Greenwich Village is one of the most culturally rich and historic neighborhoods in all of New York City, and the South Village is one of our favorite sections of this legendary area. Our New York City personal injury lawyers love visiting the wide range of famous cultural establishments here, and we highly recommend that you take some time to appreciate the culture here the next time you’re in the area. Some of our favorite attractions in the South Village include:
Father Demo Square
Father Demo Square is named after Father Antonio Demo, who was born in Vicenza Italy in 1870 and immigrated to the United States in 1896 – first to Boston before moving to New York City a few years later. He served as the pastor of Our Lady of Pompei and was a major contributor to the community, known for his organizational skills, record-keeping, leadership in church groups, work with local charities, and fund-raising efforts.
In 1923, plans developed to extend Sixth Avenue from West 3rd Street to Canal Street in order to route traffic to the trans-Hudson River Holland Tunnel, which was under construction. Our Lady of Pompei was in the middle of this route, and Father Demo launched an effort to buy a different property and build a new church, rectory, and parochial school.
Father Demo died in 1936, and in 1941, the public plaza in the southeast end of Our Lady of Pompei was renovated and renamed in honor of Father Demo. Today, it is managed by the Department of Transportation and maintained by the Parks Department. The current piazza is a major gathering place for the South Village community.
The Greenwich House has been improving the lives of New Yorkers since 1902. It was originally founded as a settlement house for helping new immigrants to the city assimilate to life in the United States. Today, the House hosts programs in a variety of subjects, including social services, arts, and education. Well over a century later, this institution is still helping enrich the lives and cultural experiences of thousands of New Yorkers.
Current programs at the Greenwich House include:
- After-School and Summer Arts Camp
- Barrow Street Nursery School
- Chemical Dependency Program
- Children’s Safety Project
- Girls Basketball
- Music School
- Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program
- Senior Centers and Services
- Senior Health and Consultation
In operation since 1916, the Provincetown Playhouse is one of New York City’s oldest and most historic theaters. The theater has undergone several changes over the years, including a relocation during 1918 and major renovations in 1940. These changes have made its status as a historic landmark a controversial topic – the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission claims that the building lacks historical and architectural integrity, while the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has listed the building on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
The theater is named after the Provincetown Players, who converted a former bottling plant into the Playhouse. These Players included Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Djuna Barnes. Other notable performers at this theater have included Paul Robeson, E.E. Cummings, Bette Davis, and Claudette Colbert.
The Bitter End
The Bitter End opened in 1961, and bills itself as the oldest rock club in New York. Today, it serves as a nightclub, coffeehouse, and folk music venue with a capacity of 230 people. The Bitter End has held live performances from hundreds of legendary musicians, comedians, writers, and other entertainers over the years, along with acting as the setting for dozens of classic live albums. Some of the legends who have performed here include:
- Joni Mitchell
- James Taylor
- Woody Allen
- Billy Crystal
- Bob Dylan
- Neil Young
- Peter, Paul, and Mary
- Kris Kristofferson
- George Carlin
- Lady Gaga
- Curtis Mayfield
- Donny Hathaway
- The Isley Brothers
- Lenny Bruce
- Jon Stewart