Director Scorsese urges New York City to preserve Bowery

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NEW YORK — Famed director Martin Scorsese wants New York’s mean streets to keep some of their grittiness.

The “Gangs of New York” director has joined an effort to curb redevelopment of the Bowery. That’s the former skid row near where Scorsese grew up.

Scorsese wrote to New York City Planning Commission Chairwoman Amanda Burden last week. He praises the neighborhood’s grittiness, ambience and vivid atmosphere.

Scorsese is backing a plan that would limit the height of new development on the east side of the Bowery to eight stories. The plan also calls for preservation of several historic buildings.

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