Here is a little scandal on 23rd Street in 1901 filmed by Thomas Edison. I wonder what became of that brazen hussy who walked over the air vent, exposing her limbs so shamelessly?
The good old days in New York! At the time this was filmed, drug addiction and child prostitution were at the highest levels ever in the city's history. On the bright side, by this time the State of New York no longer regularly put the city under martial law because of gang violence. Slumlords were now required to build new tenements with at least 2 windows in every apartment, and one air shaft in every building. There were still a lot of people living in dark windowless "old law" tenement houses though.
In 1901, the Lower East Side (starting at 14th street, downtown from this spot) was the most densely populated place on earth, and the only neighborhood in the USA where synagogues outnumbered churches.