Katz’s Deli Owner Shares Stories of a Shady Lower East Side Just 20 Years Ago

True Yorkers is a video series which interviews long-term New York residents about "Old New York" and the way things used to be in the City during a time many refer to as the "Good Ol' Days". In this episode, Katz’s Deli owner Alan Dell reflects on what the Lower East Side once was, from when he was a kid growing up in the area.

A lot of people from the neighborhood moved away… I just can’t get used to it. I have customers talking about their million dollar penthouse on Rivington Street—it blows my mind. The Bowery was unsavory, there used to be bums, I don’t even know if kids know what a bum is…You know, they call it progress, I’m not really sure about that. It’s a mixed bag…15-20 years ago we were closing early. Unless you were coming to buy crack late at night over here, it was not safe… it’s just changed. It’s just different.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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