Lower East Side

Lower East Side Travel Guide

Located below the street level, Wu Lim Qi Gong Master looks and feels like a musty, dim basement but has a cult-following of massage lovers. Wu Lim offers $21 half-hour massages of uncommon intensity (the Asian masseuses are scary strong, so don't expect a gentle back rub).

Installed at 134 Eldridge Street, near the boundary of Chinatown, a plain gray door with “134” and “M&H” in small stickers is the only indicator patrons will find that this hush-hush cocktail lounge exists.

This striking home for downtown's contemporary art hub—led by savvy director Lisa Phillips—made a splashy debut in December 2007, thanks to its extraordinary lopsided, six-story building designed by Japanese duo Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa from acclaimed architectural firm SANAA.

The well-edited, mint-condition The well-edited, mint-condition vintage clothing at always feels just right, particularly the garden-party frocks from the ’40s and ’50s.

As grandson of one of ice cream giant Carvel’s first shop managers, you might say the frozen treat is in owner Jon Snyder’s blood. Throw in an epiphanal trip to Italy, and you’ve got the genesis of Laboratorio del Gelato.

105 Riv is inside the Hotel on Rivington, but also has an unmarked entrance down the street. Expect 105 Riv is inside the Hotel on Rivington, but also has an unmarked entrance down the street. Expect vintage 70’s interiors and impeccably made cocktails.

Whimsy and beauty are openly celebrated at this irresistible home boutique. John Derien's entrancing East Village shop is packed floor to ceiling with one-of-a-kind finds.

Although it opened in 2004, walking into this custom tailor/barber/apothecary is like stepping into a 19th-century gentlemen's stockist.

A fashionista's dream (or just a cool stop-in), this avant-garde Chinatown boutique offers pricy goods all majoring in originality. The sparsely filled space, with white walls and clothing racks made of disused pipes, feels more like a gallery than a store of one-of-a-kind finds.

Searching for a place to house a museum honoring American immigrants, Ruth Abram unearthed 97 Orchard Street, a historic apartment building that was completed in 1863 and sheltered almost 7,000 immigrants over the years.

Music and fashion merge in John Varvatos’ menswear shop at 315 Bowery, the former home of the Lower East Side's legendary CBGB live music club.

One of the best indie-rock music venues to emerge this millennium, Pianos opened quietly in 2002 in a former piano store—the club’s current owners didn’t bother to remove the sign—and since then has become an emerging band’s dream gig, thanks to the intimate setting and über-cool nabe.

Clean lines, streamlined forms, and the season's hot colors can be found among the designs of this Chilean-born couturier favored by Michelle Obama.