Otherworldly: The Five Points Band secret is out

When I ask, “What’s the significance of Five Points?” A demonic smile creeps over Robin’s face and there’s no stopping him until it’s over…

In the early 19th century the five points of Manhattan met at Bayard, Baxter (and a since disappeared) Street — now Chinatown. By mid-century Irish, Italians, Indians, Jews, Blacks and Chinese have super-saturated these three thoroughfares with several hundred gangs in what has become the most notorious neighborhood in the western world (take that, Tombstone!) Gangs Of New York — the book — gets it right. The movie, of course, cuts history to dollrags. By mid-century turf wars have become so violent the Militia (which had been kicking ass in Mexico for a decade) is called in to restore order. The predominantly Irish New York City police force has cordoned off Five Points and the commissioner warns the Federalis: “Now doon’t you be going in thar…You’ll git hart.” Disregarding the advice the Militia marches in and gets its throat cut. Nothing resembling civilization is established here until after prohibition, by which time all the gangs (including the super-bad “Dead Rabbits”) have been unified under the aegis of The Five Points Gang. In the late 1920s, Lt. Albert Capone is sent to Chicago to bring that keystone under the control of Five Points, but Al has his boss killed and briefly takes over the entire operation. So…The Five Points Band takes a page from America’s bloodiest book and while maintaining the potency of the legend also has…some fun with it.++

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