New York’s underground gay bars of the 1960’s (including the Stonewall Inn) were actually created and supported by the Mafia. It was illegal to be gay. The mob paid off local precincts to keep them from doing raids.
New York City in the 70s was known as “Fear City” and a very blunt tourist notice was displayed in order to keep tourists from ending up in dangerous situations.
Wall Street was named after a 12-foot wall that was built by the 17th-century citizens of New Amsterdam to discourage pirate attacks.
Back when the NYC Subway used tokens, people called “token suckers” would jam token slots with paper and suck out stuck tokens with their mouths. To prevent this, some attendants would sprinkle chili powder into the slots.