Alphaville: New York 1988: Welcome to Heroin City

3.59 avg rating
( 289 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781250001986: Alphaville: New York 1988: Welcome to Heroin City
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

A raw, gritty memoir – part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place – that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end

"Codella describes [Alphabet City] so vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like you're in the squad car with him." --New York Post

"[A] taut true-crime tale... genuinely exciting." --Kirkus

"A blistering cop's-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s.... You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal." – T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage City

Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname "Rambo" and a bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes―the head of Alphabet City's heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured―all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls―Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving.

With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city's own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

MICHAEL CODELLA was a New York City cop for twenty years. He worked and supervised in the DEA, Secret Service Task Force, Special Frauds Squad, Missing Person's Squad, Operation 8, and several other outstanding and prestigious units throughout the City. Mike retired from the NYPD in 2003 as a Detective Sergeant. He now divides his time between TV and film work, being a professional fight trainer, and running his Renzo Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy with his family.
BRUCE BENNETT is a writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Sun; a guitar player who has performed and recorded with the A-Bones, Hasil Adkins, Action Swingers, Yo La Tengo, and Andre Williams; and the writer and director of two award-winning short films, both aired on the Independent Film Channel. A Manhattan native and twenty year resident of the Lower East Side -- including the period covered in ALPHAVILLE--Bennett now lives and works in Brooklyn.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

“Make-a sure you behave-a yourself!” After my mother’s father Giovanni—“Papa”—passed away in the late seventies, I never heard those words spoken with a gravy-thick Italian accent again. Up till then it was as reliable as clockwork. Headed out the door to school, mass, to play ball, or fuck around I always got the same reminder. When you’re a kid and an adult you trust tells you to be good what you usually hear is “have fun” or “don’t get caught.”

Papa was a Sicilian-American of the Old World school. He always dressed like he was going to a formal sit-down with equals, always unfussily attended to preparing food and made sure to have a glass of wine with every meal. He made the best eggplant parmigiana I’ve ever had in my life and the lasagna he set down next to the turkey at Thanksgiving (a given in any Italian home) would be gone before the bird lost a leg. To him the simple things were the finer things. The way Papa peeled an apple was its own lesson in Old World precision and grace. He used a paring knife to painstakingly shuck the peel in a single uninterrupted spiral as if he were making a watch.

When my grandmother died the day after Thanksgiving 1972 my mother’s side of the family took turns putting up Papa. Actually, we fought over him. He was a great guy to have around the house. He took care of himself and let us take care of him in the right proportion. With Papa at my elbow I learned to make a grilled cheese sandwich, his favorite lunch, the right way—slowly, with just the right cheese, butter, bread, and frying pan temperature. It wasn’t a lesson in haute cuisine, it was an initiation into the old ways of doing things for a member of the microwave-and-TV-dinner generation. Not a formula, but a feeling—a sense for how things should go that a kid could relate to. I knew to cut the crusts off and always anticipated and felt the same pride when Papa would pronounce the results perfect and take his first bite. My sister and I still joke about it—he wouldn’t let her make his lunch. She rushed through it. Me, I was able to take it slow, savor the experience and get it done his way. I behaved myself. It was fun. We all loved him, and me, I worshipped him. I’d heard Papa’s words of advice as I headed out the door for just over five years when he died in 1978.

Even during baseball and football season, if Papa was staying with us, I’d hang out with him as many afternoons as I could. After lunch he’d hike his trouser cuffs and settle into the big recliner in the living room like a bocce ball in a catcher’s mitt and we’d watch The Mike Douglas Show together. Douglas was a toupee-and-leisure-suit guy who I guess must have had a singing career. His show was kind of an upscale Joe Franklin—John and Yoko would be on with Don Rickles. Alfred Hitchcock shared Mike’s couch with James Brown. The top of each show was the same—Mike would come out on the brightly lit flower-power set and do a song (usually a standard that my grandpa knew) before going into a softball monologue of corny jokes. It was routine and schmaltzy and engaging and surprising enough that Papa loved it. So did my mom.

But one afternoon, Mike followed a Totie Fields fat joke with a crack about Italians and the Mafia. At the time The Godfather was breaking box office records across the country. For much of the sixties organizations like the Italian-American Civil Rights League, led by Joe Colombo, moonlighting from running the mob family that bore his name, lobbied Hollywood and Washington long and hard not to use “the M word” in scripts or legal proceedings. TV and movies in those days usually substituted more ominous sounding but less ethnically specific terms like “the Syndicate,” “the Organization,” or “the Outfit” in its place.

Paramount, the company that made The Godfather, broke ranks on a picture called The Brotherhood with Kirk Douglas a few years before. It bombed. Threatened with union hassles and boycotts the suits at Paramount agreed to bleach “Mafia” out of The Godfather script. Around the same time Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell caved and ordered “Mafia” banned and excised from federal legal documents and memos. None of this kept Joe Colombo from receiving three bullets in the head at an IACRL rally courtesy of a hitman hired by his “Syndicate” rival Crazy Joe Gallo. Sticks and stones...

The Godfather was such a sensation that the dam burst. Overnight a word that had been taboo in movies and television for generations was okay after all. Not with my grandfather. As the canned laughter hissed out of the TV speaker, he got up, muttered something in his Italian dialect I wasn’t supposed to hear, changed the channel, and scowled wordlessly at the screen until supper. He never watched Mike Douglas again. My mother never watched it, either.

What I more or less understood at the time was that my grandpa Giovanni had arrived in New York from Sicily in the winter of 1900 aged eight years old with a paper suitcase in his hand. His sister had left the old country before he was born. They met face-to-face for the first time on the docks of the Lower East Side. Neither of them ever saw their parents again.

When they left, Sicily was still recovering from a civil war that saw thousands of their countrymen cut down. Their island was so remote and so barren of the coal and iron resources that leveraged northern Italy into the Industrial Revolution and the empire-building business that it was for all intents and purposes stuck in the Middle Ages. You couldn’t build a factory or a battleship with an olive or tomato harvest. You also couldn’t make a living in the fields and orchards in Sicily like you could doing just about anything on the other side of the Atlantic.

Thousands of years of invasions and occupations from Italy in the north and just about every country around the Mediterranean had made Sicilians tough and tight. Sicilian immigrants arrived in the New World with a suspicion of official rules and established authority and a trust only in each other that had been earned over centuries at foreign sword point. The Sicilian struggle for independence and survival played out against one enemy or another for centuries and in any war the line between crook and freedom fighter is hard to draw. Sicilians had hundreds of years of chaos and conflict in which to hone secrecy, brutality, and revenge into an art. American English has dozens of words in common use culled from Gallic, Yiddish, northern Italian dialects, and other immigrant languages. There are only two imported from Sicily—“vendetta” and “Mafia.”

By 1920, a million Italians (mostly Sicilians like my grandfather and his sister) had immigrated to the United States through New York Harbor. They were joined by about two million Jews driven from Eastern Europe from 1881 to 1924. Everyone was from somewhere else and the numbers grew larger every year. Legal and illegal opportunity knocked for new arrivals. The places to live were where other Italians had staked a neighborhood claim—Harlem uptown and inland from the waterfront on the Lower East Side at the downtown end of Manhattan. Gangsters and thieves lost their lunch over the same boat railings as everyone else headed to America to make some money. For these guys “yearning to breathe free” meant leaving home because they had to. Pioneers of American organized crime like Ignazio “Lupo the Wolf” Saietta and the Morello brothers left Corleone a step ahead of the gallows. Guiseppe “Joe” Masseria emigrated from Marsala to beat a murder rap.

Joe Masseria set up house keeping in an apartment on Forsyth and Houston downtown and honed his god-given talent for harm as an enforcer in the Morrelos’ extortion, kidnapping, and counterfeiting rackets and as a soldier in a Sicilian Mafia versus Napolitano Camora gang war that pitted lower Manhattan against Brooklyn. Unlike his “mustache Pete,” first-generation gangster peers, Joe wanted more than just a piece of the transplanted homegrown rackets and local plunder. The era of nativist rule in New York’s underworld was coming to a close. Irish crooks had moved on and up into the police and politics. In a relatively short time Joe capitalized on the contacts he made in and out of jail and went from a side business of burglaries and petty heists to running his own gambling and extortion rackets. Joe’s timing was perfect. Shaking down store owners, running card games, fencing stolen goods, kidnapping the children of the wealthy, and other old school rackets could only have taken him and the rest of the new breed so far. But when Prohibition was enacted in 1920 it was as if the skies rained gasoline on what had been a bunch of little regional criminal barbecues.

Once Prohibition hit and he began running booze, Joe’s operation grew big enough that he soon outstripped the Morellos completely. The nickname he’d picked out for himself years before finally stuck—“Joe the Boss.” Any waiter that ever had to roll up the table cloth after the Boss finished a meal could explain his other nickname—“Joe the Glutton.”

The Eighteenth Amendment was an ivory tower crusade led by a small group of people who equated drinking with unchecked immigration and the erosion of supposedly Anglo-Saxon family values. Nobody with half a brain thought it made any sense. Unless they were some kind of obsessed fanatic, cops, judges, bankers, and politicians all knew on some level that banning the sale and manufacture of alcohol was bullshit. Most politicians were too scared of moralist newspapers and public opinion to vote against banning liquor and no cop could bitch about it without looking like he was being soft on crime. And, for lawmakers an...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 22.99
US$ 5.99

Convert currency

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Codella, Michael
Published by St. Martin's Press 2012-02-14 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Press 2012-02-14, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Seller Inventory # 9781250001986B

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 5.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Codella, Michael; Bennett, Bruce
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1250001986 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.62. Seller Inventory # OTF-Y-9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.37
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Codella, Michael
Published by Griffin 2/14/2012 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Griffin 2/14/2012, 2012. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Alphaville: New York 1988: Welcome to Heroin City. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 18.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Codella, Michael
Published by GRIFFIN (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description GRIFFIN, 2012. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.45
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Michael Codella
Published by GRIFFIN (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description GRIFFIN, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A raw, gritty memoir - part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place - that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end Codella describes [Alphabet City] so vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like you re in the squad car with him. --New York Post [A] taut true-crime tale. genuinely exciting. --Kirkus A blistering cop s-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s. You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal. - T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage City Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname Rambo and a bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes--the head of Alphabet City s heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured--all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls--Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city s own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself. Seller Inventory # APC9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.87
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Michael Codella
Published by GRIFFIN (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description GRIFFIN, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A raw, gritty memoir - part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place - that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end Codella describes [Alphabet City] so vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like you re in the squad car with him. --New York Post [A] taut true-crime tale. genuinely exciting. --Kirkus A blistering cop s-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s. You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal. - T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage City Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname Rambo and a bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes--the head of Alphabet City s heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured--all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls--Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city s own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself. Seller Inventory # BZE9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.22
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Michael Codella
Published by GRIFFIN (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description GRIFFIN, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A raw, gritty memoir - part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place - that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end Codella describes [Alphabet City] so vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like you re in the squad car with him. --New York Post [A] taut true-crime tale. genuinely exciting. --Kirkus A blistering cop s-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s. You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal. - T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage City Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname Rambo and a bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes--the head of Alphabet City s heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured--all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls--Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city s own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself. Seller Inventory # APC9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.56
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

BRUCE BENNETT
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Condition: New. 320 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 0.9in.A raw, gritty memoir part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place that will grip you by the throat until the explosive endCodella describesAlphabet Cityso vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like youre in the squad car with him. --New York PostA taut true-crime tale. . . genuinely exciting. --KirkusA blistering cops-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s. You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal. T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage CityAlphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname Rambo and abounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyesthe head of Alphabet Citys heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they enduredall the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close callsCodella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the citys own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.75
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Codella, Michael; Bennett, Bruce
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2012)
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # INGM9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.39
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Michael Codella
Published by St. Martins Press-3pl
ISBN 10: 1250001986 ISBN 13: 9781250001986
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9781250001986

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.70
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.12
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book