Must-See Lower East Side
by Chris Wallace, 03/18/2014
Cake Shop. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
Scene and Heard
Since the heyday of 1970s punk, the LES has been synonymous with music. Among the City's best current venues is the Bowery Ballroom, with its consistently strong bookings, especially good sound and excellent visibility. The downstairs lounge is an added plus—stylish, romantic in an old-fashioned way, and 40 decibels more comfy than the main room, in case, you know, you want to talk to someone.
On the strength of its bills alone, the Mercury Lounge is hard to beat. Numerous local bands to hit the big time—like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes—began their odysseys here, and you'll find the next generation of hitmakers putting in their time there now. And when you want a culinary complement to your music listening, Cake Shop on Ludlow serves cake, coffee and beer and stocks records for sale. Located half a block up from the corner of Rivington where the iconic Paul's Boutique album cover was shot, the venue showcases a mix of poetry, indie, metal and garage bands that the Beastie Boys would surely approve of.
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