MacDougal, Sullivan, & Thompson
No, it’s not the name of a law firm. It’s the names of 3 of my favorite streets in the recently-designated South Village Historic District.
For many years I lived in the South Village, and often when I gave people directions, I would find myself saying, “Stay on Bleecker, cross 6th Avenue, then you’ll cross 3 alphabetical streets: MacDougal, Sullivan, and Thompson…”
But by simply crossing these 3 streets you are doing yourself a disservice. Explore them instead!
Named for generals who served under George Washington in the American War for Independence — Alexander McDougall, John Sullivan, and William Thompson — these are some of the most quintessentially Greenwich Village streets you’ll find.
Some of my favorite places on MacDougal Street are: Caffé Dante, Falafel King, Mamoun’s, Minetta Tavern, Café Wha? Caffe Reggio, and the Passannante Ballfield on the corner of Houston Street. Part of MacDougal Street was lost when Sixth Avenue was extended in the early 1920’s. But the original address of the Butterick Building, which stands at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Spring Street, was MacDougal Street. When it was built in 1903 it was the largest building around, and it can be seen in this John Sloan painting, near the top center. And at 92 MacDougal, near Bleecker Street, you’ll find a bronze plaque commemorating the location of the legendary San Remo Café, which was installed by GVSHP and the Two Boots Foundation.
Sullivan and Thompson Streets are more residential than commercial, but are still worth a stroll, for the visual feast of all that architecture we fought so hard to save! But there are also some places I like, including Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company, Peanut Butter & Co., Florencia 13, and Once Upon a Tart, all on Sullivan Street.
On Thompson Street you can find the famous chess shops near West 3rd Street, some nice clothing stores, and, at the corner of Houston Street 2012 Village Award winner Arturo’s . Whenever I have company from out of town, I take them to Arturo’s. Live jazz, great pizza – but don’t take my word for it. Go find out for yourself!