Don’t let the shi shi galleries, bone broth bistros and man-cessory shops fool you. The country’s most violent criminals have lived and plied their trade in the East Village and Lower East Side for more than two centuries.
Of course, a man needs a place to relax after all that mayhem. Here is a current look at some of the most notorious gangsters haunts in the neighborhood, listed chronologically.
Click through the slideshow to see what our favorites look like today, then leave your own in the comments.
Chinese Theater, 5-7 Doyers Street
Beginning in 1893, the Chinese Theater presented operas and plays on winding Doyers Street in Chinatown. It was a time when the tongs, originally community associations, expanded into criminal activities like protection rackets, gambling and prostitution. On August 7, 1905 two rival tongs, the On Leongs and the Hip Sings, waged a wild gun battle inside the theater that left four people dead.
Taxi Dances and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure notes that the theater, which had become a popular tourist stop, suddenly earned the reputation as an unsafe place to visit. Ticket sales declined and the theater closed by the early 1910s. Today a mix of businesses, including a liquor store, share the buildings.