Precisely 20 years ago as I write I was just arriving home from a new job — I was about 6 weeks into it — at First Boston Corp. in the World Trade Center. “Home” was a studio apartment at 148 East 46th Street in Manhattan, between Lexington and Third Avenues. Walking east along 46th Street I saw a huge commotion one the next block, outside Sparks Steak House. I never saw so many police cars all in one place. Sirens, ambulances, news crews… What the heck was going on there? I was tired, though, and didn’t try to get closer for a look.
If I had, I would have seen “Big Paul” Castellano sprawled on the sidewalk outside Sparks with a very nasty case of lead poisoning.
Until about an hour previously, Big Paul had been the capo di tutti capi (boss of all bosses) of the New York area Mafia.
Welcome to New York.