Greenwich Village, often referred to by locals as simply "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families. Greenwich Village, however, was known in the late 19th to mid 20th centuries as an artists' haven, the bohemian capital, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and '60s counterculture movements. What provided the initial attractive character of the community eventually contributed to its gentrification and commercialization. The name of the village was Anglicized from the Dutch name Groenwijck, meaning "Green District", into Greenwich, a borough of London.
The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the Hudson River to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north, and roughly centered around Washington Square and New York University. The neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo to the south, and Chelsea to the north. The East Village was formerly considered part of the Lower East Side and never associated with Greenwich Village. The West Village is the area of Greenwich Village west of 7th Avenue, though realtors claim the dividing line is farther east at 6th Avenue. The Far West Village is a sub-neighborhood from the Hudson River to Hudson Street. The neighborhood is located in New York's 8th congressional district, New York's 25th State Senate district, New York's 66th State Assembly district, and New York City Council's 3rd district.
Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square - based on the major landmark Washington Square Park or Empire Ward in the 19th century. Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York (City)" (subheading "Greenwich Village") states that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding (today, Spring Street might be considered the southern boundary of the neighborhood sometimes called the South Village, though some cite Canal Street as the furthest extent of the South Village). The newer district of SoHo has since encroached on the Village's historic border.