West Village: An expensive and beautiful respite in the city

The West Village is a serene escape from the city’s usual noisy and crowded streets, but only for those who can afford it.

“It’s always super clean and quiet,” said 34-year-old Aly Teich, who’s lived in the nabe for more than two years. “New York City is so busy and hectic all the time, and when you come back to the Village, it feels just like that: a village.”

Though sometimes confusing for newcomers, the small, tree-lined streets that veer off the rest of Manhattan’s grid aren’t congested with traffic and create a more secluded atmosphere than both Greenwich Village and the East Village.

“I grew up in New York City, and I feel like the West Village has done a good job maintaining its history,” Teich added.

A significant chunk of the neighborhood belongs to the Greenwich Village Historic District, so the pre-war brick buildings and overall aesthetic of the area have been well preserved. One of the oldest buildings in the neighborhood is the Isaacs-Hendricks House at 77 Bedford St., according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Built in 1799, the Federal-style house sold for $7.35 million in 2013.

Most of the restaurants and shops are still small and independently owned, like the bookstore Three Lives & Company on 10th Street that’s been around for nearly 50 years, and speakeasy-style bars like Employees Only on Hudson Street and The Garret, tucked away on a second floor on Bleecker Street, are peppered throughout the nabe.

“You feel as though you’re in more of a European-style pre-war neighborhood,” said Citi Habitats realtor Rory Bolger.

That feeling doesn’t come cheap, though. One-bedroom apartments in the area’s typically small, pre-war walkups average around $3,500 per month, while co-ops for sale in older brick buildings sell for about $1.2 million. There are some newer luxury condos, including 150 Charles St. and The Printing House on Hudson Street, and they average around $1.8 million for a one-bedroom.

While families are drawn to the quiet nature of the area, its convenient location and abundant nightlife also attract a lot of young professionals.

And the West Village can’t be described without including its strong LGBTQ community, as it is often called the birthplace of the gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street was the site of the June 1969 Stonewall Riot, which became a call to arms for people to fight back against LGBTQ discrimination.

“There’s a lot of artists, a lot of eccentric types, a lot of young people,” said Peter Kaye, the general manager of Bleecker Street Records on West Fourth Street. “There’s a palpable energy that you don’t get in Midtown.”

Find it:

The West Village stretches north to south from 14th Street to West Houston Street, and east to west from Sixth and Greenwich avenues to the Hudson River, according to StreetEasy.