The East Village was named in the 1960s, when the neighbourhood sandwiched between (and formerly part of) the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village and Gramercy emerged as an entity of its own. Attracting Beatniks, then hippies, and later on punks, the area became the centre of New York counterculture and a breeding ground for artistic, literary and cultural movements.
The neighbourhood later became New York’s original gentrification story. Now a little less ‘edgy’ and decidedly smarter, the landmarked buildings of the East Village make desirable homes among the colourful streets and community gardens. But behind the steel door of a former orphanage for wayward boys, one loft apartment harks back to the area’s countercultural heyday.
At East 8th Street, Corinthian steel pillars adorn an open-plan space filled with antique furniture and the unique imprints of your host’s artistic friends. Relax on the leather sofa in front of the exposed brick fireplace, or admire the eclectic collection of antique prints and photographs. A cosy study nestled into the corner of the space is our favourite niche, the walls lined with volumes detailing New York arcana and fitted with ornate cabinetry and a desk of cherry wood.
The kitchen has a simple charm to it, with its cast-iron stove and butcher block counters. And in the bathroom you’ll find further idiosyncrasy, with a column in the middle of the shower and exposed brass piping.
The book-lined study
A window seat for restful reading
Butcher blocks in the kitchen
An unusual cast iron stoveGoogle+