Union Square

Location: According to Wikipedia, the current Union Square Park is bounded by 14th Street on the south, Union Square West on the west side, 17th Street on the north, and on the east Union Square East.

Union Square, a name shared by a busy park and the neighborhood that surrounds it, has been a lively area since its development in the mid-1800s. Stretching from 14th to 17th Street, and from Union Square East (Fourth Avenue/Park Avenue South) to University Place, the park is a prominent gathering place long associated with rallies and protests. In 1861, the Great Sumter Rally—a show of support for the Union in the Civil War—marked the largest public assembly in US history to date. These days, you’re still likely to see political protestors, as well as street musicians, chess players, skateboarders, dance crews and vendors of all types.  

Below are some of our favorite things to do around Union Square NYC:

Union Sq Park

Union Square’s namesake park hosts a popular Greenmarket, with produce and baked goods from local vendors, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also a busy dog run in where four-legged-friends tire themselves out.

Strand Book Store      828 Broadway

The Strand has been open for more than 90 years and boasts that it contains “18 miles of books.” In addition to appreciating its sheer size and selection, bibliophiles love the store’s deep discounts, book-related novelty gifts, author events and Rare Book Room.

Fishs Eddy   889 Broadway

Stock your home with stylish—and sometimes whimsical—glassware, flatware, dishes, mugs, tablecloths and more. The main factor differentiating Fishs Eddy from other popular stores of its kind is a pervasive sense of fun!

Dear Irving     55 Irving Place

Dear Irving, is a cocktail bar with a laid-back vibe and the novel theme of time travel. Dear Irving’s period rooms take drinkers back to the past: the mod 1960s, the jazz age of the 1920s, Abraham Lincoln’s presidential era and late 18th-century France where you can try an expertly mixed throwback cocktail.

Pete’s Tavern      129 E. 18th St.

Laying claim to being New York’s oldest continuously operating bar-restaurant, Pete’s Tavern has plenty of history—established in 1864, it survived the Prohibition by disguising its facade as a flower shop. O. Henry was said to have written “The Gift of the Magi” here in 1905 and not much has changed inside since. Order Pete’s 1864 ale, it goes well with the eggplant parmigiana.

Academy Records     12 West 18th St.

Academy Records is a great place to dig through a fresh set of record crates. This place specializes in used classical records but also has a great selection of jazz and rock LPs. If you’re patient, you may even find a real gem in the $1 bin.

Union Sq. Café     101 East 19th St.

This Danny Meyer–helmed restaurant opened in the 1980s and spent 30 years at its original address as it piled up honors from Zagat and the James Beard Foundation. A few blocks away and a few years after a brief hiatus, it’s again a go-to spot for refined New American cuisine; book ahead if possible.

Union Square is simple to get to from our Downtown tour, just hop off at Stop #7, Union Square.



 

This page was edited by Steven Thomas