carries the proud role of being one of the most storied and iconic Manhattan neighborhoods, where the artistic elite and high-energy entrepreneurs of the city blend with the vestiges of this neighborhood's grimy and profound past. This neighborhood serves as a colorful retreat for a highly contrasted demographic, from the wealthy Hollywood star and Wall Street stockbroker to the vivid up-and-comers looking to create the foundations for a fulfilling life.
Lying between Chinatown
to the south and the East Village
to the north, this neighborhood possesses a true maverick spirit based upon nearly two centuries of compelling New York
history. You'll discover the city's oldest streetscapes that conceal tales of the nativist Bowery Boys gang that shaped the historic Five Points area, while architectural remnants pay tribute to the neighborhood's rowdy history of flophouses and vice-ridden nightlife. This authentic New York identity found in Bowery incidentally created its reputation as being the ancestral home of American popular culture, a notion that continues to attract thousands of newcomers and tourists every year.
Within this historical and architectural imprint that placed Bowery on the National Register of Historic Places, waves of gentrification transformed the neighborhood into the central boutique hub of the Lower East Side. With an energetic population of young professionals and artists neighboring established and wealthy families, Bowery has grown to be the epicenter of economic and artistic activity in the area. From trendy shops and restaurants to highly acclaimed private and public schools, Bowery ensures a vivid lifestyle marked by comfort and inspiration.
Schools in Bowery
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Restaurants & Nightlife
An eclectic population of up-and-coming artists and poets contrasted by wealthy families and socialites contributes to a diverse mix of quick-eat restaurants and lavish celebrity lounges, where around every corner, you can satiate a hunger for international cuisine and New York staples. Tourists to the neighborhood clutter along Bowery Street to catch sightings of Hollywood stars frequenting high-end restaurants and coffeehouses, such as the Gemma restaurant located within the famous Bowery Hotel. Locals, on the other hand, often flock to organic farm-to-table eateries or to several trendy hangouts ideal for a cappuccino and world-class finger food.
Prune remains as the ideal compromise between the trendy bistro and an upscale restaurant, inviting both curious diners and bored foodies to expand their palate on an unpretentious fare of American home cooking fused with multicultural influences. Although Prune owner and head chef Gabrielle Hamilton has received several awards over the restaurant's eccentric menu, including two nominations and an award for Best Chef NYC, Prune maintains a warm atmosphere and affordable prices. Stop in on Saturday or Sunday for brunch to enjoy an authentic Dutch-style pancake or a hearty plate of sausages and oysters. When you're looking to satisfy a meat craving, the braised lamb shank with gremolata stands as the star of the menu.
Although not officially designated by the city, the Little Saigon neighborhood rests within Bowery between Grand and Hester street, and when you're looking for true Vietnamese food, this quarter-mile section of Bowery supplies an oasis of authentic Vietnamese restaurants that you cannot find anywhere else in the city. New Tu Do accurately represents the sheer quality of Vietnamese food you can find in this neighborhood. A friendly and enthusiastic staff helps patrons navigate unfamiliar items on the menu, and if you find yourself quite hungry without a lot of cash, a simple bowl of pho remains the popular choice.
For busy Bowery residents on the go who don't want to compromise their lack of time for greasy junk food, Black Tree stands as the neighborhood's go-to sandwich joint. Serving a hearty fare of innovative and creative sandwiches based on available seasonal produce, this restaurant values an active menu with new, organic dishes every season. Enjoy a Wednesday afternoon with friends over the acclaimed squash soup, or warm up during a brisk winter with the Peekskill Brewery lemon pale ale and braised pork belly sandwich.
As far as the nightlife goes, Bowery locals do not have to walk very far to either mingle at a classy lounge or let loose at a music venue. The nightclubs and world-class venues along Bowery Street do fill up on weekends with tourists, and waves of trendy crowds coming in from outlying neighborhoods can often overwhelm poetry readings and indie concerts. The Bowery Ballroom replaced the defunct, internationally famous CBGB music club as the central venue for both up-and-coming and national artists. With a capacity of 575 people, this venue brings you closer to your favorite acts, such as Queens of the Stone Age and Kanye West. Don't find any good acts for the night? Head on over to The Mercury Lounge on East Houston Street, where The Strokes first made their big break.
History & Culture
The history of Bowery comprises an ongoing pendulum of luxurious wealth and profound poverty, and its contemporary, gorgeous streets beneath 200-year-old architecture play off Bowery's historical contrast.
As the oldest thoroughfare in Manhattan that dates back to the 18th century, Bowery once rivaled Fifth Avenue in terms of its wealthy residents. After the Civil War, the neighborhood transformed into an enclave of gangs, flophouses and bums. By the 1970s, the neighborhood's vagrant population declined and a new immigration of wealth and boutique shopping moved in.
Art abounds in the neighborhood, especially performance art and poetry, and the Bowery Poetry Club remains the epicenter for spoken word performers. Both emerging and acclaimed poets make an appearance at this inclusive club, and you can always find a willing crowd when showcasing your art. While diving into up-and-coming art and artists, make sure to check out the New Museum.
Bowery's central location in the heart of Manhattan makes it the ideal neighborhood for art, shopping and restaurants. Due to its gridlocked stance, traveling by car throughout this neighborhood can be quite frustrating and time consuming. Getting out of Manhattan by car through the Williamsburg Bridge or through the Holland Tunnel takes, at minimum, about 30 minutes. You may also encounter difficulties finding public parking on the curb or at the iPark on Allen Street, and permanent parking in Bowery carries a high price.
The most common ways for locals to get around include walking and biking, where wide, tree-lined sidewalks and abundant bike lines encourage fuel-less transportation. You can conduct nearly all your daily errands by foot or by bike, and with pancake-flat streets and courteous drivers, biking remains a safe activity during high-traffic hours. Don't have a bike? Ride sharing services such as Citi Bike abound in this neighborhood.
As with many spots in New York City, you shouldn't have to wait for more than five to ten minutes when hailing a cab from the curb. Head to East Houston Avenue or Bowery Street to instantly find a taxi. Uber, RelayRides and Zipcar all serve the Bowery neighborhood with affordable ride sharing.
A comprehensive and convenient MTA transit system provides Bowery with world-class public transportation. Enjoy nine rail lines and five bus lines to help get you anywhere within Manhattan you need to go, and when commuting to Times Square, for instance, you should expect about a 15 minute trip. To get almost anywhere in the city by subway, from Brooklyn to the Bronx Zoo, you can catch the orange line from the corner of Grand and Chrystie Street.
Despite its bohemian and vagrant past that gave this neighborhood the moniker of Skid Row, residing in Bowery carries a fairly high cost of living. Remnants of this past mixed with a culture of young professionals and artists have kept the prices for food and entertainment fairly low, but you should expect a cost of living about 17 percent higher than the rest of New York City. Throughout most of the neighborhood, studio apartments require about $6,000 a month, but you can find more affordable options by searching near East 3rd and East 1st street, where rental prices hover around $2,000 a month. If you are interested in buying, expect to pay upwards of $500,000 for a one-bedroom condo.
Taking a bus or the subway to the city center costs about $2.50, while gas prices typically settle about 18 percent higher than national averages. You can expect to pay about $7 for a pint at local pubs, while bars closer to Chinatown offer beers for about $5.
The lively shopping scene along Bowery Street has always reflected off consumer demands. From high-retail designer stores to vintage boutiques, the contemporary culture of this neighborhood has produced shops that allow niche shoppers to find anything they would need. On Bowery Street, you can grab the ideal party dress for your next formal occasion at Intermix or take home a stylish, environmentally sustainable bed from Environment Furniture Inc.
Reflecting the artistic culture of Bowery that has spread to both Hollywood and Broadway, the Patricia Field boutique has remained as a New York fashion landmark for over 50 years. Renowned designer and shop owner Patricia Field continues to receive international praise for her lines of urban-styled apparel and accessories that blend funk, punk rock and a glittery nightlife. This whimsical boutique also features the latest lines from up-and-coming designers, such as Itay Malkin and Tom Tom Fashion.
When looking to furnish your apartment with handmade, locally produced home goods, seek out gems such as John Derian Company, located near the corner of East 2nd and Bowery Street. A small staff of local artisans work with John Derian's designers to bring a sense of luxury to the upscale home. Turn your home into a vintage wonderland with imported vintage lighting, or enjoy exotic masterpieces from abroad with an authentic Moroccan pouf and Transylvanian linen.
Organic sentiments and increasing demand for in-season goods have allowed several health-based grocery stores to flourish in the area. Although most locals head to Whole Foods Market on the corner of East Houston Avenue and Bowery Street for their kitchen staples, the Healthfully Organic Market stands as the oasis for the vegetarian and the organic-focused foodie. With these grocery stores working with local farmers, Bowery residents don't need to travel to East Village or Union Square
to enjoy the benefits of a farmers market. However, if you prefer the open-air nature of the farmers market, you can find a Greenmarket at the intersection of East 7th Street and Avenue A.
Within the rows of crowded urban streets, Bowery residents can still enjoy several opportunities to get outside and stay active. The area parks cater to visitors of all ages, providing serene green space ideal for reading a good book and playground equipment for local children.
The Sara D. Roosevelt Park provides an especially beautiful example of communal play and relaxation within Bowery, and as this park runs through the center of the neighborhood, residents don't have to walk for more than five minutes when escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring 7.8 acres that include several synthetic turf soccer fields, paved paths and a roller skating rink, this park serves the fitness
enthusiast looking to shed a few pounds. Senior citizens can take advantage of the Golden Age Center, where local seniors can get together with people their age to socialize and exercise. Bring along your beloved dog to meet with other dog enthusiasts, but make sure to keep the leash attached.
Located along the southern side of Delancy Street, the Forsyth Garden Conservancy provides locals with their own community garden. Rent a plot of land and grow your own fruits and vegetables within the heart of Manhattan, or start a small garden with friends to lower your food budgets.