The True Meaning of New York City’s “Five Points”

Because New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, there are likely many stories that need to be shared. If you’re anything like us, you enjoy watching Tom Blank on the Weird History YouTube channel explain all of these fascinating backstories. He has a way of bringing context to the world around us that we appreciate, and this video is no exception.

If you’ve ever studied New York City’s past and present, you’ve probably heard of the famous Five Points area.It was immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s famous film Gangs of New York and has sparked much debate over the years. Of course, some artistic license was made with the scenario that was told.
That’s why Blank is here to help fill in the blanks.

However, Scorsese did not need to exaggerate all of the gang activity that was going on in the region at the time. It was a poor neighborhood where people were doing anything they could to live. According to Blank’s video, the film included more reality than some may have realized.”Martin Scorsese’s period epic Gangs of New York was set in the mid-nineteenth-century New York City neighborhoods populated by eccentric characters and vicious acts of aggression.”

“Its portrayal wasn’t entirely accurate, but it was based on a very real neighborhood and the very real misery it experienced,” according to the video description. Blank also made certain to include some useful background information. We learned a lot from his video, and we’re confident you will as well.”Forming local street gangs and engaging in criminal activity became an increasingly appealing way to make a living.”

The Roach Guards, named after their founder and leader, Ted Roach, were one such Irish gang…They frequently clashed in the streets with the Bowery Boys, a rival gang comprised of native-born anti-immigrant New Yorkers.”A faction of the Roach Guards eventually split off from the main group and renamed themselves The Dead Rabbits,” Blank explains.

To understand more about this renowned neighborhood and the unique role it holds in New York City lore, watch this film in its entirety:

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