Bowery, the

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bowery, the

street and section of Lower Manhattan, New York City, U.S., extending diagonally from Chatham Square to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street. It follows a trail used by the Indians in their skirmishes with the Dutch, which later became the road leading to Gov. Peter Stuyvesant's bouwerie ("farm"). The street was named the Bowery in 1807. The city's theatre life once centred there (1860-75), but by the 1880s the Bowery had degenerated into a skid-row area of cheap cafes, flophouses, saloons, dance halls, and pawnshops, patronized by ne'er-do-wells and derelicts. The district's sordid reputation was widely publicized after 1892 by the popular Percy Gaunt-Charles Hoyt song "The Bowery, the Bowery!" with its final refrain "I'll never go there anymore."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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