If you are concerned about safety, do call/visit the local police department, they are your best source of information and will gladly help--real estate professionals are prohibited from “steering”—enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
The Lower East Side is Great!!! I rent and sell there all the time..
It has brand new construction rising everywhere....
I love it, love the restaurants and the chic boutiques.
Any other questions, please ask...