New York: Speed Kills

Flanked by a sleazy bar and grill and a dusty antique-and-junk shop, the tawdry tenement at 169 Avenue B on Manhattan's Lower East Side is typical of the area. Decaying plaster and peeling paint festoon its dark blue hall ways, and a flight of creaky wood stairs leads down to an oppressively low-ceilinged cellar that reeks of dog droppings and rancid garbage. A single naked light bulb illuminates the grimy heating pipes, the cockroach-scampered walls, and piles of loose, whitewashed firebricks from the building's boiler. It hardly seems the place for a...

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