Clubs on the Lower East Side
New York City, New York, USA
Over the years, the Lower East Side (the eastern section of Manhattan south of Houston Street) has worn many hats. A generation ago, it was predominantly a neighborhood of Jewish immigrants. Vestiges of this still survive in the form of the famous Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery and Russ & Daughter’s Appetizing on Houston Street. Later, crack cocaine hit the neighborhood hard.
Nowadays, the LES is a burgeoning nightspot with high-end restaurants, bars and clubs. Below are a few highlights.
Pianos (158 Ludlow St) is a club located in an old piano shop – the owners, either nodding to the history of the neighborhood or out of sheer laziness, never bothered to change the sign out front. Live music, predominantly rock and roll, is on offer most nights.
The Delancey (168 Delancey St) is a larger space (several floors plus a giant rooftop fountain) that offers live music, DJs, and a chance to mingle with the terminally hip.
Tonic (107 Norfolk St), owned by jazz musician John Zorn, is probably the best place in New York to see avant-garde jazz both homegrown and imported. If the show on the main stage doesn’t sound interesting, the intimate bar downstairs never fails to please: the tables are set in giant old wine barrels.
For a good description of these and other venues, go to CitySearch.