There's been much lamenting about the gentrification of The Bowery over the past decade or two. However, it seems to me that much of this change is relegated to the short stretch between Houston and 4th Street. Way down here where the Bowery Begins it still seems to retain much of its original character. Lined with endless rows of low-rise buildings, most everything here in bilingual and packed tight.
This part of The Bowery seems to have changed so little that even mailboxes still have logos that were phased out 15 years ago. This first main stretch has a nearly comical concentration of bank branches- though that dies quickly by the time you pass the Manhattan Bridge.