“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Namedropping comes with the territory in Greenwich Village. Manhattan museums would be half-empty without the Village, home to painters from Winslow Homer to Jackson Pollock. Jazz greats John Coltrane, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis played the Village Vanguard and America's first integrated clubs around Sheridan Square. In between sets at Bleecker Street dives like the Bitter End, folk legends like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Simon & Garfunkel mingled with perpetual protestors in Washington Square Park. Musicals are so uptown; the Village prefers off-off-Broadway drama and underground comedy by Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK at the Comedy Cellar and Village Lantern. Writer's block dissolves in Village coffeehouses and bookstores, regular haunts for writers from Mark Twain to Maya Angelou. But the Village isn't all talk. NBA players are elbowed aside by street ballers at the nation's toughest pick-up game, held on the West 4th court known as The Cage. Gay bar patrons made history when they defied a police raid in 1969 at Stonewall Inn; today it's a National Historic Landmark. Christopher Street remains out and proud, though the trendy GLBT bar scene has drifted north to the Meatpacking District.