It was the first stopping point for immigrants throughout the last several centuries, including Jewish, Irish, Italian, and now Chinese immigrants. Its pivotal role in the lives of immigrants in the early 19th and 20th centuries has landed it on the National Register of Historic Places.Find Two Bridges apartments
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It is home to the birthplace of governor Al Smith, who was a beacon for education reform and even the Democratic nominee for President in the 1920s. A son of Irish immigrants himself, Al Smith’s residence sits on Oliver Street, which remains an intact example of his time. Two Bridges is also the home to the first cemetery of Temple Shearith Israel, the Sea and Land Church (built 1819), and the St. James Church (built 1827).
The area now plays host to mostly Chinese first and second-generation immigrants, due to its immediate proximity to Chinatown, and it boasts some of the best--and cheapest--Chinese food in Manhattan. Try Jin Mei dumpling house for mouthwatering soup dumplings
The area delights in its history, hiding underground bars and restaurants all over the place. Bring your map as you wander down hidden side streets in search of the red velvet lined, antique mirrored, glass vial cocktail bar Apotheke off of East Broadway, or hunker down at its sister restaurant Pulqueria, hidden down a windy stairwell behind an unmarked door. The area is also home to the oldest tavern in NYC, The Bridge Café which, nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge, was also once home to a brothel. Literally buried under water during Hurricane Sandy, The Bridge plans to be up and running again by Valentine’s Day, as it doggedly tries to preserve as much of the existing 219 year old structure as it can, which is only a testament to how much the history of the building means to its neighbors and the city as a whole.
Two Bridges is also home to the five points, a triangular shaped block formed by a five-pointed intersection, which was a center of volatility in the 1800s. The Five Points was the stomping ground for the New York City Draft Riots (1863), the Anti Abolitionist Riots (1834), and the Dead Rabbit Riots (1857).