All of our bags are named after places that are close to our heart, and the Bowery is no exception. From the striking New Museum to the gritty Bowery Ballroom, the street is a juxtaposition of old and new, beautiful and brash. From the constantly evolving street art to a skyscraper-less sky, it’s an unpolished gem for photographers to explore in New York City. A look through our lens at the Bowery:
Located at the nexus of Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and the Lower East Side, the Bowery is the oldest thoroughfare on Manhattan Island. Early Dutch settlers called it Bouwerij, meaning farm: it originally connected farmlands and estates on the edge of the city.
The Bowery is a stretch of road that’s gone through countless slumps and rebirths: known as New York’s most elegant street in the late 1700s, it was the home of the notorious Bowery Boys in the 1800s and the ultimate Skid Row for most of the 20th century.
Today, it’s a vibrant and eclectic mix of historic architecture and modern high-rises and a diverse range of boutiques and bars.
A powerful presence in the community, the Bowery Mission has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879.
Street style in the Bowery is a melange of thrift store steals, independent designers and unique finds street-side jewelry stalls–all with a dash of punk rock culture. After all, the CBGB music club–where punk was born and raised–was located at 315 Bowery before it shut its doors in 2006.
The Bowery might not be the trendiest or most exclusive neighborhood in Manhattan, but there’s a spirit and resiliency that shines through in the cracked facades and street graffiti.
The Bowery is full of unexpected greenery and heartfelt details: it’s one of the neighborhoods in New York City where it’s more interesting to look down than it is to look up.
But if you do look up, the Bowery has enough architectural details and human touches to keep it interesting.
Our personal favorite part of the Bowery? The characters.
This is the first in a series where we explore the New York City neighborhoods that inspired the bags: Brooklyn is up next!