Old New York: West Village

Back before luxury condos and Starbucks on every corner was the reality of living in New York City, every neighborhood in New York had its own unique personality. The West Village was a place that had raw grit and charm and attracted artists and musicians. The Village Vanguard, which is right around the corner from our very own store on Perry Street, used to be one of the most prolific jazz venues in the city with artists like Lead Belly playing sets. The original location of the Whitney Museum was opened right here on 8 W 8th Street by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The Hotel Albert was a popular hang-out and resting place where famed musicians wrote some of the most well-known songs today, such as “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & The Papas and “Do You Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.

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The West Village was a place of cultural Renaissance. The Stonewall Inn right up on Christopher Street is the birthplace of the modern gay rights liberation movement. Figure likes Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Andy Warhol used to walk these streets and even call this neighborhood home. With some of the West Village’s original structures still intact, walking down the narrow streets makes you feel like you’re a part of history.

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