In a new original content series, Crowd DNA New York zooms in on the unique character of New York City neighborhoods, through the lens of those born and raised there...

We’ve set ourselves a mission of exploring the communities of New York City, looking at what’s changing and what’s holding firm. In our first installment, we dive into Manhattan’s Lower East Side (LES). Culturally diverse, ever-changing, and steeped in artistic heritage, the LES encapsulates New York’s broader challenge to maintain authentic community while undergoing rapid development. 

We speak with locals Sergio, Garnett, Veronica, Emily and Megan to hear how the LES has changed – for good and bad. They recount stories of a neighborhood flush with culture but dogged by drugs; of high rises emerging and a revolving door of new bars. But they also share the tenacious nature of the neighborhood and its residents to adapt and innovate, and what they’re doing to preserve and advance the community. 

Hear their stories in this video.

Stay tuned to learn more about the neighborhood’s development in our feature article and a set of  images that capture the LES.