The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES and sometimes referred to as Loisaida, is a historic neighborhood in the southeastern part borough of Manhattan, New York City roughly between the Bowery and the East River from Canal to Houston streets. Traditionally an immigrant, working-class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on its list of America’s Most Endangered Places.
The Lower East Side is roughly bounded by the Bowery to the west, East Houston Street to the north, the FDR Drive and East River to the east, and Canal Street to the south. The western boundary below Grand Street veers east off the Bowery to approximately Essex Street. The neighborhood is bordered in the south and west by Chinatown, extending north to roughly Grand Street, in the west by Nolita, and in the north by the East Village.
Historically, the “Lower East Side” referred to the area alongside the East River from about the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street and roughly bounded on the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Chinatown, Bowery, Little Italy, and NoLIta. Parts of the East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of “Lower East Side.”
One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, the Lower East Side, has long been a lower-class worker neighborhood and often a poor and ethnically diverse section of New York. As well as Irish, Italians, Poles, Ukrainians, and other ethnic groups, it once had a sizeable German population and was known as Little Germany (Kleindeutschland). Today it is a predominantly Puerto Rican and Dominican community and is in the process of gentrification. EZ Bed Bug Exterminator NYC
Since the immigration waves from eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Lower East Side became known as having been a center of Jewish immigrant culture. In her 2000 book Lower East Side Memories: A Jewish Place in America, Hasia Diner explains that the Lower East Side is especially remembered as a place of Jewish beginnings for Ashkenazi American Jewish culture.
Vestiges of the area’s Jewish heritage exist in shops on Hester and Essex Streets and Grand Street near Allen Street. An Orthodox Jewish community is based in the area, operating yeshiva day schools and a mikvah. A few Judaica shops can be found along Essex Street, and a few Jewish scribes and variety stores. Some kosher delis and bakeries and a few “kosher-style” delis, including the famous Katz’s Deli, are located in the neighborhood.
- Remedy Diner is located at 245 E Houston St, New York, Manhattan, NY
- Sweet Chick is located at 178 Ludlow St, New York, NY
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