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Neighborhood To Watch: Lower East Side, New York, New York

New development is sprouting up throughout the area. 208 DELANCEY

Long recognized for being ahead of the curve, the Lower East Side of Manhattan has been a vibrant neighborhood for quite some time, and is specifically known for its restaurant and bars scene. The Lower East Side of Manhattan is bounded by Houston Street, the Bowery, the Manhattan Bridge and the East River, with the neighborhood's center being Orchard Street. Its streets are lined with trendy places to drink and dance, and many of the area’s synagogues, museums and restaurants serve as reminders of its immigrant history.

208 Delancey is the most recent upscale development. 208 DELANCEY

The area has recently seen an uptick in real estate and retail activity, all within a span of about four to five blocks. The most recent development emerging on the corners of Delancey and Pitt Streets is 208 Delancey, a 12-story condo designed by ODA New York, who was architecturally inspired by the neighborhood. The building is located across the street from the Williamsburg Bridge and almost provides an extension of Brooklyn to Manhattan. The interiors of the condominium residences bring a subtle blend of natural materials, custom millwork and premium finishes to the signature curves of the exterior design. Amenities include a landscaped Courtyard, a serene retreat that is a perfect place to relax in solitude, work outside or entertain. Just off the lobby and overlooking the private Courtyard, the light-filled Parlor Lounge features comfortable seating, floor-to-ceiling windows and a curved custom oak accent wall.

Other new developments that are further elevating the neighborhood are Essex Crossing, the new mixed-use development that houses The Market Line with food, art, music and fashion vendors, Essex Market, office space, condos, a Trader Joes, a Target and a Regal Cinemas. Once completed, the development will include a bowling alley and a park. The commercial components of Essex Crossing are located at 145 and 155 Delancey Street, each featuring five floors of office space and over 174,000 rentable square footage.

The Market Line and Essex Market infuse the rich history of the area with its new metropolitan flare, bringing the neighborhood hundreds of locally sourced vendors in a place to gather and socialize. This unit of blocks is spotted with several parks, most notably Corlears Hook Park which brings greenery to the community and offers workout classes and other events.

Wayla features a menu from Bangkok native Tom Naumsuwan. WAYLA

Known far and wide for its many bars, delis and restaurants, locals and visitors alike flock to such establishments as Katz's Delicatessen, a no-frills deli with theatrically cranky service serving mile-high sandwiches since 1888. Wayla features a menu from Bangkok native Tom Naumsuwan which focuses on home-style Thai dishes. Check out for a complete list of area restaurants.

The Tenement Museum tells how immigrants became American. TENEMENT MUSEUM

Arts and culture abound throughout the region. A must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history of imigration is the Tenement Museum, which tells how immigrants became American, and how America became a nation. The museum's two restored historic tenement buildings were home to over 15,000 immigrants from over 20 nations between 1863 and the turn of the 21st century. In addition to its novel exhibitions, the New Museum also hosts readings, performances, trivia nights and other events and programs that defy definition.

Shoppers will find an eclectic array of stores throughout the area. Fashion designer Yael Aflalo and partner Chi Bui opened the Reformation just six months after opening the original store in Los Angeles. The LES store offers vintage pieces revamped by the designers, as well as shoes and accessories found at local estate sales and flea markets. Those with a sweet tooth head to Economy Candy which is famous for its selection of long-forgotten brands of candy as well as novelties, chocolate and more.

Rockwood Music Hall boasts three intimate stages. ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL

The Lower East Side rocks at night. Over the past 15 years, Rockwood Music Hall has become one of the most respected names in NYC for finding and booking the next big thing in music. It boasts three intimate stages, all with top-notch sound systems, and at least one of which is always free to attend. The Bowery Ballroom attracts the brightest stars from the cutting edge of contemporary music, and bars on all three floors keep things buzzing before, during and after sets.

Splurge for the ultimate view at the Hotel Indigo, whose Duplex Penthouse Suite spans two floors with floor-to-ceiling windows. Two sprawling outdoor terraces provide breathtaking skyline vistas. The Ludlow Hotel allows you to experience the city like a true New Yorker as you can walk to bars, restaurants and music venues.

The free spirited nature of this neighborhood along with the diverse, welcoming residents makes this a special section of New York City and one that’s worth investing some time in during you next trip to the Big Apple.


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