East Village NYC: An Arts & Music Hub in Manhattan

Sep 12, 2019

The East Village in New York City has long been a haven for artists, musicians, and other creative minds. It borders SoHo and Greenwich Village and has been the home of countless cultural icons and movements: in the mid 1960s, you were likely to run into Andy Warhol on St. Mark’s Place or members of The Grateful Dead on their way to a show. Today, the East Village is just as vibrant and lively as it was 50 years ago.

There’s hardly a shortage of things to do in the East Village, so we’ve put together a quick guide for anyone who wants to visit the beating heart of the neighborhood. The East Village is just a quick ride on the subway from C&J’s Port Authority terminal. We offer fast and convenient trips into the city from Dover, Portsmouth, and Tewksbury so you don’t have to worry about driving! C&J riders enjoy free Wi-Fi, complimentary snacks and refreshments, and a comfortable ride.

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Experience Music History

Running like a vein through East Village is one of the most iconic and culturally significant streets in New York City: St. Mark’s Place. Andy Warhol’s famous multimedia show, The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, opened in an old ballroom on this street. Later on in the 1960s and 1970s, bands including The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band played in the same location at the Electric Circus. The club was closed in 1971, but you can still visit the site as you walk along St. Mark’s Place.

Another stop in the East Village is the Fillmore East. Now a bank, this concert hall once hosted bands and artists like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, and The Who. Don’t miss visiting CBGB while you’re in the neighborhood, either. Often referred to as the birthplace of punk music, greats such as the Ramones, Beastie Boys, Talking Heads, Plasmatics, Patti Smith, Madonna, and more all played in this club. CBGB is now on National Register of Historic Places.

As you walk around East Village (and St. Mark’s Place, especially), you’ll probably recognize some of the scenery from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti album or from music videos for “Waiting on a Friend” by The Rolling Stones and “A Matter of Trust” by Billy Joel.

Explore Art History

Where else in the world but New York City could you visit a museum dedicated to preserving independent film and avant-garde cinema history? The Anthology Film Archives is one of the coolest ways to spend an afternoon in the East Village. It is home to the “…world’s most extensive and invaluable collections of avant-garde films and videos” and well as the “…largest collection of paper materials relating to independent and experimental cinema, encompassing books, periodicals, documents, letters, manuscripts, and more”.

It’s easy to spend hours looking through the incredible museum. Every day, the Anthology Film Archives screens several films, so be sure to check the calendar before you head into the city!

Check out the Food Scene

After you’ve worked up an appetite trekking around the neighborhood, you’ll probably want to stop for a bite to eat. Or maybe sit down for a whole meal. Luckily, the East Village has more drool-worthy restaurants than we can count and we’ve got the scoop on which are worth your time!

  • The Bao – This fairly new restaurant on St. Mark’s Place has received rave reviews for their dumplings and dim sum. We’re particularly fond of their steamed pork buns and scallion pancakes!
  • Gnocco – If you’re more of an Italian food lover, then be sure to visit Gnocco while you’re in the East Village. From mouth-watering antipasti to homemade pasta with fresh cheese, you’re bound to find something on their menu you’ll love.
  • Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar –  Depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Upstate’s rotating seasonal menu. This fall, we love seared scallops and fettuccine with clams.
  • Huertas – Color is always the main feature in a meal from Huertas. Try roasted mushrooms, saffron fried rice, or smoked mussels in this bright and lively Spanish restaurant.
  • Proletariat – While they don’t serve food, this bar is a necessary stop in the East Village for any beer lovers out there. Proletariat always has an extensive menu with amazing rare craft brews!
  • Milk Bar – Craving something sweet after your meal? Milk Bar has you covered with a slice of their famous pie, birthday truffles, or PB&J snap cookies.

If we’ve convinced you to put the East Village at the top of your travel bucket list, then you’ll need to start planning your trip! Ride with C&J to New York City for a fast and stress-free travel experience. Check out our schedules and be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time to reserve a seat on one of our buses.

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