Friday, 12 August 2005

Johnny's in the basement, mixin' up the medicine

Greenwich village and the surrounding areas of Chelsea and SoHo are a great area to wander, with a still hip range of shops and cafes, the location of the Friends TV series and the haunts of Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac amongst others. One of my favourite New York reads, the Village Voice, is published here.

Arriving anywhere in the area there is an immediate feeling of the bohemian past. However, in many areas the storefronts are changing as the money has arrived. Adjacent to a long term bookstore . . . is that a fashionable Marc Jacobs shop? Yes, yes it is - one of three on Bleecker - and the existence of such high end boutiques among the cobblestones and wrought iron-trimmed brownstones exemplifies a new reality: One must be rich to live in much of this area.

The area is mostly void of skyscrapers and chain stores and the environment is hip and laid back. Tours such as 'Sex and the City' stop at multiple points around Perry and Bank streets in the West Village so that groups of tourists can sit on Carrie's stairs, buy Magnolia cupcakes, and gape at Fantasy World toys. The times they are a changin'.


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