An Afternoon in the East Village
New York’s East Village has managed to maintain much of its character over the years, resisting the glass clad condominium towers that have risen over much of Manhattan. St. Marks Place retains its student appeal, lined with inexpensive eateries, tattoo parlors, and bars. The surrounding streets are home to many standout independent shops and diverse restaurants. If you have an afternoon to wander around the East Village these are some of my favorite shops that are well worth a visit.
60 East 4th Street
Marlow Goods has a beautiful range of colored leather bags and accessories, complemented by a small range of clothing. The brainchild of Kate Huling, who uses the hides from the family-run restaurants (Diner, Marlow & Sons, Romans et al.). The hides are tanned in upstate New York, and then handmade into the bags and accessories in New Jersey.
6 East Second Street
There are three John Derian shops on second street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery. One features his decoupage plates, platters, paperweights and coasters, which are all handmade in his New York studio. Alongside Derian’s designs is a veritable treasure trove of decorative home objects. The other two shops are dedicated to textiles and furniture.
37 Great Jones Street
Dear Rivington is a unique mix of designer and vintage clothing and accessories. The predominantly black and white clothes are artfully displayed against a backdrop of antique and vintage furnishings. The lower floor features vintage furniture and home decor.
15 Bleecker Street
Designer Ulla Johnson recently opened her first boutique on a tree-lined stretch of Bleecker Street. The light filled shop showcases her line of signature feminine frocks, embroidered blouses, and hand knits. Read more
I highly recommend exploring the side streets of the East Village that are filled with interesting independent shops. Fair Folk and A Goat serve up coffee and clothing at 330 11th Street, neighboring Rubber Stamp shop offers hundreds of rubber stamp designs or custom-made stamps at 322 11th Street. A few blocks down there are women’s wear boutique, Cloak and Dagger; creatively displayed jewelry at Verameat; and vintage shop Local Clothing; located at 334, 315, and 328 East 9th Street, respectively. Trash and vaudeville, an East Village mainstay, recently relocated to 96 East 7th Street; custom-made and off-the-rack hats are available further down the block at East Village Hats at 80 East 7th Street. Paula Rubenstein is a standout vintage and antique store at 21 Bond Street.
Eat & Stay
There are many excellent and diverse food options in the East Village. A personal favorite is The Smile, 26 Bond Street, and some others are Il Buco, 47 Bond St., and Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, 53 Great Jones St., and Lafayette for alfresco dining. The Standard East Village and The Bowery Hotel are two very well-appointed places to stay, the former having a lovely summer garden dining and drinks, and the latter the stylish restaurant, Gemma. There are many guides and blogs specializing in the NY food scene, at The Shopkeepers we follow The Infatuation and Thrillist which has lots of great recommendations in the East Village at every price point. New York City is one of the most photographed cities in the world and Instagram duo HeyDavina and Cainite have some of the best feeds for finding the most photogenic spots around the city.