Talking Public Markets at The Tenement Museum

Morris Vogel, President of the Tenement Museum, introduced panelists (from left) Robert LaValva from the New Amsterdam Market, Andrew Coe of, Suzanne Wasserman of The Gotham Center and Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheese

Editor’s note: Here’s our first story from Giacinta Frisillo, The Lo-Down’s newest community contributor:

We stopped by The Tenement Museum Tuesday evening for another excellent edition of their Tenement Talks food series.  Panelists at the event, “Public Markets: Talk and Tasting,” included Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers and Robert LaValva, president of the New Amsterdam Market. They discussed the long entwined history, and future, of public markets in New York City.

The city’s first public market opened its doors in 1675, on the waterfront.  LaValva noted that the city was finally “truly united with the water” bringing the freshness of the shipping trade as close to the hands of the public as possible. As the city grew in size and volume, so did the public markets, reaching double digits for a time. But with the advent of supermarkets and convenience stores on every corner, the number of public markets has dwindled to only four throughout the five boroughs.

The Art Of Stir Frying – with Grace Young – Thursday Night

Grace Young.

Coming up Thursday evening at the all-new Tenement Museum Visitor Center – there’s a special edition of “Tenement Talks.”  Grace Young, “poet laureate of the wok,” will be sharing personal stories and cooking from “Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge,” her latest award-winning book.

The event is part of the museum’s new food series, curated by Jane Ziegelman. Young will be appearing alongside food historian Anne Mendelson.  “While (the book) concentrates on traditional stir-fries,” Young writes on her own web site,  “it is also filled with remarkable stories of how this simple, beloved cooking technique has enabled generations of Chinese around the world to eat well and with exquisite economy. ”

The talk is $10 or $30 if you wish to buy the book. Go to the Tenement Museum site for more info and to RSVP. And remember — the Visitor Center is now located at 108 Orchard.


Great Prizes Up for Grabs at LES Trivia Night!

A Russ & Daughters Classic Bagel and Lox Sandwich, one of the many great prizes proffered, via gift certificate, at LES Trivia Night with The Lo-Down (photo via Lox Populi at

Did we mention there are some fantastic local prizes to be had at our LES Trivia Night tomorrow evening?  Along with tasty snacks and great drink specials on hand, winners of each round of trivia will be treated to some great LES staples, including free movie passes from the Sunshine Cinema, pickle gift certificates from The Pickle Guys, a book basket brimming with books from the Tenement Museum’s bookstore and to top it all off, Grand Prize winners will garner a Russ & Daughters gift certificate for a bagel sandwich!

Join us with the Tenement Museum at Fontana’s!  We look forward to enjoying a fun evening on the LES.  FREE // 6:30pm // 105 Eldridge Street.

Good Morning!

Essex Street, below Grand

It’s officially summer on the LES! Partly cloudy this morning with increasing clouds as the day goes on, and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Look for a high of 83. This afternoon, the LES BID will hold a meeting for local merchants in the neighborhood to discuss ways to improve safety in the wake of the recent assault and robbery at Pilgrim.

This evening, CB3’s Arts Task Force will hold an Arts Education Forum followup and over at Tenement Talks, you can learn about how one small font (Helvetica) changed subway signs forever.  Speaking of Tenement Talks, they are co-hosting our fun night of LES Trivia at Fontana’s next week. Please join us – it’s free and we’re providing snacks and great prizes from the neighborhood! Visit our Calendar for details on these events and more.

JOIN US! For a Night of LES Trivia

Comedienne Jesica Delfino, who will be hosting our LES Trivia Night on June 28th.

We are thrilled to be co-sponsoring a night of Lower East Side trivia with our friends at the Tenement Museum’s Tenement Talks series.

The fun-filled night is also sponsored by Fontana’s, where the event will take place at 6:30p on Tuesday, June 28th.

The fantastic and lovely musical comedienne Jessica Delfino will be our wonderful host for the evening.

There will be plenty of drink specials, tasty treats from the neighborhood (did we mention cupcakes?) and exciting prizes from local businesses…Plus, all kinds of fun trivia about the Lower East Side. Categories will include: History, Music, Famous People, Landmarks and more…so grab your neighbors and join us for an exciting night of LES trivia and culture!

Visit us on Facebook for more details.

FREE // 6:30-8:00p // 105 Eldridge St.

Author Judith Shulevitz Explores “The Sabbath World” at Tenment Talks

Author Judith Shulevitz

Author and editor Judith Shulevitz (Slate, NY Times Book Review, The New Yorker) will be at the Tenement Museum tomorrow evening for the Tenement Talks series. Shulevitz will be discussing her highly praised book, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time. The book is an examination of the holy day of rest and an inquiry into its place in contemporary society.

Shulevitz notes on her website, “About a decade ago, I began to take a passionate interest in the Sabbath, the ancient weekly day of rest. I told myself that this was purely a matter of intellectual curiosity, but it wasn’t. My feelings were murkier than that.

David Mulkins Returns To Tenement Talks With Presentation on The Bowery

The Old Bowery - Image via Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

Historian and Co-Chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, David Mulkins, will return to Tenement Talks tonight with his popular presentation, “The Bowery: Past, Present and Future.”  Mulkins has collected an amazing series of historical images of this iconic and turbulent street. If you missed it last fall, (the event was packed beyond capacity) make sure to catch his talk tonight.  It’s especially relevant right now with the ongoing discussions around gentrifying the Bowery and the fight to save 35 Cooper Square.  FREE // 6:30pm // 108 Orchard St.

Tenement Talks: Cokie and Steve Roberts on Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families

Veteran journalists and bestselling authors Cokie and Steve Roberts will be at the Tenement Museum this evening discussing their book, Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families, as part of the museum’s free Tenement Talks series. The book offers a personalized version of the Passover Haggadah—written especially for couples of mixed faiths—which combines their own traditions with favorites from others. Cokie, known for her work as a senior news analyst on NPR and ABC News, is Catholic; Steve, also a journalist and a Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, is Jewish. Choosing to honor both of their faiths and traditions (throughout almost forty years of marriage), the couple hosts a Passover Seder that has evolved from a small family gathering to a veritable event celebrated with loved ones from all walks of life.  FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talk: Love on the Streets With Ariel Sabar Tonight

Why not continue celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Tenement Talk focused on stories about finding love on the streets of New York?  Author Ariel Sabar will be at the Tenement Museum this evening to discuss his new book, Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York.  The Tenement Museum blog notes that Sabar, inspired by his parents having met in Washington Square, “set out to find the invisible forces at play in great public places.” He also focuses on how city planners use the built environment to draw people together.  Audience members are encouraged to share their own stories.  Free // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talks: Bowery – Past, Present and Future with David Mulkins

Bowery Photographs by Photographer Sally Young via

David Mulkins, co-founder and chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, will be at the Tenement Museum tomorrow evening for an “illustrated talk on the legendary street,” and a discussion titled: Bowery – Past, Present and Future. The Bowery Alliance was created three years ago to promote preservation of the historic character of the Bowery. 

Ed Koch Comes to Tenement Talks

Ed Koch via

Writer Jonathan Soffer will be at the Tenement Museum tomorrow with the dynamic and divisive former mayor (and congressman), Ed Koch, as part of the Tenement Talks series. They will be discussing Soffer’s recent biography, Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City, which focuses on Koch’s reign during the city’s bankruptcy of the 1970s and the recovery and crash of the 1980s.  Free // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talks: Loise W. Knight on Jane Addams – Tonight

Louise W. Knight, author of the highly praised biography, Jane Addams: Spirit in Action, will be featured in the Tenement Talks series at the Tenement Museum this evening. Knight will be discussing Jane Addams’ riveting story – she was an activist (founder of the Hull House, the first settlement house in the U.S.), a presidential advisor and the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize – with writer and critic Vivian Gornick. FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

The Pigeon Game – A Work in Progress – at Tenement Talks Tonight

Still from The Pigeon Game - directed by Annie Heringer

Tonight’s Tenement Talk at the Tenement Museum will feature a twenty minute cut of the documentary The Pigeon Game, by Annie Heringer.  She will present her work in progress, two years in the making, about the dying breed of men and women who still race homing pigeons in New York City. Heringer, an Emmy award-winning documentarian, is still seeking finishing funds for the fascinating project. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Food Fusion on the L.E.S. – Tonight at Tenement Talks

What looks to be a mouth-watering panel on “LES Food Fusion” with local chefs/business owners Eddie Huang (BaoHaus, Xiao Ye), Christina Seid (Chinatown Ice Cream Factory) and Mark Israel (The Doughnut Plant) is taking place tonight at the Tenement Museum as part of their Tenement Talks series. Jenny 8. Lee, New York Times writer and author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicle, will moderate. // FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard St.

The Lo-Down List: This Week’s Happenings

Our weekly look at upcoming happenings on the Lower East Side.  If you have a neighborhood event you would like us to post, please email us here.

Stanton Street Summer Sundays - photo via

Thursday, July 22:

The Educational Alliance will host “Full Metal Mamas,” a comedy event on their rooftop featuring four sassy ladies who “pack school lunches during the day and do standup comedy at night.”  $15 pre-register, $18 at the door // 7pm //  197 East Broadway.