Thanks for this informative tour from one who knows it quite well.

Vee said...

Oh I'd love to spend a day in a library of that size. I took a look at the enlarged version of the final photograph and was amused by the young lady waiting to cross the street...she of wary eye...are you taking my photo she seems to be asking.

Nice new photo of you and Leo in your sidebar, too!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Thank you, that's the only thing I can say! I walked so many times these streets and I miss them so much... ;(
But you forgot the Village Vanguard!

Anyhow, Blogtrotter is anticipating the 4th of July fireworks; but in a different country... ;) Have a great weekend (or vacation, should you have that chance...)!

Lynn said...

When I was 18 I visited NYC for the first time. I had a "date" with the guy upstairs from friends of my mom and dad. We went to the village. I kept walking around saying to myself I an walking through Greenwich Village! Me! Washington Square! Me!
At the time 18 was the legal age for imbibing in adult beverages. We went in a cellar bar. Barbra Streisand Was singing her new song, PEOPLE.
What a memory!
Thanks for causing me to relive it!

Lynn said...

Oh! Barbra was on the jukebox. Not live...

Mama said...

Hi Pat, thanks for the tour, I think Greenwich Village is very funky, Hayley and I really loved it, but did not get to see everything so a revisit is a must for us, so thank you for the extra bits of info here. Hope you and your family all have a safe and happy 4th July, hugs, Kathy.

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

Oh, what a wonderful tour, Pat! I love seeing part of NY. Very interesting too!


Lily Hydrangea said...

I can see you love the Village as much as I do. thanks for the wonderful tour. Great photos and post!

Claudia said...

Oh did I love the tour! I lived on 10th and hudson Street (very est Village) for years. Jefferson Market.... Balduccis... (sorry, the real Balduccis - I went into the imitatiion last year - no). Worked on 12th and Hudson - Benchleys - neighborhood bar that I may need to write about one day... attended classes at HB Studios on bank Street. Spent my high school years wandering psychedelic Bleeker Street (cannot rectify it with Ralph Lauren)... I had better shut up now.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I went through there a couple of years ago and loved it but I just saw a small portion of it. Thanks for the tour!

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

FUNky post:D Thanks for the tour Pat. I would love to visit there someday. I just hope they don't lose all their funky before I make it.

Megan said...

Those streets are entirely too clean. Not that there's anything wrong with that! :)

I'm starting to have a real longing to see New York...

Brenda said...

Another wonderful post, Pat! Through you, I have learned so much about my favorite city. (BTW, I wanna move to Greenwich Village!)

The Silver Fox said...

Fascinating! I, too, want to check out the record shop and the bookstore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour Pat. I noticed some of the architecture is similar to the English style of the same period. I did like having a wander around Greenwich Village. Thank you.

Brayton Homestead Interiors said...

Love The Village -so cool through your eyes -what a great blog!!

Linda Lou said...

I always loved the village, living in Brooklyn it was a treat to walk around and shop and stop for a coffee and hang out in funky town! Kind of reminds me of where I love now, we always say "Keep Leucadia Funky! Happy 4th Pat!

aliceinparis said...

Wow, I'm comment number 38!
Greenwich Village fascinates me. Great post as always:) Looks like our visit might be over the Columbus Day weekend/Cdn. Thanksgiving. Oct 8-14
As an area to stay in ...West Village, East Village, Midtown, Chelsea? What do you think? Just starting to research. Needs to be close to transport. Ooh, exciting:)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

My first date with Mike was in the shadow of the Jefferson Market as we watched the Halloween parade (when you could still get NEAR the Halloween parade! :-)

I love your NYC tours. I swear you should be a guide!