The Bowery is a notorious Skid Row section of Gotham City. Before Prohibition, and since it's end it is the center for cheap, nasty dive bars and houses of prostitution. The most notorious of the bars are Eddie's High Life, Murphy's Lament and Wang's Last Secret. Each of them dirtier, smellier and grimmer than the last. There are a dozen cheap “hotels” that are really brothels, and of course Madam Lily's Tea Room is the pinnacle of the pox-ridden business.
Despite the abundance of winos, prostitutes, perverts and derelicts, there are also families and legitimate businesses here, attracted by the very low rents. Used goods sellers, shoe repair shops, and small building contractors in particular are found in and about.There are also a few small factories that require untrained unskilled labor operating here ( two broom factories for example).
The city government pays a social worker named Erma Wood to run and staff Quarter, a soup kitchen and shelter. However, she pockets all the money and has let this abandoned factory become an open flophouse.