Local Highlight: Tompkins Square Park

The East Village, the home base of the luxury apartments for rent at EVGB, is so much more than the sum of its parts that it has become a mythic place in New York City history. At the heart of the neighborhood, you’ll find the physical approximation of that mythic quality’s beating heart: Tompkins Square Park. Since its inception, the park has been a place for radicals, revolutionaries, and artists to congregate, and while it has changed with the city over the years, that feeling of a hub of creativity and all that is unconventional about life in New York is still palpable as you walk through its flower beds, playgrounds, and under the American elms that make the park a haven of nature too.

Of course, this being the East Village, there is no shortage of stories attached to these shaded spaces. Those trees also mark the site where Allen Ginsberg chanted with the Hare Krishnas at their first gathering outside of India in 1966, and it is still considered a sacred site for those in the sect today. Ginsberg, a fixture of the counterculture and the Beat Generation, is also widely recognized today as one of the country’s greatest poets of the 20th century, and he is in some sense the patron saint of Tompkins Square Park. Every year, the park honors Ginsberg’s legacy—and the park’s past—with the Howl! Festival, a three-day extravaganza featuring performances by dancers, poets, and singers of all ages. The festival begins with a group reading of its namesake Ginsberg poem organized by East Village poet laureate Bob Holman and also features a constant stream of spoken-word performances. The wall around the park is transformed into “Art Around the Park,” a mural created by local artists during and for the festival. There is a Main Stage and a Children’s Stage, along with a Carnival for the little ones, complete with rides and games like miniature golf. The famous Wigstock spectacular that originated in the park has since been folded into the Howl! Festival, offering what the festival proudly calls “more drag queens than you can shake a stick at.”

Thanks to its asphalt-covered courts where the likes of Jake Johnson and Andy Kessler have honed their ollies, Tompkins Square Park has also famously been a training/gathering point for skateboarders since the 1980s. Whether you treat it as one of the world’s most community-driven and creative outdoor event spaces or a lovely place to come with a picnic and a book, it’s impossible not to feel the atmosphere of history, innovation, and the wild creative spirit that thrives to this day in the East Village and inspires your life at the apartments for rent at EVGB.

And if you’re not yet living in the East Village’s Greatest Building, contact the EVGB team to learn even more reasons to make the move.

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