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East Village: Top 10 Amazing Facts to Know!

8 mins read
Source: Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock

The East Village is a neighborhood village in New York City in Lower Manhattan’s Eastside. The east side of Third Avenue and Bowery is roughly defined between 14th Street on Houston Street and then north on the south side.

There are three subsections of the east village: Alphabet City, which concerns single-letter-names avenues located in the east river of First Avenue. Little Ukraine is near the 6th and 7th streets and the Second Avenue. The last is the Bowery, which is located around the streets of the same name.

East village then was divided into some plantations by the Dutch settlers. Also, it was occupied by the Americans, who were native Lenape.

During the early 90s, the east town was occupied by many cities’ opulent real estate.

After some years, it started to grow more. It included a large number of populates only those are immigrants also, including Manhattan’s Little Germany and which was once also known to be part of the Lower East Side.

After many years, many musicians, hippies, artists, and students started moving into this area. Later the east village was known for its own identity.

east village
Source: Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock

East Village: Top 10 Amazing Facts

Every story and moment of the East Village is unique in its way. Also, it has some unexpected turns and twists.

From the four farmer homes of Allen Ginsberg to the birthplace of shag haircut. First, federally- America had a subsidized public housing project. Here are some fun facts about the east village are:

1. Making of Movies:

More than a few great movies are filmed here in the East village, though some of the great films pretended they were filmed somewhere else.

Martin Scorsese’s Neo-noir classic “Taxi Driver,” most of the vital scenes of these movies were filmed at 226 East 13th street at a then-menacingly run-down tenement.

One more movie was “The Godfather Part II,” filmed in 520-531 and 521-531.

East 6th Street in East village but was supposed to be filmed turn-of-the-last-century Little Italy. “Ragtime,” which was an Oscar-winning movie in 1981, was also filmed in the Lower Eastside, and also the village served as a stand-in for the early 20th century.

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Source: jumps/Shutterstock

2. Yore’s Movie Palaces:

In the early century, the East village had more than a few movie palaces and movie theaters. But none of these places or theaters are still functioning.

Like it used to before, though few survive in altered from today. Simultaneously, many palaces are completely erased with any of their existing evidence, like the building or blocks.

Some of the live examples are the 133-second avenue at St. Mark church in the Bowery, which was the home of Negro Ensemble Company and helped launch Phylicia Rashad’s career, Angela Bassett. Laurence Fishburne, also there is the 144-second avenue which is now Veselka home.

The third one is 105 second Avenue, which also functioned as the Movie theater of Loew Commodore for about four decades and later became the legendary gay nightclub The Saint and the Fillmore East, a fabled performance venue.

The movie palaces, which are no longer extant, now include Avenue A 98-108, 64-74 Avenue B, which was once a nursing home and now is converted into a banal brick building and was given a significant makeover for condo conversion in 2014.

This also replaced Avenue B Movie Theater of Loew. Last but not least, the Thirds Avenue 110-112, a Variety Arts Theater that was once one of the First Nickelodeon Theaters in the New York times and now is a glassy high-rise condo tower.

3. Shag Haircut’s Birth Place:

The East Village is most known as the birthplace of many movements. Also, trends over more than 200 years, one of the strangest ones.

However, one of the easiest ones to pinpoint the start-up is a shag haircut. Which when came dominated both women’s and men’s hairstyles in the early times to the mid-century.

Paul McGregor opened his salon of a haircut at 15 Saint Mark’s Place in 1965 and began giving customers shag haircuts that gave a messy, multi-layered appearance.

Some celebrities of that time, such as Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda, and Warren Beatty, made this shag haircut more famous.

Then, the star Warren Beatty also made an adapted version of Paul McGregor and made it famous with a movie name “Shampoo,” which has at least a part of Paul McGregor.

After Paul McGregor shut down the shop, the former garage became a roller rink, a rock club, and a gay bar before it already had different stories added about it in 2004.

4. Disaster Memorial:

The Slocum Ferry Disaster General was one of the most significant losses and disasters of civilian life for the people of New York City to 9/11 and the U.S. waterways, the second-worst disaster of maritime.

One of the two memorials of East Village affected by the tragedy is also located in front of the Community Synagogue at 323-327 East 6th street, which was earlier a different place.

The synagogue was built earlier in 1847 as the Saint Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of German.

It was also mainly the congregants who were also on the board the ill-fated ferry, which also caught fire and ran on the grounds in June in the early 90s; more than 1000 children and women were killed.

This tremendous loss and disaster-affected life so much. They helped precipitate the rapid information of this area, which was influenced by immigrant Germans to a hugely eastern European Jewish immigrant neighborhood.

The present-day synagogue was taken over by the buildings in 1940.

5. Blues and Jazz Greats:

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Source: Natalia Mikhalchuk/Shutterstock

The East Village was also associated with musical genres and live music like psychedelic rock, punk rock, and rock n roll.

Still, the neighborhood has a great history of blues and jazz and the producers. Some examples of the blues and jazz great are 151 avenue B. Also, the Jazz grand Charlie Parker’s residence in the 1950s is an example.

The second example, 412 East 10th Street, Consummate Blues man Huddie’s Home “Lead Belly” Led better in the 1940s.

The third example is 242 East 3rd street, the Slug’s saloon in the neighborhood of Legendary jazz venues, where Lee Morgan, the jazz great, was shot and killed by his wife in the 90s.

The Five-spot Cafe at 5th Street 200 east and the former Stuyvesant casino at 140-142 second avenue.

The Ukrainian national home is considered one of the great venues for jazz middle of the 20th century. Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Sonny Rollins have performed.

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SOurce: Tenement Synagogues/Shutterstock

The building was replaced with senior housing in 1983 as it was demolished.

6. Tenement Synagogues:

The East Village is also rich in “tenement Synagogues” like the rest of the lower east side. Houses to worship are sandwiched into narrow slots.

Those in between the tenements are built to serve low residents of the surrounding buildings.

Though the congregations were of modest means, some of the tenements had rich ornamentation and details, showing aspirations of religions and spirituals.

The two central tenements are: first at 242 east 7th street is the congregation Beth Hamed rash Hagedon Anshe Ungarn; this is a landmark in New York City that was converted into residences in 1985.

The second is at 415 East 6th Street, the Mezritch Synagogue; this building was saved from demolition in 2008 and was landmarked in 2012.

This is also the only tenement synagogue still operating in the East Village. The rest of the buildings are converted for the residents to provide some income for the tiny congregation.

Some of the other tenement synagogues were found across Tompkins square at 317 east 8th street and just down the block at 431 east 6th street.

Now both are converted into residences. Six hundred thirty-eight east 6th street functions as the sixth street community center. Also, 636 East 6th street functions as a Pentecostal church.

7. Drag’s Origin

Drag is famous worldwide and in New York and is also great entertainment, illusion, mysticism, and humor.

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Source: lev Radin/Shutterstock

In 1979 when the Pyramid Club at 101 Avenue A opened, it took new in-your-face defiance, as traditional gender-bending merged with the performance art outrage and downtown punk attitude on the small stage of the seminal east village performance venue.

The club attracted many likes of the Red-Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nirvana, Cyndi Lauper, RuPaul, and Keith Haring.

The ground floor is considered the German Social Hall, and the building was also the residence of the model Nico, who was the vocalist on the first album of the velvet underground.

8. Chameleon Churches:

The waves of immigration over 200 years in the east village have helped many with an ever-changing and multi-faced kaleidoscope of some identities are ethnic.

For example, Saint Ann’s Church at 112 East 12th street was earlier built as a Baptist church in 1847.

It later became a synagogue and then turned into a catholic church in 1870 and an Armenian National Cathedral in 1983 before being converted into the empty entry tower in front of the NYU dorm.

The Holy Virgin protection is the Russian orthodox cathedral at 59-63 East 2nd Street, also built-in 1891 as the Olivet Chapel. A protestant church by Josiah cady was the architect of the natural history museum.

Previously the first Hungarian reformed church was the American Orthodox Greek catholic church of Saint Mary at 121 east 7th street. In North America, the Christian Orthodox Catholic Church’s eastern confession and the church of Saint Paul and Saint peter Russian Orthodox Church.

The Hispanic Mozarabic Rite of the San Isidoro y San Leandro orthodox catholic church at the 345 east 4th street was an unusual site that follows the crypto Christians traditions Moorish occupied Spain.

This sect was firstly created in 1891 for the Hungarian people. Also, for the Slovak catholic church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary roman catholic church.

It was later home for the Carpathian Russian orthodox church of holy trinity and then turned into saint Nicholas the Russian orthodox church.

The iron gate, which shows the Russian empire’s coat of arms, was added during that time.

9. Oldest Library:

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Source: Erick C Freitas/Shutterstock

The East Village has two of New York’s oldest libraries. The Tompkins Square Branch, or Tompkins Square Park, was built in 1904 and is one of the New York Library and the first Carnegie libraries.

After the consolidation of Greater New York, a series of branch libraries were built up by the wealthy industrialists in 1989.

The reforms improved many less fortunate city dwellers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The other oldest library is at the 135-second avenue, the Bosendorfer branch library, built-in 1883 as the first public library in New York Universities, a part of New York Public Library.

10. Allen Ginsberg:

They are only a few artists or poets who the citizens identified as Allen Ginsberg, who died in 1997.

His almost entire adulthood was spent in several locations, and also, he was a ubiquitous presence in the neighborhood. He also lived with his lover Peter Orlofsky from 1958 to 1961 at 170 East 2nd Street.

He also helped Willian S. Burroughs write the “Naked Lunch” and the “Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg.” He lived at 437-439 East 12th street from 1975 to 1996, which also overlooked the Christians Church Mary Help, frequently seen in this writing.

Also, Allen lived at the building of the artists’ colony at 405 East 13th, between 1961 and 1975, which was in the Street along the Larry Rivers and Claes Oldenburg, among others tenement at East 10th Street at 406-408.

East village side street is politically in New York’s 12th and 7th congressional districts. It is also situated in New York’s 28th and 27th districts, and the New York state assembles the 65th, 66th, and 74th districts and its councils in the 1st and 2nd districts.

The East Village in New York City is a fantastic village neighborhood to explore, and many historical events have taken place in the east village.

So, if you are thinking of exploring some past events, East village is one of the best places to visit. Also, the above-written points are one of the best fun facts about the east village.

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