Back in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, when many new immigrants were coming to America, a lot of East Coast cities had to deal with the influx of new people by placing them in specified neighborhoods. Gotham City was no different.
Its official name was Miller Square, but everyone called it the Cauldron. For a few years it was where the city dumped the Poles and Swedes, the Germans and Jews, the Greeks and Russians. And they saved twenty blocks for the Irish.
In the early 1930s, after the Cauldron started to run out of room, the city started to wise up and set up cultural districts. They were no different from the Cauldron, but at least the people would have a lot more in common besides wages.
Some people moved — actually, a lot moved — to be near those they could connect with.
Some stayed. This had been their homes for years, and for a few, several decades.
Today, the Cauldron was pretty much unchanged. Rotzberg’s Delicatessen was still open and still had the best sauerkraut in the city. Noonan’s, a sleazy bar and a favorite among the less scrupulous, still served bad beer in dirty mugs. The Church of Our Holy Lady of Grace still made sure that every child in the Cauldron was fed, clothed, and taught.
It has gone through some changes in more recent years, of course. The cultural demographic now consisted of more than just European immigrants. Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African, and Asian immigrants have also made their way into the Cauldron. But there were still twenty blocks for the Irish.
It was in the Cauldron that our story, which spanned several decades and affected two generations, began.