Thursday, February 18, 2010

On the up and up: The Museum of the American Gangster opening on St. Mark's Place

To the news release from Eric Ferrara

I am proud to announce the opening of the Museum of the American Gangster at 80 St. Marks Place (between 1st and 2nd Avenue), inside the historic Theater 80 building.

The Museum will be open daily for previews beginning Sunday, March 7, 2010. The official launch will be Spring 2010, date TBA.

The Museum of the American Gangster (MAOG) presents an opportunity to gain insight into the hidden, inside world of the American gangster through artifacts and stories told by those involved. We are working with a team of criminal authors, historians and related institutions, as well as family members and estates of pivotal crime figures, to create a museum that both casual fans and invested scholars could enjoy and benefit from. Beyond exhibits and artifacts, MOAG will offer dedicated research facilities, access to original source documents and articles, oral histories, workshops, walking tours, live performances, historic reenactments, lectures, movies and presentations.

MOAG's goal is to objectively and authentically present the role that crime has played in shaping the politics, culture, myth and lore of New York City. Criminals will not be glorified or sensationalized, nor will they be vilified -- rather, this institution intends to allow visitors insight into how and why criminals (on both sides of the law) chose the life they did. Where did they come from? What were their options? What was their relationship to the community? This is a chance to dig deep into the lives and minds of some of the country's most successful crime figures.

Here's that Gangster site.

For further reading on EV Grieve:
Raising awareness of the East Village/Lower East Side


Jeremiah Moss said...

interesting, though i really, really wish they'd go back to showing double features of great old films.

EV Grieve said...

Yeah, I'm not really sure how many times someone who lives in the neighborhood will want to go to this museum... However, it sounds like there will be workshops, lectures.... and movies. I'd love to see a regular series of gangster classics.

Bryan said...

A neighborhood film series would be *perfect*.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate that MOAG includes the Black Panthers and Young Lords in the mix with ordinary mobsters...and the book this exhibition is based on listed Emma Goldman as a neighborhood 'wierdo'...really lousy politics going on here...

Melanie said...

Bring back cinema noire.I too would like a great double feature. The Theatre80 St. Marks also sells lovely treats as well.
We could bring back date night.

Unknown said...

Opinions aside, "Anonymous" is mistaken on all accounts -- the museum is not based on a book. The book they are referring to is "A guide to Gangsters, Murderers and Weirdos of New York City's Lower East Side" (

It is a fun, block by block guide of criminal and SENSATIONAL stories of the neighborhood, regardless of how it is packaged. Emma Goldman (Anonymous left out Alexander Berkman) was just about as sensational as they came. Anarchism? Bombings? Stabbings? Arrests? Protests? Presidential assassination accusations? Regardless, Emma and Alexander were portrayed objectively.

Plus the title was long enough without having to add "Anarchists, Street Gangs, Domestic Offenders, Attempted Murderers, Witches, Religious Cults, Sociopolitical Organizations and People Who Did Interesting Stuff..."

Black Panthers in the MOAG? Where did you see that? There is a section on the website ( about "Black Gangsters" (as well as Irish, Jewish, Chinese, etc.) but the Panthers are not part of it or mentioned anywhere. This is a museum of organized crime.

And say what you will, but my efforts are bringing business to local mom & pops and creating jobs and opportunities -- like this opportunity to plug the book and museum :)

Thanks to EV Grieve for posting info about the museum and providing this community forum.

A.O. said...

I still miss Theater 80. Better than another bank or yogurt shop though.