Patrons of the Larchmont Public Library had the opportunity Saturday to virtually hit the streets New York City's Greenwich Village.
Rediscovering Greenwich Village, a free event, covered topics like the establishment and history of the village, Gay Street, the New York City grid system and much more. Martin Schneit, certified New York tour guide, conducted the "tour."
Schneit started with the history of New York City and the beginning of the unconventional Greenwich Village. He said the legendary village became famous because of the nonconformist and radical counterculture. It was named after Greenwich, England, where Henry VIII, who broke away from the Roman Church when he could not get an annulment, was born.
Unlike the rest of the streets in Manhattan, Schneit explained, the streets of the Village chose to keep their named streets instead of changing to numbers.
Schneit explained the establishment of the grid system in New York City, which eventually meant 155 streets and 12 avenues. He said residents of Greenwich Village went against the rest of the city and established their own street plan.
He said when the wealthy moved there in 1789, they used existing Indian foot paths as their streets and then they named them.
"That’s one of the reasons the bohemians in the 1920s wanted that area," Schneit said. "They figured, 'Gee, nobody's going to find us.' "
One of the many streets located in Greenwich Village that kept its original name is Gay Street. The name gives misconception to many as a street named for the homosexual population of the village, according to Schneit, but it is actually named after Sidney Gay, a lawyer and abolitionist.
"There were blacks living in that area and he tried to get them freedom and rights so they named the street after him," Schneit said, "so there is no sexual connotation."
Larchmont resident Rosemarie Delia was hoping for a little more history but said it helped her realize how much she had forgotten about her years living in New York City.
"I thought the event was interesting," she said. "I was expecting a little more academic, but it made me remember how cool I was."