If you decide to follow this walk yourself, and I hope you do, you can do one of two things. I opened it in my phone's web browser and followed it that way. The other way is to print out the walk either from the site itself or from here. The following directions are from the walk; the photos are all mine. My additional comments are in italics.
First off, the details on this walk. It is just over 3.5 miles in length -- sounds like a lot, but in New York City that's just a normal morning stroll. Plan on it taking 2-3 hours [it took me closer to 4, but I stopped often for photos and window shopping], depending on how fast you walk and how much looking around you do. There are plenty of places for snacks, meals, and drinks along the way. You may want to start around 10:00 in the morning and then finish with lunch. Or start at 3-4PM and finish with drinks or early dinner. Don't get too confused looking at the path marked on the map -- we will be doing a few zigzags as we explore each street in some areas, but in general we are starting in the southwest part of the map, heading to the northwest, crossing 7th to the northeast section, then finishing in the southeast section. If you follow the detailed walking instructions below and keep an eye on the map for reference, you should be fine. [The directions were so good, I never once looked at the map, but I have copied it above if it makes you feel better. The streets in this part of town can be confusing.]
OK, so we will start in the center of Greenwich Village (marked START on the print out map above), at the Christopher St./Sheridan Square subway stop (this is 7th and Christopher, Greenwich Village, if you are taking a cab to get there) -- it's marked with a big "M" on the map right in the middle of 7th Avenue. The 1 train stops here (alternatively, you can arrive at the 4th Street Station on the A,B,C,D,E,F,V trains, then walk up 4th Avenue 3 blocks to where it meets Christopher Street). As you get out of the cab or subway, take a second to get your bearings. 7th Avenue is the main commercial thoroughfare that bisects the Village. You should see Christopher Street (it crosses 7th right here) and you should see Christopher Park -- the Park is on the east side of the street, the other side is the west, heading towards the Hudson River. If you're facing the park, your left hand is pointing north up 7th Avenue towards midtown, while your right hand is pointing towards downtown. Got it? We'll be walking down many angled streets here, but it helps if you have some idea which way is up and down, east and west. The map might look a little confusing -- just keep in mind you will be following the letters and arrows, and stopping at the blue marked points of interest along the way.
|If you don't recognize this, you didn't watch TV in the 90s.|
"B": This is the area marked "B" on the print out map. Hudson Street - A few hundred years ago, this street got its name from the fact that the Hudson River was right here. But a few centuries later, landfill has pushed the riverfront several blocks further west. Right across the street is Church of St. Luke in the Fields (487 Hudson St.). The third oldest church in NY, built in 1821, one of its founders was Clement Clarke Moore who wrote Twas the night before Christmas. A memorial service for Dylan Thomas was held here in 1953, which was attended by poet ee cummings among many others. If you're facing the Church still, TURN LEFT down Hudson Street. We'll walk 2 blocks down Hudson, then TURN LEFT into Morton Street.
|The narrowest and oldest houses.|
"F": This is the area marked "F" on the print out map. CONTINUE 4 BLOCKS NORTH on Bleecker Street -- the next few blocks you don't have to do anything besides window shop. This stretch of Bleecker has a lot of cool little shops - enjoy. You'll cross 10th, Charles St., Perry St., and then arrive at 11th. Take a look at the store on the right (east) side corner -- Magnolia Bakery. Sex and the City fans might recognize this as the place with the great cupcakes that Carrie and Miranda enjoyed - those weren't just Hollywood props, they really make incredibly rich cupcakes -- why not grab one for the walk? Yes, there is often a line as they control how many people crowd into the bakery - we waited about 10 minutes on a Fall Sunday afternoon. [I didn't have to wait at all, but I was less than impressed not being a huge fan of cupcakes.] Anyways, we are TURNING LEFT onto 11th. One block ahead is Hudson Street, and right across the street on the corner is The White Horse Tavern.
|The White Horse Tavern|
|The sign in front of 66 Perry Street.|
"I": This is the area marked "I" on the print out map. Immediately on the corner is Christopher Park, but first take a look at Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher St.). The Kettle of Fish is a great little local bar that sees a lot of college kids and tourists as well (WARNING: home to Packer fans during NFL season). It has moved several times over the years, and currently occupies that spot at 59 Christopher St. where a prior famous literary bar stood, The Lion's Head. Norman Mailer, Frank McCourt, and many others were regulars -- it was a hot spot for newspaper men as well, with editors and reporters swapping stories and tips. Now cross Christopher Street and enter Christopher Park. The area around this small angular park was home to the gay rights movement in 1969; the park commemorates this with two same-sex statue pairs. This small park is a delightful, shady spot to sit in the summer, though it appeared to be the site of a homeless speak-easy on an October Sunday in 2012 - stopping is optional! Walk through the park and out the corner farthest from 7th Avenue, continuing along Christopher Street.
|Patchin Place with a gas light.|
|Jefferson Market Library|
"J": This is the area marked "J" on the print out map. Take a stroll down 11th Ave - we'll be walking 1 long block here before turning right. This is a charming section of the Village with beautiful homes along a tree-lined street. One house to note as you approach 5th on the right hand side is #18 - it was accidentally blown up in 1970 by the 60s radical group The Weathermen during bomb-making practice (oops). Dustin Hoffman lived next door in #16. When you reach 5th Ave, look across the street -- Marlon Brando used to live in the building on the northeast corner of 5th and 11th. But we are TURNING RIGHT down 5th Avenue. You can make an optional RIGHT TURN down 10th Street to see the Mark Twain House (14 W 10th St) about halfway down the block. Famous author Mark Twain lived here in 1900 when he moved to New York. After seeing the house, make a U-turn and return to 5th Avenue, and again TURN RIGHT onto 5th Avenue, same direction you were going before. Cross 9th and 8th, then make a LEFT TURN into the alley called Washington Mews.
|Washington Square Park|
We're almost done now. TURN LEFT on Minetta Lane, go one block and cross 6th Ave (Avenue of the Americas) -- Minetta Lane turns into Carmine Street on the other side of 6th. Follow Carmine Street one block and TURN RIGHT onto Bleecker Street. Two blocks up, look on the left for John's Pizzeria (278 Bleecker St.) - this pizza joint has been here since 1929. Stop in for some pizza for lunch or a late afternoon snack - some of the best pie in NYC. They open at 11:30 daily, except 1PM on Sundays. [Certainly good pizza, but not great. There is better in Manhattan.] And check out the Blind Tiger Ale House across the street - more than 25 draft beers and 50 specialty bottled beers.
That's it. One hundred feet ahead is 7th Avenue. Turn right and walk up a block or two and you're right back at Christopher Street, where we started. Congratulations on completing the Greenwich Village Walking Tour. We hope you enjoyed it -- and hope you feel a little part of the Village belongs to you now!