NYU Area

While New York University is a part of Greenwich Village and has tendrils snaking through NoHo and the East Village (not to mention the half dozen other neighborhoods the university has spread, spore-like and mindlessly), NYU's campus is a neighborho... more

While New York University is a part of Greenwich Village and has tendrils snaking through NoHo and the East Village (not to mention the half dozen other neighborhoods the university has spread, spore-like and mindlessly), NYU's campus is a neighborhood of its own, although the borders have changed and are still changing at a rate far above those of more legitimate neighborhoods. The main campus centers around Washington Square Park with extensions reaching out to Union Square, Midtown, and to the soon-to-be Williamsburg campus. As with Morningside Heights, much of the pulse of the neighborhood stems from the thousands of students wandering about their open-air campus, which in the case of NYU is rather less defined than Columbia. Although the university continues to expand through lower Manhattan, gobbling up buildings like some urban version of Galactus, the nexus of the university remains Bobst Library along Washington Square South and Washington Square Park. Washington Square Park, of course, is a meeting place for students and a buzzing hub of activity around the NYU campus. Dozens of street musicians stake out performances spots within the park, which was large enough to ha... more

While New York University is a part of Greenwich Village and has tendrils snaking through NoHo and the East Village (not to mention the half dozen other neighborhoods the university has spread, spore-like and mindlessly), NYU's campus is a neighborhood of its own, although the borders have changed and are still changing at a rate far above those of more legitimate neighborhoods. The main campus centers around Washington Square Park with extensions reaching out to Union Square, Midtown, and to the soon-to-be Williamsburg campus. As with Morningside Heights, much of the pulse of the neighborhood stems from the thousands of students wandering about their open-air campus, which in the case of NYU is rather less defined than Columbia. Although the university continues to expand through lower Manhattan, gobbling up buildings like some urban version of Galactus, the nexus of the university remains Bobst Library along Washington Square South and Washington Square Park.

Washington Square Park, of course, is a meeting place for students and a buzzing hub of activity around the NYU campus. Dozens of street musicians stake out performances spots within the park, which was large enough to have accommodated over 20,000 attendees for a political rally in the summer of 2008. Along the north side of Washington Square Park are brownstones predominantly inhabited by the university's professors as well as the undergraduate admissions office, while the east side is bordered by student services, academic buildings, and—further eastward—the university bookstore. Along the south side is the academic center of the campus, with Bobst Library and the new Kimmel Center For University Life. As weird as Washington Square Park can get, it pales in comparison to that other lynchpin of outdoor NYU activity, Union Square.

With an undergraduate population of over 25,000 students, New York University's campus has proved to be an economic boon to the surrounding area's businesses. By business, of course, we mean business in general, not necessarily neighborhood businesses—understandably, with the highly desirable, built-in client base of coeds, local businesses have to vie twice as hard against national chains that are capable of paying massive rents without batting an eyelash. Down 3rd Street at 6th Avenue is the IFC Center , a wonderful theater that showcases independent films, operated by the same parent company as the IFC Channel. Local favorites like Famous Ben's Pizza dot the area below 3rd Street, with further-out places like Yatagan Kebab House helping to feed the student population. Not that university students drink or anything, but there's no shortage of great bars and live music in the historically hip and musician-friendly Greenwich Village. Places like the Red Lion and the Bitter End are bona fide institutions and have hosted untold numbers of aspiring and soon-to-be stars. Of course, there's also the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club, where, in years past, one could see performances from the likes of Chick Corea, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Schofield while sitting the audience with superstars like Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones.


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