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"An area in transition" Top 5 Page for this destination Lower East Side Tip by toonsarah

Lower East Side, New York City: 18 reviews and 31 photos

  Street scene. Lower East Side
by toonsarah
  • Street scene. Lower East Side - New York City
      Street scene. Lower East Side
    by toonsarah
  • Orchard Street - New York City
      Orchard Street
    by toonsarah
  • Street scene. Lower East Side - New York City
      Street scene. Lower East Side
    by toonsarah

The Lower East Side is a traditionally working-class area to the north and east of Chinatown, its tenements home to many immigrants over the years. Like many such areas in many cities it is now undergoing something of a renaissance and gentrification – a quick look at the website below will give you the idea. However it still feels quite rough around the edges, and at first glance might not be an obvious tourist destination. But there is a lot to be seen round here:
~ the wonderful Lower East Side Tenement Museum which I describe in a separate Things to Do tip and which was a highlight of our time in New York
~ the arty shops, galleries, bars and cafés of the Bowery (see my Off the Beaten Path tip on CBGBs and Restaurant tip on Vox Pop)
~ Katz’s Deli, possibly the most famous such establishment in the city (and subject of another of my Restaurant tips), and other kosher diners
~ the pocket-handkerchief Suffolk Street Garden (again, see my Off the Beaten Path tips for this one)
~ a number of interesting boutiques, vintage clothes and record stores
~ a great ice-cream shop in Orchard Street – sorry, didn’t get the name, but it’s right next door to the museum (try the honey lavender or the red plum sorbet)
~ Essex Street Market, with fruit and vegetable, fish and meat, clothing and music stalls

But quite apart from these “sights”, we enjoyed just walking around and taking photos – it’s a good area for the latter if you’re interested in images of gritty street life and quirky details. There’s a lively buzz in the air and the people you meet on the streets typify New York’s image as a melting pot of the world’s peoples and their various cultures.

Address: Lower East Side, New York, NY 10002
Directions: Lots of subway stations on the fringes of the area – we used Lower East Side / 2nd Avenue (lines F & V) on one visit, and took a bus down Lexington on another. Other stations include Bowery, Grand and Delancy Streets
Phone: (347) 465-7767

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 12, 2008
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