Many visitors to New York City already know that they have to hit the big attractions—Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park. But NYC has a wealth of riches to discover outside midtown that a lot of people rarely see—neighborhoods that offer up something special to locals and travelers alike. One neighborhood worth exploring is Manhattan’s legendary East Village.
The East Village is known for its nightlife, where a trendy mix of bohemian hipsters, NYU students, and visitors come together to party at an eclectic blend of dive bars, music venues, cocktail lounges, and trendy restaurants. But this is also a great place for families to explore, especially during the day, with a laid-back crowd dining at cafes, browsing local shops, and wandering the streets of this famously cool neighborhood.
Some of the best reasons to check out the East Village are the fantastic Off-Broadway shows, away from the bright lights of Times Square. Blue Man Group and Stomp are located close to Astor Place, which is easily accessible by subway (4/6/Q/R/W lines), making it convenient for travelers to experience the shows—and all the East Village has to offer.
Stomp (Orpheum Theatre, 126 Second Avenue) is a high-energy, percussive symphony, coupled with dance, played entirely on unconventional instruments, such as garbage can lids, buckets, brooms and sticks. It is a movement, of bodies, objects, sounds—even abstract ideas, made completely original through the use of everyday objects in totally non-traditional ways.
Located just a block from Stomp is Veselka (144 Second Avenue), an East Village staple serving Ukrainian comfort food 24 hours a day. Have your fill of pierogis and blintzes, then head a couple blocks east for some unique finds. L Train Vintage (204 First Avenue) and Obscura Antiques & Oddities (207 Avenue A) have a variety of antique, quirky, and vintage items for the shopper looking for something out of the ordinary.
Blue Man Group (Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette Street) is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows/concerts that combine music, comedy, and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at their live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience.
Blue Man Group is located in one of the best spots for exploring the rest of the East Village. Be sure to check out Astor Wines and Spirits (399 Lafayette Street) for quite possibly the best selections of “adult beverages” in the city. Or walk east to St. Marks Place and browse the little storefront stalls for some cheap sunglasses and other fun souvenirs—plus some of the most diverse food offerings in the city. Be sure to grab a coffee nearby at La Colombe, Third Rail, Darkstar, or even the Starbucks at Astor Place—great for people watching.
Whatever you happen to be in the mood for, the East Village has something for everyone! Make sure to include it in your next trip to New York City, and if you want to add Blue Man Group or Stomp to your E.V. visit, plan ahead and book your tickets today by visiting the show pages below.