Posts Tagged ‘Rum Palaces New York City’

New York in 1872: A city filled with drunks

July 18, 2011

It’s tough to say whether the New York of 2011 is any more or less a drunken city than the New York of the post-Civil War years.

But the author of the 1872 guidebook Lights and Shadows of New York Life makes the case that 19th century city residents imbibed at incredible levels.

Among the venues for more respectable men were the large saloons and “better-class bar-rooms.”

The down and dirty places to get wasted: “Broadway rum palaces,” “gin mills” of the Bowery,  and the lowest of the low, the “bucket shops of the Five Points.”

And it’s the copious amounts of drinking done by female New Yorkers at what he deems “ladies restaurants” that really seems to shock the book’s author: