Recap: DayLife Moves Back to Orchard Street

Posted on: October 2nd, 2012 at 1:16 pm by

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

A little rainstorm couldn’t keep the foodies away.

This past Sunday, umbrella in tow, we sauntered over to Orchard Street, for the return of “DayLife,” a street festival featuring food, clothing, and accessories from neighborhood shops.

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

For the past two weekends, DayLife went underground – well, sort of – inside the “Imagining the Lowline” exhibit. Coming back outside into the sunshine (give or take a shower or two), DayLife, which has been going on since June, has been seeking to breathe new life into the tradition of closing off Orchard Street on Sundays.

In previous decades (actually, a few centuries), Orchard was the place to shop for bargains, with local stores moving their wares out on the streets on Sundays. With the old-school stores almost completely gone, many newer restaurants and small startup boutiques are trying to revive the Sunday scene on the Lower East Side.

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

Foodies and shoppers turned out in droves. Kids resumed playing croquet when the weather cleared up, and we spied a slightly soggy setup for a few games of Twister.

We checked out food from some of our favorite locals, making a pit-stop to get a big hug from Sal of Rosario’s Pizza. Sal, of course, was holding court, being on a first-name basis with the steady stream of people walking by.

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The iconic Sal, from Rosario’s Pizza. Photo: Lori Greenberg

We managed to sample some spectacular fried chicken from Family Recipe’s stand and checked out the clothing rack at Volang. We then tried to get the chef’s special from Mission Chinese (broccoli, beef brisket, rice, and loads of other goodies), figuring it was easier than trying to snag a table at their popular hot spot, but whenever we passed by, they were waiting for another batch from the kitchen. (We guess the food really IS that good.)

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Akiko, the chef and owner of Family Recipe. Photo: Lori Greenberg

Having fond memories of visiting Orchard street on Sundays as a child, and then continuing the Sunday tradition while living in the ‘hood as an adult (honing our bargaining skills in the process), we’re hoping that DayLife keeps bringing in the crowds. We’re pretty happy to see a strong showing of local businesses on Orchard St, even if the more upscale scene means that we can no longer use our said bargaining skills (or, come to think of it, our decent command of Yiddish). Judging from the crowds this summer, DayLife has been off to a good start.

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