Little Italy in New York City

Monday, 5 April 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City

Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0

Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0

Little Italy is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City, once known for its large Italian population. It is bounded on the west by Tribeca and Soho, on the south by Chinatown, on the east by the Bowery and Lower East Side, and on the north by Nolita. In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Little Italy, by this point, was shrinking rapidly.

Little Italy on Mulberry Street used to extend as far south as Worth Street, as far north as Houston Street, as far west as Lafayette Street, and as far east as Bowery. It is now only three blocks on Mulberry Street. Little Italy originated as Mulberry Bend. Jacob Riis described Mulberry Bend as “the foul core of New York’s slums.” During this time period “Immigrants of the late 19th century usually settled in ethnic neighborhoods”. Therefore, the “mass immigration from Italy during the 1880s” led to the large settlement of Italian immigrants in lower Manhattan. The results of such migration had created an “influx of Italian immigrants” which had “led to the commercial gathering of their dwelling and business”.

Bill Tonelli from New York magazine said, “Once, Little Italy was like an insular Neapolitan village re-created on these shores, with its own language, customs, and financial and cultural institutions.” Little Italy was not the largest Italian neighborhood in New York City, as East Harlem (or Italian Harlem) had a larger Italian population. Tonelli said that Little Italy “was perhaps the city’s poorest Italian neighborhood”. In 1910 Little Italy had almost 10,000 Italians; that was the peak of the community’s Italian population. At the turn of the 20th century, over 90% of the residents of the Fourteenth Ward were of Italian birth or origins. Tonelli said that it meant “that residents began moving out to more spacious digs almost as soon as they arrived.” Such a vastly growing community impacted the “U.S. labor movement in the 20th century” by making up much of the labor population in the garment industry”.

After World War II, many residents of the Lower East Side began moving to Brooklyn, Staten Island, eastern Long Island, and New Jersey. Chinese immigrants became an increased presence after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 removed immigration restrictions, and the Manhattan Chinatown to Little Italy’s south expanded. In 2004, Tonelli said, “You can go back 30 years and find newspaper clips chronicling the expansion of Chinatown and mourning the loss of Little Italy.”

San Gennaro Feast at Mulberry Street © MusikAnimal/cc-by-sa-3.0 Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0 Italian American Museum on Mulberry Street © Dorff/cc-by-sa-3.0 Mulberry Street © flickr.com - Ken Lund/cc-by-sa-2.0 Mulberry Street © Martin Dürrschnabel San Gennaro Feast at Mulberry Street © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-2.5
<
>
Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0
Before 2004, several upscale businesses entered the northern portion of the area between Houston and Kenmare Street. Tonelli said, “Real-estate prices zoomed, making it even tougher for the old-timers—residents and businesspeople alike—to hang on.” After the September 11 attacks in 2001, areas below Houston Street were cut off for the rest of the fall of 2001. The San Gennaro feast, scheduled for September 13, was postponed. Business from the Financial District dropped severely, due to the closure of Park Row, which connected Chinatown and the Civic Center; as a result, residents in Little Italy and Chinatown suffered. Tonelli said the post-9/11 events “strangely enough, ended up motivating all these newfangled efforts to save what’s left of the old neighborhood.”

In 2004 Tonelli said “Today, Little Italy is a veneer—50 or so restaurants and cafés catering to tourists, covering a dense neighborhood of tenements shared by recent Chinese immigrants, young Americans who can’t afford Soho, and a few remaining real live Italians.” This sentiment has also been echoed by Italian culture and heritage website ItalianAware. The site has called the dominance of Italians in the area “relatively short-lived.” It attributes this to the quick financial prosperity many Italians achieved, which allowed them to leave the cramped neighborhood for areas in Brooklyn and Queens. The site also goes on to state that the area is currently referred to as Little Italy more out of nostalgia than as a reflection of a true ethnic population.

Little Italy was home to dozens of restaurants that serve authentic Italian cuisine, but between March 2013 and March 2014, eight eateries closed down. Since 2004, Sorrento Lactalis funds neighborhood cultural events in Little Italy. The Feast of San Gennaro originally was once only a one-day religious commemoration. It began in September 1926 with the new arrival of immigrants from Naples. The Italian immigrants congregated along Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to celebrate San Gennaro as the Patron Saint of Naples. The Feast of San Gennaro is a large street fair, lasting 11 days, that takes place every September along Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal Streets. The festival is an annual celebration of Italian culture and the Italian-American community. In 1995 Mort Berkowitz became the professional manager of a community group that had been formed to take over management of the San Gennaro feast. Since then, Berkowitz became involved in other recreational activities in Little Italy, including the summer, Carnevale, Columbus Day, and Christmas events. Richard Alba, a sociologist and professor at University at Albany, SUNY, said, “The fascinating part here is the way in which ethnic tourism—not only by Italian Americans but by people who want to see an authentic urban village—keeps these neighborhoods going.”

Read more on NYCgo.com – Little Italy, TimeOut.com – Little Italy and Wikipedia Little Italy (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.










Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

The Disney Magic

The Disney Magic

[caption id="attachment_152377" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Disney Magic at Cozumel, Yucatan © Altairisfar[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Disney Magic is a cruise ship operated by the Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Magic is over 80 feet longer than the RMS Titanic. Scattered throughout the ship, there are Mickey Impressions, known as "Hidden Mickeys". People like to search for them. Onboard shows (just about one each night) are very well done. Some of these shows have been nominated,...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Luxembourg - Ettelbruck

Theme Week Luxembourg - Ettelbruck

[caption id="attachment_213652" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ettelbruck is a commune with town status in central Luxembourg, with a population of 8,926 inhabitants, as of 2019. The towns of Warken and Grentzingen are also within the commune. Until 1850, both Erpeldange and Schieren were part of the Ettelbruck commune as well, but both towns were detached from Ettelbruck by law on 1 July 1850. Germany occupied Ettelbruck on 10 May 1940. US forces first l...

[ read more ]

Sligo, the center of the Irish Border Region

Sligo, the center of the Irish Border Region

[caption id="attachment_161102" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Bridge over the Garavogue River © geograph.org.uk - Kenneth Allen/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Sligo is the county town and the most populous urban area in County Sligo. With a population of 19,500 in 2011, it is the second-largest urban centre in the province of Connacht. Sligo is a major economic, educational, administrative and cultural centre of Ireland's Border Region, a region of over 500,000 people which comprises the counties of Sligo, Do...

[ read more ]

Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association

Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association

[caption id="attachment_26833" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © ema-hamburg.org/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Euro-Mediterranean Association for Cooperation and Development e.V. (EMA) is a German nonprofit organization that works in the field of development cooperation between Europe, especially Germany, and the countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is based in Hamburg, with branches in Berlin, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. The association's aim is to further economic development cooperatio...

[ read more ]

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

[caption id="attachment_4522" align="alignleft" width="590" caption="© guggenheim.org"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1937 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and his long-time art advisor, artist Hilla von Rebay. The foundation is a leading institution for the collection, preservation, and research of modern and contemporary art and operates several museums around the world. The first museum established by the foundation was The Museum of Non-Objective...

[ read more ]

Rieti, the midpoint of Italy

Rieti, the midpoint of Italy

[caption id="attachment_160712" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Vicentini Palace Gardens © Alessandro Antonelli[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Rieti is a city and comune in Lazio, central Italy, with a population of 47,700. It is the capital of province of Rieti. The town centre rests on a small hilltop, commanding a wide plain at the southern edge of an ancient lake. The area is now the fertile basin of the Velino River. Only the small Ripasottile and Cantalice lakes remain of the original large one. The downtown of the an...

[ read more ]

Hamburg's warehouse district, the largest historic warehouse complex in the world

Hamburg's warehouse district, the largest historic warehouse complex in the world

[caption id="attachment_25354" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Thomas Wolf - www.foto-tw.de/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Speicherstadt (meaning warehouse district) in Hamburg is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations. It is located in the the HafenCity quarter and was built from 1883 to 1927. The Speicherstadt is located in the port of Hamburg and 1.5 km (0.93 mi) long and pervaded by loading canals. The district was built as a free zone to trans...

[ read more ]

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia

[caption id="attachment_153498" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Railway Museum © Uncle buddha[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. As the largest city of Serbia, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. It has an urban population of 1.2 million, while the metropolitan area has more than 1.7 million people, making it one of the largest cities of Southeast Europe. The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian...

[ read more ]

Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia

Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia

[caption id="attachment_192697" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Masters Tournament logo made of flowers © flickr.com - pocketwiley/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of the former Fruitland (later Fruitlands) Nursery, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Its first club professional was Ed Dudley, who served in...

[ read more ]

The Meteora monasteries in Greece

The Meteora monasteries in Greece

[caption id="attachment_153853" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Meteora Panorama © Exwhysee[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Metéora ("suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" - etymologically similar to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in centra...

[ read more ]

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in East Jerusalem

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of East Jerusalem....

at PortMiami © WikiEK/cc-by-sa-4.0
The Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. She was built in...

© jw3.org.uk
JW3 in London

JW3, also known as Jewish Community Centre London, is an arts, culture and entertainment venue, an educational facility and a...

Schließen