Mapping Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture

Seeing into the Lower East Side Cafés

In the early 1900s, the regular diners at Lower East Side cafés literally sat at the center of diasporic Jewish culture. Their names and stories and gossip appeared in Yiddish papers printed by the millions. At the same time, this era of Jewish café culture went largely unphotographed -- or photographed after the fact, as a nostalgic gaze backwards into a near-mythical time. 

Who gets to "see" into these cafés? In this pathway we explore the visual culture built up around Lower East Side in the first half of the 20th century.

Click below to start!

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