Browsing Tag

lower east side


The 1916 Knish War of the Lower East Side

By On November 14, 2017

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Rival restauranteurs battle over knishes! The 1910s were a bustling time for the Lower East Side shtetl-metropolis, where roughly 2 million Ashkenazi Jews were crammed more… Read More


The Baddest Yiddish-Speaking Jews of Warsaw and New York

By On October 18, 2017

Eddy Portnoy’s just-released Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press reminds us that not all Jewish immigrants and migrants did well. Sure, some became doctors, lawyers, and… Read More


The Jewish Woman Behind Celebrity American Dolls

By On May 24, 2017

These days, the true test of a celebrity’s, well, celebrity, rests with hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live or perhaps in coming out with a signature athleisure line (here’s looking at you, Beyoncé).… Read More


NYC’s Bygone Era of Jewish Romanian Steakhouses

By On March 31, 2017

These days people in search of a nice kosher meal wind up at a kosher version of anything from Japanese to French to good old Chinese. But if you were around New York… Read More


NYC’s Radical Yiddish Puppets Are Back

By On October 26, 2016

  Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler met almost a century ago, but their puppets are making sure their legacy continues. Maud and Cutler were both Jews who’d fled Eastern Europe for New… Read More


Betty Boop’s Secret Jewish Past

By On September 26, 2016

In the summer of 1930, a Viennese Jewish immigrant named Max Fleischer created an anthropomorphized poodle named Betty Boop. The pooch waited tables and sang in a cartoon called “Dizzy Dishes.” But… Read More


The Aussie Divorcee Who Wrote Poetry About Lower East Side Jews

By On September 2, 2016

By the time Lola Ridge really got started, most women of her era might have given up: In 1907, as a 33-year-old divorcee, she left Australia, the land of her youth, for… Read More

A Mother-Daughter Lower East Side Yiddish Pregnancy Tale

A Mother-Daughter Lower East Side Yiddish Pregnancy Tale

By On May 16, 2016

Throughout Jennifer S. Brown’s debut novel Modern Girls, it’s easy to think you’ve been here before, in a 1930s Lower East Side that’s recognizable from such chroniclers as Henry Roth and Irving… Read More

When Jewish Palm Readers Rubbed Elbows with Pushcart Peddlers

When Jewish Palm Readers Rubbed Elbows With Pushcart Peddlers

By On December 28, 2015

  If you peel back the layers of wallpaper in any older New York City apartment, you’re bound to find something intriguing—even if it’s only more ugly wallpaper. A decade ago, though,… Read More


The Secret History of ‘I Have a Little Dreidel’

By On December 7, 2015

You’ve probably never heard of the late Samuel E. Goldfarb, but chances are good that you’ve heard the music he’s written. In fact, you probably know one of his songs by heart:… Read More

The Bagel Maker’s Union of the Lower East Side

The Bagel Bakers Union of the Lower East Side

By On October 23, 2015

A snapshot of turn-of-the-century Lower East Side reveals Jewish greenhorns peddling, hawking, and bargaining in Yiddish. There are meat and fish carts, vegetables, tailors, artists, and theater-troupes. And, of course, there are… Read More

Meet Red Buttons, the 8-Year-Old Vaudeville Star

Meet Red Buttons, the 8-Year-Old Vaudeville Star

By On June 12, 2015

Legend has it, famed Ukrainian cantor and composer Yossele Rosenblatt discovered the boy who would become the vibrant vaudeville star known as Red Buttons. As the story goes, Rosenblatt recruited then 8-year-old Aaron… Read More

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