Photo: Payton Chung
While Harlem has some great advantages, there is a different, yet slightly similar appeal to another neighborhood with an equally rich cultural background; the Lower East Side.
LES does not always have the prettiest streets, the most convenient of bus routes or the glitz and glam of some other neighborhoods, but what it lacks in those departments it makes up for in authenticity, grittiness and character. During the day it is like any other neighborhood; bodegas are on every corner with the community cat taking perch, sandwich shops serve up lunch and boutiques sell the best commodities they have to offer. At night, the neighborhood’s lights attract New Yorkers away from their homes and to the vibrant scene that gives this town the nickname, The City that Never Sleeps.
This is an old neighborhood, one with residents that have never left, stores that have stayed open for decades and a deli that has been in business since 1888. It was once a farm, then a tenement neighborhood, then a working-class Jewish community that now shares the streets with Latinos, Chinese, Bangladeshis, Japanese, Ukranians and countless other immigrants.This was once called Little Germany, Corlears Hook and Crown Point. Now its comprised of the East Village, NoLIta, Chinatown, Alphabet City, Bowery and Little Italy. This is the neighborhood of immigrants, the history of America.
Any history buff would find days worth of exploring in this part of town, the Tenement Museum on Delancey and Orchard offers a wonderful series of walking tours, but truly the best love affair to have with this neighborhood is found in restaurants. There is no other part of the city that showcases such a wide selection of food in a radius of this size. Read More