The Lower East Side is many things, but it is not quiet. Still, the non-stop bustle of the Lower East Side is a big part of what has made this comeback neighborhood one of the most in-demand residential neighborhoods in Manhattan real estate. The neighborhood -- which is roughly bounded by the Brooklyn Bridge, the East River, Houston Street, and the Bowery -- has transformed itself from the definitive immigrant neighborhood of Manhattan’s last century into one of the defining nightlife and cultural destinations of this one. Recent years have brought a rapid gentrification to the still-diverse Lower East Side, and created a neighborhood that is alternately gritty and glamorous, and inarguably one of Manhattan’s most fascinating neighborhoods.
The Lower East Side is well-known for its commingling of many cultures -- German and Dominican, Eastern European and Central American -- but is best known for once being a center of Jewish culture. The fourth oldest synagogue building in the US is located there, and Kosher standbys such as Russ and Daughters, Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, Yonah Shimmel Knishery and the beloved Katz's Delicatessen are all still very much in business. Today, though, they share their blocks with upscale restaurants and brand-new retail and nightlife hotspots. Orchard Street, despite its "Bargain District" handle, is lined with upscale restaurants and boutiques.
Many of the modest tenements that were the Lower East Side’s defining housing unit in the late-19th and early 20th centuries are still standing, and still home to walk-up apartments and rentals. But a glance skywards reveals that the Lower East Side is now also home to a host of high-rise apartments and new construction luxury condos. A popular late-night destination, the Lower East Side is also home to several exciting art galleries, some taking cues from the Real Estate Show movement. C-Squat and the Bowery Ballroom are the proving grounds for many of New York City's best young rock bands. And the continuing boom in the Lower East Side’s nightlife scene -- bars, lounges and clubs line Clinton, Essex and Rivington Streets, and a host of vaunted new restaurants have emerged on the Lower East Side in the last decade -- ensure that the Lower East Side’s future is both bright and loud. But, for all the things you’ll hear on the Lower East Side, one thing you’ll never hear is anyone complaining about the noise. That’s just the sound of the Lower East Side being the Lower East Side.