The Lower East Side has been home to an ethnically diverse population of New Yorkers since the early 19th century, first inhabited by Germans, Italians and Eastern European Jews, and later by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans who dubbed the area "Loisaida." The archetypical immigrant experience in the city was borne out in overcrowded tenement buildings, many of which still stand in the neighborhood to this day. In its current iteration, the Lower East Side runs roughly between Bowery and the East River, from Canal Street to Houston Street. The westernmost portion is frequently referred to simply as The Bowery, and Chinatown carves out a southwestern section of the LES that juts across to Broadway.
Today, the Lower East Side straddles the line between old and new, historic and gentrified, with tenement buildings being nudged aside by new development condos. The area retains a rough-around-the-edges vibe where edgy street art coats the walls of pricey upscale boutiques. And while the LES is an unbeatable destination for late-night eating and drinking, some might find the open-all-night vibe as a non-option for residential life.
Essex Crossing brings nearly 2 million square feet of commercial, residential and community spaces to Broome Street, including a massive public market anchored by a revamped version of neighborhood darling Essex Street Market.
The Tenement Museum documents the rich history of the LES immigrant population with era-appropriate tenement apartments and live actors recreating life in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The stately Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge provide striking vistas as well as vehicular, pedestrian and bike access between boroughs.
Sara D. Roosevelt Park cuts a narrow path from Houston to Canal, providing green space to the park-deprived region.
The New Museum is a contemporary art outpost with five floors of gallery spaces devoted to emerging artists.
The Bowery Ballroom is regarded as one of the best music venues in the city with numerous bars and vantage points across three levels.