It’s fun to speculate at the very least. This is what happens from watching the film “Gangs of New York” too many times. Approximate date for this photo is 1914.
A photograph needs to have something to say beyond the obvious in order to have some significance. It should almost border on the subliminal in that it communicates an unconscious social statement to some symbolic degree. Such images are difficult to find. I believe that “Hell’s Kitchen” is such an image.