Bandit’s Roost, 59 1/2 Mulberry Street c. 1888 The heart…or, more appropriately, the dark soul…of New York City’s crime-ridden slum life in the mid-to-late 1870s was located between Mulberry Bend and the Five Points area. The levels of population density, disease, infant and child mortality, unemployment, prostitution, violent crime, drug abuse and general destitution in this area were staggering. Brothels, opium dens, gambling houses, dog-fighting venues were common.
ca. 1880-1890, Manhattan’s Lower East Side — Photo by Jacob Riis. “More than 100,000 immigrants lived in rear apartments (behind other buildings) that were wholly unfit for human habitation. In a room not thirteen feet either way slept twelve men and women, two or three in bunks set in a sort of alcove, the rest on the floor. There were also rooms where people could sleep for five cents a night, stranger next to stranger.”