New York 1865
Gregor Dallas tells how the transition from small-town to metropolis brought enormous problems and pressures to the Big Apple.
New York literally stank. It was only necessary to take a short walk around the back of City Hall to get a full whiff of that 'sickening stench; as contemporaries would describe it, a stench which came from the narrow streets and alleys of the Five Points quarter and. the Lower East Side (that bunion in a south-east corner without which, along with the northern 'tail' of Fort Washington and Tubby Hook, would have existed the perfect lozenge of an island, Manhattan). Smells of dead animals, decaying garbage, untreated sewage, horse manure, even human beings too crowded and unwashed, filled the air of New York. Unlike Paris or London, there was no escaping it; it was all pervading.