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Parallel Lives

He’s been here 58 years. She, barely one. They both love the Lower Lower East Side, in slightly different ways.


The Newcomer: Heather Ditmars
Age: 26
Profession: Interior designer
Resides: Three-bedroom apartment on Rutgers Street, near Madison Street. Lives with two roommatesa graphic designer and a video-game designer.
Years in the neighborhood: One.
I moved here last July from Columbus, Ohio. I came on a whim, interviewed for five jobs, got five offers, and moved out the following week. I found a sublet on Craigslist, on Cherry Street, one block away from my current apartment. No moving truck required, just a caravan on foot carrying mostly shoes.


1. Pathmark
(227 Cherry St., nr. Pike St.; 212-227-8988)
Is it dirty? Kinda. Is it crowded? For sure. But it’s better than the temptress Whole Foods. Or, as I refer to it, Whole Paycheck. 

2. Emily’s Laundromat
(32 Rutgers St., nr. Henry St.; 212-732-2525)
Downstairs, convenient. They have a turtle in a fish tank. One time I saw a cute guy here.

3. Stop 1 Deli
(201 Madison St., at Rutgers St.; 212-349-3945)
The go-to when I need a six-pack. One day after taking a swan dive off a curb, I limped in with $3, enough for one double deuce of Heineken. The guy insisted that I take two more on him.

4. Sweet Paradise
(14B Orchard St., nr. Canal St.; 212-226-3612)
It’s a cash-only bar, which drives me a little crazy, but the bartenders have proven themselves worthy.


5. Bacaro
(136 Division St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-941-5060)
I’m a vegan, but my meat-eating roommates tell me the food is amazing. I’ll never know, but the drinks are tasty.

6. Babycakes
(248 Broome St., nr. Orchard St.; 212-677-5047)
I’m a big fan of vegan cake, and it’s only blocks away!

7. Broadway East
(171 E. Broadway, nr. Rutgers St.; 212-228-3100)
I just discovered this placehaven’t ventured there yet, but I stop by and gaze at the menu in self-pity because I can’t find a guy to take me there. It may have to be a girl date.

8. Jin
(252 Broome St., nr. Orchard St.; 212-979-0989)
Since I only eat veggie sushi, prices are usually really cheap. Which means I can order, like, four rolls.


9. East Side Company Bar
(49 Essex St., nr. Grand St.; 212-614-7408)
It’s dark in theredark enough to hide your shame the next morning.


10. 169 Bar
(169 E. Broadway, nr. Rutgers St.; 212-473-8866)
Oddly tropical, but a good place to see bands.


11. Flowers Café
(355 Grand St., at Essex St.; 212-777-8785)
The guy who owns this place is super-nice. I used to just refer to him as Flowers, but my roommate told me his name is Frank. Whether it’s Frank or Flowers [Ed.: Actually, it’s Bill], he feeds my coffee fix for cheap.


12. Valley
(48 Orchard St., nr. Hester St.; 212-274-8985)
A recent discovery: waxing, manicures, and vintage clothes all in one spot. Generally decent prices on the vintage stuff.


13. Seward Park
(Canal St. at Essex St.)
Rats. Bushels of rats. Keep your babies out of the grass.

14. Modern Living Supplies
(20 Rutgers St., at Henry St.; 646-373-1579)
They have cool stuff, but I can only afford items on permanent designer discount.’ Classy.

15. Heist Gallery
(27 Essex St., nr. Hester St.; 212-253-0451)
One of the many galleries that opened up down here in the past year or so, though this one happened to replace Flicker’s, my favorite coffee shop.


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