Lower East Side History Month was a huge success. Not only did we see our diverse community represented in an array of street festivals; not only did we see the neighborhood history highlighted through walking tours, story-sharing events, and documentaries; but – most importantly – we saw residents, businesses, and organizations connect in incredible ways.

Through next year’s LESHM, we will be collecting memories of 2015. Our first comes from Anna Adler of FABnyc. 

May was Lower East Side History Month…and what an action packed month it was. We are so grateful to have witnessed all of the creative activity around us, and to have taken part in some of it too.

Nothing seems to describe the rich cultural diversity of the LES as well as the numerous weekend festivals this May. Each weekend illuminated a different part of the neighborhood through music, art, food, dance, and more; collecting LES Stories at the Ukrainian, Loisaida, and IDEAS CITY festival, through Typewritten Tales allowed us at FABnyc to tune in to the truly beautiful cultural fabric of the Lower East Side. Residents and visitors alike shared their memories of growing up and discovering the LES.

Impressions of the month are full of vibrant colors, sounds, smells, tastes, and stories. Elaborate embroidered costumes, red boots and twirling skirts of Ukrainian dancers, Latin drumming and Puerto Rican flags, the old world twang of Sephardic music. Pierogis, empanadas, pickles, and the humbling act of breaking bread while discussing urban change at the NOCD-NY table at IDEAS CITY.

Storytelling events included Destination Downtown’s exploration of street art, music and culture, Five Boro Story Project’s ‘LES is More’ series, Loisaida Inc.’s 9th St. Tell-athon – an oral history project focused on 9th St. – and our own LES Love Mob, a site-specific event enlisting artists to help tell the small business stories on Clinton Street.

May has come and gone; the year must go on. But with all the incredible stories celebrated and connections made this month, we are truly proud to call this neighborhood home.

We’re inspired by your work, your ideas, and your enthusiasm, and look forward to carrying  this energy through to Pride Month this June!

With LES love,

Anna Adler and the FABnyc staff