NYC Neighborhood Guide
The East Village is one of Manhattan’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The affordable restaurant and bar scene spills onto sidewalks in warm weather. The EV’s eclectic spirit originates in the creative art, literary, and music counterculture of the ’60s and ’70s. Known for being the birthplace of punk rock, the East Village earned its gritty reputation at bygone clubs like CBGB and dives like Mars Bar.
Gentrification that began in the early 2000s is now in full swing as the East Village gets gussied up. Despite the loss of edgy culture, the indie scene is evolving. For example, St. Mark’s Place has become a haven for good-time Asian pubs and karaoke. You’re not moving here for serenity or convenient subways, but you’ll be rewarded with lively times in the epitome of downtown living.
🎉 Thriving social scene
🍻 Diverse, affordable restaurants and bars
🍱 Little Tokyo
👨🎤 St. Mark’s Place
🔠 Alphabet City
👣 Classic tenement walkups
East Village Real Estate and Trends
Historically, lack of subway access kept apartments here relatively affordable, but East Village prices rose almost 10% over the past five years, according to The New York Times. The pandemic has since reversed that trend, at least temporarily. The average home here remains on the market for about 100 days.
Typical housing stock is four- to six-floor tenement walkups with telltale fire escapes on the front. These apartments, built for poor and working-class immigrants one hundred years ago, lack the living and bathroom space that we now expect. Condo development accommodates today’s homebuyers at the expense of raising prices across the neighborhood. Indie stores and restaurants struggle to keep up. Incoming franchises chip away at the quirky character of the area, but local options still abound.
1 BD $805,000
2 BD $1,450,000
Average sales price based on past transactions. Last updated: 2/18/21
Prewar housing stock predominates. Apartments priced on the lower end will be in creaky walkup tenements in need of modern updates. Street noise can also be an issue given the boisterous restaurant and nightlife scene.
Most of Alphabet City lies in a high or moderate flood risk zone. See your flood resiliency profile at floodhelpny.org and understand your building’s mitigation measures. Flood insurance may be a necessity on top of a separate homeowners policy.
—Robin, Localize real estate advisor
Transportation in the East Village
Get ready to walk, bike, or call rideshare. Public transit is relatively sparse in the EV.
Subway – The East Village lacks subways except for at its northern edge. Along 14 St, the L stops at 1 Av, 3 Av, and Union Square, which is the closest transportation hub (8 lines). The 6 train also stops south of Union Square at Astor Pl while the R/W stops at 8 St-NYU. Although the EV is mostly devoid of subway service, most residents don’t mind because walking around is so interesting.
Bus – Most would rather walk than wait for a bus. The M15 going up 1 Av and down 2 Av is an option for commuters. The M9 chugs along Av C and East Houston St between Kips Bay and Battery Park City.
Bike – Citi Bike fills in the public transportation gap with plentiful stations. Biking is a real timesaver, especially for those living in Alphabet City—about a 20-minute walk from Astor Pl. Protected bike lanes run up 1 Av and down 2 Av and across 12 St and 13 St. Crosstown streets have relatively low traffic. Striped lanes on Avenues A and C also make biking safer.
Best Schools in the East Village
Public and private primary schools abound. The following public schools receive excellent marks: East Village Community School (PK-5), PS 15 Roberto Clemente (PK-5), PS 19 Asher Levy (PK-5), and public charter Girls Prep Lower East Side (K-8). School choice, however, is changing across NYC—read more here.
Private schools include the New Amsterdam School, George Jackson Academy, Academy of Thought and Industry at East Village, and the British-styled Nord Anglia International School New York. Neighborhood parochial schools are the Immaculate Conception School, St. George Elementary School and St. George Academy, La Salle Academy for boys, and Cornelia Connelly Center for girls.
Your Perfect Day: Things to Do in the East Village
👀 People-watch in Tompkins Square Park with musicians, basketball courts, playgrounds, and dog-friendly areas
☕️ Think creatively over coffee at the minimalist local chain Ninth Street Espresso
🥢 Dig into affordable apps and $1.50 Sapporo drafts at boisterous Japanese pubs like Kenka along St. Mark’s Place
🧖♀️ Relax in steamy old world pleasure at Russian & Turkish Baths, founded in 1892 when the East Village was home to Eastern European immigrants
🐩 Book a spa day for your pet; treat Fido to full-service grooming at Unleashed Spa or DIY for $25 in their stainless steel tubs
🌍 Get full of culture at international eateries like Cafe Mogador for Moroccan, Sigiri for Sri Lankan, Kafana for Serbian, Somtum Der for Thai, Veselka for Ukrainian, and Momofuku Noodle Bar for those who wait in line
🍦 Lick a rainbow of flavors and innovative toppings at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
🍻 Unwind in olde times at McSorley’s Ale House, dating to 1854 and said to be the city’s oldest tavern; you’re here for ale—light or dark—so don’t try to order a cosmo
🥃 Watch the passion of the mixologist shaking up your cocktail at Death & Company, a classy speakeasy lounge
🕺🏻 Dance the night away at Webster Hall, renowned concert venue that opened in 1886—the same year the Statue of Liberty was dedicated
Want to live in the East Village?