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From its stoop for nearly four decades — where we Villagers in traditional old-New-York-neighborhood-style still sit with our beloved dogs, glasses of red wine and mini- picnics, to chat and catch-up — I have personally witnessed the transformation of West Greenwich Village.

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From a somewhat sleepy, artsy community where one wakened to the sounds of actors reciting lines, gentle melodies of folk songs strummed on worn guitars, and passionate sociopolitical activists strategizing their protests, we now wake to shrill drills of multi-million-dollar construction and the vibrating beat of jack hammers. Demographics have radically changed. It was the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots.

The Village community offered a safer haven for both my daughter and myself. Vincent Millay. Forever the Documentarian, I always carried a ature, black-leather-covered sketchpad for both drawing and writing. Later as a teen, I traded the pad in for beloved cameras. Occasionally the guitar I never fully learned to play also accompanied me, especially to Washington Square Park, where we would gather for impromptu folk song sessions. One posh Bank Streeter had the entire street closed off to replant a five-story-high special tree in his rear garden.

Another new resident installed a heating system beneath his the townhouse sidewalk, to melt snow. These newbies have frequently proven to be good neighbors. His vision was to develop a thoroughly participatory local ritual. Yours truly participated in that first parade, walking the Village streets with my daughter CoriAnne, costumed and carrying candles, as in a medieval antry.

It was when Ralph thought the Parade co-opted, becoming an out-of-town, spectator event, that he left. With radically rising rents, cafes had all but disappeared in the WV. However, in a curious turn of fate, Starbucks inadvertently took the lead in their resurrection. The topic of conversation so many only chatting via their iPad, iPhone and laptop may have changed to finance and babies, but occasionally one can still overhear whispers of culture and world changing socio-politics.

The quality of life has been greatly enhanced by the expansion of WV green space. There also is Jackson Square where one can lunch or reflect to the soothing sounds of falling water in a large fountain, funded, in part, by a ificant grant from Armani. I am delighted to have contributed to the development of the magnificent Hudson River Park spotlighting some of the best sunset viewing on the isle of Manhattan. Did you Bisexual girls in Java village New York the West side stays brighter just a wee bit longer than the East! Many gather here to toast the sunset in a kind of low-key Key West style!

Attracting visitors worldwide, GV also hosts the beginning Southern-most point of the visionary High Line — a one-time derelict elevated thoroughfare for long-defunct trains, presently brilliantly developed into a alluring greenway, from Gansevoort Street to 30th. And still growing! Beasty Feast has become a quasi-community center. Have I ever paid that for my own coiffure? A Culinary Paradise! When we first moved here the standard Village eatery was an Italian restaurant bedecked with red and white checked tablecloths and candle-dripped-Chianti-bottle-centerpieces, serving spaghetti with meatballs in marinara sauce.

Of course there was the historical White Horse made infamous by the antics of Dylan Thomas and pals. So very different now, the transformed WV hosts many fine culinary establishments featuring global cuisine. Celebrating a quarter of a century, The Place was actually built years ago. The antique small rooms, with original oak beams and two fireplaces, features new-takes on hearty renditions of market-fresh comfort food.

All in a gem of old-world candlelit ambiance.


There is one special corner table — earmarked for romance, where over have proposed. My fav is the Pan Seared Diver Scallops over a creamy polenta.

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On cold snowy eves locals sipped cognac in front of a blazing fireplace. Greenwich Avenue is also a street of varied restaurants.

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The fine French Lyon is among the newest additions. The white-tablecloth casual ambiance, attracts a special crowd — where a touted deer such as Isaac Mizrahi may be sited privately dining with the very best of friends. Then there is Monument Lane! A forward-thinking tavern featuring the sharing-fun of bites and small platters of seasonal American fare as well as a communal dining table go easy on the large single population who perchance might be dining alone.

The food is innovative and delicious. Roasted cauliflower quiche. Farro risotto with charred broccoli, walnuts and Parmesan. Located on Seventh Avenue at Carmine Street, it seemed miles away. However the suites of robust wine, and especially the array of mouth-watering chocolates, were worth the trip.

Tucked away throughout WV are intriguing spots in which to feast and imbibe.

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Unfortunately individually owned and operated venues have become an endangered species, a thing of the past. Small retail has almost no chance!

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Groceries, bodegas, and custom deer boutiques simply cannot compete against still yet another mega-style Duane Reade, Rite Aid, the proliferation of large banks, or five Marc Jacobs and four Ralph Laurens within a few mere blocks. Has not gone awry?

Residents do enjoy the convenience of chic local shopping — if primarily window-shopping. Tourists flock to, what I have entitled, Rodeo Drive East — Bleecker Street, named after the Bleecker family who in deeded their farmland for the street.

Just a few blocks away we can now visit the restored East Chelsea area surrounding Fifth Avenue from 14th through 23rd streets, where my grandparents shopped for a selection of their finer items. If one looks upward on Sixth Avenue, where an elevated train once ran, they can still view ornately crated architectural detailing on the second and third levels of large buildings now housing the likes of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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These elaborate decorative carvings were deed to attract potential customers, riding above on the EL. The NYC of old, where the necessity of traveling from one deated neighborhood to another to procure specific goods and services — from the transformed meat market through the jewelry district, 34th street mid-range shopping to luxe Fifth Avenue — is fading fast.

Many neighborhoods have become autonomous. Everything commercial seems to be just about everywhere. However, we guard our Village secrets — No-tell!

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They have all captured some of the unique sensibility — past intrigues, convolutions and the dynamic present. However to begin to comprehend, one has to be immersed, dwell with the ghosts, encounter the history, and live here for a longish spell. Gratefully I have. I write as a proud multi-generational New Yorker and a devoted West Villager. Photographs by Jill Lynne. Visit her here. Party Pictures Oct Party Pictures Oct 5. Social Diary Oct 5.

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