Bloggers Emily Bache and Abigail Breslin from The Wanderlust Girls tell us their top five places to go in New York City’s East Village.
So, you’re visiting New York City? Booked your ticket for the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty? Hailing a cab and heading to see the hustle and bustle of Times Square? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’re doing NYC all wrong. Okay, we’re being dramatic. You can do those things, but it’s vital to get a taste of the real New York City. By real, we mean one that New Yorkers will actually be at.
Avoiding the avenues and strolling the side streets is the best place to start. We are partial to the East Village in all it’s gritty glory. The places are quaint as space is sparse, but the compactness almost feels homey, which is a wonderful thing to have in such a big city. We assure you that size does not matter… in this case.
If there is a wait at GG’s, it’s because every East Village resident already knows how good the pizza is. So, wait the 20 minutes and, if you must, feel free to drool over all the dishes as they make their way to the tables. HINT: You must, we repeat, you must try their “Grandma Pie.” It’s big, but almost impossible to share, only because you won’t want to share it.
While making our way to and from Brooklyn, we discovered this hidden gem in the depths of Union Square subway station by the L train. It’s called The New Stand. It’s like the spawn of Urban Outfitters and the Apple store, packed into this small space in the subway. The products they have in this store are curated so well and the vibes in there are awesome! Rather than getting everyone an I <3 NY t-shirt from your trip, why not something a little more unique like a collapsible helmet or recyclable thumb drives. HINT: If you download their free app “The New Stand” you get 50% off some items.
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If someone in your family is actually dying for a New York t-shirt, you’ll have to go to Reason Outpost on St. Mark’s Street. Their shirts are… we can’t pull off the word dope, but that is the only way we can describe them so… dope. Their products are unique and we promise your nephew or niece will love you for buying one for them. HINT: Pick up one of their signature fashion pun t-shirts.
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St. Mark’s Book Shop is another great place to peruse, but be wary you could be there for hours. We usually are. The staff are so friendly and there is always someone standing up right in the middle completely lost in a novel. HINT: Check out their flyer door with upcoming concerts in the neighborhood!
Finally, it’s time to get down like a real East Village inhabitant and sing some karaoke at Sing Sing. This place is grimy in the best way possible. Get ready to drink some cheap drinks and dance to some potentially phenomenal karaoke (but mostly just mediocre singing by some awesome East Village folk, like us.) HINT: Keep your eyes out for the occasional drunken celebrity appearance in the back rooms.