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As suggested by a forumer in the Cityscapes section, I am posting this thread here in the NYC subforum as well since it consists of photos I took in New York.

If you have watched the movie Goodfellas, you might know that it is based on a true story. I read the book on Henry Hill by Nicholas Pileggi and found the real story behind the movie to be more interesting than the movie itself.

So when I went to New York I checked out the places where the real characters that were depicted in the movie hung out and lived. The book had a wealth of information on places where the real story behind the movie took place: often it contained actual addresses, other times I had to deduce where things were.

Since I was in Brooklyn and Queens anyways, I also decided to check some spots where Mob history was made that have nothing to do with the movie itself.

Most of the areas I checked have changed dramatically since the 60s and 70s when most of the events took place and one could never guess that Cosa Nostra had a presence or conducted business in some of those buildings.

Let’s start:

Henry Hill is the main character and the only narrator in the movie, he’s played by Ray Liotta. This is his real childhood home in East New York, Brooklyn. The house looks fairly similar to what is shown at the beginning of the movie. The neighborhood seemed to be largely black, although I think it was mixed Italian and Jewish in the 40s and 50s.



This Auto Junkyard on Avenue D was once owned by Paul Vario, an underboss of the Lucchese Crime Family.







Paul Sorvino’s role as Paul Cicero was based on the real Paul Vario :



This building with a an employment agency for nurses used to be Geffkens Bar/restaurant, one of the places where Vario used to conduct business from.



A fence company right next to it



Since I was in the area, I went to the formerly Jewish neighborhood of Brownsville to check out the former headquarters of Murder, Inc.: a former organized crime group composed by Jewish and Italian gangsters who carried out countless murders for the mob and other criminals in the 1930s and 40s. Midnight Rose was a 24 hours candy store where the hitmen would assemble and get their assignments. It is now a Deli Grocery Store.



Then a detour heading north to Bushwick, specifically to Knickerbocker Ave., which was apparently once nicknamed the “the well” for its endless supply of drugs. Here Carmine (Lilo) Galante was murdered in 1979 in the grotto of what was once Joe and Mary’s Italian American Restaurant. The building looks plain and nondescript.



A photo of the murdered Carmine Galante with a cigar in his mouth I got on the internet:







Knickerbocker Ave. was bustling with shoppers.





Driving around Brooklyn and Queens:





Next stop is Ozone Park, specifically to the former Bergin Hunt & Fish club, which used to be the headquarters of boss John Gotti of the Gambino crime family. The Bergin was located on the left portion of this building, after the Gotti era it became a butcher shop and now it’s an innocent Medical Supply Store and Cat & Dog Grooming Salon





The Bergin as it used to be (photo from the internet):





Gotti getting on his mercedes in front of the Bergin (photo obtained from the net)



Some photos of Ozone Park:







Back to Goodfellas: the next stop was the infamous Robert’s Lounge, which was owned by Jimmy Burke (an Irish gangster played in the movie by DeNiro) and was a hungout for his crew. The well known Lufthansa heist (the biggest at the time, netting the robbers $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewels) was planned here. The Heist had the approval of the Lucchese and Gambino crime families, which controlled criminal activities and union activities at JFK airport respectively). Jimmy Burke also used the backyard of the bar to bury Remo (his friend from San Remo, Italy, who betrayed him by becoming a police informant and) under a layer of cement next to the bocce court. The actual murder of Remo happened in a car: Remo was strangled using a piano wire. That murder inspired the scene of the murder of Morris (the guy from the wig shop) in the movie. Since that day, every time, Burke or Tommy DeSimone (who is played in the movie by Joe Pesci) played they would jokingly say, "Hey Remo, how're you doing?”. The body was removed before the police searched Robert’s Lounge. Now the bar has become a Caribbean restaurant.

While the actual Robert's Lounge building is not shown in the movie, it's fictionally represented as the small bar in the scene where the crew meets around Christmas to celebrate the success of the heist. Furthermore, it was in the basement of Robert's Lounge that the real Michel "Spider" Gianco was killed by Tommy DeSimone (played by Pesci, as mentioned earlier), as shown in the movie.





Photos of Jimmy Burke (played by Robert DeNiro) I found on the net:







Photos of Tommy Desimone (played by Joe Pesci in the movie) from the net:





The last stop is Paul Vario’s house on Island Park, in Long Island. He lived in this house in the idyllic suburbs and had his own boat, which he never named as he was quite paranoid about associating his name with anything: he didn't have a telephone, and anytime he was arrested he would give his mother's address to the police. Henry Hill moved in the neighborhood for a while after he got married but didn't remain long.



Someone with torpedoes on his front yard :D



After I was done with visiting the sites I wanted to, I went north towards the wealthy neighborhoods along the Long Island Sound. Here are some pics of the Long Island sound at dusk






That’s the end. I hope you enjoyed the little bit of urban history presented here. :cheers:
 

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should give a shot of big Paul's manshion,he is my favorite mob(u know what i mean),so does his house
 

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thank you got making this, one of the best threads in this section....thanks again
 

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loved seeing ozone park

Anyone watch the Sopranos? Remember Rusty Millio? The "little guy from ozone park" played by Frankie Valli.
 

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I dont pray to god, i pray to gotti.

Very interesting :)
That was a little disturbing.........but anyways.........Gotti lived in the Howard Beach section of Queens right next to Ozone Park. He was a big part of the community in Ozone Park and those block parties he threw on the 4th of July and after acquittals were held in Ozone Park.
 

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That was a little disturbing.........but anyways.........Gotti lived in the Howard Beach section of Queens right next to Ozone Park. He was a big part of the community in Ozone Park and those block parties he threw on the 4th of July and after acquittals were held in Ozone Park.
well i dont actually do that. i quoted a classic line from jay z :)
 

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Whoever said illegal was the easy way out couldn't understand the
mechanics
And the workings of the underworld, granted
Nine to five is how to survive, I ain't trying to survive
I'm trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot
Life ills, poison my body
I used to say '**** mic skills,' and never prayed to God, I prayed to
Gotti
That's right it's wicked, that's life I live it

:)
 

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Great photos there Urbane. Given their former reputation, I wouldn't want to walk through those areas taking pictures.

I love Goodfellas and have also read the Nicholas Pillegi book. My only complaint would be that it tends to glamorise people who in real life were disturbed and psychotic individuals. However, anyone who is familiar with the movie will know the famous Coppacabana scene - the one where Henry Hill takes his new girlfriend Karen through the kitchens of this top nightclub and gets the best seat in the house.

Watching the movie, I had always assumed that it must be some big place on Broadway. However, the year before last, when I was in New York, I walked past a place called the Copacabana in a rather quiet back street on the west side (somewhere around 40th street I think).

It looked too small and insignificant to be the famous Copacabana frequented by New York's top crime families and top stars of the era. Then I read on the internet somewhere that the real-life Copacabana was exactly like that - so I think I might have accidentally discovered the actual place.
 

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Great thread! I thought I was the only Goodfellas fanatic out there. Must have seen movie 1000 times, and read the book Wiseguys 200 times.
 
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