Lower East Side
Lower East Side also known as LES is a neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The area is located between Houston Street, Bowery, Canal Street and the East River. In the mid-2000s, LES went down a rapid gentrification process and was listed among the list of America’s Most Endangered Places. Being a part of Manhattan Community District 3, Lower East Side is patrolled by the New York City Police Department.
Due to its early gentrification, LES has changed from what it was a Jewish neighbourhood to a hip community. A big benefit of gentrification is the availability of many high-rises and rental apartments with luxurious amenities. This makes LES a popular place full of young professionals living in affordable and luxurious apartments.
Lower east side has these neighbourhoods: NoHo, East Village, Little Italy, and Chinatown.
Population and Density
The total population of the Lower East Side is 72,957 with a density of 34,000/km2 (87,000/sq mi). LES is three times more populated than the average population of the surrounding areas. Streets remain full and busy throughout the day in this city.
Being a place rich in history and culture, suffice to say that LES is one of the most interesting places in NYC and also a perfect place to spend your weekend. You will find art galleries, shops, bars, and hipster-baiting cafes in every corner.
For coffee lovers, LES is an ideal place as the coffee points are in abundance here. Move to the shopping site and visit Tictail market where you will find a variety of hand-picked wears. Art galleries are another interesting place to visit here. These galleries show the work of emerging artists and non-traditional art pieces.
If you are interested in the history of this area, visit the famous Tenement Museum. This place will take you back to the Jewish days of LES. Getting out of the past, visit Lowline to see the future of Lower East Side. Lowline is the world’s first underground green park.
Lower East Side was occupied by the Lenape tribe. The Lenape moved to the different parts of the city in different seasons. In summer, they spent most of the time at the seashore for fishing and during the fall and winter, they moved to inland for growing crops and to hunt.
In the early days, LES was a neighbourhood full of Jewish and several synagogues. After the immigration, Ukrainians, Italians and Irish also moved to Lower East Side. Due to the early gentrification, LES has lost its rich history and the Jewish culture has now changed to artsy community.
Lower East Side is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the area and considered as a poor and ethnically diverse part of Manhattan. Just like other ethnic groups, once Germans were the part of LES and that time the area was known as ‘Little Germany’.
Some notable landmarks of LES include:
- The Educational Alliance Settlement House
- University Settlement House
- Forward Building
- Henry Street Settlement
- Russ & Daughters
Shopping, concerts, bar hopping and dining out.
Buildings – Flat or Tall?
Gentrification has changed the dynamics of LES and many high-rises with luxurious amenities have built here and plenty forthcoming.