I am thinking about going to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. When the landlord of 97 Orchard Street died in the late 1980's the five stories above the storefronts he controlled were opened for the first time in fifty years. Inside were twenty apartments that were left exactly as they were when the landlord closed them up. Using city records and testimonies from descendents of residents many of the apartments have been restored to look as they did at various points of the building's tenure as a tenement house. You can tour different apartments and learn about real former tenants, their occupations and lifestyle.
I would like to go on the Getting by Tour which includes a visit the apartments of the German-Jewish Gumpertz family in the 1870s and the Sicilian-Catholic Baldizzi family in the 1930s, and learn about the networks of support that were available to them during hard times.
Or the tour about the Moore family, a group of Irish immigrants who lived in the building in 1869. In their restored home you learn about the struggles immigrants faced from the 19th century to present.
Located at 108 Orchard Street
Subway: F to Delancy, JMZ to Essex Street