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kottke.org posts about Al Capone

A map of Chicago’s Gangland circa 1931

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 06, 2018

Chicago Gangland Map

This is A Map of Chicago’s Gangland from Authentic Sources published in 1931 by Bruce-Roberts, Inc.

Map of Chicago gang locations showing Little Italy, Little Sicily, Cicero, Capone Territory, Westside O’Donnell Territory, Stickney, Saltis Territory, Southside O’Donnell Territory, and Little Africa. “Designed to inculcate the most important principles of piety and virtue in young persons, and graphically portray the evils and sin of large cities.” Numbers in red circles give the sequence of important events in Chicago’s gangland war. Insets include: Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, lawyer running to spring his client, an armored car, bootleggers stealing wheels from prohibition cars, machine gunners arriving from Detroit, World’s Fair grounds of 1933, police tipping over a speakeasy, and “gangland dictionary”.

Al Capone looms large over the map; he was arrested for tax evasion that year and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. There’s also a zoomable reproduction you can explore at the David Rumsey Map Collection.

The mafia and NYC pizza cheese

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2011

Why can’t you get a slice of pizza at John’s on Bleecker or Patsy’s? Allegedly because of Al Capone:

In his 1981 book on the mob called Vicious Circles: The Mafia in the Marketplace, the late Jonathan Kwitny detailed how Al Capone — who owned a string of dairy farms near Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin — forced New York pizzerias to use his rubbery mob cheese, so different from the real mozzarella produced here in New York City since the first immigrants from Naples arrived in Brooklyn around 1900.

As the story goes, the only places permitted to use good mozzarella made locally were the old-fashioned pizza parlors like Lombardi’s, Patsy’s, and John’s, who could continue doing so only if they promised to never serve slices. According to Kwitny, this is why John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street still has the warning “No Slices” on its awning today.

(via ★kathryn)