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Social Clubs, Casinos, and Crime Scenes: The East Village’s Mob Roots

265 East 10th StreetVanessa Yurkevich The former of home of “Lucky” Luciano at 265 East 10th Street.

Before there were squats, there were social clubs. And before pricey restaurants began taking over East Village storefronts, many were gathering places for the mob.

Every Friday and Saturday night Gideon Levy, the founder of NYC Gangster Tours, gives a tour of these onetime crime scenes, clandestine casinos and fronts for drug smuggling operations.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Levy’s obsession with mob history started in 2003 when the film “Gangs of New York” inspired him to organize his tours, one of which winds through the East Village.

“Walking through neighborhoods that are familiar, that you might walk by every single day, you might not know about a thread that leads back to smuggling or a murder,” said Mr. Levy during a recent tour. Read more…