Friday, April 11, 2008
Vinny Vella Is The Uncrowned King Of Elizabeth Street
Vinny Vella is another neighborhood character. He was born in Greenwich Village and has lived on Elizebeth Street for many years.Vinny made a career for himself as an actor in commercials, televesion shows and movies as the archetypal wise- guy from Elizabeth Street. You don't want to know what Vinnie did before he became an actor.He can be seen in the films, " Casino", " Ghost Dogs" and many others. He can also be seen as Jimmy Petrille on " The Sopranos". In addition there is also a short film about Vinnie and his life. Vinny has lots of great stories. One of them involves, of all things, the ring of King Tut. Somehow Vinny got hold of the ring of King Tut and was wearing it around town. How could such an improbable thing happen? Well, all I can say is that it probably fell off the back of a truck. You heard it right, Vinny had the ring of King Tut. But Vinny, being one of the good guys, decided to give it back so he made some calls and arranged for a drop. When he arrived at the designated spot Vinny claims that it was filled with cops and even the F.B.I. Everybody had a gun and they were all pointed at Vinnie's head. Vinny was bewildered. What did they think, that he went into the museum and when nobody was looking removed the ring from the mummy? He never did such a thing. Vinny said that a street vendor sold it to him. Who was it? How would Vinny know? He was just a guy. " Hey", Vinny said " I'm the good guy, I'm giving the ring back ." All I can say is that somehow the case was resolved and now it has become one of Vinny's best stories.
Vinny has even made a audio tour cd which you can buy and listen to him tell you all about the old neighborhood. The audioguide or soundwalk covers Little Italy and a color photograph of Vinny with a big fat cigar sticking out of his mouth is on the cover. Toni Rosa of Buffa's is featured on the tape along with Momo the butcher. There is also a picture of Buffa's on the inside jacket of the cd. The latest news is that Vinnie has opened a pizza joint in Brooklyn.