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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's "Black Sea"

This area was once known for being a lawless haven for rough-and-tumble sailors, earning the maritime-themed nickname "the black sea." 

Boston’s North End often had a propensity for seediness.

The proximity to the waterfront - with sailors and other short-term visitors staying only a few days before moving on - created a certain kind of above-the-law mentality in the neighborhood, particularly along North Street.

Brothels, gaming houses, and dance halls filled the streets and alleys. On a particularly naughty evening in April of 1851, 114 residents were arrested on a single night; over 100 of them were prostitutes.