HistoryIn the middle of the 19th century, East Village was home to a thriving community of German immigrants. The district earned the nickname Little Germany to reflect the dominant demographics. In the early 20th century, immigrants from Eastern Europe settled in the rapidly growing neighborhood. In fact, East Village has been one of the largest Ukrainian enclaves in New York City for generations. The 1960s and 1970s brought Bohemian culture to the area. Poetry, punk music and amateur theatre have defined the culture of East Village in recent decades.
Attractions and SightseeingCovering 10.5 acres, Tompkins Square Park is the heart and soul of East Village. With a rich heritage dating back to the early 19th century, this centrally located green space has a square layout that spans several blocks. The park is named after New York's fourth governor, who also served two terms as the vice president of the United States. With such high honours, Daniel D. Tompkins was one of the most prominent politicians from New York in the 1800's. As you walk the beautiful grounds of Tompkins Square Park, you'll notice several historic monuments. Erected in 1906, the Slocum Memorial Fountain commemorates a steamboat that sank in the East River. Dedicated in 1891, the Samuel S. Cox monument pays tribute to a politician who proudly represented New York in the U.S. Congress. Additionally, Cox played an important role in diplomacy with the Ottoman Empire. Unveiled in 1888, the Temperance Memorial Fountain is one of the oldest fountains in any NYC public park. Today, Tompkins Square Park is one of the premier spaces for outdoor recreation and relaxation in Lower Manhattan. A portion of the John V. Lindsay Park is located in East Village. This waterfront park includes fields for baseball, softball, soccer, football and other outdoor sports. Additionally, the neighborhood is located near the New York East River Park Track that offers jogging along the river. The Museum of the American Gangster is perhaps the most unique attraction in East Village. As you'd expect, this small museum tells the fascinating stories of organized criminals who operated on the streets of New York City, Chicago and other major urban areas nationwide. Situated on 6th Street, the Ukrainian Museum presents the history of the local Ukrainian community and the Ukrainian diaspora in North America. This attraction includes traditional apparel, accessories, artwork and other original items from Ukraine. Click to book your East Village walking tour: Craft Cocktails and Speakeasies.
Location and TransportationEast Village is situated along the East River, which acts as a natural barrier between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Carrying vehicle traffic in opposing directions, FDR Drive runs along the western bank of the river. The southern perimeter of the district is marked by Houston Street, which is a heavily commercialized thoroughfare. Running in a north/south configuration, Broadway sets the western boundary of East Village. Additionally, the neighborhood’s northern stretch is outlined by East 14th Street. Featuring underground platforms for the 4 and 6 trains of the New York City Subway, the Astor Place station offers convenient access to East Village. These rapid transit lines offer express service between any points on the east side of Manhattan. The F and V lines serve the 2nd Avenue station at the corner of Houston Street. You can also take a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus to this district.
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