Hello, this is David Hill with New York Habitat.  Today I will take you around one of New York City’s  hip and historical neighborhoods, called the Lower East Side.

The name, Lower East Side, pretty much tells you that this neighborhood is located in the south-eastern part of Manhattan.  It’s roughly located between Houston Street to the north, the East River on the east, Canal Street to the south, and Bowery to the west.

Video Tour of the Lower East Side, New York – Part 1(5:59)

Keep in mind that the boundaries of this neighborhood are not exactly defined because this area is in constant change and renewal and often it’s hard to tell exactly where the Lower East side ends and where the adjacent neighborhoods start.

Brief History:

The Lower East Side, also called L.E.S. by the locals, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan. During the second half of the nineteenth century it was predominantly occupied by working class immigrants who arrived in New York and settled here in the many tenement buildings.  It is a culturally diverse area formed by many different ethnic groups of the world who have been immigrating to New York over the centuries.

Tenement Museum: 97 Orchard Street

Located on Orchard Street, the Tenement Museum is a 5-story tenement building where thousands of immigrants from 20 different nations lived between the mid-1800 to the early 1900s.

You can take a daily tour offered by the Tenement Museum to see how the immigrants lived.  Tenement buildings were specifically built by greedy owners to house as many immigrants as possible. Immigrants often  lived in crowded and squalid conditions.  In tenements, families were stuffed in to small rooms, with no heat, no running water and no bathrooms.

In 1867 new housing laws required owners to improve their tenants’ living conditions by adding bathrooms which were shared by the residents.  Of course, over the years, these buildings have been improved and renovated to the standards of today.

Katz’s Delicatessen: 205 East Houston Street

In the early 1900s, the Lower East Side had a large population of Jewish immigrants who maintained their culture and heritage through the years.

Katz’s Delicatessen is one of the oldest food establishments in the Lower East Side. It has been here since 1888 and it features its famous pastrami sandwich and many other kosher foods and cold cuts.

It has also appeared in several movies, like “When Harry Met Sally”, “Donnie Brasco” and “Across the Universe”.

Eldridge Street Synagogue
Eldridge Street Synagogue

As you walk around the Lower East Side you will notice various Synagogues on almost every street.  They are a vivid sign of the Jewish heritage of the Lower East Side.  Most of the synagogues have been declared landmarks since 1996.

The Bialystoker Synagogue was founded in 1865 by a group of orthodox Jews who came from the town of Bialystok, Poland.

The Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk Street is one of the largest and oldest synagogues built in New York City.  It was founded in 1849 by a congregation of German Jews.  It was the largest synagogue in the U.S. which held up to 1500 worshippers.

The Eldrige Street Synagogue was erected at 12 Eldridge Street by a group of European Jews in 1887. It has beautiful stained glass windows and a glorious Moorish Revival architectural style.

New York Habitat has many Lower East Side vacation rentals available.  As in the past centuries, people from around the world continue to love to stay here because it’s a lively area day and night.  If you want to feel at home and save money, choose your favorite vacation rental, which will definitely be cheaper than a hotel plus you’ll get more for your money.  You’ll have more space and you’ll be able to book a furnished apartment with a fully equipped kitchen so you can cook instead of going out to restaurants for each meal.  Dollar for dollar, you’ll get more in an apartment rental over a hotel!

Check out some of our Lower East Side Accommodations including:

This fully furnished 1-bedroom apartment  in the Lower East Side of New York (NY-12864) which is situated on the 3rd floor of an early 20th century walk-up building. The kitchen is equipped with all of the basic amenities, plus the convenience of a dishwasher. The bedroom is furnished with a queen sized bed and the apartment also features air conditioning and wireless Internet.

Or maybe this fully furnished studio apartment in the Lower East Side, New York (NY-7890) which is located on the 5th floor of a walk-up building on Essex Street. Furnished with a double bed and a desk, as well a fully equipped kitchen, this apartment is centrally located in the Lower East Side and is within walking distance of the Tenement Museum.

I hope you enjoyed today’s video tour of the Lower East Side.  There are many attractions in this area and from here you can easily walk to many other adjacent neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and the Financial District.

If you know of any fun stops in the Lower East Side, be sure to leave a comment in the comment section below.

The Lower East Side has so much to visit, that we had split the video tour of the Lower East Side into 2 parts. Continue the visit with Part 2 of our Video Tour of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.