For many decade, the area we now call the East Village was known to locals as the Lower East Side. I know at least one long time resident who still claims to live in the LES, despite being off 6th Street and Ave D.
In this video from Gothamist producer Jessica Leibowitz, learn from some elder New York City locals on how and when the East Village became its own neighborhood.
The East Village wasn’t always called that, it was simply part of the Lower East Side until the mid-1960s. At that time the area began changing, with artists getting priced out of Greenwich Village and moving into the area, which was mostly populated by working class immigrants. This change came with a rebranding, and the new name was popularized by real estate agents and newcomers. And with that, a wave of gentrification created the East Village—a neighborhood that was never officially dubbed that, nor one that has official borders.
Check out the accompanying article for more on the history of the East Village’s moniker.