$20 – $70

Lower East Side Street Life

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Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

New York, NY 10002

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This course, which combines two classroom sessions with two Lower East Side walking tours, examines the creative ways the Lower East Side immigrant community responded to the area’s overcrowding, oppressive heat and cold, and poor ventilation. Residents took to the streets as fire escapes became bedrooms, stoops doubled as living rooms, storefronts became social halls, and streets like Hester and Orchard Street presaged contemporary shopping malls.

Session 1 – At the Museum at Eldridge Street: We examine oral histories and newspaper accounts of street life at the turn of the 20th century.

Session 2 – At the Museum at Eldridge Street: Explore the multiple opportunities for amusements, entertainment and romance on the Lower East Side.

Session 3 – Walking Tour: Learn about the area’s lively commerce, including bustling market streets, competing pushcarts and savvy female shoppers. Discover what “mach a foist” means as you shop on Hester Street

Session 4 – Walking Tour: We head to the Essex Street Market, the brainchild of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia who sought to bring the street commerce indoors. See how La Guardia’s vision of the Lower East Side is finally being realized 75 years later.

Barry Feldman is an educator, urban historian, and licensed New York City tour guide. He has led tours for the Museum at Eldridge Street and the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy.

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Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

New York, NY 10002

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