Alice Gao's guide to the West Village
In the six and a half years that I’ve lived in New York, all six apartments I’ve had have been on the East Side. I’ve lived all along the East Side, from the 30th floor of a high rise to a tiny, termite-infested studio on St.Marks, but it’s a pre-war style apartment in Gramercy that I’ve made my home.
Even though it’s tucked away on the other side of the island, I can’t deny the charm of the West Village. This beautiful and quietly busy corner of the city is the perfect place to walk around and get lost for a few hours. And trust me, you will get lost - I still need Google Maps when navigating the leafy streets of brownstones, side-stepping tourists trying to find Sex and The City’s Perry Street or the Friends apartment on Bedford & Grove. Sometimes it doesn't feel like New York at all, in the best possible way.
It’s such a great place for aimless wandering that I rarely know where I’m going when I'm over there, but there are a few places I manage to find and revisit time and time again when I make the West Side pilgrimage: the quaint but bustling Buvette for a solo breakfast or a leisurely lunch; the window seat at Té Company, where I take a book and sip on oolong; the photography book selection at Bookmarc; or the cheesy focaccia in Rosemary’s. It feels detached from the New York craziness, and yet very iconically New York at the same time.