The Bowery, Little Italy, and Soho

Manhattan, New York

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The Bowery has had quite the history, being the oldest Manhattan thoroughfare (it began life as a Native American footpath that was much lengthier). Dutch colonists dubbed it the “bouwerij [farm] road,” and even into the 1860s it rivaled Broadway in importance. For many years it was an elegant address, but by the late 1800s it was riddled with honky-tonk entertainments and notorious flophouses. Through the early 1900s and on into the 1970s, the Bowery remained infamous as the city’s Skid Row. But in the decades since (and particularly over the past 10 years), the district has been redeveloped and “rediscovered,” and today it comprises a mix of chic galleries and shops, humbler wholesalers, nonprofit organizations, and residences. This walk also visits neighboring Little Italy and Soho, a historic neighborhood that, like the Bowery, has bounced back from hard times.
Walking Manhattan

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walking Manhattan

by Ellen Levitt (Wilderness Press)

The Bowery has had quite the history, being the oldest Manhattan thoroughfare (it began life as a Native American footpath that was much lengthier). Dutch colonists dubbed it the “bouwerij [farm] road,” and even into the 1860s it rivaled Broadway in importance. For many years it was an elegant address, but by the late 1800s it was riddled with honky-tonk entertainments and notorious flophouses.

Through the early 1900s and on into the 1970s, the Bowery remained infamous as the city’s Skid Row. But in the decades since (and particularly over the past 10 years), the district has been redeveloped and “rediscovered,” and today it comprises a mix of chic galleries and shops, humbler wholesalers, nonprofit organizations, and residences. This walk also visits neighboring Little Italy and Soho, a historic neighborhood that, like the Bowery, has bounced back from hard times.

© 2015 Ellen Levitt/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Manhattan
Distance: 3.3
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy
Driving Directions: Directions to The Bowery, Little Italy, and Soho

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Apr 2018