The collapse and demolition in 2006 of the First Roumanian-American Congregation synagogue at 89 Rivington Street — the “cantors’ Carnegie Hall” — seemed to have eradicated almost every trace of what was once a large and vibrant Jewish community.
Katchor said he doesn't think there is a message to his comics -- just a model that people can contemplate. "It should send you back into the world looking at the world in some more subtle way," he said. "It's a lesson in how to look at the world."
The Lower East Side first captured Katchor's imagination at a young age. Although he grew up in Brooklyn, he often went to the Jewish immigrant neighborhood with his parents.
I'm standing on the balcony of a boutique hotel in New York's Lower East Side, looking down on Orchard Street, having a "Godfather" moment.
At one point the neighborhood was considered so dangerous, people were afraid to walk the streets at night, but now it is experiencing something of a renaissance among Jews and non-Jews alike.
We had no idea if we would be the only ones to brave the cold and damp but were pleasantly surprised; about 30 people made up our tour.