Photographers David Scheinbaum and Janet Russek have spent over two decades capturing the changing landscape of New York City’s Lower East Side. In their book, Remnants, Photographs of the Lower East Side, the couple preserves the vestiges of a rapidly evolving neighborhood, one that was home to an immense immigrant population in the 19th century. On June 28th, you can join Scheinbaum and Russek for a live virtual exploration of the Lower East Side as they share photos of small businesses, houses of worship, and other historic spaces!

Lower East Side tailor sign

A Disappearing Lower East Side Talk

Lower East Side diners

This live, virtual talk is free for Untapped New York Insiders! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and get your first month free with code JOINUS. Insiders have access to member-exclusive in-person and online events as well as our on-demand archive of more than 200 webinars!

Scheinbaum and Russek began photographing the Lower East Side in 1999. Both Brooklyn natives, the couple had since relocated to New Mexico and were visiting New York to see family. As they told Hyperallergic, they returned to their old stomping grounds of the Lower East Side to find a tallit prayer shawl for their son’s bar mitzvah.

A rabbi on the Lower East Side

As they walked through the neighborhood, they noticed that many of the establishments they remembered from their upbringing in the city were gone. A few years later, they set out to capture the neighborhood as they knew it – before it was lost entirely.

In Remnants, Scheinbaum’s photographs appear in black and white while Russek’s appear in color. Rather than highlight the new construction and bustling streets of the Lower East Side, their images focus on quiet and intimate portraits of the people and places that embody the Lower East Side’s Jewish heritage.

Shoes on display
Photograph by Janet Russek

Scheinbaum and Russek captured a variety of different spaces that were integral to Jewish life on the Lower East Side, from diners and delis to shoemakers and synagogues. In the book and in the upcoming Untapped New York Insiders talk you’ll see images of locally owned businesses that still exist, such as Russ & Daughters, Economy Candy, and Katz’s Delicatessen, as well as those that have closed, like Streit’s Matzo Factory. The photographic collection share in Remnants serves as a time capsule that preserves a fading way of life.

Scheinbaum and Russek have previously collaborated on the books Ghost Ranch: Land of Light (1997) and Images in the Heavens, Patterns on the Earth: The I Ching (2004). Together they run Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd., private fine art photography dealers and consultants in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A Disappearing Lower East Side Talk

Lower East side ghost sign

Next, check out 10 Secrets of the Lower East Side