Rivington Street is a street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which runs across the Lower East Side neighborhood, between Bowery and Pitt Street, with a break between Chrystie and Forsyth for Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Vehicular traffic runs west on this one-way street.
It is named after James Rivington, who under cover of writing one of the most infamous Loyalist newspapers in the American colonies, secretly ran a spy ring that supplied George Washington with information. Early in the 20th century, it was the home of many Italian and Jewish immigrants was hence the birthplace of many 2nd generation Italian and Jewish Americans. George Burns lived there for a time.
The site of the second African burial ground in New York lies between Rivington and Stanton Streets, now a playground in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The M'Finda Kalunga community garden is also at this location. Several functioning synagogues remain on Rivington Street, a reminder of the large Jewish immigrant population that once inhabited the Lower East Side.
While Rivington Street has for years been a cross-street to the Lower East Side's main thoroughfares, it has, in recent years, become a destination in its own right; there are many well-regarded restaurants along the street.
Notable establishments on Rivington Street include the University Settlement House (the first settlement house in New York), Streit's Matzos, Schiller's restaurant, musician Moby's vegan shop TeaNY, the social center called ABC No Rio, the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, and the newly constructed 21-story Hotel on Rivington.
From east to west, Rivington starts at the Samuel Gompers Houses on Pitt Street, intersects Ridge Street, Attorney Street, Clinton Street, Suffolk Street, Norfolk Street, Essex Street, Ludlow Street, Orchard Street, Allen Street and Eldridge Street, and ends at Forsyth Street. Then it continues from Chrystie Street to the Bowery.
In popular culture
The Rivington School art movement was named after an abandoned public school building located on Rivington Street.
Rivington Street used to be a hang-out spot for pop musician Lady Gaga and her friends, as quoted on Saturday Night Live in her acoustic medley of "Bad Romance," her own composition on New York, and "Poker Face." She said, "I still prefer a beer and whiskey with my friends on Rivington Street." The street is again referenced on her track "Heavy Metal Lover," where she sings "Dirty pearls and a patch for all the Rivington rebels," in reference to the local Lower East Side band The Dirty Pearls and scenesters associated with the street, especially with the bar St. Jerome's that was located on the street (until its closing in May 2013) and that is the theme of the Lady Gaga song "Electric Chapel."
In 1979, Genya Ravan wrote and recorded her autobiographical song 202 Rivington Street, the address being where her family settled after their escape from the holocaust in 1947. Like much of her work, including Jerry's Pigeons from her 1978 album Urban Desire, the haunting ballad contains numerous references to neighborhood landmarks, including Pitt Street Park. "Laundry on strings hanging from iron bars with nowhere to escape" - From 202 Rivington Street / Genya Ravan (1979)
In the novel What Makes Sammy Run?, the protagonist Sammy Glick turns out to have lived on Rivington Street at the beginning of his career, then named "Samuel Glickstein", when he is hired as a copy boy by The New York Record. The street is described by the narrator as one of a conglomerate of "jumbled ghetto streets" into which millions of Jews are crowded.
- The Tory and the Spy: The Double Life of James Rivington.
- Personal research of Barbara Pisarro
- Rivington Street: More Than a Cross Street, The New York Times, March 19, 2006, accessed April 26, 2007.
- NYC Album Art: Paul's Boutique, accessed April 26, 2007. "According to the album, Paul's Boutique is in Brooklyn...but we all know this photo was taken in the Lower East Side. With a Paul's Boutique sign hanging up on the Lee's Sportswear storefront, the shot was taken at 99 Rivington Street, where Rivington and Ludlow intersect."
- Rivington Street: New York Songlines
- Rivington Street storefronts - photographs of all storefronts on Rivington St.
- Rivington Street in photographs