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FROM NEW YORK TO NEW ZEALAND: THE BOWERY'S UNBELIEVABLE BACKSTORY

Offering a bespoke range of men's grooming products, The Bowery is known for its quality pomades, signature fragrance, and stylish packaging. But what about The Bowery's namesake? Well, that's just as edgy.

The Bowery is one of the oldest thoroughfares on Manhattan Island, steeped in a rich history of intrigue, transformation, and chaos. This historic lane once wound up to the upper part of the island, connecting farmlands and estates to the heart of Manhattan in what is now Wall Street and the Battery Park area. The Dutch who settled in the late 17th century named the path ‘Bouwerij Road’, with Bouwerij being an old Dutch word for ‘farm’.

Fast forward to the end of the 18th century, and the Bowery had evolved into one of New York's most elegant streets, lined with grand theatres, bands, magnificent mansions and chic stores. But after the Civil War, the area gradually declined as brothels, flop houses, and other less reputable establishments emerged. Turf wars exploded between the immigrants and the natives (depicted in Martin Scorsese's film, 'Gangs of New York'), centring on the crime-filled Five Points slum area of which the Bowery marked its eastern border. There were years-long feuds between the Irish-American Dead Rabbits gang and the native Bowery Boys gang known for their 'soap-lock' hair.

In 1878, the Third Avenue Elevated Train was built over the Bowery area, darkening the streets while adding to the pollution and seedy atmosphere. Delinquents and transients would gather underneath the railway and in the run-down hotels and flop houses.  The Bowery quickly gained a reputation as the skid row of New York – it’s less desirable inhabitants gaining the nickname of 'Bowery Bums'. Once described by Theodore Roosevelt as a highway seething with life, fun, work, and sordid and terrible tragedy, the Bowery's reputation persisted long after the Great Depression. While the demolition of the Elevated Train in 1955 marked a turning point, it wasn't until the late 20th century that the city made a concerted effort to dispense the vagrant population and breathe new life into the area.

Today, the Bowery is considered prime New York real estate - a melting pot of culture and diversity. Located at the centre of Little Italy, Nolita, Chinatown, SoHo, and the Lower East Side, The Bowery is now filled with stylish hotels, cafes, bars, beer gardens, museums, and high-rise apartments. Yet, despite its glamourous façade and clean-cut clientele, the legend of The Bowery lives on - deeply embedded within the history of Lower Manhattan, and within a cultured collection of quality men’s grooming products.

 

 Created in New Zealand and poured in the Big Apple, The Bowery’s range of men’s grooming products embraces the men’s grooming products embraces the rough-and-ready history of its namesake.