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“Prohibition and Organized Crime 101”

Museum of the American Gangster
Ranked #221 of 1,120 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located in a former speakeasy, the Gangster Museum's goal is to objectively present the role that crime has played in shaping the politics, culture, myth and lore of New York City -- and beyond.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

If you have any interest in the Prohibition and how it helped Organized Crime grow and become more powerful, you ought it to yourself to visit this museum. Once you manage to find #78 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village, climb the stairs to the parlor level and you are there: two rooms full with memorabilia and pictures.

There is no sign, there was a bunch of packing crates and stuff at the entrance and we almost turned back and left. I am glad we did not. The visit starts with a 20 min movie introducing the subject. And then, you meet the curator, Asher, who turns out to be a fascinating story teller and a tireless source of interesting facts. His enthusiasm and passion are contagious. We spent two and half hours listening to him and reviewing the exhibits and ended the tour with the movie-like story of a safe found in the basement of the building (former speakeasy) containing a cool $2 millions plus in hundred dollar bills. Well spent afternoon, glad we went. Admission is steep ($15, $10 for seniors) but they are non for profit and it’s worth it if the subject interests you.

TIP: Don’t forget to have an absinthe next door, at 80 St Mark’s place, there are not many places who serve this drink nowadays.

2  Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 - 95 of 97 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2010

I visited this so called museum with a couple of friends earlier this week. It's located in a residential building (I wonder what the neighbors think) with a really dirty hallway full of packaging material and pieces of wood. The entire display is the size of a nyc apartment (because it *is* an nyc apartment) and would have been a pleasant enough visit with some original artifacts (death masks, weapons, etc.) if not for the incredibly boring and incoherent lecture by the manager. The visit costs $15 with an additional $5 to see the rest of the building - we decided to skip that after spending over an hour being told all sorts of stories that were impossible to follow, or maybe we're just not that into gangaster.

Anyway, save your money for MOMA, PS1, New Museum...

3  Thank CharlesLieberkind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2010

We were there for over 2 hours and found this new museum fascinating. The curator loves his subject and was full of personal anecdotes and masses of information. You get to see the all the secret places of an old speakeasy and learn lots of background information to what prohibition really meant to the country. If anyone has seen the movie "Goodfellas" then this trip is worth it to learn about Henry Hill alone.

4  Thank JstarkScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2017
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Thank まるん
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2017
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Thank DavidMerz74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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