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Lower East Side - Manhattan

The Lower East Side began around the 1880s as an immigrant working class area with Russian and Polish Jews inhabiting the barely livable buildings, and the area still holds a bit to its reputation of tenement living.

The Williamsburg Bridge spans to the middle of the Lower East Side onto Delancey Street and LES is in close proximity to the East Village's bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Orchard Street turns into a flea market each Sunday, so you'll get some fun, cheap shopping there. Most days of the week you'll shop at one of the area's many bodegas. As for dining out, there are tons of excellent Cuban and Puerto Rican restaurants to choose from, as well as Willie Dufresne's renowned WD-50.

The Lower East Side is for those who want a piece of gritty New York as it was back in the 70s and 80s. This is where you'll find the sort of apartments that have the bathtub in the kitchen (yes, they do exist). Although the Lower East Side isn't quite as trendy as its neighboring areas (like SoHo and the East Village), it is in such close proximity to these places that if you're in need of a quick shot of coolness you're only a few blocks away. This place is up and coming with many cute cafes and boutiques have set up shop here in testament to the neighborhood's good faith.

Within the boundaries of the Lower East Side are Little Italy and Chinatown. Both areas offer great food at a cheap price, and sidewalk shopping and the smaller stores promise you a great deal. In Little Italy you'll find restaurants-and not much else. Not many Italians live here anymore, and its tough-as-nails, Godfather image has long since faded. In fact, it's largest appeal is with tourists.

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