Long known as a predominantly Jewish enclave, the Lower East Side is one of the most diverse and exciting neighborhoods in Manhattan, with an eclectic mix of old-world ethnic establishments that neighbor trendy eateries and upscale clothing boutiques.
Bounded by the Bowery, East Houston Street, the East River and Canal Street, the Lower East Side has long been a working-class neighborhood, home to a large number of immigrants from Europe, and later, Latin America. Densely populated, the Lower East Side is a centerpiece for Jewish-American culture in New York, popularized in classic films such as "Crossing Delancy". New Yorkers and tourists alike continue to flock to venerable Lower East Side landmarks such as Katz's Deli and Russ & Daughters. And the neighborhood boasts several prominent synagogues, including the Bialystoker Synagogue, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol and the Eldridge Street Synagogue.
For most of its history, Lower East Side architecture has consisted primarily of squat tenement housing. Starting in the new millenium, a wave of gentrification brought in sleek new high-end buildings such as Blue, a 16-story condo building at 105 Norfolk Street, designed by Bernard Tschumi.
Quickly becoming one of the city's hottest culinary destinations, the Lower East Side's Clinton Street has been dubbed a new restaurant row, with patrons descending on chic restaurants, such as Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, wd~50, and Cube 63.
The Lower East Side is also home to a thriving music scene, with many live rock, punk and alternative music venues such as Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, the Living Room, and Arlene's Grocery. In addition, the area is increasingly gaining a reputation for its contemporary art galleries.