A Journey Through Chinatown

The Bowery

Images copyright RK Chin,
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see also: Bowery Storefronts

Built in 1670 upon an old Indian trail, the Bowery (deriving from the Dutch word for farm) was the main road in New Amsterdam that led to Peter Stuyvesant's estate, and later to Boston. By the 1800s, the Bowery grew into a huge entertainment district, but soon degraded into skid row with its numerous seedy hotels, missions, and soup kitchens in the early 1900s.

Today, much of the Bowery is still low-rent, but coming back in force. Below Houston Street, the Bowery is home to many restaurant, and lighting supply houses along with a mixture of old tenements, and million dollar condos sitting side-by-side.

22 Feb 2002. The Music Palace was the last surviving Chinese movie theater in Chinatown; its screen went dark in 2000 marking one end of an era for Chinese in America. 91-93 Bowery, on the corner of Hester. [FN 1]


07 July 2006. A famous mural "Wall of Respect for the Working People of Chinatown", 1978, painted on the side of the theater by Tomie Arai. The mural was the last of a series of six City Arts murals painted in Chinatown during the 1970s.

15 January 2007. Just one of many restaurant supply stores on the Bowery, some of the shops look the same as they did a nearly a century ago.

06 Mar 2002. The Bowery Savings Bank, chartered 1834. The building itself was designed in 1895 by Stanford White. Greenpoint Bank was the last to use this building before selling it in 2000. Some say the building will be turned into a cabaret, and private catering hall [FN 2].

...and so it did. "Capitale" opened late 2002.

06 Mar 2002 Rushing back from the photo studio upstairs, 147 Bowery.

This store at 121 Bowery is well-stocked with southeast asian groceries, as well as some fruits and vegetables. 26 August 2007.

20 October 2007. Just one of many lighting supply stores on the Bowery. (left) Classic Lighting. (bottom) New Generation Lighting.

10 August 2008. coffee break.

15 August 2011. Bowery looking north toward Union Square and Gramercy.

30 July 2008. Lower East Side, Bowery and Delancey (facing north)

02 August 2008. Lower East Side, Bowery and East Houston (facing east)

October 2008. The Bowery

01 August 2011. It's sunset for the Bowery of old.

Bowery and Elevated Road, New York City
Bowery, and El Train
18 in. x 12.5 in.
at AllPosters.com
Manhattan Elevated Railway Running on Tracks Constructed Alongside the Bowery
Bowery, Life Magazine
16 in. x 12 in.
at AllPosters.com
Street Level View of People Walking on Hester Street
People on Hester St
16 in. x 12 in. giclee
at AllPosters.com

1: "Movie House, and an Era, Go Dark in Chinatown", New York Times, June 14, 1998.
2: "Bowery Savings Bank May Find Life as a Cabaret", New York Times, Jan 6, 2002. http://college3.nytimes.com/guests/articles/2002/01/06/893386.xml

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