The Lower East Side is a big swath of Manhattan that ranges from the historic — renters can still find a great selection of walkups, mostly without doormen — to the modern. Blue, a bold new condo from French abstract architect Bernard Tschumi, offers Lower East Siders a roof terrace and a cold storage locker for Fresh Direct deliveries in addition to 24-hour doorman service. At 17 Orchard on the Lower East Side, floor-through condos with oversized windows have stacked washer/dryers and custom cabinets.
Buyers seeking space should head down to the Lower East Side’s Grand Street Co-ops, a collection of 4,500 apartments organized into four complexes — Amalgamated, Hillman, East River Housing, and Seward Park. When these elevator co-ops were built they replaced darker walkups and were seen as the model of Lower East Side luxury; even today, buyers are attracted to their spacious layouts and common green spaces. Many units also have balconies, and some have wonderful views of the East River.
If you’re going out on the Lower East Side, your options are many and varied, ranging from music venues like Arlene’s Grocery to Bowery Ballroom to the Mercury Lounge to Cake Shop, where you can have slices of cake with frosting and see your bands too.