‘Crossing Delancey’ 30 Years Later to See the Lost Lower East Side

Posted on: August 27th, 2018 at 5:03 am by

​Before Guss’ Pickles departed the Lower East Side in 2010 for the depths of Brooklyn, one poster in its tiny storefront always stood apart. It was a faded movie bill for Crossing Delancey, the 1988 romantic comedy starring Amy Irving that basically put the neighborhood on the silver screen. Its subtle presence at the shop made sense, since Peter Rieger’s character, Sam Posner, operated the fictional Posner’s Pickles at the old Essex Street location.

October 2009

The movie itself, released thirty years ago next month, is a perfect snapshot of the lost Jewish Lower East Side, where Judaica shops once lined Essex Street and yentas roamed Seward Park.

Essex Street, just south of Grand

Let’s jump back at the time capsule through the eyes of Crossing Delancey

Canal and Rutgers Streets

The film opens with Izzy, the romantic lead, exiting the subway at Delancey/Essex, with the cheesy music of The Roches playing in the background (“Come Softly to Me”). A young Orthodox boy is wolfing down snacks from Gertel’s bakery. But if you look more closely, the scene is actually captured down at the East Broadway F station. Izzy then walks northward, giving the viewer a taste of the Jewish Lower East Side that no longer exists.

A few other tidbits – Posner plays handball at the Seward Park athletic field during his breaks from the job; Izzy shops with her grandmother (bubbie) inside the Essex Street Market; Bubbie lives in the Seward Park co-op on Grand Street.

Inside the Essex Street Market

And for an obligatory bonus: dude blasting Run-DMC at the Gray’s Papaya on 72nd and Broadway.

Recent Stories

Shear Luck: FRED Salon Finds Refuge in the East Village

Another retail victim to report on upper Orchard Street. The FRED.nyc hair salon is now gone. According to signage on the shuttered security gate at 192 Orchard, the five-year-old business recently relocated to the East Village. The move to 40 East Third Street was a long time coming for eponymous owner Fred Connors, who braved […]

Grand Street Guild Files Plans for 15-Story Affordable Housing Tower

New towers are coming to Broome Street on the Lower East Side. Now we have sight of the first newcomer. Back in January of 2018, the Grand Street Guild nonprofit officially announced the imminent construction of two, as-of-right 15-story apartments on its property, plus a parking garage. All 400 of the proposed units are earmarked […]

TongKatsu Replaced by ‘Otaku Katsu’ on Rivington Street

Over on Rivington Street, TongKatsu becomes… …Otaku Katsu. Ben Tong, owner of the former, reportedly reassigned the lease after its shutter to husband-wife team Chef Dimitri Voutsinas and Christine Argao-Voutsinas. Otaku Katsu occupies the same below-grade space at 137 Rivington, and offers a variety of katsu and Japanese sando bentos, in addition to fresh made […]

DOT ‘Street Seat’ Goes Live Outside Dudley’s on Orchard Street

Just in time for the forthcoming return of Dudley’s, Orchard Street now boasts a new row of public seating. Beside another recently installed bike corral. And it’s all part of the city’s Street Seat program. More than a half-dozen tables and chairs are stationed between the corner of Broome down to Cafe Katja. As previously […]

Crowbar-Wielding Attacker Smashes Windows of Roni-Sue’s Chocolates on Forsyth Street [VIDEO]

Earlier this week, we reported on the dangerous conditions plaguing Forsyth Street amidst the city’s work on the subway system. The MTA is currently swapping out the ventilation plant fifteen feet beneath the roadbed along the eastern perimeter of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Originally built in 1962, this section of the subway was identified as […]