Shadows of Taren
Bordered on the north by Stillmill, the west by Bayside and the south by The Warf, Old Bedlam is a longtime neighborhood of the factory workers of Stillmill.
Once a bastion of poor and working-class, Bedlam was a catchall term for the poorer half of the city in times past. The City Planning Commission’s Plan for Taren City reported that development pressures related to urban gentrification were driving people of modest means from the area, and the gritty reputation that Old Bedlam developed afterward kept real estate prices below those of most other areas of Manhattan until the early 1990s.
Around the turn of the Twentieth Century, Bedlam received a vast influx of immigrants from all over Europe; around 1980, it received another injection of immigrants from Asia. In between the two periods, this neighborhood was known as “Murdertown”; when the industry of Stillmill withered, crime bloomed. While safer today, many visitors to the area are nervous and paranoid… perhaps rightly so.
The historic Bedlam became a bohemian style area of culture, drawing in less than well off musicians, playwrights, artists and actors.
In recent years the City Planning Commission gentrification program moved forward in stages, breaking the historic Bedlam in two. While the newly christened Bayside is considered very boho-chic and trendy, the neighbourhood now known as Old Bedlam doesn’t seem to have moved with the times as well. There was even an attempt to rename the area Clinton, to move away from the negative connotations of “Bedlam” but it never caught on.
Old Bedlam is also home to the city’s oldest church, St. Mary’s which stands atop 150 steps (traditionally known as The Penitent Steps) up Bedlam’s tallest hill.
Drugs, gang warfare, prostitution, violent crimes, car‐jackings, domestic abuse, robberies, riots, etc.