After you arrive in theVillage, tuck
into a bubbling Neapolitan-style pizza
at
Kesté Pizza &Vino
(at Bleecker and
Morton streets), one of the best pizze-
rias to open in the last few years. Or,
sample unconventional but expertly
prepared rustic fare at
The Spotted Pig
,
a popular eatery for grazing. Take time
to walk off your meal by exploring the
Village’s maze of streets, eclectic shops,
and former haunts of famous beat
poets and folk singers.
If there’s time:
Sometimes it’s easy
to forget you’re on a small island, so for
a waterside perspective, head a few
blocks west to the
Hudson River
. The
city has revamped the area with desig-
nated walkways and bike paths.
Day 5 —Global (East) Village and
Lower East Side
The
East Village
and the
Lower East
Side
were once refuges for new immi-
grants, most of whom came from
Central and Eastern Europe. Today the
neighborhoods are beacons for creative
cooking and lively nightlife. Start
your day north of the
Ea s t Village in
Union
Square
, browsing the
famous
Greenmarket
(open from 8:00 a.m.
to 6:00 p.m. Monday,
Wednesday, Friday, and
Saturday). Grab some
provisions for a walking breakfast, then
head south toward the East Village,
whose streets (particularly Ninth and
10th) are lined with boutiques and
ethnic eateries. One of the best,
Ngam
(ThirdAvenue between 12th and 13th
streets), offers Thai comfort food.
After lunch, walk south of Houston
Street to the Lower East Side, the site
of the intriguing
Tenement Museum
.
Tour the five-story building’s restored
apartments and see how they evolved
over the decades, or meet some of the
7,000 people — played by costumed
interpreters — who lived at 97
Orchard Street from 1863 to 1935.
Think of it as Colonial Williamsburg
with a Russian accent.
Pay tribute to one of the Lower East
Side’s other great immigrant groups
with dinner at
Torrisi Italian Specialties
on Mulberry Street in nearby NoLIta
(North of Little Italy). The inventive
menu, which changes frequently, can
be found at torrisinyc.com.
If there’s time:
Sneak a highball or
two at
The Back Room
, a speakeasy
complete with a trick bookcase and
cocktails served in teacups.
Day 6 — SoHo Is for Shoppers
Start your day downtown in
SoHo
(shorthand for South of Houston).
Once a haven for artists, the SoHo of
today resembles nothing so much as an
outdoor mall — albeit one studded
with cast-iron Art Deco buildings.
Shopaholics take note: Seemingly
LEFT: Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Carroll Gardens are enjoying a cultural and
economic renaissance. RIGHT: Strawberry Fields, located between 71st and 74th
streets in Central Park, pays homage to the late Beatle and peace activist, John
Lennon. INSET: Times Square, once gritty and neglected, has transformed into a
bustling playground for families, visitors, and shoppers. FACING PAGE: The 9/11
Memorial offers a poignant and peaceful haven for reflection.
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