My Christmas Gem…Greenwich Village.

It’s Christmas Week! Let’s be real, Christmas should be a week. I was just out trying to do a little bit of shopping and everywhere is mobbed! Kids are out of school, running around like tops and just about every parent I saw was haggard. But did it drown my Christmas spirit? Absolutely not! I’m counting down the days…3 to be precise, until I fly to see my folks.

In 3 days I fly into New York City. One of the Christmas mecca’s of the World. I’ll go see the tree and I’ll grab some last-minute gifts while I weave around awe-struck tourist pointing and stopping short to gape at this building or that scene. I’ll get annoyed when I bump into someone who’s head is in a map yet they don’t know which way is up or down. Then literally two seconds later I’ll see Bryant Park all dressed up in Christmas finery and my soul will be restored.

New York really is one of the most manageable cities, once you know it. And really you could live there for a life time and still find new and amazing places you never knew existed. It’s a city that’s constantly changing and a city that truly never sleeps. It’s a city of amazing food and hidden speakeasies. A city of contradictions and yet it is a city where every culture cohabitates and blends with ease. It is where dreams are made and crushed and for a short time I was lucky enough to call it my home.

Every New Yorker has their favorite neighborhood. For me no trip is complete to the city without taking a walk down Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village. Greenwich is a laid-back neighborhood filled with amazing restaurants and eclectic stores. It’s one of the only areas of Manhattan that I don’t feel rushed being there and it will be all dressed up for Christmas.

Originally one of the first artist enclaves, it drew many alternative cultures seeking refuge and at one point was known for it’s LGBTQ population. Known as “The Village” to locals, the neighborhood is delineated by Broadway to the east, the North River to the west, Houston Street to the South and 14th Street to the North. In the late 1850’s many members of the Hudson River School, made the Village their home, including Frederic Church and Winslow Homer. In 1938 the Cafe Society, located at 1 Sheridan Street, hosted the first ever integrated nightclub, but that’s just some of it’s very colorful history.

My favorite pizza place is there, John’s of BleekerThey don’t take reservations and they don’t serve slices. They just make amazing brick oven pizza. Then there’s Murray’s Cheese Shop. If you love cheese this is your heaven. Murray’s has every cheese imaginable and delicious sandwiches too. A little further down is Pasticceria Rocco. A family owned and operated bakery, that makes delectable desserts and tasty coffee drinks.

There are tons of places to visit all over New York. Every neighborhood has it’s own style and construction. I fell in love with Greenwich’s red brick edifices and narrow inviting streets. I fell in love with it’s diversity and color… and I keep falling in love every time I visit. If Greenwich wasn’t on your list of places to see while in New York, it’s worth the detour.

Until next time.

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