Although increasingly gentrified with former crack dens that are now modern apartments so hip you can’t afford them, it remains an ethnically diverse area of students, young professionals, and older longtime residents. This colorful neighborhood is full of good values in food as diverse as its population, and there’s always something happening on St. Marks Place, 24/7.
Many opposites coexist peacefully in the East Village: dive bars and craft-cocktail dens, Ukrainian diners and the latest chef-driven restaurant, stylish boutiques, and counter-culture stores. Famous for its nightlife, the East Village has become increasingly more upscale in recent years with St. Marks Place trading in some of its grit for a population of students, well-earning post-grads, and international expats. At its roots, the neighborhood is a community of artists, activists, and social dissenters—and though this is still the essential vibe here, the finish is much more polished these days.