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East Village Walking Tour

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

By

Astor Place Cube -

Astor Place Cube - "The Alamo"

The Bottom Line

Whether you're into punk rock or the immigrant history of the Lower East Side, the East Village Walking Tour offers a wealth of insight into the history and culture of this diverse New York City neighborhood.

Pros

  • Lots of history and lore from the neighborhood
  • Many landmark buildings in the area
  • Affordable
  • The tour guide is a knowledgeable neighborhood resident

Cons

  • Lots of buildings are slated to be torn down in the East Village
  • Many businesses are losing their leases in the East Village

Description

  • Some featured sights on the East Village Walking Tour:
    • The Alamo
    • The Cooper Union
    • St. Mark's Place
    • Orpheum Theatre
    • Tompkins Square
  • The East Village Walking Tour is offered Saturday and Wednesday at Noon.
  • East Village Walking Tour Price: $20
  • Groups of less than 10 don't need to reserve in advance. Arrive about 15 minutes before the tour and meet at Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery.
  • Nearest Subway to the East Village Neighborhood Tour: F Train to 2nd Avenue
  • The tour covers just over half a mile at a comfortable pace, with many stops along the way.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Tours may be cancelled in case of in climate weather.
  • Pictures from the East Village Walking Tour

Guide Review - East Village Walking Tour

We met Eric in front of the "The Alamo", better known as the Astor Place Cube, to begin our tour of the East Village. As a long-time neighborhood resident, Eric was able to share personal experiences throughout the tour illustrating how the neighborhood has changed during his lifetime. He also had a notebook with photos and illustrations depicting the neighborhood as it once was -- whether he was talking about farming, riots, punk rock or mob violence. The photos really enhanced our ability to imagine the vast transformations that have occurred in the neighborhood.

The 1 1/2 hour tour traveled east along St. Mark's Place, stopping frequently for stories about various buildings, stores and historical events in the neighborhood. Eric's passion for preserving the history and architecture of the East Village was clear whether he was talking about buildings slated for demolition, businesses unable to renew their leases due to skyrocketing rents, and the dearth of new construction in the neighborhood.

When we arrived in Tompkins Square Park, I had a much greater appreciation for the East Village's history -- for years the neighborhood had been a great place for bar-hopping and dining, but now I have a greater appreciation for the neighborhood's rich history.

Pictures from the East Village Walking Tour

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Lower East Side History Project tours are great!, Member Poocolada2

The organization which gives the tours of the East Village is now called the Lower East Side History Project. They do not necessarily meet at the Cube in Astor Place, as this article was written some time ago. Their website gives the most up-to-date information on tours: http://Leshp.org All of their tours are led by licensed NYC tour guides who are native New Yorkers, most of whom are from the East Village / Lower East Side, which makes their tours extremely authentic. Eric Ferrara, their Executive Director, is a 4th generation Lower East Sider, and a published author of the book, ""A Guide to Gangsters, Murderers and Weirdos of NYC's Lower East Side"". His tour of the same name gives a fascinating insight into the crime and seedy underbelly of the city's first working class neighborhood. It does not glorify or sensationalize the crimes which occurred. Rather, it explains the root causes which led to the rise of organized crime, and the plight of the working class in a time when there were no social services in place for people to rely on. I highly recommend their tours!

4 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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