The West Village, once New York City’s intellectual capital, is now one its most expensive and desirable. Characterized by its quiet tree-lined streets and multitude of historic brownstones, it is both historic and modern, as well as appealing to almost anyone who happens to visit. Perhaps best known for its deviant street pattern with little to no logic (where else can West 4th Street intersect West 10th, 11th, and 12th Streets?) and its mix of corner stores and designer shops, the West Village comprises the area of Lower Manhattan between Houston and 14th Streets and to the west of Sixth and Greenwich Avenues. Like most of Manhattan, what is now West Village (and Greenwich Village to that extent) was originally a rural outpost on the island until the development of the grid system and subsequent expansion northwards in the 19th century. In a way, the planners of the city acted as preservationists and kept the distinctive character of the area intact while implementing their grid across the rest of the island. In doing so, they allowed for the West Village to stay as a community and, over a century later, help develop the Beat Movement, for which the neighborhood is now famous.
The arts and culture so epitomized by the media, although not what they used to be, continues to bring people to the West Village. Its human scale makes it a tranquil enclave that feels physically separate from the rest of New York City. Potential buyers and renters with families may find the West Village particularly appealing, as apartments are more generously sized and the streets are narrower and quieter. Those seeking alternative culture also populate the neighborhood, bringing with them diversity and a sense of identity stronger than in many other parts of Manhattan. Like other desirable neighborhoods, the West Village has a renowned personality, historical and architectural significance, and great access to public transportation and the rest of the island. For these reasons, and many more, it is celebrated and continually respected as an example of great urbanism.