NYC Spotlight: West Village
From the picturesque brownstone buildings we see in magazines and movies to the setting of Monica and Rachel’s apartment in 90’s sitcom Friends, the West Village has long been romanticized as the poster of life in New York City.
It’s been a center for the bohemian lifestyle since the early 1900’s and has served as a source of inspiration for artists and great thinkers alike, birthing revolutions like the Beat Generation of the 50’s and the modern LGBTQ movement.
Located between Chelsea and SoHo along the Hudson River in Downtown Manhattan, it’s no secret why the West Village has become one of the most iconic places to live in America.
We wanted to know more about life in the popular neighborhood, and got a chance to chat with Matthew De Groot, a local real estate broker from Douglas Elliman Real Estate, to get the inside scoop:
Q: Can you give us some background on your knowledge and expertise of the West Village?
A: I have been working for the #1 Team in the West Village for the past 3 years. We specialize in many of the neighborhoods premier condo buildings like 1 Morton Square, 150 Charles Street, and Superior Ink. We also work with buyers/sellers who own townhouses or smaller apartments that are typically found in the many pre-war and post-war co-op/condo buildings like 299 West 12th Street or 720 Greenwich Street.
Q: If you were talking to a prospective homeowner, how would you sell them on the West Village? What makes it unique? Why do you love it?
A: The West Village is an all-around ideal place to live in the city. You have access to incredible restaurants (both casual and fine-dining), multiple parks/playgrounds, spectacular riverfront, access to the bike path along the Hudson River, all while being centrally located in Manhattan.
Q: You can only eat at one restaurant in the West Village for the rest of your life. Which one do you pick and why?
A: I love Mémé Mediterranean on Greenwich Street. Their slow-cooked short-rib is heaven on earth. The prices are great, the atmosphere is intimate, and they offer a range of vegetarian and meat options.
Q: What are the best night life spots? Any cool places that appeal to a younger, Millennial crowd?
A: You can find a variety of nightlife options depending on your mood and crowd. In the summer, it’s always fun going to the rooftop at the Standard Hotel: Le Bain. The views are incredible, the drinks are refreshing, good music, and the crowd is usually great. Others include Up & Down, 1 OAK, and TAO Downtown.
Q: What are a few things someone who has never been to the West Village needs to do or see to get an authentic experience?
A: Get brunch at one of the outside tables at Extra Virgin, a night out at The Jane Hotel Ballroom, a walkthrough of the new Whitney Museum, watch the sunset from the Hudson River Park, and walk down Perry or Charles Street to see some of the most iconic brownstone homes.
Q: What “type” of people live in/ are moving into the West Village?
A: The West Village appeals to everyone although home prices are the biggest barrier to entry. 10014 is consistently one of the most expensive zip codes in the country. Families are always drawn to the neighborhood for the great public schools, parks/playgrounds, and the location is easy for people who work further Downtown or Midtown.
Q: What are some fun things to do on the weekend? A family friendly option? A free option?
A: Brunch in the West Village is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. Especially in the summer when its warm and all the restaurants bring their outside tables back out. It’s a blast for those who enjoy people-watching and celebrity spotting. Spending time on the waterfront/Hudson River Park is a great free option. There are volleyball courts, tennis courts, dog parks, playgrounds, and other great activities to enjoy while watching the boats sail up and down the river.
The West Village has no shortage of things to do. And with a secluded, intimate vibe that sets it apart from the concrete jungle, the neighborhood offers a lifestyle that has a lot to be desired for many New Yorkers.
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