Our purpose for this website is to peel back the facade of Carmine Street and, through personal interviews with local business owners, find out what makes this quaint West Village block so resilient in the face of ever-changing communities and an increasingly commercialized society.  Here we detail our experience in visiting the street for the first time:

As springtime thaws out the remnants of the exceptionally frigid winter of 2014, New

York comes back to life. Trees and flowers bloom, fountains are turned on, and most

importantly, people spend more and more time outside (at least until the summer forces

us into the air conditioning). Tucked away in Greenwich Village and between Sixth and

Seventh Avenue is Carmine Street, spanning only about two and a half blocks,IMG_0376

intersecting with its more famous brother, Bleeker Street. Down here the entire

cityscape has changed; the grid plan of the streets has broken down and streets are only

wide enough for one or two cars. Buildings are rarely more than a few stories high,

making the neighborhood seem much more like a small town that was coincidentally

dropped onto the South side of Manhattan than an actual part of the Big Apple. The

noisy chaos of Midtown has been replaced by the soft chatter of pedestrians who have

decided to soak up the sunshine. Many are relaxing in the various parks and gardens

that are scattered about the Village, including Father Demo Square, where a cascade of

water falls from a fountain, creating a peaceful aura for those whose who need to rest,

check their phones, and drink their Starbucks. Pigeons lurk in the trees, waiting for a

charitable stranger to offer them their breadcrumbs. In another park across the street,

the greenery is tastefully contrasted with an old brick wall painted with a fading

advertisement for a presumably defunct pharmacy.


While the area is culturally mixed and overall

gentrified due to the heavy influence of the

nearby New York University, Carmine Street is

home to several relics that harken back to its

days as one of the largest Italian-American

neighborhoods in the country. The most

noticeable building is the Our Lady of Pompeii

church, a large limestone building equipped

with a bell tower and stained glass windows. Its

ringing church bells help to reinforce the

peaceful aura of the area One of the busiest and most famous establishments is a tiny

pizzeria called Joe’s Pizza. There is a line out the door, which is no surprise considering

its reputation as one of the best pizza spots in the entire city. Many other small

businesses line the block, like House of Oldies, a record store that sells vintage vinyl

from the mid-1900’s, and a bookstore with the unwieldy name of Unoppressive,

Non-Imperialist Bargain Books. Considering how commercialized the area only several

blocks north is, it feels comforting to see homegrown businesses thriving on the street.

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