Despite theirpoverty, Jewish immigrants managed to found an incredible number of synagogues, several theatres and numerous bookshops and publishing firms here. The area has been on the decline since the 1920s, but most of the synagogues remain. There are plenty of delicatessens and dairy restaurants where you can sample Jewish-style food.
Retrace your steps as far as Hester Streets and turn west. Cross the Bowery (see p. 53) to reach Little Italy, the third of the so-called ethnic quarters on Lower East Side. But in contrast to the other two. Little
Italy is now first and foremost a tourist centre. Most of the houses have been renovated and smart restaurants are gradually taking over from the little trattorie, caterers are ousting old grocery stores. In fact it’s now a pretty good place in which to eat. Not all the restaurants are excellent, and you’ll often see long queues outside the best, but the terraces are very pleasant. There’s nothing special to see in Little Italy. Mulberry Street is the main street of the neighbourhood and the most lively. The Feast of San Gennaro takes over here in September (see p. 87).
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