Once considered a not-so-nice place to live, the Lower East Side is now a place to see and be seen in Lower Manhattan. There are still traces of its Jewish culture with vendors that sell smoked fish and most notably, Katz's Delicatessen, which many may remember from the 90's flick When Harry Met Sally.
The area expands north to East Houston Street, East River to the east, Canal Street to the south, and Bowery to the West. The population is around 90,000 and there is a strong mix of Asian, Jewish, and Latino cultures.
Many of the homes in the Lower East Side are pre-war tenements that do not have elevators. However, newer properties have emerged that could be classified as luxury living. The vibe is gritty and full of characters but the real estate rates are the lowest that a person will find in the Manhattan area.
There is so much that the Lower East Side has to offer in terms of entertainment and nightlife. For the art lover, there are many art galleries and museums. There is something for everyone, whether a person appreciates abstract, contemporary, or street art. Some of these feature local talent and many of its works reflect the sense of community and cultural pride. The Tenement Museum, at 97 Orchard Street, is one of such as it displays a series of restored apartments from the early days of the Lower East Side.
The Lower East Side is also home to many alternative galleries like the ABC No Rio. In 2012, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space opened with works that feature photography that reflect the neighborhood along with its long history of activism.
For those who like a little action on the field, the East River Park, between Montgomery and 12th Streets, has a track and other recreational facilities for baseball, football, and soccer. There is also an amphitheater, which has live performances. Sara Roosevelt Park also has basketball courts and small community gardens that are ideal for tranquil walks. The Lower East Side also has private parks such as La Plaza Cultural.
The restaurants in the Lower East Side offer a wide variety of choices. There range from top-rated establishments to small sandwich shops and local diners. The Clinton Street Baking Company is great for a Sunday Brunch (reservations are highly recommended). If you have a taste for Italian and South American, The Orchard comes highly recommended for lunch or dinner. If you're having after-hours cravings, Rosario's Pizza is not only a late night tasty treat but inexpensive as well!
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