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Exploring the Gangs of Late 1800s NYC; Building Stats Rise

THE PAST—Early New York City was an iniquitous, lawless place. From 1840 to 1910, life on the streets was largely governed by gangs with names one might, these days, expect to find attached to a young adult book series rather than to a contemptuous street group. Here's an example: The Molasses Gang. Sounds sweet, right? Not. This Lapham's Quarterly graphic goes on to explain that the name derives from the gang's inclination to use molasses to temporarily blind shopkeepers as they robbed them. Yikes. The full map, below. [Lapham's Quarterly]

NEW YORK CITY—It's no new news that building is booming across the city, but a new study issued by the New York Building Congress explains by how much. Construction begun in 2014 reached $26.1 billion. That's a 31-percent increase over the year prior, and the highest rate since the recession. The study attributes the surge in starts to the boom in luxury housing: new apartment developments accounted for eight of the top ten most expensive projects in 2014. Although the value of residential projects increased by 73 percent, the total amount of square feet added by those projects is only up 17 percent. Luxury-sized pads—huzzah. [CurbedWire inbox; official]