On May 29, 1949, a group of people marched through Chinatown to celebrate the construction of a brand new building at 195 Worth Street, just a short walk from City Hall. A scout band played at the head of the procession and the men and women who followed carried banners that proclaimed, “We are marching to Chinatown’s True Light Lutheran Church.” It was the third US location of the first Lutheran mission, established to bring the Word of God to people of Chinese origin.
Watching people enjoy mah-jongg in Chinatown’s Columbus Park, it’s hard to imagine the site was a dangerous, decrepit slum in the late 1800s. Photojournalist and social reformer Jacob A. Riis dedicated a chapter in his 1890 book How the Other Half Lives to the squalid conditions in the area then known as Mulberry Bend.
Man are the husband-and-wife team behind Chelsea’s Cookshop keeping busy. Last week Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer debuted Vic’s in the space that previously held their Noho brunch spot Five Points. And now, with this sign, they’ve announced to the denizens of Second Avenue that they’re getting ready to open Rosie’s in the former home of Boukies.
Crooked political machines, race-tinged violence, rampant disease, and a gross disparity of wealth: just another day in Five Points in 1853. “Bowery Boys,” a new comic written by Marvel editor Cory Levine, inked by South Williamsburg resident Ian Bertram, and colored by Rodrigo Aviles, brings the dirtiest, bloodiest corner of 19th-century Manhattan back to life. The story follows a father and son through the Lower East Side as they brace for an impending labor strike, and is being released for free online in serial format at three pages a week. We caught up with author Cory Levine to talk about online publishing, “Gangs of New York,” and the ends of the subway lines.