Dragon's Guide to New York
   Maps & Neighborhoods  
   The Bronx  
   Staten Island  
   Civic Center  
   East Village  
   Greenwich Village  
   Little Italy/ NoLita  
   Lower East Side  
   Lower Manhattan  
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   Union Square Area  
   Upper East Side  
   Upper West Side  

   Magical Neighborhoods  
   Central Park  
   Coney Island  
   Empire State Building  
   Gnomes Square  
   Huntsman's Lair  
   Jake's Neighborhood  
   Kobold's Keep  
   Leprechaun Stock Exchange  
   Little Olympus  
   Magus Bazaar  
   Manhattan Troll Bridge  
   New York Subway  
   Ogre Town  
   oHo & The Sideways City  
   Pandarus Towers  
   Statue of Liberty  

The Lower East Side

This is New York's landmark historic Jewish neighborhood, which was once the world's largest Jewish community. It was here that the New York garment industry began. Today it is one of New York's favorite bargain beats, where serious shoppers find fantastic bargains (especially along Orchard Street on a Sunday afternoon), cutting-edge new designers, and hot bars and music venues - and possibly the best place to get a great pastrami sandwich, pickles out of a barrel, and the world's best bialys. Try Katz's Delicatessen (205 East Houston St.), the oldest and largest real NY deli, founded in 1888.

Bounded by Houston Street, Canal Street, and the FDR Drive, the neighborhood's center is Orchard Street. Once a Jewish wholesale enclave, this street is a true multicultural blend, with trendy boutiques, French cafés, and velvet-roped nightspots sprinkled among dry-goods discounters, Spanish bodegas, Elvish creperies, and Dwarven mom-and-pop shops selling everything from mithril sledgehammers to chain mail underwear to menorahs. Orchard is lined with small shops purveying clothing and shoes at great prices. Grand, Orchard, and Delancey Streets are treasure troves for linens, towels, and other housewares, and the traditional Sunday street vendors (Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, is observed by many shopkeepers as a day of rest) offer great opportunities to hone your bargaining skills! At Shapiro's Winery visitors can taste one of their 32 flavors of wine, and at Streit's bakery, matzoh mavens can sample the freshly baked unleavened bread as it rolls off the conveyor belts behind the counter.

Timeline Touring offers insider tours that relate to this historic period by exploring the culture and heritage that existed then and still exists today. Transportation provided. Tours leave from the NYC visitor center.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum interprets the area's immigrant and migrant experiences through tours of a landmark 19th century tenement, living history programs, neighborhood walking tours, plays, and special programs. The first synagogue built by Eastern European Jews in America (1887) is the Eldridge Street Project, now a cultural center and gift shop.

Click for more information on Downtown and a great walking map connecting historic and cultural attractions.

View an interactive map of the Lower East Side.

More information about the Lower East Side:
The Lower East Side Business Improvement District
has a visitor center at 261 Broome Street and can provide visitors with a shopping directory and information on dining discounts, free parking, and walking tours.

The Lower East Side Conservancy
is a preservation organization that specializes in tours of this fascinating neighborhood, visiting beautiful and historic synagogues.

Map David Lindroth Inc., dlindmap@bellatlantic.net All rights reserved.
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