Saturday, December 11, 2010

Into Mob Hits? There's an App for That

You've got to love technology. Now if you're into famous mob hits in New York you can easily find the location.
This phone app is a guaranteed hit.

Mafia Maps offers a tour of New York's mob-hunting grounds, from the barber chair where kingpin Albert Anastasia was brutally dethroned to the steakhouse where boss "Big Paul" Castellano ate a final meal of lead.

There are stops along the way at mob haunts harboring the ghosts of "Crazy Joe" Gallo, Jimmy (The Gent) Burke and John (Dapper Don) Gotti.

The mingling of treachery and technology comes courtesy of John Hughes, a Manhattan resident and longtime true crime buff.

His app provides current-day photos of the historic Mafia hot spots, a synopsis of more than 70 events and a GPS for going gangster in person.

"That's the thing for me," Hughes says about visiting the crime scenes. "What you don't get from a book narrative is that moment to linger at the scene, to consider the reality of what happened there."

The five families are traced through the five boroughs, from Manhattan ("Titanic Criminal Empire") to Staten Island ("Gangster Bedroom Communities").

Although the Italian Mafia garners most of the attention, other ethnicities get their due: The brutal "Westies," the Irish gang based in Hell's Kitchen, receive their gruesome props.
Good thing for that. I'd be offended if the Irish didn't get their proper respect.

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