Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vinnie the Chin

Regular GVDP visitors are familiar with my moaning/ groaning re the rapidly vanishing architecture of real New York. Numerous Village haunts are closing, but the Triangle Social Club, where many a mafia murder was planned, remains spookily alive. Contrary to public opinion (though crime rates are down), organized crime still lurks below the surface in the naked city.



WIKI: "Vincent "The Chin" Gigante (March 29, 1928December 19, 2005) was a New York mobster who headed the Genovese crime family. Dubbed "the Oddfather" by the press, Gigante often wandered the streets of Greenwich Village, Manhattan in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself, in what police characterized as an elaborate act.

"Gigante ran a crew from Greenwich Village, Manhattan, that was formerly overseen by Vito Genovese and later Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo. Gigante's crew was based out of the Triangle Social Club, located at 208 Sullivan Street, but also met with fellow crew members at the Dante Social Club at 81 McDougal Street, and the Panel Social Club at 208 Thompson Street. Besides those locations, Gigante met with gangsters and business associates at his mother's apartment located at 225 Sullivan Street."

These days the tourists and B&Ts roaming the Village have no idea what happened on Sullivan Street. They only see this ominous facade, padlocked for years (I did see the old mobsters drinking expresso there in the late 80s) though it is regularly painted black -- the building no doubt still owned and controlled by the mob. Oddly enough, an old style mob execution, of sorts, occurred directly in front of the building in March of last year, when an auxillary police officer was gunned down right on the stoop (as reported in Gothamist http://gothamist.com/2007/03/15/cop_shot_on_hou.php). Coincidence? You decide.

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Really interesting post.

Thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your question - I'm on the third floor of a building across the road. That photo is taken with the point and shoot so its not a particularly wide angle, only about 35 I think, not as wide as the SLR.

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You got a really interesting blog going here! I have to make sure to check back on a regular basis!
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• Eliane • said...

Brrr... I just double checked if my door was locked properly.

Hilda said...

Now this doorway is scary. Scarier since you posted the info about Vinnie too.

Anonymous said...

Hey I used to live in that building! When I moved (a few years ago) the social club was still active every once in a while, when the old guys would drive into the city and have young women serve them pasta and cheap wine on a long dining table. Some of them would smoke cigars out on Sullivan Street and they were all pretty friendly. And yes, the landlord is VERY Italian, as are some of the tenants (still!) and the super.

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