The news of a high-end prostitution ring getting busted, (with a madam fronting as a soccer mom – Anna Gristina), is interesting, but what is even more fascinating, is what lies beneath the surface of a five year vice sting by NYPD? In other words, why would New York spend five years wire-tapping and probing into Anna Gristina’s operation, then only charge her with one count of promoting prostitution? This is the backstory to an already fascinating portrait of a most clever madam, who had her own original methods (that worked well) for plying her trade.
Hints of why this sting operation was such a high priority are coming out in some news accounts. I’d advise you to look at all the NY Daily News stories for some very graphic details on how Anna Gristina ran her call girl business. And one image I can’t get out of my mind, is this one not so particularly glamorous apartment building in Manhattan (304 E. 78th St.), where scores of girls were seen coming in and out to meet with their clients. (Looks like a dump to me, but perhaps it’s nicer when you go inside and take a peek).
I wonder how the food is at the Indian Cuisine restaurant that sits on the ground floor of 304? I also wonder how these entrepreneurs and residents could see signs of this elicit operations and not ever have a clue to tip off the cops, for 15 full years? Maybe people like to mind their own business in New York, but still I wonder? But some are missing the point. 304 was the low-end part of Gristina’s empire. Other higher-end girls would entertain their clients elsewhere, and all over the world even.
On the surface, this looks like just another story about an enterprising madam tapping into a lucrative market of lonely men (although they come from very high places) who need an escape from a stress-filled life of wheeling and dealing, big business, and shallow, boring lives (to boot) in the suburbs, where nothing ever happens. What shakes me out of gentle slumbers (this is a never-ending deja vu), is who were Anna Gristina’s informants working within law enforcement?