Lower East Side and East Village

Start by exploring the East Village, which evolved into distinct neighborhood of its own right only in the past generation, then a detailed look at the Lower East Side, considered the ‘home’ of American immigration, which now has become yet another trendy area.



East Village

  • Simply an extension of the Lower East Side until the 1960s
  • A working class neighborhood of immigrants, its decline, then artists/muscians/students/hippies, then an upscale gentrified and distinct neighborhood in its own right
  • Wanamaker's Department Store
  • Cooper Union and Abraham Lincoln's speech
  • Bohemian St. Marks Place
  • McSorley's Ale House - East 7 St.
  • Alphabet City and Tompkins Square Park and the riots of 1988
  • New York City Marble Cemetery - East 2 St/1-2 Avenues
  • Second and Third Avenue Elevated
  • Little India (East 6 St.)
  • Remaining businesses and churches from its immigrant past on Second Avenue

Houston St. and the Manhattan street grid - Commissioners' Plan of 1811


Lower East Side and its Jewish heritage

  • Its evolution over time, similar to the East Village
  • Famous eateries - Katz's Deli, Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery, Russ and Daughters
  • Essex Street Retail Market and pushcarts of the past
  • Orchard Street - retail and Tenement Museum
  • (Discuss only) "Loisaida" - Avenue C
  • Economy Candy
  • Kossar's Bialys (Grand St.) and Bialystok, Poland
  • Streits Matzo (Monday to Thursday only)
  • Pickle Guys - 49 Essex St.
  • Blue Condominium - 105 Norfolk Street
  • Northward expansion of Chinatown
  • Bialystoker Synagogue – 7-11 Willet Street
  • Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – 60-64 Norfolk Street
  • Kehila Kedosha Janina – 280 Broome Street
  • Jewish Daily Forward Building


Discuss some other Lower East Side landmarks that you can walk past on your own or we can walk as a group if time permits ...

  • Eldridge Street Synagogue – 12 Eldridge St.
  • Jarmulowsky Bank Building
  • Loew’s Canal Street Theater





TIP: At the end of the walk, backtrack to Katz’s deli, eat in one of the many trendy bistros on the Lower East Side, or head into Chinatown.   Or, optionally, I’ll walk you over a few blocks to visit the Eldridge Street Synagogue on your own - after which you’ll be on the middle of exansive Chinatown.






Google maps - approximate route ...





NYC Five Boro Tours





Jim.henderson [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons