Day 34: Coming to America continued . . .

Once people were released from Ellis Island many of them settled on the lower east side of Manhattan. In the late 1800s/early 1900s it was the Irish and Germans, followed by the Eastern Europeans, Italians and Chinese. So, to stay with the theme we decided to visit the Tenament Museum on Saturday. You have to reserve tours, 1 hour walk through the tenaments or 2 hour walking tours around the neighborhoods, all with different themes. Because these tours are so popular we could not get the tours we wanted until the afternoon. So, we started the day by walking around the lower east side. We started at the Essex Street Market, which is the only remaining NYC indoor vendor market (think Grand Central Market without the restaurants).

essex market.jpg

Next we checked out the Hester Street Fair (think a farmer’s market with just the prepared foods). It all looked great, but too early to eat.

hester.jpg

So, we wandered around China Town and Little Italy. It was the annual St. Gennaro festival (think carnival and restaurant outdoor seating with people walking around all fitting within the narrow streets of NY). It was crazy but looked like lots of fun.

Little Italy.jpg

We finally were hungry enough for lunch and found a cute little Dim Sum restaurant which turned out to be well known for its Bao. Yum!

Finally it was time for our tours. We started with a 2 hour walking tour titled Then and Now. Our guide provided a great review of the LES neighborhoods and buildings discussing how the landscape has changed over time and questioned us about which buildings/streets should be preserved vs. rebuilt. It really provided perspective on all of the factors to consider with change and development of neighborhoods.

Then we met my nephew Diego who joined us for a 1 hour tour inside the Tenament building. It was a hot day, so we definitely got a little perspective on what life was like inside these buildings. This tour really rounded our 2 day exploration of immigrant life in NYC.

tenament.jpg

Of course a day on the lower east side would not be complete without a visit to a deli, so we had dinner at Katz’s Deli. The 3 of us split one meal – matzoh ball soup, brisket, kugel, potato pancake and pickles – can’t get more DELI than that!

Katz.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s