Jacob A. Riis (18491914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.
on summer evenings the young men of the neighborhood may be seen trooping riverward with their girls to hear the music. The gang that laid out two policemen, to my knowledge, has gone out of business.
The best-laid plans are sometimes upset by surprising snags. We had planned for two municipal playgrounds on the East Side, where the need is greatest, and our plans were eagerly accepted by the city authorities. But they were never put into practice. A negligent attorney killed one, a lazy clerk the other. And both served under the reform government. The first of the two playgrounds was to have been in Rivington Street, adjoining the new public bath, where the boys, for want of something better to do, were fighting daily battles with stones, to the great damage of windows and the worse aggravation of the householders. Four hundred children in that neighborhood petitioned the committee for a place of their own, where there were no windows to break; and we found one. It was only after the proceedings had been started that we discovered that they had been taken under the wrong law and the money spent in advertising had been wasted. It was then too late. The daily assaults upon the windows were resumed.
The other case was an attempt to establish a model school park in a block where more than four