View Full Version : Lower East Side

fall guy
October 21st, 2003, 12:53 AM
Is the lower east still kind of gritty or has that given way to shops and boutiques. I want to move to a part of Manhattan that's a little gritty.

TLOZ Link5
October 21st, 2003, 09:32 AM
Still gritty, but gentrifying. Lots of great bars and restaurants.

fall guy
October 21st, 2003, 11:11 AM
What is the most grittiest part of manhattan?

October 21st, 2003, 12:24 PM
Gritty = Harlem and up, for now. That, too, is rapidly changing. There's always Chinatown, too.

May 23rd, 2013, 08:18 PM
The Avenue in Its Well-Behaved Youth

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS4/26STREETS4-articleLarge-v4.jpgNew York Public Library
An 1865 stereoscopic view of Second Avenue from about Third Street.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/christopher_gray/index.html)

Published: May 23, 2013 Comment (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/#postcomment)

Lower Second Avenue isn’t much these days, a honky-tonk collection of East Village tenements, not to be mentioned in the same breath as Fifth Avenue, and for a century and a half just another number.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/10/21/realestate/real-estate-twitter-icon/real-estate-twitter-icon-thumbStandard-v3.jpg (https://twitter.com/#!/nytrealestate/)
For news and features on real estate, follow @nytrealestate (https://twitter.com/#!/nytrealestate/).

Enlarge This Image (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS1.html','26STREETS1_html','width=418,heig ht=630,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes'))
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS1/streets-1-articleInline.jpg (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS1.html','26STREETS1_html','width=418,heig ht=630,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes'))
Office for Metropolitan History

The Lewis Rutherford house, Second and 11th Street, shown in about 1907, no longer exists.

Enlarge This Image (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS3.html','26STREETS3_html','width=399,heig ht=630,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes'))
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS3/streets-3-articleInline.jpg (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS3.html','26STREETS3_html','width=399,heig ht=630,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes'))
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The Isaac Hopper house still stands at 110 Second Avenue.

Enlarge This Image (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS2_SPAN.html','26STREETS2_SPAN_html','widt h=720,height=564,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resiza ble=yes'))
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS2_SPAN/street-2-articleInline.jpg (http://javascript<strong></strong>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/05/26/realestate/26STREETS2_SPAN.html','26STREETS2_SPAN_html','widt h=720,height=564,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resiza ble=yes'))
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

No. 149 Second, the 1840s Major house, center, retains its stoop and cornice.

But before the 1850s, Fifth Avenue was barely a notch above its easterly colleague, and today the observant may scrape up the few traces of gentility amid the falafel and the fraternity crowds.

Second Avenue opened after the adoption of the grid plan in 1811, and wealthy families put up comfortable brick Greek Revival houses, like the Isaac Hopper house at 110 Second (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/realestate/22scape.html?_r=0) Avenue, nearly intact from the 1830s. That the diagonal of Stuyvesant Street ran right into Second at 10th Street didn’t hurt — the grand 1804 Stuyvesant-Fish house is just west of Second.

Indeed, the Stuyvesant family courses all through this section: Peter Gerard Stuyvesant’s 1845 house stood at the northwest corner of Second and 11th Street. It soon went to Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (sometimes spelled Rutherford), another member of the clan, and he put an observatory in the backyard, from which he observed eclipses and other heavenly phenomena.
Another town house from the 1840s is 149 Second Avenue; it still has its stoop and is comparatively little altered, although there’s a big skylight on the roof that must give some apartment plenty of sun. The 1870 census records the occupants as Edward Jaffray, a socially prominent dry goods importer, his family of five and nine servants.
Two years later, Jaffray advertised his “extra-sized house” for sale. Thirty-three feet wide, it had three bathrooms, six water closets and the property included a stable on Ninth Street.
A subsequent owner was Alexander Major, a founder of the New York Yacht Club, who lived there with his family of five and seven servants. According to Vanessa Cameron, the archivist of the club, George Steers, who designed the cup-winning America, also did Major’s yacht.

But the precincts of Second Avenue were tarnishing, and as early as 1853, Gerard Stuyvesant and others had to protest the extension of a surface railway along Second, which a later map shows.
And in the financial panic of 1873, a plumbing contractor who was a member of the Tweed ring, John H. Keyser (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00A14FF3A5416738DDDAA0A94D0405B8985F0D3), fed 1,000 people a day out of his house on Second Avenue. Public-spirited, yes, but perhaps he was also out to untarnish his image.
Simultaneously, German immigrants took over the old houses, converting them to apartments and later, tearing some down for tenements and night spots. No. 138 Second Avenue, a house which boasts a very nice surviving brownstone doorway with a Gibbs surround (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/realestate/streetscapes-a-glossary-for-architectural-rubberneckers.html), had by 1885 become the Association for Befriending Children and Young Girls.

In 1912, The New York Times noted that a longtime Second Avenue resident, Alice Keteltas (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F10E11F73A5E13738DDDA90A94D8415B828DF1D3), “drove away one afternoon in her coach from the aristocratic mansion on the northwest corner of St. Marks Place, never to return there.” According to the newspaper, “the neighborhood, teeming with a mixed Jewish, Italian, and Hungarian population, has never seemed to bother the old lady.” But in the end she was persuaded by her friends to decamp to East 79th Street and presumably, continued to vacation at her house in Newport, R.I.

Maria Major, the widow of Alexander, died in 1917 in her house, 149 Second Avenue. A year later, The Eagle reported that it had been “the only private residence remaining in this once fashionable avenue.” In the 1930s the house was occupied by the Yiddish Workers Culture Chorus.
There is still some of the old egg-cream-ethnic left on Second Avenue, but now the chief cultural group is 20-something singles, who spill onto the sidewalks like a giant fraternity party, more ebullient than disorderly, even with plenty of beer.
Any of them of a mind to put down the iPhone and search out traces of the old, old Second Avenue — that is, the mansion period — will be hard put to find it. Besides the Gibbs surround at No. 138, a rare find, there’s a row of brick houses at the southwest corner of Third Street sitting in prim rectitude among the tumult. Some of the houses are badly mangled by two-story storefronts, but a few conceivably contain old pier mirrors or what’s left of elegant double parlors with twin columns. The Hopper house at No. 110 is in this group.

There is also New York Marble Cemetery, hidden away on the west side, from Second to Third Streets. Its interment roster is redolent of a New York so long gone it is a foreign country: Abeel, Anthon, Devoe, Hosack, Luqueer, Vandervoort.
Despite a ragged storefront, the old Major house at No. 149 prevails, the soft, worn red brick of the upper floors like some beautiful stones smoothed for decades in a mountain stream. The Greek Revival ironwork on the stoop is damaged, but if you mount the stairs you will be rewarded by a real madeleine of old Second Avenue.

There, through a fuzzy pane of scratched glass, the idler can see a broad set of wooden stairs trailing away up to the second floor, which has a wide midlevel landing. Around the ceiling of the vestibule runs a confectionery of cove molding, delicate little free-standing plaster flowers, impossibly fragile, but impossibly intact, at least in most places.
According to a tenant, the interiors have been much altered, but these fragments were here on Maria Major’s final trip from the Second Avenue of a much, much earlier time.


May 24th, 2013, 12:28 AM

September 10th, 2014, 01:08 AM
New plan unveiled for a more pedestrian-friendly Lower East Side

by Henry Melcher

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/550x472xOverview-550x472.png.pagespeed.ic.P6dXUiwDUS.png (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Overview.png)
The transformed Orchard Street. (Courtesy The Lower East Side Business Improvement District and PilotProjects)

One of Manhattan (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/tag/manhattan)’s most historic streets could soon become one of its most pedestrian-friendly. That is, if a plan for a revamped Orchard Street from the Lower East Side (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/tag/lower-east-side#)’s Business Improvement District (BID) is approved by the city. The plan, which was unveiled at a community board meeting last week, calls for curb extensions, bike corals, planters, tree beds, and benches along a six-block stretch of the street. The plan also calls for a pedestrian plaza (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/tag/pedestrian-plazas#) on adjacent Broome Street.

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/550x261xPedestrian-Plaza-550x261.png.pagespeed.ic.DUGHfIHZCH.png (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Pedestrian-Plaza.png)
The pedestrian plaza. (Courtesy The Lower East Side Business Improvement District and PilotProjects)

“As Orchard Street continues to evolve, it finds itself tying together historic neighborhood fabric with large scale real estate development on all sides,” said the BID in its proposal. “As pedestrian and bike traffic on the street continue to grow along with motor vehicle traffic, a safe and welcoming streetscape that maximizes the pedestrian and bike experience while accommodating is more important than ever.” DNA Info reported (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140905/lower-east-side/photos-plans-for-massive-orchard-street-redesign-includes-pedestrian-plaza#) that the plan follows an interactive planning process that let residents rearrange pieces of the the street on a 16-foot-long replica.

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/550x268xCurb-Extensions-550x268.png.pagespeed.ic.-xwWlKApOc.png (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Curb-Extensions.png)
The new Orchard Street. (Courtesy The Lower East Side Business Improvement District and PilotProjects)

The plan was reportedly well-received overall, but the BID will continue to study the impact of the pedestrian plaza, which would block a connection for drivers to the Williamsburg Bridge. If approved by the city, the project could begin construction next spring.


February 25th, 2015, 09:38 PM
Community group wants to clean up the Lower East Side, one watering hole at a time. Article has videos.

Meet the feared party killers of the Lower East Side (http://nypost.com/2015/02/24/meet-the-party-killers-of-the-lower-east-side/)

By Tim Donnelly (http://nypost.com/author/tim-donnelly/)
February 24, 2015 | 10:41pm

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/les_group_inset1.jpg)
Diem Boyd (in green coat, above center) and her allies in the LES Dwellers have struck fear in the hearts of bar owners in the Lower East Side neighborhood dubbed Hell Square. Inset: One of the LES Dwellers snapped this photo of a couple passed out on the sidewalk last summer. Photo: Christian Johnston; Courtesy of LESD (inset)

Entire article here:

March 14th, 2015, 06:59 AM
While I don't doubt the effect that chain stores have had on the area, this market seems to be severely mismanaged. They have a diamond in the rough here and if they're smart won't waste it. I don't think it's too late and I wouldn't compare it at all to the 'dead mall' syndrome plaguing the midwest. When I come to the city I park in the municipal garage right across the street, and to my discredit I've never been in there because I thought it was closed.

Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side Is Forgotten but Not Gone

MARCH 13, 2015

Big City (http://www.nytimes.com/column/big-city) By GINIA BELLAFANTE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/ginia_bellafante/index.html)

Photo http://static01.nyt.com/images/2015/03/15/nyregion/15BIG1/15BIG1-articleLarge.jpg

Anne Saxelby has run Saxelby Cheesemongers from the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side for nearly a decade. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

If you were prone to quick and superficial judgments, you might take one look at Anne Saxelby, a young and winsome purveyor of costly artisanal cheeses on the Lower East Side, and cast her in the role of bad witch in your own little gentrification play. For nearly a decade, Saxelby Cheesemongers (http://www.saxelbycheese.com/)has occupied a stall in the Essex Street Market (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/nyregion/at-the-unlovely-essex-street-market-bonds-run-deep.html), a municipal food hall built by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia (http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/1211.html). And yet few have done more than Ms. Saxelby to work to preserve the market’s character and unite its disparate group of vendors, among them old-school Hispanic grocers dealing in unusual root vegetables and other inexpensive produce and retailers of the meticulously cured, the refined and the handcrafted.

It was Ms. Saxelby who addressed a lively and contentious community board meeting Tuesday outlining what she and a majority of the vendors in the market say has been neglect and mismanagement on the part of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which serves as both a landlord of the 15,000-square-foot space and its overseer. Since the city announced two years ago that it would be moving the market to the other side of Delancey Street in 2018, where it would occupy twice as much acreage in a mammoth mixed-use development (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/nyregion/city-plans-redevelopment-for-vacant-area-in-lower-manhattan.html) called Essex Crossing, it has done little to promote the market in the form that it currently exists, little to counter the prevailing impression in the neighborhood and beyond that the market is defunct until relocation.
Photo http://static01.nyt.com/images/2015/03/15/nyregion/15BIG2/15BIG2-articleLarge.jpg

Newer vendors, such as Brooklyn Taco, have left the struggling market. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times Sales and foot traffic have fallen dramatically. “I’m here because vendors in the market are struggling and going out of business,” Ms. Saxelby told the audience, asking for the community’s support to have independent management of the market. “I had a friend come in and spend time in the market, and she said it felt anemic, which I thought was almost kind. On some days the market can seem terminal.”

Those who had come to the meeting agreed. One woman said she had lived in the neighborhood for 57 years and recalled the days when the market was robust with families from tenements, the housing projects, Mitchell-Lama buildings and the East River co-ops. “I have not seen any outreach in public housing,” she said. “I haven’t seen any outreach south of Grand Street.” An Asian man who spoke with an accent raised his hand to say that everyone in his building believed that the market was closed. “I don’t think fliers are going to work,” he said. “You need to get Lady Gaga in the market.”

Vendors have requested posters and promotional materials, but it took the city six months to produce them. A Twitter account for the market was inactive, Ms. Saxelby was told, because the person assigned to run it had to learn Twitter. Representatives from the Economic Development Corporation who came to the meeting promised to do more to support vendors, to answer phone calls more efficiently, to fill empty stalls. They pointed out that rents were heavily subsidized and substantially lower than they were in the rest of the neighborhood. Still, rents for new vendors have nearly tripled over the past decade to $75 a square foot. In conjunction with the market’s 75th anniversary in May, the city plans a branding campaign.

It is a discordant note of life in New York that in this protracted historical period of culinary obsession, public markets — in the Bronx, in Bushwick in Brooklyn, and in East Harlem — have languished, even as they have thrived in other American cities and around the world for centuries. Part of the problem is architectural: The buildings are drab and institutional. At Essex Street, which is not particularly accessible and near a McDonald’s and a parking lot, there is no sense of theater. “In a public market, the experiential element — seeing something getting made or done — is important,” Rhonda Kave, who runs a chocolate shop at Essex Street, told me. For a while, she was making chocolates in her stall, but it became impossible because the temperature in the building was consistently about 80 degrees.

Another issue is that the market closes at 7 p.m., which, as one young woman on the community board pointed out, is too early for people who are only just getting home from work. The arrivals of Whole Foods and Union Market on the Lower East Side have cannibalized business at Essex Street, in part simply because they stay open later.

In an upending of the standard gentrification narrative, it is the new retailers in the market (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/nyregion/thecity/26esse.html), those catering to the area’s growing population of affluence, who have been displaced, rather than the older grocers selling to the working class. Newer vendors are paying higher rents. Some, like Ms. Saxelby’s husband, Patrick Martins, who operated a stall called Heritage Meat Shop, have been forced to close their stands in the market. Brooklyn Tacos has also vacated. Essex Flowers, a stall run by Bill Frazer, a florist who mostly does corporate and other events, is also leaving.

“We tried it and went through three employees in nine months who had to leave out of boredom,” he told me. “We needed volume. It’s partially my fault. I thought the market would have a lot more people coming through than it did. You have product that needs to be thrown out every four or five days. You have taxes, liability insurance, blah blah blah.” Mr. Frazer said he lost about $40,000 on his investment in the market. “I honestly wish it could have worked. I’m an older guy, I’m 55, and the market’s ’70s hippie vibe, I really like that. I kept hoping for the best, but the best never came.”