A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 11, 2013
Bottle Alley (47 Baxter Street)

"Bottle Alley” was located at 47 Baxter Street, Manhattan, in the mid-19th century. “No. 47 Baxter-st. is known as ‘Bottle-alley,’ a name derived from the fact that many of its denizens are identified with the bottle interest” was cited in print in the New-York (NY) Daily Tribune on May 5, 1871.

The area was demolished in 1897 to create Mulberry Bend Park, now known as Columbus Park.


Wikipedia: Mulberry Bend
Mulberry Bend was an area in the notorious Five Points neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. It was bound by Bayard Street in the north, Cross Street (changed to Park in 1854) in the south, Orange (changed to Baxter in 1854) Street on the west and Mulberry Street on the east. The “Bend” in the street layout was due to the original topography of the area. Orange and Mulberry Streets headed from southeast to northwest then turned north at the “Bend” to avoid the Collect Pond and surrounding low-lying wetland.

Mulberry Bend was one of the worst parts in the Five Points, with multiple back alleyways such as Bandit’s Roost, Bottle Alley and Ragpickers Row. In 1897, thanks in part to the efforts of Danish photojournalist Jacob Riis, Mulberry Bend was demolished and turned into Mulberry Bend Park. The urban green space was designed by Calvert Vaux. In 1911 it was renamed Columbus Park.

Chronicling America
5 May 1871, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, “Night Life in the Slums,” pg. 2, col. 4:
No. 47 Baxter-st. is known as “Bottle-alley,” a name derived from the fact that many of its denizens are identified with the bottle interest. There are but to lodging-houses here, kept by negroes and patronized by whitewashers, chimney-sweeps, cotton thieves and their paramours.

11 July 1877, New York (NY) Herald, “Mrs. Feeny’s Request,” pg. 11, col. 4:
“Well, Judge, it is only this. I ax ye to send to the Island wid me that murtherin blackguard of Bottle alley Officer Shen.”
(Mrs. Feeny of Mulberry Street—ed.)

24 November 1877, Burlington (IA) Daily Hawk-eye, “Killed in a Drunken Brawl,” pg. 2 col. 3:
New York, Nov. 23.—Five Italians, playing cards for liquor in a basement opening into Bottle alley, Baxter street, quarreled last night, and one of them, Merchel Cattaci, was killed.

OCLC WorldCat record
In Bottle Alley : a story of real life in New York City
Author: James Otis
Publisher: Springfield, Ohio : Mast Crowell & Kirkpatrick, [1884]
Series: Farm and fireside library, no. 26, April, 1884.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Wikimedia Commons
File:Bottle Alley Why’o Gang Headquarters.jpg
Bottle_Alley_Why’o_Gang_Headquarters.jpg ‎(500 × 401 pixels, file size: 56 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)
Description
English: Bottle Alley
Date c.1890
Source http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28228/28228-h/28228-h.htm
Author New York City Police Department

Chronicling America
10 July 1898, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 8, col. 1:
BOTTLE ALLEY’S CRIMES.
THE ALLEY NOW PART OF MULBERRY BEND PARK.

Google Books
Nooks & Corners of Old New York
By Charles Hemstreet
New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons
1899
Pg. 44:
There “Bottle Alley,” “Bandit’s Roost” and “Ragpicker’s Row“ were the scenes of many wild fights, and many a time the ready stiletto ended the lives of men, or the heavy club dashed out brains.

Google Books
May 1899, The Atlantic Monthly, “The Battle with the Slum” by Jacob A. Riis, pg. 631:
We bought the slum off in the Mulberry Bend at its own figure. On the rear tenements we set the price, and it was low. It was a long step. Bottle Alley is gone, and Bandits’ Roost. Bone Alley, Thieves’ Alley, and Kerosene Row, — they are all gone. Hell’s Kitchen and Poverty Gap have acquired standards of decency; Poverty Gap has risen even to the height of neckties.

Google Books
Men Along the Shore
By Maud Russell
New York, NY: Brussel & Brussel
1966
Pg. 97:
The colorful, if unflattering, names of slum streets — Bottle Alley, Bone Alley, Bandits’ Roost, Thieves’ Alley, Kerosene Row — were being given more sedate and probably less accurate titles.

Google Books
Five Points:
The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood

By Tyler Anbinder
New York, NY: Free Press (Simon & schuster)
2001
Pg. ?:
Bottle Alley, the courtyard at the rear of 47 and 49 Baxter Street that Harper’s Weekly and Jacob Riis would make famous in the 1880s and 1890s, had a nasty reputation in the antebellum era. Longtime New Yorker Charles Haswell remembered that even in the 1840s, Bottle Alley had been a favorite haunt of murders and thieves. No descriptions of the Bottle Alley tenements themselves survive from the antebellum period. We do know, however, that the recent Sligo immigrants concentrated there.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Thursday, April 11, 2013 • Permalink