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Street map of Manhattan South 1807

The Bowery is a street in the south of Manhattan ( New York ) and its surroundings. The area is bounded by East 4th Street and the East Village in the north, Canal Street and Chinatown in the south, Allen Street and the Lower East Side in the east, and Bowery and Little Italy in the west. Larger streets that cut through the Bowery are, next to the Canal Street to Delancey Street , where the station Bowery of New York City Subway is located, as well as the Houston Street and Bleecker Street .


St. Mark's Church in the Bowery

To supply Nieuw Amsterdam with food , farms were built outside the city limits - north of today's Wall Street . The area was named after the old Dutch name for Bouwerij farm (today: boerderij ). Until 1807, the Bowery consisted of just one street, which today runs from Chatham Square in the south to Cooper Square in the north.

Even Peter Stuyvesant had his farm on which he retired in 1667 here. After his death in 1672 he was buried in his private chapel. His property burned down in 1778 and his great-grandson sold the remaining chapel and cemetery that is now part of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery .

In 1783, George Washington stopped at the Bull's Head Tavern just before watching the retreat of British troops in New York Harbor. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Bowery became one of New York's most elegant streets, lined with fashion shops and wealthy estates. Lorenzo da Ponte , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's librettist , ran a fruit and vegetable shop here after his emigration in 1806.

Delancey Street on the Bowery

In the 19th century , the Bowery as well as the neighboring district developed Five Points to a slum -Gegend with brothels , beer gardens and shady descent . In 1858, the German immigrant William Kramer opened the Atlantic Garden on the Bowery , a beer garden that existed until 1911. The well-known songwriter Stephen Foster died completely impoverished in the North American Hotel in 1864 . Alcoholics and the homeless, the so-called Bowery Bums , populated the area and gangs like the Bowery Boys were up to mischief here. This gave the district its bad reputation, which it has not completely gotten rid of to this day.

Until the 1980s, the Bowery was considered an area with low rents and a high crime rate . The street scene was dominated by homeless shelters called Flop Houses , mostly set up in former hotels, as well as by specialty shops for restaurant supplies.

But also institutions of the subculture like the music club CBGB and the Bowery Poetry Club found their home here. Between 1963 and 2009, Anthony Amato ran the Amato Opera at 319 Bowery Street . From 1981 the British author and eccentric Quentin Crisp lived in the Bowery , to whom the pop musician Sting dedicated the song Englishman in New York after a visit to his apartment . From 1991 to 2010 the Ontological Theater of the director and playwright Richard Foreman resided under the roof of St. Mark's Church .

The quarter has been gentrified since the 1990s . Homes are being repaired and the Bowery is increasingly becoming a residential area for the affluent. In 1997 the Bowery Ballroom reopened. In the premises of the former punk club CBGB , there has been an exclusive men's boutique by fashion designer John Varvatos since 2008 . In 2007 the New Museum of Contemporary Art was opened on Prince Street . In the fall of 2010, several art galleries settled in the Bowery , such as the Dodge Gallery, which moved from Boston to Rivington Street . Other examples are Sperone Westwater with a house designed by Norman Foster and the Untitled gallery .


See also


  • Peter Adams: The Bowery Boys: Street Corner Radicals and the Politics of Rebellion. Praeger, Westport 2005, ISBN 978-0-275-98538-7 .
  • Carin Drechsler-Marx: Bowery - pictures of a disreputable street. Photo documentation with foreword by Kate Millett and afterword by Henry Marx. Harenberg Kommunikation, Dortmund 1984, ISBN 3-88379-441-4 . (The bibliophile paperbacks No. 441)

Individual evidence

  1. Drechsler-Marx, p. 13 f.
  2. Magdalena Kröner In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung . November 7, 2010, p. 65: Art is invented on the Bowery , see also galleries in the Lower East Side: Art is invented on the Bowery .

Coordinates: 40 ° 43 ′ 11.6 "  N , 73 ° 59 ′ 39.2"  W.