Since the founding of our country, The Bowery's reputation has ran the gamut, serving as a home to opulent amphitheaters and lavish mansions in times of prosperity, and brothels and flophouses during periods of economic stagnation. When social reform was present, the Bowery housed a multitude of music halls and was the site of the first YMCA, which opened in 1873. However, its periods of notoriety have been known to attract even more attention from the historically minded. The infamous Bowery Boys, one of New York's earliest street gangs and one of the subjects of the film Gangs of New York, called the neighborhood home as social unrest grew during the Civil War period. When operating as the Occidental, the hotel served as the headquarters for the famed rogue politician, Big Tim Sullivan, where despite his dubious affiliations, was known to throw lavish banquets here while dining in the company of star athletes and powerful political figures. Other famous politicians that were known to frequent the hotel include John L. Sullivan, Gentleman Jim Corbet, Pat Forley, and William Waldorf Astor (the man for whom the "Waldorf Astoria" is named).