Browsing Tag

lower east side


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, renovations… 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

The 1920s: When Gandhi Was a Yiddish-Speaking Puppet

Meet Mohandas Gandhi, The Yiddish-Speaking Puppet

By On December 23, 2014

Who was the Jon Stewart of the Lower East Side in the 1920s and 30s? It just may have been Modicut, a satirical, leftist Yiddish puppet theater troupe (the only one of… Read More

Good News: All-of-a-Kind Family is Back!

Good News: All-of-a-Kind Family is Back!

By On June 30, 2014

All-of-a-Kind Family, the mid-century classic Sydney Taylor children’s series of Lower East Side literature, is back! And not in an “Oh how awful, they tarted up 80’s kid favorite Strawberry Shortcake” kind… Read More


A Dear Abby For The Lower East Side

By On June 2, 2014

Liana Finck’s graphic novel A Bintel Brief blends history and imagination to create an experience that is rich, immersive, and satisfying. It begins when a young woman receives a notebook from her grandmother filled… Read More


The Sturgeon Queens of the Lower East Side

By On March 4, 2014

Joel Russ started selling pickled herring from a pushcart on Hester Street in the 1910s, and later made history by naming his three daughters full partners in his burgeoning business. 100 years later, the “sturgeon queens”… Read More

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