"Crazy" Joe Gallo was a famous New York mobster who started out as an enforcer for boss Joe Profaci. Gallo was said to be one of the gunmen who took out boss Albert Anastasia during a shave in the barber shop of the Park Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue and 55th Street (now the Park Central Hotel).
Later, Gallo tried to take out Profaci and then survived several attacks on his own life and a few stints in prison. After release from prison in 1971, Gallo started battling then-boss Joe Columbo.
On April 7, 1972, Gallo was celebrating his birthday with family and friends at Umberto's Clam House at 129 Mulberry Street in Little Italy. In the middle of dinner, gunmen burst into the restaurant and shot Gallo five times before fleeing.
Gallo managed to stumble into the street and died later at the hospital. At his funeral, Gallo's sister reportedly vowed revenge, shouting, "The streets are going to run red with blood, Joey!"
Bob Dylan's song "Joey" was inspired by Gallo.
Today, Italian restaurant Da Gennaro is in the space formerly occupied by Umberto's Clam House. The original owners of Umberto's later re-opened in another location down the street.
Our Dead Apple tour concluded near Mulberry Street and we decided to have dinner in the spot where "Crazy" Joe Gallo spent the last night of his life. Da Gennaro boasts warm service and homemade pasta -- it's a great spot for dinner in Little Italy.