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Favorite Area of New York: the East Village

New York City is a magical place with so much history and culture. I want to illustrate each of my favorite neighborhoods for you inhabitants of the wonderful island as well as the non-New Yorkers. The East Village neighborhood was the center of counterculture in New York and that culture still remains. It could be my favorite neighborhood in the entire city. Its diversity and old New York beauty captivates me in a way that not all of the streets can do.

The East Village makes me believe in dreams and fame. I just finished Patti Smith’s Just Kids and it is truly inspiring to read her recount of the city as it once was and then to walk the same streets hoping for the same reality.

Now the East Village is crowded with privileged NYU college students instead of musicians and artists who starve for their craft, so naturally, the feeling is different, but the spirit that once was still remains.

East Village - 2nd Avenue

The East Village is made up of smaller neighborhoods including: Alphabet City, St. Mark’s Place, and the Bowery. In St. Marks Place, you have to try $1 pizza and Pho 32 & Shabu, which is an amazing Japanese Shabu restaurant in the middle of tattoo and piercing parlors. This street is one of the few that still resembles the grimy nature of the old East Village.

That cannot be said for the Bowery, which once was known for ts many homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation centers and bars. Now the Bowery is an extremely expensive, trendy, and chic street.

Some of the culture remains as both the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge continue to run playing music. With these concert halls, the vibe of this less industrial and more creative New York also remains.

My favorite store in the East Village is Foley + Corinna and my favorite restaurant is ‘inoteca, which would go unnoticed but they have the best anti-pesto collection in the world.

If only everyone looked as cool as this chick nowadays.

Photographed in 2006 by The Sartorialist

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Five Shops and Stops in New York City

Now that I am back at college I am desperate to go back home to New York. Of course, being back at school is amazing, but I miss my friends and family and New York City. So if anyone is lucky enough to be there now or is visiting soon, here are the five places I made sure to go before I left.

5. Pixie Market (100 Stanton St # 2, New York, NY) is definitely a place to stop. They really carry it all from simple feminine dresses to some eccentric pieces. It’s not too expensive at all for the quality and the unique clothing you will find here.

4. John’s Pizzeria (278 Bleecker St, New York, NY) is the best pizza in New York (so basically the world). You have to go to the one on Bleecker Street not Times Square if you want to do this right.

3.  Calypso is expensive but has amazing deals a couple times a year including the beginning of January so stop by the many locations in New York, uptown and downtown. The style is very bohemian travel wear, but at the same time, very accessible for everyday wear. It’s a store that is really underrated for how beautiful and elegant the designs actually are, so definitely check this one out too.

2. Intermix (1003 Madison Ave., New York, NY) is a very expensive store but it is worth it to look around and gawk at the beautiful clothes. Not really any sales but it has really great items so save up for.

1. Madewell(486 Broadway New York, NY) is like the cooler, younger sister of J Crew. Not too pricey but so cute and really great casual work or school attire. Obsessed with this store and so should every other twenty-something year old.