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Purgatory

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Purgatory-GTA4-southeastwards

Purgatory as viewed to the southeast.

Purgatory is a neighborhood in western Algonquin, Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV. It is bordered to the north by Nickel Street (Middle Park West); to the east by Frankfort Avenue (Star Junction); to the south by Lorimar Street (Westminster); and to the west by the West River.

Purgatory

Purgatory (red) in the Liberty City map.

Character

Purgatory is much like the Westminster and The Meat Quarter neighborhoods to the south in that it is much less "refined" than adjacent central Algonquin neighborhoods, but is in the process of gentrification. Unlike Westminster and The Meat Quarter, Purgatory appears to have always been intended to be used mainly for residential and commercial purposes, so its primary architecture consists of towering skyscrapers and luxury apartment complexes along its Frankfort Avenue corridor. Several-story tenements are the main fare in central Purgatory, along with a few townhouses dotted throughout. Along its western edge, Purgatory is dominated by a parking complex which stretches north from Westminster, west of Union Drive West.

At one point in time, Purgatory was the central place of operations for the Irish Mob, although their influence has waned considerably, possibly as the result of the gentrification of the neighborhood. It remains one of the less affluent neighborhoods in Algonquin, though less so than Westminster and The Meat Quarter.

Patrick McReary claims that the neighborhood is called Purgatory because the citizens were so afraid of the Irish Mob that people rarely left their homes, though his brothers dismiss this. Gordon Sargent makes fun of this statement by replying with, "It's called Purgatory because the McRearys' stories were so fuckin' boring. Listening to them was like being in Purgatory!"

Places of interest

Purgatory is relatively free of any major landmarks and public attractions, but there are still a few places of interest which might appeal to local Algonquin residents. There is an Auto Limbo automobile services shop which houses a Pay 'n' Spray at the intersection of West Way and Lorimar Street. A short distance north is a Car Wash, at the intersection of West Way and Hell Gate.

Lucky Winkles, a bar, is located at the intersection of Galveston Avenue and Hell Gate. The Bahama Mamas nightclub is located at the intersection of Lorimar Street and Frankfort Avenue, at the neighborhood's border with Star Junction and Westminster.

At the corner of Nickel Street and Frankfort Avenue in northeast Purgatory lies a spoof of the Time Warner Center, overlooking Middle Park. The Time Warner Center is depicted only partially, with just one of its two towers present and its base half the length of that of the real-life building.

Finally, there is a replica of the Juilliard School at the intersection of Manganese Street and West Way, behind the Time Warner Center look-alike. Like the Juilliard School, the GTA IV rendition is linked to a large art gallery, known as the Randolf Art Center (in turn a replication of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), in neighboring Middle Park West. Both buildings are connected via an elevated walkway over Nickel Street.

Influences

Purgatory appears to be the GTA analogue of the real-life neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen, a place once populated primarily by working-class Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans as well as a center of the real-life Irish mob in New York City. Indeed, Hell's Kitchen influence on the neighborhood is evident in the name (the concepts of Hell and Purgatory being part of several religious beliefs), architecture (Hell's Kitchen features many of the same townhouses and tenements present in Purgatory), and location (Hell's Kitchen is located directly west of Times Square, much as Purgatory is west of Star Junction).

The name of the neighborhood, as well as possibly stemming from the above mentioned similarity to the concept of Hell, may be a reference to the HBO television series The Sopranos. In the episode "From Here to Eternity", the character Christopher Moltisanti describes his vision of Hell/Purgatory as "an Irish bar where it's St Patrick's Day all the time". This relation to the quote is further backed up by GTA IV's Purgatory once being the base of operations for the Irish Mob during their glory days, and the presence of the stereotypically Irish bar in the neighborhood, complete with looping fiddle music and leprachauns adorning the interior.

Transportation

The Liberty City Subway serves Purgatory at two stops. Manganese West, on the A/J Algonquin Outer Line, is located at the intersection of Manganese Street and West Way, with an additional entrance at Manganese Street and Galveston Avenue. Frankfort Avenue, on the K/C Algonquin Inner Line, is located at the intersection of Lorimar Street and Frankfort Avenue in the southwestern corner of the neighborhood, at its border with Star Junction and Westminster.

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