Greenwich Avenue in the West Village is one of the oldest existing roads in Manhattan. It was originally part of an Indian trail and its name, over time, has gone from Strand Road under the Dutch rule to Monument Lane, Greenwich Lane and our current Greenwich Avenue. It runs from 8th Street and 6th Avenue in the southeast to 8th Avenue and 13th Street to the northwest, on a diagonal.
Many of the storefronts have changed shops and paint colors but the buildings have stayed very much the same for decades starting with what is now the Jefferson Market Library and garden on 6th Avenue near 8th Street. Moving northwest, you will pass the lovely streetscape that houses Village Natural, Greenwich Treehouse, what use to be the famed Partners & Crime bookstore and more.
It is interesting to note that Greenwich Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) determined the angle of the north-south streets. The streetscape above sits between Charles and Perry Streets. Moving on in the direction of Seventh Avenue South you will find Mulry Square on the corner. Mulry Square was named after Emigrant Savings Bank President Thomas Mulry who died in 1916 and was a major contributor to Catholic causes. On the chain link fence surrounding Mulry Square, ceramic tiles were placed in remembrance of the victims of September 11th. These tiles were recently moved to storage and are waiting for a permanent home. Updates on the Tiles can be found on their 9/11 Tiles for America Memorial Facebook page.
Crossing over Seventh Avenue South you will find the streetscape that includes two wonderful British treasurers, Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery. On the opposite side of the street is one of my very favorites – La Belle Epoque vintage poster shop. The 12 blocks making up Greenwich Avenue come to rest at 13th Street and the triangular shaped Park known as Jackson Square.
From the beginning to the end, Greenwich Avenue is a delight. Be sure to check out MXYPLYZYK while you’re there!