When my grandfathers' family arrived in New York from Eastern Europe in 1905 they settled in the Lower East Side among the countless numbers of other immigrants who came to New York in search of economic opportunity, political and religious freedom. They worked as street peddlers selling clothing off of pushcarts.
The Lower East Side historically was the center of immigrant life for hundreds of thousands of people, and while the neighborhood has attracted young people from all over the world in recent years, the area has maintained its diversity and remnants of its past which can be experienced by walking past the many tenements, religious buildings and even some businesses that have been in operation for generations.
This is where New York's garment industry first developed (Brooks Brothers and Lord and Taylors started here) -- and where the public health movement in the United States was born, arising out the devastating living conditions among the poorest immigrant families.
We'll be sure to pass the extraordinary Lower East Side Tenement Museum and store, where you can pick up information about the tours and educational programs offered there. We'll also experience vibrancy of the "new" the new Lower East Side -- and its visual art, restaurant and night life scene.