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2020 Village Awardee: Idlewild Books, 170 Seventh Avenue South

Each year, Village Preservation honors the invaluable people, businesses, and organizations that make a special contribution to our neighborhoods at our Annual Meeting and Village Awards. On June 17th, 2020 we will be celebrating nine outstanding awardees at our Annual Village Awards — RSVP here to participate virtually.

Idlewild Books is an independent New York bookstore and language school with locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn which specializes in travel books and language classes. It was established in 2008 and in 2016 it moved from the Flatiron District to its present location at 170 Seventh Avenue South, at the corner of Perry Street. It quickly became a Village institution and, we are proud to say, a 2020 Village Awardee!

The name Idlewild was taken from the original name for New York International Airport, which was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport in December 1963. The language classes, referred to as the “best in New York” by New York Magazine include Spanish (gracias), French (merci), Portuguese (obrigado), Italian (grazie) and German (danke) taught by native-speakers.

The owner David Del Vecchio is an East Village resident who worked for ten years at the United Nations as a press officer traveling to conflict zones in Asia, Africa and South America before opening this incredible place. Del Vecchio stresses that his vision for Idlewild has always been the creation of a “community” not just a business.  By all measures, he has succeeded beautifully.

In addition to its language classes, Idlewild Books is a travel bookstore organized in an original way. Guidebooks and maps are arranged side-by-side with literature, history, memoirs, travel accounts, and even some cookbooks so that anyone interested in a particular country or city can learn about that place from many angles.

Currently, Idlewild is conducting its language classes remotely and this seems the perfect time to immerse yourself and learn! And to RSVP for our Annual Village Awards, click HERE.

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