"Like the Lower East Side to the south, the East Village, which extends east from Broadway to the East River and north from Houston Street to 14th street, was once a solidly working-class refuge for immigrants. In the middle part of the twentieth century, rents began to rise in Greenwich Village, sending the New York’s intelligentsia scurrying here, and by the 1960’s the East Village was at the height of its irreverent, creative and often lawless period.
Since the 1990’s, however, the area’s panoply of restaurants and bars, never mind its proximity to NYU, have ensured that rents here are almost — although not quite — as insane as those in the neighbouring West Village, and the East Village is now no longer the hotbed of dissidence and artistry it once was. You’re likely to see a pretty standard cross section of boutiques, thrift stores and record shops patronized by more tourists, students and uptowners than authentic bohemians these days, but thoughtful resistance to the status quo can still be found, and the neighbourhood is home to some of the cheapest bars and restaurants around…”
~ The Rough Guide to New York