The West Village is home to beautiful buildings with sky-high real estate values, a bunch of celebrities and a whole lot of history. But of late the area also seems to be witnessing something of a crime spree. In addition to a series of disturbing gay bashings in the area, the strip of Christopher Street by Christopher Square specifically saw an additional five men robbed while leaving the block's bars in the past month.

"We've got drug dealers, we've got gangs out here. We're losing Christopher Street," Robert Ziegler, owner and manager of the bar Boots and Saddle on Christopher Street, told DNAinfo. According to Ziegler when Christopher Square closes at 1 a.m. "groups of youths come out in packs of 10 to 15" and cause trouble, though the cops don't always see it. As such he says he has customers who say it is "too dangerous to come back" and he's had to hire additional security.

Of course, rough youths are unfortunately nothing new to the modern West Village (Perhaps you recall the group of knife-wielding petite but ornery lesbians?) Just a few years ago neighbors were complaining about the noisy youths congregating on the Christopher Street pier until it closes at 1 a.m. (at which point they too would start wandering the neighborhood in groups). But lately these attacks seem, at least anecdotally, to be happening more frequently.

So, what can you do to stay safe and still enjoy the nightlife in the West Village? So far the robberies seem to be focused on men, so being a woman would help. Otherwise, be vigilant, don't flash around your new iPhone, and if possible try not to walk around alone.