Monday, February 5, 2018

Places to Visit During President’s Day Weekend

Lower East Side, the Hidden Gem of New York

President's Day is coming up and families love to travel. One thing a family can do is incorporate history in their trip. If you are going to travel or stay local, maybe think of historic places near New York City. When people visit New York City, they think of Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street and maybe ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy. 

However, one of the most overlooked districts of Manhattan is the ‘Lower East Side,’ known affectionally by locals as L.E.S. This old neighborhood is steep in culture and history, and a visit will reward you with unexpected discoveries, excitement, and knowledge for you and your family. Such a learning experience of our history is so close by.

Getting to LES is easy. Just take the F.M.J or Z trains and get off at Delancey and Essex. When you walk up the stairs you will be at the heart of LES. Here are a few ‘must go’ and ‘must do’ things when you visit LES.

1. The Tenement Museum 

If you have kids, then a tour of this restored tenement building is a must. It will make them appreciate the hardships our forefathers endured to live their dreams. They will be shocked by the squalor conditions where thousands of people were crammed into without running water or basic toilet facilities.

2. Katz’s Delicatessen

This 24/7 jam-packed Jewish deli opened for business back in 1888. During WW II the male owners all served in the armed forces. The family left behind began the popular tradition and slogan “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army.”

Katz’s achieved Hollywood fame when the comedy hit ‘When Harry met Sally' was filmed there. None English speaking movie fans will never forget that deli scene. Waves of Asian tourist still come to Katz and order NYC's biggest and meanest Pastrami sandwich that Sally had.

3. Economy Candy 

'Economy' is not a candy store as much as a library for candies. If you can not find a particular brand of candy, then the country probably does not exist. Russian chocolates are not well known, but it is delicious and make wonderful treats.

4. Bialystoker Synagogue 

Construction for this synagogue began in 1826 by Russian Jews that is present-day Poland. This historic site is significant to both Jews and American blacks. In the early days of the civil rights struggle, it was a rest stop for the Underground Railroad movement. Runaway African slaves from the South found sanctuary in the attic of Bialystoker Synagogue.

5. Mr. Purple / Hotel Indigo (180 Orchid St)

Mr. purple is the penthouse restaurant-bar on top of the boutique Hotel Indigo. It represents the new chic in LES. It has excellent views and a vibrant feel. Just beware, on weekend nights Mr. Purple will be jam-packed with young cruisers looking for quick hookups.

6. Freeman’s 

You will definitely impress your guest as a seasoned explorer when you take them to Freeman’s, a hidden gem in one of New York City's secret streets.

The walk down the graffiti-filled Freeman Alley is a trip in itself. At the end of the alley is Freeman’s, a very cool restaurant with delicious foods that is just as amazing.

A visit to Lower Eastside would make an excellent weekend destination during Presidents Day, for a whole family or just a single adult, for a day for the entire weekend. 

We hope one or two of these locations sparks your interest. Either yourself or you and your family will benefit taking a trip to one of these historic and local locations. 

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