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I think that there are a lot of things to love about New York City. Obviously, its size lends itself to a lot of different experiences and interpretations, but to me one of the most interesting things about the Big Apple is its history. A lot has happened here that the world knows about, but I'm more referring to the history of what life was like here in the past. I've always loved exploring not just cities but the neighborhoods within them, as to me these are the foundational pieces that ultimately form a city's culture and overall feel. You could spend months exploring neighborhoods in New York, and on my last trip I decided to take a look at one of the small communities in Manhattan. I had 24 hours to spare at the end of a business trip, and I dedicated that time to learning more about the East Village. I was not concerned about finding a place to stay, either, even in New York. That's because I travel with the HotelTonight app. I would book an East Village Manhattan hotel room in seconds as soon as I was ready to rest.

The History

For many years during the second half of the 20th Century, the East Village was considered one of the country's, if not the world's, centers for counterculture. The US punk rock scene was invented here according to many people, and the music scene remains the stuff of legend. Given that norm such as it was, the area was also known to be a bit seedy and dirty, but in that ironic good way that drew people there to let their hair down and be themselves. These days, things have changed a bit, but you can still see those roots present in buildings and events.

The Plant Life

Given its past, the last thing I ever expected to see in the East Village was a lot of plant life. Regardless, that's what I encountered. The people who live here are very much into community pride, and that shows not only by way of the clean streets but also because of the large number of community gardens that exist here. I saw everything from flower gardens to spice gardens to big spaces dedicated to growing all different kinds of produce. Gardens add a level of beauty to even the most urban of environments.

The Cuisine

If you point to almost any country on a world map, chances are you'll find a restaurant in the East Village that features its food. I heard about an Indian place more than once that day, so I decided to give it a try. It was a real find. The curries were cooked perfectly and the chicken fell apart in my mouth. The rice was properly cooked and the entire experience reminded me of my time in Mumbai right after I finished school. It was a great meal.

HotelTonight – East Village Manhattan Hotels

After eating more than I should have, I was ready for some sleep. I opened my HotelTonight app and booked an East Village Manhattan hotel room in a few swipes on my screen. I made my way towards what I was sure would be a comfortable bed, happy with how I had spent my day.