East Village, United States
Gentrification may have smoothed the East Village’s rough edge, but it wears the ripped jeans and battered leather jacket of its punk past with pride; even if the legendary CBGB bar – the spiritual home of NYC rockers – now sells decidedly more groomed garb as a luxury menswear store. The days when iconic acts such as Patti Smith, the Ramones, Blondie, Television and more played for the price of a beer may be gone, but there are dive bars aplenty, indie record stores, raucous stand-up shows and avant-garde theatre. Hang out in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, dine very well for your dollars and wander past graffiti-clad tenements and get swept up in the neighbourhood's little-diminished bohemian attitude.
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When to go
All-year round – if you start to feel chilly warm up with a beer and whisky chaser.
PlanesThe closest airports are JFK, Newark and La Guardia, all within an hour of the hotel (if the traffic's behaving).
TrainsGrand Central Station and Penn Station are both under 10 minutes away by car. You'll be able to board Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) services to other destinations all over the USA. Penn Station will also get you out to the Hamptons on the Long Island Rail Road (www.lirr.org).
AutomobilesFrom JFK, take the Van Wyck Expressway then the Long Island Expressway, before heading over towards SoHo from the Queens Midtown Expressway.