What is the deal with this?

Lets be honest. We are the truest kind of BFFs. We met at Girls' Camp 1996 in St. Lou, survived high school and 2 years as roommates at BYU. Now, we find ourselves BOTH in NYC, which rocks, and as we contemplated how we should spend quality BFF time together - the answer seemed obvious. We must beebop the boroughs in matching purple hats every Saturday morning. Holla!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

8: Lower East Side

This week, we explored the Lower East Side. Lets be honest -- our short little walk lasted 4 hours! We were extremely chatty (shock of shocks), and we found ourselves compelled to enter 348 little shops that we found along our way. We had an exceptional time, and while these pictures contain more animal statues than historic buildings, hopefully we have captured the flava of the LES.

Me at Seward Park. Why did this park appeal to us, you might ask? See: next photo.

Within Seward Park, there was an interesting gathering of Chinese people. There were men and women, young and old, and they were practicing some sort of Chi. It seemed like Tae Kwon Do or some form of Asian exercising. Anyway - we watched for several minutes - more entertaining than it now seems.

Whoops - our beloved Doughnut Plant just happens to be in the Lower East Side. We didn't even have to go out of our way to enjoy these FABULOUS doughnuts.

While ducks hanging in the window of Chinese restaurants are commonplace, fried squid is a sight that was new to the both of us. Jill ponders, "What might that taste like?"

No idea what this building is, or why I am raising the roof.

Jill enjoying a relaxing moment atop a frog in a local park.

This graffiti caused the song "Shiny, Happy People" to become stuck in my head for the rest of the walk. Seeing as I only know 4-ish lines from that song, Jill suffered greatly.

The dumplings sold here will bring you good fortune. (Keep this in mind....for later, you will see dumplings of another variety)

We were excited to capture a photo of this Chinese monk as he came outside a New York Buddhist Temple. Though I am twice his size - his presence made me kind of nervous.

The historic highlight of this walk was the Eldridge Street Synagogue. It was the first synagogue to be built by Eastern European Jews in the United States. It opened its doors in 1887. Before the settlement houses were built, poor immigrants could come to be fed, find out about jobs, and make arrangements to care for the sick and the dying. The architecture is intricate, and this building is just quite lovely.

The doors have many Stars of David.

Beautiful window.

I am somewhere in this picture - I think.

Not only is this stair-rail ornament dragon COOL, but Jill is FIERCE.

This "Wishing Garden" mosaic mural was on the wall outside of a school. Mostly - I like my facial expression in this photo. I also enjoy the fact that it looks as though the words are coming out of my mouth.

Crafty Jill LOVED the Wishing Garden wall.

Who knows.

Some of these pictures make it seem as if we are in Chinatown. The LES borders with ever-expanding Chinatown, so we were feeling the same way. At one of the many fish markets, we were impressed that these particular fish/eels/whatever nappy sea-life were SO long. Perhaps they weren't picture-worthy, but do you see how they extend outside the box by like 7 inches!!!!!!! Amazing.

We found ourselves inside of a Chinese drugstore-type place that had many fabulous finds. (including but not limited to: packages of buttons for $1 (we bought 2) and this great swoopy hat (fear not - we did not buy this ugly thing))

The duck trashcan may seem creepy - but my eyes are creepier.

Remember the Prosperity Dumplings that we encountered earlier on? The front runner dumpling in this picture is the antithesis of the prosperity dumpling.

This picture is a shout out to my sista. She refers to any off-brand as the "Bo Bo Brand." I guess this poultry is not Tyson's.

The LES was once among the most densely populated places in the world, as New York welcomed a bunch of immigrants to the US. We tried our hardest to focus on this historic-ness, BUT we were distracted by.......


The gelato shop next store to the Tenement Museum had many, many articles posted in the window raving about the excellence of the shop's cold treats. We needed it in our lives. Smooth mint. MMMMMMMM

While we ignored the historic museum, we could not ignore the museum gift shop.

Star of David soap. Gotta have it.

Another sister shout-out.

Whoops - we found another shop!

Bugged-eyed Jill is overwhelmed by the wall of chocolate!

I can barely hold all of the candy cigarettes that I am purchasing! (thank you LES for such a fabulous candy store!)

We couldn't resist a photo with this gnome art. A passerby mumbled something like, "Quite the photo opp." To which I replied, "Its not every day you see gnomes painted on the side of a building." The following comment: "If you live on this street, it is." Not that hilarious, but memorable.

BAGELS! Don't worry - we did not stop and eat any.

I don't even know.

Jill atop another frog. There is a theme among LES parks, I guess.

Katz Deli is a famous kosher deli down here in the LES. A scene from "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed inside.

I do not know why my typing is now underlined. Anyway - Pastrami sandwiches = delish.


nerak said...

Gasp! I've been dying to go to the Laboratorio de Gelato ever since I clipped it out of the am newspaper months ago. Yes, occasionally I clip things out of papers... think about them for 8 months... and then eventually throw it away. It's a productive cycle.

That being said, WAS IT REALLY GOOD?

The Singer Family said...

I hope those candy cigarettes weren't the bo bo brand---if they were, well....

Another fun posting. Thanks for an enjoyable read crazy sista!

becca said...

thank you bee bops. my fav were the gnomes. but mostly the gnome story.

Holly said...

Hooray for Star of David soap and the Eldridge Street Synagogue! I love that place.

The Shark said...

Thank you for the inclusion of plaques/informative signs. They were very helpful and instructional.

And, yes, there were some excellent facial expressions in this post -- mostly in the eyes.

BreAnna said...

ok, I totally have to know where that candy store is!!!! What a FAB NYC find!! I always love your adventures thanks for your great documenting, and great finds!

stephanie said...

This looked like such a fun morning! I love living the city vicariously through you gals. I want to know where that candy store is, too ...

James and Melissa said...

Thanks for making me laugh so hard on such a boring day off work! I found this site through Rachel's blog, and I love it! I miss you two a ton (and Jill, I'm real jealous that James got to see you in New York while I was at work having a real bad attitude). I love you girls tons!

You Daily said...

I just love your blog. This is probably the closest I will ever get to seeing New York City. I am stuck way down here in South Louisiana, so thanks for sharing the great photos and keep up the good "walks".

Ashley said...

I found your blog through Jill's blog and I absolutely love it! I'm actually from Chicago but my BFF and I made a trip to NYC a few years ago and did the exact same thing...wandered around finding these amazing little spots. Your blog is like a little trip though memory lane and I love it. It's great to see such good friends roaming and discovering together. I love it!

Nina said...

what a great idea for a blog! and economy candy kicks butt. more butt than dylan's candy bar, as a matter of fact.


Anonymous said...

I love it! I live in Florida now but gre up on Long Island and my hubby and I spent the first three years of our marriage living in Queens...I miss it so much and LOVE Doughnut Plant!

J. P. Smith said...

so what are you going to where when it gets warmer out?
matching purple baseball hats?
or perhaps you'll wear matching purple dew rags?

Dave said...

What a huge fun blog you two produce! I enjoyed your photos and fun. I will link to you. wish I could come to N.Y.- Dave (New Zealand)

Circe said...

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! THE huge scissors! I want it for my sewing room!
Great blog, by the way. So much fun to read. Keep it up, purple-hatted-ladies!
Sarah :)

Trina said...

Very interesting. I just read through all your walks until today and you girls seem like you are having alot of fun.
Love the purple hats!

G. said...

I found your blog via "homemade by jill" I love it! I love NYC and don't get there as often as I would like so, now I can live vicariously through your blog! Thanks.

Carli N. Wendell said...

Great blog. . . I'm actually trying to get out more and have people voting on my blog as to what I should do on Saturdays (see second post on my blog if you're interested in voting!). I definitely want the Great Walks book--I love walking around interesting hoods.
Economy Candy is the best. They still sell candy cigarettes, even though they're called candy sticks now (very PC). Last time I went there, I picked up some licorice pipes and was a very happy camper.

aliqot said...

Fabulous pictures. NYC is such a great place to explore on foot. Have you done any of Brooklyn yet?
I manage to visit my daughter and the grandkids there most years, and you've given me so many ideas of things to look for and photograph.
Keep up the great blog.

Alison in th UK.

ashley said...

LOVE the blog! i too found it via "homemade by jill" i just took my first trip to the city this past fall with my friend becca. reading this blog reminds me of our trip and has me dying to go back....SOON! off the subject of new york though - how did you get the striped background? i love that too! :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

HI --I just found your blog too, andit was a lot of fun to see LES through your eyes. I live in Brooklyn, NY. This summer you both should take the "pizza tour of Brooklyn." That is so much fun! Google it to find the tour web site. I'll be back to read more--thanks.

Kylee S. said...

I just found your blog and it made me yearn for the city. I am just about a two hours train ride away but work commitments have kept me away. A very wonderful read; I am adding to the blogs I visit often link on my blog.

Janice said...

Love your blog! Look forward to seeing future trips. Might I suggest a trip out to Forest Hills, and Forest Hills Gardens, Austin Street and, if you relaly want to go native, Metropolitan Ave too.

lissilulu said...

hmmmm...I dont remember how I made it to your blog but sure am glad I did!
My two oldest daughters (16&13) and I want so badly to go to NYC (and will I promised! LOL).
For now it will be fun to show them your wanderings til we get to go.

Anonymous said...

my husband was born in the Bronx so many years ago. He loves glancing at the pictures and wishing he was there with you. He remembers every street and who and what. Thanks for the memories.