NEW YORK: Southeast Side Story

West Side Story, the 1957 Broadway musical about two warring teenage gangs, ends in a hopeful hymn to togetherness: "We'll find a new way of forgiving, somewhere." In the years following, that magical somewhere became in reality a sad nowhere of hard drugs and forgotten loyalties. Now, however, the gangs are back on the streets with a vengeance born of a decade of upheaval. The battleground is no longer Manhattan's West Side but the Southeast Bronx, a predominantly Puerto Rican ghetto where more than 70 "cliques" or "organizations" have formed in the past year. The members —mostly dropouts, reformed...

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