Lower East Side

The Lower East Side is one of Manhattan's oldest neighborhoods. It was known as a lower-class worker neighborhood. The New York garment industry began here, and shoppers can still find bargains. But things are changing as new designer boutiques move in and rents go up. Still, it's a fun place to visit with its mixture of old and new.

  • Old traditional neighborhood
  • Tenement buildings
  • Iconic fire escapes
  • Large Hispanic population
  • Jewish history and culture
  • Late-night place to be

The Lower East Side feels like the New York City of another era. It was once home to ethnic groups like Germans, Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles and Ukrainians. Today the area is largely Hispanic. Residents are typically middle income earners working in a wide range of jobs. They are in their 20s to 40s; however, there is also a significant number of residents over the age of 70.

There are many reminders of when this area was a Jewish wholesale district. There are several museums devoted to Jewish culture, and you can take a tour that allows you to visit the inside of some of the synagogues. A number of buildings associated with the Jewish community have been preserved. Some of the stores are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays as they are owned by Orthodox Jews.

"There are spiffy clean windows next to gritty street art"

If knishes aren't your cup of tea, try the nightlife at one of the many trendy bars in the Lower East Side. This area is famous for its hopping bar scene, and young people come from all over the city, and even outside of the city, to enjoy the late-night drinks and late-night life. After partying until dawn, there's relief in the form of stylish cafes for a morning coffee.

There are other appealing and interesting things to discover in the Lower East Side. With its tenement-style buildings and iconic fire escapes, it can sometimes feel like a village with attitude. There are spiffy clean windows next to gritty street art. There are also quiet parks and contemporary art galleries.

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