Had it really, really easy. Of course, I’m certain I know a few gents who might pass out such a black book. New Years Resolution: Don’t name names!

Check out this New York Times Vest Pocket Guide to Brothels in the 19th Century.

The book’s states that it points out and describes the city’s various brothels so that the reader “may know how to avoid them.”

The tone appears to be deliberately coy. But it is also possible that the author was not completely disingenuous and was trying to spare tourists from harm or disappointment. Newspapers from that era are full of crime stories detailing how unsuspecting visitors were often preyed upon by unscrupulous brothel owners and prostitutes.

I appreciated the various Spring Street mentions; especially that of 111 Spring Street :

Readers who insisted on seeing 111 Spring Street for themselves were cautioned that they would encounter “the lowest class of courtezans” there and a crowd of “roughs and rowdies, and gentlemen who turn their shirts wrong side out when the other side is dirty.”

New York life was alive…with quality and class.

(thanks tip man @porksung)