Frank Marryat, Mountains and Molehills. 1855. Courtesy, The New-York Historical Society, New York City
visitor hadn't far to go for a game of chance. Dozens of gambling
houses stood around Portsmouth Square—Denison's Exchange, the El
Dorado, the St. Charles, the Bella Union. At the end of the gambling
room was always a bar (above), "supplied with all kinds of bad
liquor." The El Dorado featured a muscular lady violinist—across the
square at the Verandah, there was a "one-man band." Even in a humble
place like the ship's cabin made into a shore restaurant as shown below, breakfast cost one dollar.