My New York – Lower East Side Tour


My first stop on the LES was Hello Sari, which sells colorful saris, tunics, scarfs, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories from Pakistan, India, and Egypt.  The owner is a belly dancing enthusiast, and she also sells belly dancing outfits.  Everything in the store is between $5-$100 so you can find a lot of unique and affordable items.  I have a tunic dress  from Hello Sari (pictured below), and I receive compliments every time I wear it!


My dress (around $85?  I'm not sure because it was a gift)

My Hello Sari dress

Down the block is 88 Orchard, which is a nice cafe with laid back atmosphere (and boardgames downstairs).

88 Orchard

88 Orchard

The Tenement Museum is a fun place to visit.  They offer different theme tours (an Italian family’s apt, a Jewish family’s apt, etc.), so you can have different experiences, but if you’ve ever been to a tenement building in NYC then you basically know what you’re going to see.  The tours are led by docents in character (it’s like the immigrant version of Colonial Williamsburg).  If you’re planning a visit during the holidays I suggest buying tickets ahead of time because they sell out.  I would also recommend going now because during the summer is it HOT HOT HOT, and they don’t use AC to give you the authenticate experience.

The Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum

I LOVE the gift shop, which has a great selection of books and NYC memorabilia that isn’t too hooky.


Next to the Tenement Museum is Il Laboratorio del Gelato, which has excellent gelato.  I considered getting some, but they don’t have a sit down area and it was snowing, so I opted for a sample instead.


I had actually never been to Economy Candy before (so it doesn’t belong on the favorites list), but it’s a well known store and the prices seem true to name.  It could be a good store for buying small gifts because they have candy with pretty packaging.


One of my favorite bars in NYC is Verlaine (the location of my b-day this past year), which is located next door to Economy Candy.  The bar has a French Vietnamese theme and has happy hour drink specials until 10 PM, 7 days a week (the famous lychee martinis and other drinks are $5., yuengling $3.).

Sorry, the snow killed the photo opt

Sorry, the snow killed the photo opt

Next door to Verlaine is Fat Baby, which is a lounge with good dance music.  I haven’t been there recently, but I used to go there a lot and it was always fun.  My only issue with Fat Baby is that it gets very crowded, so avoid it if you’re claustrophobic.

Fat Baby looks better inside

Fat Baby looks better inside

Unfortunately my camera battery died before I could complete the tour.  I was also planning on photographing the following:

The Sunshine Cinema – this is my favorite indie film theater.  It’s a historic building and they have a gourmet concession stand (although I would recommend buying snacks at the nicest Whole Foods in the city down the street instead).  I’ve enjoyed most of the films I’ve seen here, but I guess that’s a combo of chance and the management/someone in distribution having good taste.

Russ and Daughters – this is the BEST place in NYC for lox.  They catered my Bat Mitzvah, so clearly this is a quality shop for Jewish gourmet products…hehe.

There are a lot of other places that I like on the Lower East Side, but they are kind of random.  I love the Clinton Street Bakery (restaurant famous for brunch).  The Angel Orensanz Foundation is also one of my favorite buildings (it used to be a synagogue before it was bought and renovated by two artist brothers who turned it into an event space).

I hope the tour was informational and that I don’t sound like too much of a walking ad.  They are just places I like a lot and I guarantee I’m not getting any sort of kickback…haha.



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4 responses to “My New York – Lower East Side Tour

  1. Can you tell me who did your layout? I’ve been looking for one kind of like yours. Thank you.

  2. roseofbohemia

    Hi Ms. Derbinshire!

    No one did my layout (so I guess you could say I did it?). I’ve just been playing around with wordpress. I think there are a lot of features I haven’t used yet. I’m flattered that you like it!

  3. liz

    I LOVE reading your blog Shane! So much fun to see New York through your eyes!! I especially love 1) that skirt you mentioned (which I, haha, def complimented you on lol), 2) the bohemian feel of hello sari, 3) how you can see the snow in the pics of so many of your photos.. and it makes me miss the fact that it is actually cold and winter by you, hehe, and 4) all of your impressions/thoughts/recollections about all of the shops/cafes/stores! I wish I could keep up with your recommendations..there are so many places I would love to see. (I for one never have never been to a tenement museum!!) So much to do when I actually do get back to New York!! Keep the blog coming 🙂


  4. roseofbohemia

    Hi Liz! Thank you for being SUCH a loyal reader and commenter! I think you would like Hello Sari a lot (it reminds me a little of Rhapsodia). Oh, but you are missing NOTHING by not being in the cold…it’s freezing and the streets are slippery 😦 I wish I was in Cali!

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