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Get to know the Lower East Side

Forming a rough triangle on the east side of Manhattan, sitting south of Houston Street and east of the Bowery (with the East River forming its third side), the Lower East Side evokes first, for many, the days when it was home to thousands of immigrants living in six-story tenements. From roughly the 1880s through World War I, Eastern and Southern Europeans poured in, creating one of the most multicultural corners of the globe. Some traces of that period remain: a handful of buildings that were once synagogues, and historically significant, if not especially beautiful, tenements. In recent years the neighborhood has been undergoing a transformation. Along its northern edge, it feels increasingly like an extension of the East Village, with bars, restaurants, and clubs drawing younger New Yorkers to Ludlow and Orchard. Meanwhile, other blocks farther south reflect the ongoing expansion of Chinatown into adjacent neighborhoods.
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Commerce & Culture

Travel east of Clinton or south of East Broadway, and restaurants or shops beyond bodegas are few and far between. In the northwestern corner of the neighborhood, the newest arrival is the Essex Crossing development just south of Delancey. It includes Target, Trader Joe’s, and Market Line — a collection of outposts from local food vendors. Most of the Lower East Side’s popular dining and drinking spots sit on Allen, Ludlow, and Orchard, with their dive bars, casual restaurants, and small clubs with live music (Arlene’s Grocery and Pianos are among the best known of them). Russ & Daughters and Katz’s maintain the area’s Jewish culinary heritage. Venture deeper into the neighborhood and you’ll come upon local favorites like the Doughnut Plant, a New York location of Mission Chinese Food, and Jajaja for delicious vegan Mexican dishes. The Tenement Museum on Orchard provides a lively introduction to the neighborhood’s history.

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