The Bowery in New York was (and is) a colorful place. It was originally a road that connected the city with surrounding farmland. The name comes from the Dutch word for farm: bouwerij. It is the oldest throroughfare on Manhattan Island. Although the Bowery was originally considered a respectable area, it became known for brothels, flophouses, and cheap entertainment by the time of the Civil War.
You may notice that there are no overhead wires visible above the car. There's nothing unusual about that; you often can't see them on cards even when they were there. However, this time you can't see them because the cars didn't have them. The streetcars in New York were powered by an underground conduit instead. If you look closely, you may be able to see the line between the tracks that housed the conduit. Only a few other cities, such as Washington D.C. and London, did this, because most cities couldn't afford to do it. There is evidence that it was actually less expensive than the overhead wire system to operate once installed, but the initial installation costs and difficulties proved prohibitive to most.
The Third Avenue El (elevated railway), shown above, operated above street level from 1875 to 1955. It must have been strange to be on the street and have a train running overhead. Not surprisingly, property values shot up when the overhead rails were removed.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for what I think may be my favorite post ever!
Oh, and here's the back of the card. It was printed by Illustrated Postcard Co between 1905 and 1907.