The Lower East Side has been home to some of the city's most iconic restaurants, shopping venues, and architecture. The neighborhood has also welcomed generations of immigrants, from newly arrived Italians and Jews to today's Latino and Asian newcomers. This history has become somewhat obscured, however, as the Lower East Side can appear more hip than historic, with wealth and gentrification changing the character of the neighborhood. Chronicling these developments, along with the hidden gems that still speak of a vibrant immigrant identity, Joyce Mendelsohn provides a complete guide to the Lower East Side of then and now. After an extensive history that stretches back to Manhattan's first settlers, Mendelsohn offers 5 self-guided walking tours, including a new passage through the Bowery, that take the reader to more than 150 sites and highlight the dynamics of a community of contrasts: aged tenements nestled among luxury apartment towers abut historic churches and synagogues. With updated and revised maps, historical data, and an entirely new community to explore, Mendelsohn writes a brand-new chapter in an old New York story.
Joyce Mendelsohn is the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants who settled on the Lower East Side. She lectures on the history, culture, and architecture of New York City at the New School for Social Research and conducts walking tours of and lectures about city neighborhoods sponsored by major cultural and educational institutions. In 2010 she received the Mickey Murphy Award from the Historic Districts Council for her longtime commitment to New York City preservation efforts.
Acknowledgments Introduction Tour I: Jewish Roots Tour II: Immigrant Life Tour III: Commerce and Culture Tour IV: Traditions and Trends Tour V: The Bowery Selected Bibliography Index