Double-decker delights on West 8th Street: crafty arts and craft beer! 

SSPNY Fun on West 8th Street: Exploring the Textile Arts Center and Growler Station

SSPNY on West 8th Street in front of entrance for Sticky's Fingers Joint, Neta sushi, the Textile Arts Center and the Growler Station near Washington Square Park

It's a block that seems to have everything going for it, that stretch of 8th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, what with Washington Square Park right there, and all those NYU kids spilling from their dorms, and all that money living in those beautiful old apartments all around the area. And yet, somehow, instead of a friendly, trendy, nightlife/neighborhood zone, for more years than I can count it seemed like vacant storefronts and tired eateries and chains were the dominant "theme" of the strip. Fortunately, all of that seems to be changing, with the addition of such first-rate (albeit very different) restaurants like the quick-bite chicken finger spot Sticky's Finger Joint, the high-end sushi temple Neta, and this terrific double-decker storefront of coolness and fun, the Textile Arts Center up top, and the Growler Station below.

SSPNY inside the Textile Arts Center in West Village offering craft classes in block printing, sewing, looming and more...

The Textile Arts Center has been at this West Village location for more than a year now (their Gowanus flagship opened about a year and a half earlier than that), and if you're interested at all in using your hands and your mind to create something from scratch, this is a great place to check out. All of the crafts and classes at the Textile Arts Center are fiber-based (read: made from yarn or cloth or some variation thereof), and the comfortable, wonderfully sun-lit room is filled with state-of-the-art looms, dyers, and sewing equipment. There may be more classes at the Gowanus Textile Arts Center (it's just bigger), but this West Village spot does have plenty of appealing offerings, including Japanese Shibori with Indigo, Block Printing, Introduction to Hand Embroidery and, as part of their Youth After School program, Sewing and Fashion. There are also open studio times available for members. Lots more info on the West Village Textile Arts Center here.

SSPNY looks at state-of-the-art looms inside West Village's Textile Arts Center offering an open studio and Youth After School programs

Below the Textile Arts Center is the Growler Station where they offer a filling station to bring home your choice of over 20 well-curated craft beers on tap.

And after a hard day working the loom upstairs, grab a growler of craft brew to bring home, right below at the Growler Station. For anyone and everyone who likes beer, this place is awesome. At any given time they have 20 or more well-curated craft brews on tap, available to take home in growlers of varying sizes, depending upon your own personal adult-beverage consumption needs. If growlers aren't your thing (though they should be: they're fun, they're resusable, they give you that freshly-tapped taste without having to throw a kegger every night in your living room), there are also lots of rare and excellent bottled beer selections, as well as plenty of snacks and such. And get on the Growler Station email list so you can be invited to brewery parties, where free beer flows like... things that flow freely. More Growler Station facts, including the latest Growler beer menu, here.

SSPNY's Growler Station also offers a rare and excellent bottled beer selection and host free brewery parties on 8th Street.

And, PS, re: 8th Street getting great? That long-empty green-trimmed storefront next door to Textile Arts and Growler Station, right on the corner? That'll be a Stumptown Roasters cafe come early next year!

Next to the Textile Arts Center and Growler Station and going up early next year is Stumptown Roasters cafe on the corner of 8th Street and MacDougal Street

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