A Chatham Street Oyster House

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The clatter of commerce and the lively street life may have been one of the things that outsiders found so unsettling about Five Points.

On Chatham Street, merchants displayed their wares under awnings outside their shops and peddlers used the streets to hawk theirs. Most of the buildings along this uptown thoroughfare, a kind of workingman's Broadway, had retail shops on the ground floor with apartments above. It may have felt much like Times Square today--full of commercial activity in the daytime and buzzing with entertainment, including theaters, beer gardens, and oyster saloons, at night.

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