As one of New York's oldest neighborhoods, the Lower East Side has experienced several dramatic transformations over the years. The Lower East Side was originally densely populated by immigrants, who packed into cramped tenements, apartment buildings that continue today as neighborhood icons. By the early 1900s, the Lower East Side housed the largest Jewish population in the city; up to 60% of the neighborhood was Jewish by 1915. Today the Jewish population has decreased, but its presence is still felt in a number of popular kosher delis and beautiful synagogues. Despite radical changes in demographics and increasing gentrification, the Lower East Side remains a historically rich area.
By the 1960s, the Lower East Side welcomed a steady flood of artists and musicians and has since continued building a reputation as a hip, alternative area. Stretching from the Bowery to the East River Park, the neighborhood is bursting with trendy boutiques, hip nightclubs, and exciting music venues. For trendy boutiques including Frock Vintage and Apollo Braun, check out Orchard Street and then head to Clinton Street for upscale restaurants such as Savor NY and Lotus Lounge. Bar-hopping becomes an all night affair with dive bars, ritzy lounges, and dance clubs around Essex, Clinton, Stanton, and Rivington Streets. The hipster-heavy neighborhood offers several opportunities for checking out skinny jeans and flannel at bars like R Bar, the Living Room, and Fat Baby.
The Lower East Side has recently begun to develop an artistic reputation in a city awash with culture. Springing up from the void created by the closing of CBGB, the Bowery Ballroom is known for pulling in popular headliners along with independent musicians. C-Squat is an alternative to the alternative, with loud punk shows by up and coming bands. Perhaps predictably, bars are some of the most popular performance venues in the Lower East Side.
- • Lower East Side Business Improvement District: www.lowereastsideny.com
- • Lower East Side on Wikipedia: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_East_Side
- • Bowery Boogie, a Lower East Side Chronicle: www.boweryboogie.com/
- • Lower East Side Directory of bars and shops: www.lower-east-side.com/
- • Save the Lower East Side: savethelowereastside.blogspot.com
- • The Lo-Down, Lower East Side News: www.thelodownny.com/