A Photograph from the Archives

With the synagogue so beautifully restored, sometimes we forget how easily it could have been lost. This photograph here, taken by Kate Milford, is a reminder of that precarious time. With holes in the roof, a collapsed stairwell, and peeling-away paint, “the synagogue was held up by strings to heaven,” according to Roberta Brandes Gratz, […]

Continue Reading

A Night Out on the Jewish Rialto

A Night Out on the Jewish Rialto, an event on Thursday, August 11th, honors the lively community of Yiddish theater on the Lower East Side. This event is the brainchild of our wonderful summer interns — Alyssa Constad, Leah Horowitz, David Schlenker, and Julia Gerasimenko. Their mission was to create an inspirational and entertaining  program […]

Continue Reading

Staying Cool for a Nickel

The summer heat is here in full force! If you’ve been reading our blog lately you’ll know we’ve come up with some great ways to beat the heat like a Lower East Side local this summer, and here is our next tip – head to your local movie theater for an afternoon of much-deserved relaxation […]

Continue Reading

Escaping to the Rooftop

“I live in a tent on a rooftop.” “Oh,” is all I could say. “Is that legal?”’ My Parisian friend interning here in New York City for the summer couldn’t say. He rents in NoLita for $500/month. It is a low price for the neighborhood, but a steep price for a tent. My penchant for historical […]

Continue Reading

Refreshing Summertime Recipes

While growing up, the real sign of the start of summer was when my mother would switch from making hot borscht to cold borscht. The recipes for the two are quite different and serve distinct culinary purposes. Warm borscht usually includes some sort of meat and sliced cabbage, making it a hearty meal. Cold borscht is meant […]

Continue Reading

Vintage Summer Amusements: Ice Cream

Happy summer solstice everyone! Since today marks the beginning of the long, hot, sticky months on the Lower East Side, we at the Museum thought a little research about what life was like back in the turn-of-the-century summers would be appropriate. How did local residents beat the heat before air conditioned subways, ceiling fans, or […]

Continue Reading

Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival ’11

I have heard many times that smell is the best sense at triggering memories. Sunday’s 11th annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival was filled with all types of sensory reminders of times and places that are uniquely brought together and represented on the Lower East Side, specifically on Eldridge Street. The clic-clac of the […]

Continue Reading

Jailbreaking 22 Eldridge

There’s been a lot of research done about the synagogue but I was curious about other buildings on the block. In this post, I “jailbreak” the history of address 22 Eldridge, just a few doors north of us. This lot is especially interesting because it held a county jail in the mid-19th century. The Eldridge Street jail […]

Continue Reading

A 200-Year Gift from a Mother

With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself thinking about a mother I’ve never met.  I don’t even know her name, but her handiwork tells me that her son David was born on the 19th day of Cheshvan in the year 563. November 15, 1803, in other words.  Following his bris (religious circumcision) eight days later, […]

Continue Reading