Unlike its West Village counterpart, the East Village was never actually part of Greenwich Village. It was originally considered part of the Lower East Side until the 1960’s, after students and artists from Greenwich Village moved east in search of affordable rents. Today, the East Village remains a relatively affordable alternative to its western neighbors, making it the perfect compromise between price and location.
The East Village is located south of 14th Street; north of Houston Street; east of Broadway; and west of the East River. It is roughly centered around Tompkins Square Park, much like the Village proper is centered around Washington Square Park. The neighborhood is served by the F, L and 6 trains.
The East Village is home to two elite colleges: the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, which has more alumni working on Broadway than any other school in the world, and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, one of the most selective colleges in the world. Yet despite those credentials, the neighborhood wants you to see its grungy past along with its glamorous future. Don’t be surprised to find $2 fried hot dogs next door to a high-end speakeasy serving $20 cocktails.
The East Village is more affordable than Greenwich Village and the West Village by every measure. New construction is more common as well. Look here to find a home in a downtown neighborhood without paying downtown prices.