Royal Young

Reclaiming My Lower East Side Roots

The upcoming expansion of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum to include a kitchen where visitors can try immigrant fare is a welcome reminder of a lost neighborhood. My lost neighborhood. An infamous Ellis Island destination for generations of my Jewish ancestors, the Lower East Side was where my hippie parents chose to raise me in the 80s. I grew up a rare young Jew there, long after the rest of my ancestors had abandoned it for suburban Florida.