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Related: New York - bohemian culture
Greenwich Village is a largely residential area on the west side of the downtown area of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north.
The neighborhood was originally a separate village -- hence the name. Shortly after the American Revolution, residents of New York City fled to the village to escape an epidemic.
Greenwich Village has long been known as a bastion of artistic and bohemian culture, an image which has roots in the 19th century, but which became especially prevalent during the latter half of the 20th century.
During the golden age of bohemia Greenwich Village became famous for eccentrics such as Joe Gould (profiled at length by Joseph Mitchell) and Maxwell Bodenheim, as well as greats on the order of Eugene O'Neill. Political rebellion also made its home here, whether serious (John Reed) or frivolous (Marcel Duchamp and friends set off balloons from atop Washington Square arch and declared the Village independent).
In the 1950s the Beat Generation drifted through, the coffeeshop folk singing scene moving to the area in its wake. Bob Dylan was one of the most famous members of this group of artists.
Greenwich Village contains Christopher Street and the Stonewall Inn, site of the Stonewall riots in 1969, that signalled the beginning of the gay liberation movement. The world's oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, Oscar Wilde Bookshop, founded in 1967, is also found here. The name "the Village" soon became the generic term for a city's gay neighbourhood (see gay village and The Village People).
"The Village," as it is often called, includes the primary campus for New York University (NYU), New School University (NSU) and the historic Washington Square Park. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Village [Jul 2004]
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