Gangs of Brooklyn

artofneed

old-tobacco-warehouse-and-the-brooklyn-bridge-freda-sbordoniIn 1876, the New York Times described the conditions across the East River before the Brooklyn Bridge connected the two cities.

“Desperate outrages by organized gangs of ruffians have been of frequent occurrence in Brooklyn.”

The words “gangs” and “Brooklyn” go hand in hand, though you wouldn’t really know it since the Manhattan gangs, particularly from the Five Points section, have traditionally gotten all the press over the years. In reality, street and dock gangs flourished in Brooklyn in the 19th and early 20th centuries and even outlasted their more popular brothers just a ferry-ride away.

Listen to: The Story of Irishtown)

The most famous gangster of all time, in fact, called his home Navy Street just outside of Brooklyn’s Irishtown in what we now call the DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Navy Yard area. Al Capone, or “Scarface Al,” Capone mug eventually becoming a rising star in the Italian mob, was forced…

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