I've been in New York officially 14 years now!  WHAT?!  Time flies.

So far in the 14 years I've lived on Staten Island, Times Square, Astoria (Queens).  But two years ago, we became Homeowners of an awesome little Apartment in the East Village of New York.

It has changed our way of living completely, and for the better.  Here are the Five top reasons I love living in the East Village:

1. Coffee - The best coffee I've ever had is stumbling distance from our apartment.  Some mornings I'm just torn between stumbling to Abraco Espresso shop on 7th. (My favorite is their iced coffee, it's out of this world, and the owner's Liz and Jamie are too cool!)  Other mornings I hit up MUDspot .  You will always see a line outside, but don't be intimidated.  There is plenty of seating inside, and the food is quite delicious, so are the people who work there.  Side-note: Jimi Hendrix lived in the basement at one point.

2. The East River Park - I love to run, and I love to be outside, what better than the East River Park?  True, getting there through Alphabet City can be a bit sketchy, but if you are running, no one seems to bother.  Once you are there the views are spectacular.  They have done some major construction to the recreational areas, and a brisk 2 mile bike-ride or run downtown, you get to see the three first Manhattan bridges built, and South Street Seaport. To see a video of the East River Park check out: A Day in the Life

3. Dining - The East Village is defined by the avenues East of fifth Avenue, and the streets between Houston and 14th Street.  In this small concentration are some of the best bites of food I've ever experience in NYC.  Stop by 6th Street between 1st Ave and 2nd Ave  for Indian Food Row.  Our favorite is TAJ, they have a sitar man playing in the window.  It's a lovely atmosphere.  Also, Brindle Room on 10th Street, I might be addicted to their Kale Salad (if you hate Kale, you'll love this salad).

4. Art - There is so much art in the East Village, it will make your head spin.  Fourth Street alone has so many theaters from La Mama to the New York Theater Workshop.  I have seen some of the most inspiring theater around!  Have you heard of the Mosaic Man?  The East Village is his domain, you can take the Mosaic trail tour, check out his website!  Of course, the creme de la creme is the Public Theater.  Always a place to go for Theatre inspiration, and it's newly renovated.

5. Bike Paths - Let's face it, in NYC it's all about location location location.  Since moving to the East Village I can now bike (safely) all over this city.  If I have an audition at House Casting, and then at Beth Melsky, I can make it in and out of my apartment within 20 minutes.  New York and Transportation Alternatives are actively making this one of the safest cities to bike in, and if you live here, or visit, you should try it.  It's green, great excercise, and beats the smelly subway and taxi's any day. However, some of these bikers need licenses, so always be on the watch when getting around, and wear a helmet whenever possible.

For more information on the history of the East Village check out the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, or go to the Lower East History Project website.

What do you love about where you live?  Post a comment below, or share with me on twitter and facebook