The best thing about living in the city are its many community gardens that allow residents to come together and grow greenery and vegetables. In Alphabet City, you’ll have access to one of the best in the city: 9th Street Community Garden Park. This green community is one of the largest of its kind in NYC. So, without haste, visit your spot to plant your tomatoes or roses or maybe some fresh basil. Your first days in the neighborhood just officially got better.
New York City is home to museums of all kinds — both large and small. A veritable Alphabet City treat, Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is one of the more unique museums you will have an opportunity to visit in the Big Apple. The museum tells the story of the growth of the greater Lower East Side. The story is told through a series of photographs and exhibits that highlight the evolution of the neighborhood. The showcase exhibit is “Reclaiming Space: Squats,” which focuses on the 1970s housing crisis, activists and homelessness, relating the past with the present and exploring solutions.
Alphabet City is home to many unheralded shopping gems. Today, you decide to take a quick peek at a great little bookstore by the name of Mast Books. After a quick stop, you’re on your way to the specialty knick-knack spot known as Exit 9 Emporium. You don’t feel like leaving and end up spending a few hours, exploring some quite unique and interesting finds. You go for the ostrich pillow, which wraps around your eyes and head to block out light and provide a cushiony sleep setup. You also opt for a great-sounding ding dog doorbell, and the homemade gin kit.
Dinner in Alphabet City isn’t as elaborate of an affair as it may be in other parts of the city. But there’s one little gem that you may remember seeing on shows like Master of None or Orange is the New Black. The experience at Panna II Garden is eye-opening — literally. The Indian restaurant has become famous for its vibrant atmosphere and abundance of red Christmas lights that are plastered all over the entire ceiling. The food itself is pretty good. There’s traditional Indian favorites like chicken tikka masala and saag paneer. You indulge in the authentic bites, mesmerized by the lights.
There’s definitely no shortage of bars in Alphabet City. There’s the popular craft cocktail bar Amor y Amargo. Also popular are The Wayland and Mace. But the star of the neighborhood is Ace Bar. The dive sports bar has become a popular hangout for college kids and residents for its abundance of bar games. They carry a number of arcade games and skee ball machine, and – goes without saying – a pool table and dart board for the lover of the classic bar experience. Pair that with plenty of great cheap beers, and you’ll know why the accolades.