Greenwich Village, or “the village” as it's commonly referred to, is one of the most well known for its bohemian atmosphere. It was a trendy and artsy neighborhood to live in, filled with small cafes, actors and trendy boutiques. Today however, the Village is home to New York University, and you'll see mostly college students wandering its streets. It is also less residential than in years past; many of the apartment buildings have been taken over by commercial properties, or by the University. The residences that remain are very high end; lots of converted 19th century townhouses.
One of the main reasons visitors come to the Village is to shop. This is one of the best areas in the city for antiques and reproductions. If you walk down Broadway near Union Square, you'll find dozens of antique shops, though there are fewer than in the past because the University is taking over much of the area and moving many stores north. The Village is also the home of the bargain. 14th street runs across the northern bounds of the Village and is filled with dollar stores and discount athletic shoe outlets. If you need a new pair of sneakers, now's the time to get them. There are also some clothing stores that will carry last season's designer duds at good prices. This whole area is pretty cheesy looking, but it is undergoing a makeover, and the bargains can be unbelievable.