"Bohemia off the beaten track"
The East Village may be one of the last bastions of true Manhattan grit, in an age when the West Village has succumbed to sangria-and-strollers-brand yuppidom and even Brooklyn is priced beyond the means of most would-be installation artists. While the East Village is undergoing its own brand of gentrification, it's nevertheless an anomaly in Manhattan proper: a place where alternative culture still thrives, albeit with a healthy infusion of fresh blood from the Bridge and Tunnel crowd. East 9th Street etween Avenue A and Second Avenue is home to a collection of shops and galleries that embody this trend - smart but funky locales like Jill Anderson and Huminska, both of whom have made a small but growing name for themselves on the NYC fashion scene. Hit up nearby eateries like Chez Jules (St. Mark's St between 2nd and 1st Avenue), with live jazz and cooked snails, or Curry Row standout Banjara on 6th St between 1st and 2nd.