25 Spots That Capture the Heart of NYC’s Lower East Side

Here’s a little known secret about most New Yorkers: they have a neighborhood they call home, and a neighborhood they wish they called home. There are a few tells when they find themselves in the latter: they pause slightly when they see a “For Rent” sign in the window, they know the local bartenders and baristas by name, and their feet feel heavier than usual when it comes time to leave. The neighborhood we spend most of our time in is, by and far, the Lower East Side. It has an ideal location, exudes a cool-but-relaxed vibe, and is constantly evolving. It’s a fun mix of classic establishments and hip new places. If you’re looking for a NYC neighborhood to explore, these 25 spots get to the heart of the Lower East Side.

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Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown

Chinese New Year (AKA Lunar New Year) celebrations occur at various locations throughout the five boroughs. But easily the most festive Chinese New Year parade in New York City can be found in Chinatown. This year’s parade occurs on Sunday, February 9th and is the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Dress in your most auspicious reds and make your way out to Mott Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan to get in on all the festivities. There will be impressive floats, marching bands, lion dance troupes, dancers and, of course, those colorful confetti sticks popping off along the parade route. The conclusion is at Eldridge street and Forsyth street, next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Just make sure to get to the Chinese New Year Parade early for the best vantage, because it can get mighty crowded.

Additionally, Chinatown is a fantastic place to plan an excellent post-parade dinner. Whether you’re looking for Cantonese fare, dim sum, soup dumplings or hand-pulled noodles, you’ll find them in this vibrant NYC neighborhood.

You can find more information on the parade, including the complete route, and other Chinatown celebrations here.

To get a preview of the event, check out our coverage of 2018’s Year of the Dragon here.

Image of a lion dancer's dragon head at the Year of th Dragon Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City via Mad Hatters NYC

Lunar New Year Parade in New York City’s Chinatown

The Lunar New Year is celebrated at various locations throughout the five boroughs. But easily the most festive Lunar New Year parade in New York City can be found in Chinatown. This year’s parade is on February 17th.

It’s the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac, so dress in your most auspicious reds and make your way out to Mott Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan to get in on all the festivities. There will be impressive floats, marching bands, lion dance troupes, dancers and, of course, those colorful confetti sticks popping off along the parade route. Just make sure to get there early for the best vantage, it can get mighty crowded.

You can find more information on the parade, including the complete route, and other Chinatown celebrations here.

You can get a birdseye view of the event from our coverage of 2018’s Year of the Dragon here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.

Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides

Every Sunday from November 25th through December 30, take advantage of New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides. For the cost of a Metro Card swipe, commute between Lower Manhattan and Harlem on a vintage 1930’s R1-9 train car. Trains depart 2nd Avenue (Lower Manhattan) on the F line and 125th Street (Harlem) on the A/C/E line.

The F line departures are 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm.

The A/C/E departures are 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm & 5 pm.

Now don’t forget, New Yorkers love a good excuse to travel back in time and elevate their dress up game. Don’t be surprised when you show up for the Holiday Nostalgia Train Rides only to find your fellow commuters in vintage dress accompanying you.

You can find more information, including schedules, here.

For a preview, check out a post from our ride here.