The 2002 movie Gangs of New York was a strange film that introduced people to a historic subculture they had no clue about. Really, unless you grew up in New York City, your history classes never addressed what was going on in the city during the Civil War. Weird History looks at the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan depicted in the film, why it was such a slum, and how the people who couldn’t afford to live anywhere else dealt with it. Forming gangs is a logical move when normal government protections fall apart.
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What happened in Five Points is not an isolated case. Poverty leads to substandard and unsafe living conditions, which lead to desperation, which leads to crime. Housing and infrastructure regulations can lift a neighborhood, but the question will remain: if we don’t tolerate poor living conditions, where can the poor afford to live? -via Digg