The Lower East Side is a located in the southeastern part of Manhattan. While there is debate over the exact eastern and southern boundaries of Lower East Side, the Lower East Side today refers to the area of Manhattan south of east Houston Street and west of the East River. The Lower East side is bordered in the south and west by the Chinatown area, which extends north to roughly Grand Street, in the west by NoLita (an area known as “North of Little Italy”) and in the north by East Village.
Originally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, the Lower East Side has undergone gentrification in recent years and is increasingly populated by young professionals and students.
Today in the Lower East Side, you’ll find old-world shops side-by-side with a new generation of boutiques and galleries, many of which showcase New York's avant-garde fashion scene. Dining in the area is also a great experience, with everything offered from towering pastrami sandwiches to the latest in eclectic cuisine.
As the sun goes down on the Lower East Side, you’ll find poets giving impromptu poetry readings, local bands, cozy lounges, bars and restaurants. Clinton Street and Ludlow Street between Rivington Street and Stanton Street become especially packed at night as many up-and-coming bands play in the area.
Over a century after hardworking immigrant families first crowded the tenements of Lower East Side, visitors are rediscovering this historic neighborhood and finding new surprises. It is truly one of Manhattan’s most diverse and enjoyable neighborhoods to wander.
Lower East Side History
Originally, "Lower East Side" referred to the area alongside the East River from around the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street, and approximately bounded about the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Chinatown, Bowery, Little Italy, and NoLIta.
While the actual western and southern boundaries of Lower East Side are a matter of perspective - New York natives and long-time neighborhood citizens, particularly the Puerto Rican and African American community, and the Jewish community, don't have East Village within their vocabulary, and it is known as the Lower East Side. The so-called debate about naming conventions typically only applies to the post-gentrification crowd. Newest arrivals to the area, such as new visitors and residents prefer to call the area north of Houston Street the East Village – a name not originated until around 1960.
Even though expression today refers to the area bounded to the north by East Houston Street, parts of the East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of "Lower East Side." Avenue C is known directly as "Loisaida" and is home to the Loisaida Festival every summer.