I spent one year living in the Lower East Side. One year getting to know what’s housed between fire escapes on Ludlow, Rivington, Eldridge and Orchard. A year embracing the trash smells, but living in the heart of it all, and taking the good with the bad. One year walking up 68 steps to our fifth story walk-up. My year in my cozy, exposed brick, if-you-lean-your-head-out-the-window you’ll get a view of the Empire State Building apartment and I’m leaving and moving a stones throw across the East River.
To celebrate and thank LES, I am sharing with you my LES Neighborhood Guide.
Spaghetti Incident — Under my old apartment, this cozy spot serves up inexpensive but hearty Italian dishes. The waitstaff carries out their duties with gusto, and in no time you will have a delicious bowl of housemade Bucatini in front of you. Pro tip: if you’re visiting late night, get their pasta to-go, served in a paper cone.
Pho Grand — Broth. When it comes down to it, this place’s broth has got it going on. Sure, there are other authentic spots in the same neighborhood, but there’s something about this broth and noodle combo that keeps bringing me back.
Russ & Daughters — Enjoy a bagel just the way your grandma would want you to. Choose from a variety of smoked salmons, browse the selection of caviar, dried fruits and chocolate covered candies.
La Margarita Pizza — Favorite by the slice spot in the city. Served Sicilian style, with the perfect ratio of doughy center to crunchy outer layer, this is a must for a quick lunch or late night bite.
il laboratorio del gelato — You’ve heard me rave before. If I was granted one wish it would be to eat dessert here everyday for the rest of my life. Flavors change daily and range from Turkish coffee, to basil, to cream cheese.
Goa Taco — What tacos should taste like. Served in the cutest apparatus, devour a crunchy taco that’s bursting with flavor.
Jadis Wine Bar — French wine cave where you feel right at home. Enjoy the selection of wines and cheeses, and coffee table books and board games on their bookshelves.
Atta Boy — This spot serves up specialty cocktails, shaves their own ice, and requires a special eye and patience to make it in.
Verlaine — $6 Lychee Martinis. Best in Manhattan. That is all.
Sara Roosevelt Park — Take a walk down the park and prepare for sensory overload. Little old ladies doing Tai Chi here, 6 ft 5 basketball players keeping score there. A children’s soccer game, hidden gardens with turtle ponds, a running track, racquetball courts, etc. This park has it all.
Sunshine Cinema — A quaint movie theatre that shows indie films and has the best snack bar selection of any theatre I’ve been to. Escape from the bustle of the city in here.
2nd Ave Park — A graffiti park exists across Houston. Installations come and go – there was once the famous heart wall, and now it’s home to pop artists facades such as Drake, Adele and RiRi.
Walk — Get lost and enter. The thing I will miss most is walking around this neighborhood. There is always more to see. Something new that catches my eye. Someone to stop and talk to.
But let’s be honest, you know I’m excited to find my new spots in Brooklyn 😉