7.0 out of 10

East 8 St, Greenwich Village

Ranked 11th best street in Greenwich Village
40.7313325652583 -73.9941666766902
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Nov 18, 2010
Editors Choice

"Packs a lot of sight-seeing punch!"

East 8th turns into St Marks Place at 3rd Ave, and it only begins at 5th Ave. But, for only spanning a few blocks, there are a lot of really cool historical happenings in the area.
One of the first things I learned about New York when I moved here, historically speaking, happened at East 8th and Lafayette. There's a really beautiful, tall brick building that used to be the Astor Place Opera House in the 19th Century. In 1849, there was a huge riot outside of the opera house that killed 30 people. That's somewhat interesting and quite sad, but the reason the riot happened is just too funny: a really famous, English actor named Charles McCready was playing the titular role in MacBeth this particular night and people became so upset over any patronage of this while American beloved actor, Edwin Forrest was playing the same role in a MacBeth production uptown that night, that they went berserk. Huge fights broke out and people died over MacBeth!!! Shakespeare would have been so proud.

Directly across the street is a very unusual, beautiful and old building that used to be a building that people would dream about being able to see. There is now a K-Mart in this building. It's really distracting from how beautiful and old-world this block would still be. You can't fight progress and discount prices, but if you just block out the blaring K-mart sign from your vision, you can see the street for how beautiful it used to be.

There are a couple of landmarks between Lafayette and Astor that are worth a quick peek. The subway station in what looks like the middle of the street has an entrance that was recreated to look like all the old entrances. The MTA (damn them!) pulled them all down many moons ago and this one was rebuilt to commemorate them. Directly across the way is a sculpture of a cube on it's edge. Something I was not aware of until recently is that the cube actually spins. You can spin it!! I guess I never knew because this intersection is like the porthole to crazytown. I never hear so many people screaming to no one, seen back shavings occur, or have watched homeless people fight in one intersection in my life. Usually, I try to get the hell outta this area but now I'm gonna give that cube a whirl -- and then bathe in bleach after I touch it.

The last noteworthy thing to see on this block is the Cooper Union school right at, you guessed it, 8th and Cooper Union. It was established in 1859 as a free school for the gifted. It is the oldest steel-framed building in the country and it is gloriously beautiful. It is still a free school for the gifted to this day. It's mostly catered toward the arts and writing and it is just about the hardest school in the nation to get into -- tuition is still ZERO dollars. Another fun fact about the school: this is where all of the bodies from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire were taken and many students have remarked feeling suffocated out of nowhere during class and had to leave. A student at the school was in a tour group of mine last year and said it's completely true because it happened to a classmate. Spooooky!!

8th becomes St Marks shortly, thereafter, and the street completely changes . . .one of the things that makes New York pretty cool!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5
Feb 08, 2010

"Some of the best shopping in the East Village"

East Eighth Street between Third Avenue and Avenue A has some of the best shopping in all of New York City. Nicknamed St. Marks Place, this part of 8th street has some of the most unique shopping. Anyone who likes great gadgets and really funky gives will have a blast here. If you are vintage record collector then I suggest going near East 8th and Second or Third Avenue. For any regular shop it is just plain fun to go and spend an afternoon there. I always enjoy going there because I have fun and don't break my wallet. I would recommend this to anyone.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
Jan 18, 2009

"Some Great Ramen!"

I was walking through the East Village with a friend on a particularly cold night and we were looking for something that could heat up our bones. When we got to the corner of 8th st and 3rd ave, we passed a fantastic Ramen Restaurant called MenKui Tei. The line was out the door and it seemed to be getting even longer. We were very pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the place and the food. This is definitely a great spot to hit up if you are thinking about warming yourself a little bit. This area is generally great for some inexpensive food and great bargains. I like to visit the East Village quite often, but when it's very cold the lack of subways is noticeable. There are a lot of buses that pass through here, so it's not too hard to get too. There are some pretty interesting shops popping up on 8th ave and further into the East village, it's a good place to visit.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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