Don’t you find it exciting, stories about gangsters and gang wars during prohibition? If so, I’m sure you’ll like the place I take you to today! A tiny but fascinating museum hidden in the heart of East Village: The Museum of the American Gangster. We meet with our tour guide in a small theater , Theatre 80 St Marks. She takes us upstairs in the actual museum, two small rooms with old press clippings, pictures and other curiosities from the annals of crime. Not very interesting and quite bemusing at first sight. But as soon as the guide starts to tell stories about the first gangsters in NYC and how prohibition helped them prosper, it took a whole new dimension. We are captivated by the destiny of all those gangsters who once lived in NYC. The museum is the size of a one-bedroom apartment but the guide is so encyclopedic that touring the rooms takes an hour.
The place itself is part of the gangsterism history, since it was once owned by a local, famous gangster. We continue the visit in the theater once the place of big, secret parties, and then into the real speakeasy next to it. Our guide then takes us to the basements which used to be doubled as escape tunnels. Donning hard hats, we navigates the maze-like basements to reach the safe. We learn that Walter Scheib, the gangster who owned the place, once loaded the wall with enough explosives to fill a car, a safety measures against police raids.
As you might guess, I found the tour enthralling and definitely recommend it!
78 St. Mark’s Place, NYC 10003 | (212) 288-5736
Everyday from 1PM to 6PM
(Guided tours at 1, 2:30 and 4PM)
Price (tour included): $20 Adults / $12 Students and seniors
From New York, With Love,