CMJ Neighborhood Spotlight: Lower East Side

posted by Cultivora on September 27, 2013

Photo: Hoodie Shop 2013 by Laura Baker-Finch

New York City -- As the East Village and SoHo’s grungier little sister, the Lower East Side (LES), draws a young, hip, and often music-oriented crowd. This is where grunge meets glam – you’ll find everything from dive bars and rock clubs to high-end restaurants and lounges.The relatively small neighborhood is home to a majority of CMJ's official venues, and while they too are small, they are ideal for discovering up-and-coming acts, or, if you’re lucky, seeing big names in more intimate settings. For a night of impromptu music discovery, start CMJ showcase-hopping on Ludlow Street.

Listed below is just a taste of what is available in our full Official Travel Guide to CMJ Music Marathon, which is loaded with information about city-wide hotspots. The guide is available for free at select venues throughout New York City, and if you can't pick up a physical copy, you can wait for our digital guide, available October 1. Physical copies will also be available in each CMJ registrant's gift bag. - Laura Baker-Finch

Katz's Deli (205 East Houston)
Since opening in 1888, Katz’s has established itself as a staple on the LES by serving the city’s best pastrami sandwich. Whether you’re a pastrami-lover or not, their lengthy menu will satisfy all patrons - especially during the weekends, when Katz’s is open all night long.

Sauce (78 Rivington)
The type of Italian restaurant that makes you feel as though you’re in your Grandmother’s kitchen - If she’s Italian and can whip up top notch meatballs, that is. Start with the fried zucchini sticks or the roasted stuffed peppers with sage.

Thompson LES (190 Allen)
The Thompson LES is known for its minimalist yet cozy rooms, sweeping city views, and outdoor swimming pool with Andy Warhol’s face adorning the bottom. Indulge in their Guilty Pleasure package for the ultimate escape.

Bowery House (220 Bowery)
Equal parts hostel and hotel, the rooms, or ‘cabins,’ in The Bowery House range from shared to pri- vate with hotel-style amenities. You may not have your own bathroom, but at least it’s equipped with Italian marble.

Longboard Loft (132 Allen)
Longboard Loft provides the most diverse selection of longboards in New York City, and allows new and experienced skaters to demo different models to find their perfect match. Come check out their extensive collection of boards, wheels, and accessories.

The Hoodie Shop (181 Orchard)
While this niche store’s focus is (obviously) hoodies, you can also find a selection of hoodless items in this Questlove-owned, psychedelia-inspired store. Stop in to peruse this shop's funky interior, complete with flashy colors and comfy furniture.

Sel Rrose (1 Delancy)
As one of the city’s newest cocktail bars, Sel Rrose sets itself apart thanks to its marcel Duchamp-inspired name, cocktail list, and industrial design. Come during Happy Hour to pair your drink - we recommend the French 27 - with $1 oysters and a shrimp cocktail.

The Sixth Ward (191 Orchard)
Named for the days when Irish gangs terrorized the Sixth Ward, this bar has specials ranging from weekend boozy brunches to weeknight $30 sampler combos and $4 domestic drafts and wells. Stop in for a Ginger Jalapeno Margarita or a Cucumber Fizz.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum (97 Orchard)
Housed in an actual 1863 tenement, the rooms depict the typical lives of immigrants from the 1860s through the Great Depression. Take a building tour, a walking tour, or a costumed interpreter emulating the tenement's original residents.

East River Bridges
The Lower East Side’s Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Williamsburg Bridge are each charming and unique in their own right, and provide a nice respite from walking through NYC’s concrete jungle.

Venue Descriptions by Laura Baker-Finch and Maressa Levy

See Also:

Win a Pair of Badges to CMJ Music Marathon!
CMJ Neighborhood Spotlight: West Side
Get Your Free Copy of Cultivora's Guide to CMJ 2013