What do a flock (excuse me, flamboyance) of flamingos look for in a NYC visit? We visited The High Line, the amazing elevated railroad rehabilitated into a public park, which feeds the urban planning interest among us. We also spent time in the Lower East Side, exploring with the Lower East Tenement Museum and on our own.
A good museum isn’t always easy to find, but the Lower East Side Tenement Museum had been on our preservation-visit wish list for years. It did not disappoint! It is not your typical museum. With a baby flamingo & stroller in tow, we were unable to take an interior tour, so fortunately the weather cooperated and we enjoyed an “Outside the Home” tour. With an engaging, knowledgeable guide, the group walked the Lower East Side neighborhood, learning of the history of its residents and buildings. Did you know that a “tenement” is any building with more than three families in it? However, it’s the connotation that most of us know.
Our regret was not being able to take additional tours. The tickets for the 90 minute tours are about $20 each, which seems expensive; however, it is worth the money. Let us not forget that museums require money to operate. And it’s an amazing story of the women who found 97 Orchard Street and established the museum for all to learn about the immigrants in this neighborhood.
Speaking of money, the gift shop is one of the best. (Aren’t museum gift shops always greatt?!) We browsed around for a while as we waited for our tour time. You can buy your tickets ahead of time, or buy them on site, though some of the tours fill – so plan accordingly.
After our museum visit, we strolled around the neighborhood and stopped by the Saturday Hester Street Fair for lunch and browsing. Tents were filled with homemade food (ice cream sandwiches, small plates, pie, smoked meat, ice pops, noodles, soup – all sorts of options) and other tents featured homemade jewelry and other crafts. It was a nice way to pause between our walking and mass-transit adventures.
If you are in New York City, plan to spend some time in the Lower East Side. There’s much more than just museums and fairs, and it deserves much more time than we flamingos had to visit.