My LES: Amy Stein-Milford

Amy Stein-Milford in front of the Museum at Eldridge Street - photo by


This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. If you know someone you would like to suggest be featured in “My LES,” please email us here.

What do you do?

I’m the Deputy Director for the Museum at Eldridge Street, located in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue – a magnificent National Historic Landmark on Eldridge Street between Canal and Division streets.

How long have you lived on the LES?

20 years. My grandmother settled on the Lower East Side as a young woman when she immigrated to America in 1921. She lived on Attorney Street. Years later her son, my father, became an attorney and moved to the Upper East Side. We would make monthly pilgrimages to the area to eat and shop.

Hanukkah on the Lower East Side (Updated 4:37 p.m.)

Seniors at the Educational Alliance's Whittacker Center light a menorah.

As we mentioned this morning, Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight.  Here are a few events happening on the Lower East Side in connection with the Festival of Lights.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

The History Illuminated Family Program at the Museum at Eldridge Street.

For the next two Sundays, the Museum at Eldridge Street is inviting families to explore its space as part of its History Illuminated Family Program. The synagogue, which dates back to 1887, underwent a 20-year, $18.5 million renovation which was completed in December 2007. Visitors can sit on “the most expensive seat in the house” (the seat cost $1,100 in 1887) and view Victorian lighting and stained glass. There will also be an opportunity to create a holiday gift.

The program, part of the Preservation Detectives Family Program, begins at 1 p.m. on Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. Families are $15;  recommended for kids ages 5 to 10. The museum is located at 12 Eldridge St. (between Canal and Division).

For more family-friendly events, please visit our Kids page.

“Jazz Singer,” Holiday Bazaar Sunday at Museum at Eldridge Street

The Jazz Singer, 1927.

On Sunday, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents a screening of “The Jazz Singer,” the classic 1927 “talkie” in which Jakie Rabinowitz rebels against his observant father. As the museum says on its blog, the Al Jolson film is a story that “could have (only) happened when and where it did – in the 1920s, on the Lower East Side.”

Also on Sunday it’s Eldridge Street’s holiday bazaar. Artisans will be selling one-of-a-kind  jewelry and other creations.  There will also be items from the museum’s gift shop, including a wide selection of books.

“The Jazz Singer” is at 4 p.m. The bazaar is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  The movie costs $10. The bazaar is free with museum admission.  The Museum is located at 12 Eldridge Street.


In Search of Family Roots, Gwyneth Paltrow Ends Up on Eldridge Street

We’re not in the habit of posting network television promos here, but in this case we’ll make an exception. It seems Gwyneth Paltrow’s ancestral search on the NBC reality show, “Who Do You Think You Are,” leads her to the Museum at Eldridge Street! The show airs Friday night at 8pm.

A Week to Remember the Triangle Fire

On Friday, New Yorkers will pause to remember the 146 people who perished in the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Greenwich Village 100 years ago.  But commemorations have actually been taking place for several days. On Sunday, the Henry Street Settlement held a tea and reception in memory of the fire victims — and to reflect on the changes that have occurred in the labor movement during the past century.

Museum at Eldridge Now Offering Extended Friday Hours

The Museum at Eldridge Street has extended their Friday visiting hours.  They will now be open on Fridays from 10am – 3pm, offering reflective music in their main sanctuary from 2-3pm.  They write:  It’s the perfect way to end the work week and usher in the Sabbath. Another wonderful reason to visit Eldridge Street this winter: Our Free Mondays from 10am to 5pm, which will warm away any cold-weather blues. In particular, we encourage you to bring your out-of-town friends or family, and impress them with your New York City know-how.

A Lower East Side Sunday Morning

The Lower East Side played a starring role on CBS’ Sunday Morning yesterday. There were two neighborhood-centric features on the program — a story on the Museum at Eldridge Street’s new stained glass window and a piece on New York last remaining delicatessens. For your viewing enjoyment, click on the clips below:

HBO Comes to Eldridge Street

Image via the Museum at Eldridge Street's Facebook page.

We noticed this photo on the Museum at Eldridge Street’s Facebook page. The HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire” filmed scenes at the historic Lower East synagogue earlier this week.

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams



IMG_0803 It was a beautiful day for New York's most creatively named block party. Lots of people came out to experience the Museum at Eldridge Street's "Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival" yesterday. There were arts & crafts tables for the kids, mahjongg, special performances and, of course, lots off egg rolls and egg creams. The festival celebrates the two cultures, Eastern European Jews and Chinese, who have called Eldridge Street home for more than a century.

Weekend Arts & Entertainment Notes

There is no shortage of entertainment to be had this weekend:

Along with tonight's Rooftop Films Opening Night Party, which we featured here yesterday, the New York Times highlights two LES art shows: Carrie Moyer's paintings at the "Canada" Gallery on Chrystie Street and Matt Sheridan Smith's multi-media show at the Lisa Cooley Gallery on Orchard.

Tonight at the New Museum, a panel considers the legacy of the 1990's. "The 90's vs. the 90's," defining a decade, 7pm. More info here.

If you're looking for a fun and unique evening of readings and drinking, check out the NYC Lit Crawl tomorrow night.  There will be readings at various bars in the East Village and around the L.E.S.

WNYC's web site has great things to stay about "The Stone," on Avenue C and 2nd Street. They call the "unassuming room" on the LES founded by John Zorn "the best place to see new and exciting music."

The Museum at Eldridge Street offers the "Sacred Sites Bike Tour" on Sunday.

“HomeBase IV”, a fascinating site-specific installation built around a dozen
artists’ notions of home is running through May 24th in Bialystoker Nursing Home leased by The Educational Alliance on E. Broadway.