Rob, over at Save the Lower East Side!* —  hands-down the most action-oriented of the anti-gentrification neighborhood blogs I follow — has been posting some cutting-room-floor scraps of an introduction he wrote for Eric Ferrara’s forthcoming book, Gangsters, Murderers, and Weirdos of the Lower East Side. The kickoff is terrific:

“I can lick any man in the House,” thumped a braying John Morrissey,
twice holder of the American bare-knuckles boxing championship, Dead
Rabbits gang leader and the man who, after losing a humiliating fight
to him, ordered Bill the Butcher murdered.

The “House” he
mentions was not a local saloon. It was the United States House of
Representatives, a gang to which Morrissey — boxer, gangster, murderer
— had been elected, not once, but twice.

Follow-up installments include his treatments of the Five Points and Bowery entertainment culture. As you’d expect if you’re a regular reader, these historical nuggets are interspersed between the blog’s more typical fare: jeremiads denouncing Bloomberg‘s anti-neighborhood development ethos and petitions to save the Bowery.

When he’s not blogging to save the neighborhood, Rob (and friend Ferarra) are busy saving its history in other ways — including the founding of the East Village History Project and its new East Village Visitors Center, where you can find information about taking Ferrara’s Gangsters, Murderers, and Weirdos tour, among others.

*The tshirt above isn’t affiliated with the blog; rather, it’s produced by WORLD NYC, located at 187 Chrystie.