Here’s another New York story from last month’s Radio From Hell trip to the big city. What you see in the picture above is me, on the left; Gina, on the right; and in the middle, Jimmy the Nose. That’s what he told us his name is. Or, Jimmy the Bear. Look close and you’ll see why Jimmy the Nose. He also goes by Jimmy the Bear because of the full length fur (faux?) coat you see him wearing. Jimmy stands out front of the restaurant you see, Umberto’s Clam House, and tries to entice customers to come in for a meal. This is down in Little Italy on Mulberry street. Pretty much all of the restaurants do that; have someone out front trying to pull you in and convince you that their food is the best. But Jimmy the Nose was more flamboyant than most. He acted like a “Made Guy” if you know what I mean. And there’s a reason for that. Umberto’s is a famous New York spot.
You see, Umberto’s was owned by reputed Mafia crime boss Matty, “The Horse” Ianiello. Two months after the restaurant opened in 1972 Crazy Joe Gallo was in for a snack with his family when he was shot by a rival gangster. Gallo stumbled out of the restaurant and died on the sidewalk. Gallo was a famous gangster for many reasons, among them his friendship with actor Jerry Orbach. So, Jimmy the Nose makes sure that people who walk by the restaurant now that his is the place Gallo was shot, even though this isn’t the original Clam House; it moved a few doors down some years ago. Gina and I had already eaten but we promised “The Nose” we would be back another time.
It was a gift from Paul Oh, a listener in Washington DC. Paul, it was delicious.
Thanks for listening.