Low Life City

Inspired by the book Low Life: The Lures and Snares of Old New York, Low Life City celebrates New York’s seamy underside.

For the past decade, it has been held on the Lower East Side (the setting for the book), and recreates the forms of entertainment enjoyed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the neighborhood’s notorious criminals, drunkards, prostitutes, losers, thieves, gangsters, beggars, swindlers and reformers.

This year’s edition of Low Life City was held in Tompkins Square Park. Bowery boys, Irish tenors, saloon singers, burlesque dancers, Victorian ladies and street urchins perform with modern sensibilities and great good humor. The cast included Hattie Hathaway, Joey Arias, Basil Twist, Dirty Martini, Pinchbottom Burlesque, the Vangeline Theater, the Duelling Bankheads, World Famous *BOB*, Adam Joseph, the Pixie Harlots, Heather Litteer and Tigger.

Although the organizers bill Low Life City as “not recommended for children!” there were quite a few very young faces in the crowd. The kids enjoyed the music, dancing, puppets, feathers and sequins while the bawdy humor and naughty political references went right over their little heads.

Amber Ray at Low Life

Heather Litteer at Low Life

Changing the cards

Duelling Bankheads campaign

Joey Arias with glass of absinthe

Joey Arias at Low Life

Pinchbottom Burlesque at Low Life

Vangeline Theatre


Acid Betty and Ephiphany in a “sister act”

Acid Betty

Adam Joseph as the Irish Tenor

Dirty Martini with her fan

Tigger and the evils of the bottle

Delirium Tremens unzips

Delirium Tremens in her scanties

Voltaire singing about evil devil songs

Poison Eve with chickens on her hands

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York by Luc Sante
Low Life City
Amber Ray
Dirty Martini
Miss Delirium Tremens
Joey Arias
MySpace: Adam Joseph
MySpace: Hattie Hathaway
MySpace: Pinchbottom Burlesque
MySpace: Tigger
MySpace: World Famous *Bob*

One Response to Low Life City

  1. It looks a little like those burlesque shows. Great pictures!

    I had to laugh at the name Delirium Tremens. Until now, I thought it was a brand of beer. 😛


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