“Our route carried us through the Bowery. Tiny pawnshops and blood-donor stations and dormitories with fifty-cent cots and tiny grim hotels with dollar beds and bars for whites, bars for blacks, everywhere bums, bums, young, far from young, ancient, bums squatting curbside, squatting amid shattered glass and pukey debris, bums slanting in doorways and huddled like penguins at street corners. Once, when we paused for a red light, a purple-nosed scarecrow weaved toward us and began swabbing the taxi’s windshield with a wet rag clutched in a shaking hand. Our protesting driver shouted Italian obscenities.”
in 1955 marilyn and truman attended a friend’s funeral later hitting a bar. their conversation was written up in his 1955 diary and later published by penguin modern classics in the anthology ‘music for chameleons‘ in 1980 in a section called ‘conversational portraits,’ the introduction is a description of their cab journey thru they notorious bowery, new york.
the infamous bowery was featured in the documentary/movie ‘on the bowery’ trailer below.