Lower East Side
, Manhattan, New York City
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The Lower East Side is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of New York City borough of Manhattan. It has traditionally been an immigrant, working class neighborhood, but it has undergone gentrification in recent years and is increasingly populated by young professionals and students.
One of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, the Lower East Side has long been known as a lower-class, working neighborhood and often as a poor and diverse community. The Lower East Side once was and still is a center for a lively Jewish culture. Vestiges of the area's Jewish heritage exist in shops on Hester Street and Essex Street and on Grand Street near Pike, and there is still an original Orthodox Jewish community, with yeshiva day schools and a mikvah.A few Judaica Shops can still be found along Essex Street such as The famous Double Staircased Weisberg and Sons Hebrew Religous Articles (45) Essex Street , and a few other Sofer's (Jewish Scribes) and, and other Jewish Variety stores can be found. Strictly Kosher Delies and Bakeries are present on Grand Street, and a few "Kosher Style" delies are also in the region, including the famous Katz's Deli. Downtown Second Avenue in the Lower East Side was the home to many Yiddish theatre productions during the early part of the 20th century, and Second Avenue came to be known as 'Yiddish Broadway', though most of the theaters are gone. More recently, it has been settled by immigrants from Latin America and elsewhere.
In what is now the East Village, a preexisting population of Poles and Ukrainians has been significantly replenished with newer immigrants, and the arrival of large numbers of Japanese people over the last fifteen years or so has led to the proliferation of Japanese restaurants and specialty food markets. There is also a notable population of Bangladeshis and other immigrants from Muslim countries, many of whom are congregants of the small Madina Masjid (Mosque), located on First Avenue and 11th Street.
The Neighborhood also presents many Historical and Beautiful synagouges (Shuls), such as the Bialystocker Shul Beth Hamedresh Hagadol, The Eldridge Street Shul , Congregation Kehila Kedosha Yanina (only Greek Synagouge in Western Hemisphere), and many various smaller, and colorful Synagouges- called Shteebles along East Broadway. a great variety of churches, both in terms of denomination and ethnic and linguistic makeup. In addition, there is a major Hare Krishna temple and Buddhist houses of worship.
The Bowery, though no longer a largely deserted place save for the legendary Bowery bums, remains the location of the famous Bowery Mission, serving the down-and-out since 1879. Another notable landmark on the Bowery was CBGB, a nightclub that presented live music - including some of the most famous figures in rock 'n roll - from 1973 until it closed on October 15, 2006. A bit further north and east is McSorley's Old Ale House, a famous Irish bar that opened its doors in 1854.
The part of the neighborhood south of Delancey Street and west of Allen Street has in large measure become part of Chinatown, and Grand Street is one of the major business and shopping streets of Chinatown. Also contained within the neighborhood are strips of lighting and restaurant supply shops on the Bowery.
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