Earlier today, we looked back at the origins of the name of the East Village and how it ended up being recognized as a separate entity from the Lower East Side. Over the course of researching that, we learned that the East Village (like all other NYC neighborhoods) doesn't have any official borders recognized by city or state agencies. As Kate Cordes at the NYPL told us, "Neighborhoods are just crowdsourced knowledge and boundaries are unofficial."
So instead of relying on arbitrary real estate demarcations or our digital overlords over at Google Maps, we ventured out to Tompkins Square Park on a particularly lovely day in June to ask real New Yorkers where they think the East Village borders lie. Most people seemed to be in agreement that 14th Street and Houston are the north and south borders; there was some debate whether the area stretched over to the East River or stopped just before the FDR Drive.
But the most hotly contested part was the western border of the area: people seemed to be divided on whether it ends at 4th Avenue, Broadway, or 3rd Avenue/Bowery. The beautiful part, of course, is that there is no definitive right answer—like democracy and the inner lives of dogs, the East Village is only as real as your imagination.
So click on the video above to watch where people drew the neighborhood—and after that, check out the video below to hear native East Villagers talk about the development of the area. And let us know where you think the East Village begins and ends.