Cheap hotels in Lower East Side, New York
Ah, gentrification. The Lower East Side, which extends southwest from the intersection of Bowery and Houston Street, is an area in flux. Since the 1800s, it's been a neighborhood of immigrants: starting with the Irish, Germans, Jewish, and Eastern Europeans, whose often unbearable living conditions are well-documented at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
However, these days the LES is known more for its hipster denizens than anyone else. Beginning in the late 1980s grungy artist types started moving into the area. Fifteen years later the trendy masses followed, bringing their French bistros and funky boutiques with them. But don't be fooled by the 20-something fanfare. Walk a few blocks beyond the bars and newly renovated buildings, and you'll find that the neighborhood is much the same. Immigrants still form the bulk of LES residents, only now they come from China, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
The ever-expanding Chinatown and ever-shrinking Little Italy form the neighborhood's western border. The East Village is just north, while SoHo and the Financial District are in walking distance.