Lower East Side in Manhattan NY


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Lower East Side Overview

The Lower East Side is Manhattan’s most eclectic grit-meets-glam neighborhood. Probably best known for the slew of trendy bars and lounges that sprung up in the early 2000’s (most of which remain alive and well), the Lower East Side also has a funky mix of trendy boutiques, mom-and-pop shops, cozy cafes, and chic restaurants.

Originally, "Lower East Side" referred to the area alongside the East River from about the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street, and roughly bounded on the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Chinatown, Bowery, Little Italy, and NoLIta.

Although the term today refers to the area bounded to the north by East Houston Street, parts of East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of "Lower East Sider." The Lower East Side stretches east from the Bowery to the East River Park. It is bordered on the north by Houston Street and the south by Canal Street and East Broadway.

With longtime residents and first-generation hipsters welcoming a new wave of students and young professionals to the area, the diverse population continues to grow.

Lower East Side Nightlife

The area in and around Essex, Clinton, Stanton, and Rivington Streets have enough bars, lounges, and clubs to keep you moving all night. If dancing is your thing, check out Sapphire Lounge and Element, and as far as dive bars and pubs go, Whiskey Ward, Lolita, and Essex Street Ale House are local favorites. To join the faux-hawk and sunglasses scene, stop by Fat Baby, The Living Room, and R Bar.

Lower East Side Parks and Recreation

The East River Park stretches along the East River from Montgomery Street to 12th Street and has football, soccer, and baseball fields, a full-size track, and an amphitheater, which is used for public performances.

Sara Roosevelt Park, located between Chrystie and Forsynth Streets, stretches from Canal Street to Houston Street and has several basketball courts, soccer fields, and small community gardens.

Lower East Side Landmarks and History

At the turn of the century, the Lower East Side was Manhattan’s largest Jewish neighborhood. In 1915, 60% of the neighborhood’s population – just over 320,000 people – was Jewish. Even though today’s Jewish population has more than dwindled with gentrification and the spread of Chinatown northwards, establishments such as Katz’s Delicatessen and the Eldridge Street Synagogue recall the area’s Jewish heritage.

The Lower East Side was also one of the most densely-populated working-class and immigrant settlement districts in Manhattan. If you’re feeling a little cramped in your apartment, a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on 97 Orchard Street will make your 400 square-foot studio seem much more spacious. The museum offers daily tours of early twentieth-century tenements, where well-informed guides give you the scoop about the history of the buildings and thousands of people who lived and worked in them.


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