I spent less than 24 hours in NYC this weekend, and it was quite the whirlwind!
I’ve mentioned before that I love visting the city, and I spend a lot of time there because one of my best friends lives in Manhattan. Consequently, I’ve gotten to explore a lot more than your average tourist, and while Brooklyn Heights is probably still my favorite neighborhood to wander, the West Village is definitely a very close second.
Bookstores, coffee shops, cute little cafés and restaurants, boutiques way out of my price range, beautiful architecture, secret gardens, and a heavy dose of history make this area a standout for some sunny day exploration.
The West Village seems more like a neighborhood and less like a city, with protections in place to preserve the old buildings, cobblestone streets, and petite skyline.
It’s a spot where you can literally get off the grid, as many of the streets are older than the city’s grid system and several don’t even go in numerical order.
We intentionally decided to spend the afternoon just meandering, with no agenda, no Google maps, and nowhere to be.
I’m a sucker for a pretty building, but my very favorite spot turned out to be St. Luke in the Fields Church’s tiny little public garden, the entrance to which is so unassuming you could easily walk right past it.
The gardens are cell-phone free, family-friendly, and meticulously cared for, with plenty of shady spots and comfy benches perfect for diving into a good book.
The more than half-acre walled retreat was a lovely little oasis where the sounds of the city faded away, and I would highly encourage you to scope out the secret garden one weekend.
When you’re ready to refuel, Rosemary’s West Village is the prettiest spot – Instagram worthy interiors, a rooftop garden, and all kinds of Italian small plates, cheeses and charcuterie, pastas, and other dishes. We accidentally stumbled upon it and were so happy we did.
My suggestion? Order the eggplant caponata: roasted veggies and pine nuts served chilled and drizzled in agrodolce – a traditional tangy Italian sauce with which I’ve developed a recent obsession.
I promise you, spend an afternoon exploring the West Village and agrodolce won’t be the only thing you’re obsessing over!
What are your favorite neighborhoods in NYC? Any spots I should swing by the next time I’m in town?