About The Other Guy
With a lifelong interest in the subject, having been born and raised in New York City, and with extensive experience and interactions throughout my entire life with “connected” blood family, close friendships, and intimate lifelong associations with so many of the infamous names you read about in newspapers and books over the years, I decided to create a website dedicated to Italian organized crime in this country…The Mafia!
This website is dedicated to the Mafia’s history of when it first arrived in this country in the early 1900s, through its growth years during Prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s, into what could arguably be considered its “Golden Era,” from the 1940s to the 1980s – a golden era that has long since passed, never to be enjoyed by the underworld in this country again.
In my humble opinion this is when the greatest mafiosi, mobsters, and racketeers operated and when the greatest of rackets existed. It was the “perfect storm” of tremendous poverty, inferior penal laws on the books, a lax and ignorant law enforcement, and when the most lucrative opportunities existed in a young fledgling America that created the ideal atmosphere for the underworld to flourish…and flourish the did, to the point that many in law enforcement and our nation’s capitol viewed and feared the Mafia as a competing “second government” operating parallel to those in Washington, D.C., weaving deeply into the very fabric of legitimate upper society itself.
Today the world has changed, and the mob has changed right along with it. The same need for the organization and the “Brotherhood” simply does not exist today, and the combination of the draconian laws now on the books, coupled with law enforcement’s sophisticated investigative techniques, and the harsh penalties now meted out have greatly diminished the strength of a once proud, tightly-run rank and file, that led to the great success and wealth that many racketeers achieved.
Additionally, the low quality of potential street guy out there today, generally speaking, is a completely different breed of individual as well. With few coming from the abject poverty that spawned their original “need” and determination, the players involved today, and the situation as currently exists on the street does not lend itself to the cohesive, strict Roman legion-like dedication and adherence to the rules of Cosa Nostra as it once did…and the results of that are clearly evident.
One of my main goals is to clear up many of the misconceptions the public has about the Mafia and “The Life.”
From the seeds of its first inception and formation hundreds and hundreds of years ago in the rural hills and towns of Sicily and Southern Italy to its later migration to the shores of the United States, the Mafia’s rich history, octopus-like reach, and well deserved monolithic reputation has been one of the greatest phenomena the world has ever known. The public has been breathlessly captivated by images of The Godfather, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, On the Waterfront, and countless other mob classics over the decades. A few of these films depicted “The Life” somewhat accurately. But most of them either unrealistically romanticized or needlessly criticized complex multilayered men who were indoctrinated with a unique, rarely understood mentality. Cosa Nostra is a shadowy organization that few people ever truly understood – and even fewer have ever really experienced to enable them to give a well-informed unbiased opinion.
On the pages that follow, hopefully, you will gain a rare new insight and intimate information about many of the mafiosi and racketeers you have read about for decades and learn about many of their little known “rank and file” soldiers and associates that were the very backbone of Cosa Nostra – not only in New York but also throughout the country
Disclaimer: As for my own personal moral compass, I do not, nor will I ever, write about current active “reputed” mob figures. I do not put guys on front street. That to me is the same as being an informer. Once a guy is long retired or passes, and I’ve made sure that my words cannot hurt him or anybody else still living, only then will I feel free to write his biography as I’ve known it accordingly…but not until then!
About Lisa Babick
Lisa Babick is the designer, co-publisher/founder, and contributor to Button Guys of the New York Mafia website. She also manages all of this website’s social media. In addition, she is the creator, producer, and voice behind Mob Fireside Chat where we bring the stories from the pages of Button Guys of The New York Mafia to life.
Lisa is a journalist with over 30 years of experience in print and digital media, public relations, and marketing and holds a B.A. in Marketing Communications.