Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Finally, some respect for the Lower Lower East Side

So it's not remarkable that the Village Voice did a neighborhood profile on the Lower East Side - after all, the dead tree media has been tripping over each other discovering the El-ee-ess. What is remarkable that my end of the neighborhood - Orchard below Delancey (are realtors calling it BelDel or some other cute abbreviation? I don't know) is getting some respek.

Media coverage of the neighborhood centers on the Hipster Triangle, well, rhombus or hexagram, whatever, of Orchard/Stanton, Ludlow/Rivington and Clinton streets, not the Alsace/Lorraine of Chinatown and LES down near where I live. Places like ToTC's favorite watering hole or the eateries and drinkeries on Clinton get most of the love. But for once, the Hipster Hexagram's less attractive, less fashionable sister gets the spotlight.

Let's look at the bars, streets, restaurants, events etc VV name drops, shall we?

Above DelanceyBelow Delancey:
Max Fish
Essex Street Market
Welcome to the Johnson's
Nicole duFresne
35 Clinton
Tenement Museum
Eldridge Street Synagogue
The Pickle Guys
Doughnut Plant
Kossar's Bialys
Good World Bar and Grill
Lolita Bras
Grand St
Seward Park Public Library

Take that, Above Delancey!

To be fair, the piece implicitly mentions Grilled Cheese, Arlene's Grocery and Kuma Inn and/or Suba, and I suppose neither the Tenement Museum nor the public library can match the pizzaz of Mercury Lounge or the notoriety of Katz's.

And I have nothing against our more attractive, better dressed neighbors to the north. Above Delancey is always there for me when I get tired of Chinese and Malaysian takeouts and it brings all kinds of great live music to walking distance. Still, it's nice to be recognized sometimes.

The article itself is a good quick read and gets into the changing demographics of the 'hood. I do have to disagree on the boundaries - I think the neighborhood ends at Division or East Broadway, not East River, and I would put the western boundary at Allen, or at most, Sarah D. Roosevelt Park. Not that it matters or anything.

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