The Lower East Side is a blend of housing both new and old. You’ll find the low and high ends of the price spectrum here. A triangle on lower Manhattan’s east side from Houston Street and east of the Bowery and the East River, the Lower East Side’s role in immigration and the development of NYC lives in these streets. Beginning in the 1880’s immigrant populations, including my grandparents, streamed into the area. It was home to thousands of immigrants living in six-story tenements, often in sub-standard conditions. The Lower East Side is still a multi-cultural melting pot that is an enduring part of the history of NYC and what makes America great. Both its history and architecture are preserved by the East Village Historic District. Traces of that émigré period remain in historically significant synagogues and tenements now protected as landmarks too. Recently, the neighborhood has transformed once again. The northernmost part of the neighborhood is more similar to the adjacent East Village, with trendy nightlife, bars, and nightclubs on Ludlow and Orchard Streets. The Essex Crossing development south of Delancey Street, brings up-to-date amenities to the area like Target, Trader Joe’s, and an artisanal Foot Court in the reimagined new Essex Market. Classic NYC Jewish food businesses that line Houston Street include Russ & Daughters, the Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, and Katz’s Delicatessen, where the famous fake orgasm scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” was filmed. They survive and thrive as cherished institutions which maintain the area’s culinary heritage. Stepping into them is to take a trip back in time. I have fond memories as a young boy of getting hot dogs with Grandma at Katz’s, who used to live across the street. It hasn’t changed much. The Tenement Museum on Orchard Street is a great destination to learn more about the neighborhood’s rich history.