Little Italy in New York City

Monday, 5 April 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City, Shopping
Reading Time:  7 minutes

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, Five Families of New York and Wikipedia Little Italy (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). 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 Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum

[caption id="attachment_23952" align="alignleft" width="590"] Imperial War Museum, London - Atrium © IxK85/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum's remit has since expanded to include all conflicts i...

[ read more ]

The Royal Clipper

The Royal Clipper

[caption id="attachment_151952" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Monique Allard Jobe / www.Instant-MAJ.com[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Royal Clipper is a steel-hulled five masted fully rigged tall ship used as a cruise ship. She was designed by Zygmunt Choreń, and built using an existing steel hull that was modified by the Gdańsk Shipyard, and the Merwede shipyard completed the ship's interior in July 2000. The renovations included frescography murals by Rainer Maria Latzke completing the ships' Mediterranean interior. Her de...

[ read more ]

Palais Garnier in Paris

Palais Garnier in Paris

[caption id="attachment_169105" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Palais Garnier © flickr.com - Peter Rivera/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was called the Salle des Capucines, because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier, in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the...

[ read more ]

European Heritage Label

European Heritage Label

[caption id="attachment_233989" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Andrijana F/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The European Heritage Label is a recognition awarded by the European Union to buildings, documents, museums, archives, monuments or events which are seen as milestones in the creation of today's Europe. The program is managed by the European Commission. The European Heritage Label started as an intergovernmental initiative between 17 individual EU member states during a meeting in Granada, Spain on 28 Ap...

[ read more ]

Joint Security Area between North and South Korea

Joint Security Area between North and South Korea

[caption id="attachment_192256" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Military Demarcation Line © Kallgan[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Joint Security Area (JSA) is the only portion of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face. It is often called the Truce Village of Panmunjom in the media and various military accounts. The JSA is used by the two Koreas for diplomatic engagements and, until March 1991, was also the site of military negotiations between North Korea and the United Natio...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Macedonia - Tetovo

Theme Week Macedonia - Tetovo

[caption id="attachment_151164" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Radica Pavleska/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Tetovo (Albanian: Tetova) is a city in the northwestern part of Macedonia, built on the foothills of Šar Mountain and divided by the Pena River. The municipality of Tetovo covers an area of 1,080 km2 (417 sq mi) at 468 meters (1,535 ft) above sea level, with a population of 53,000. The city of Tetovo is the seat of Tetovo Municipality. The home of multiple ethnic Albanian political parties and a population ...

[ read more ]

The Bremen

The Bremen

[caption id="attachment_152639" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © hl-kreuzfahrten.de[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]MS Bremen, is an expedition cruise ship operated by Hapag Lloyd since 1993. She was built as Frontier Spirit at the Mitsubishi Shipyard in Kobe, Japan, in 1990. A previously uncharted island in the Antarctic was discovered by Bremen in 2003, and was named Bremen Island in 2004. In 2006 she successfully ran the Northwest Passage, helped by satellite images telling where sea ice was.[gallery size="medium" gss="1...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Pakistan - Islamabad

Theme Week Pakistan - Islamabad

[caption id="attachment_211367" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Constitution Avenue © Zacharie Grossen/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Islamabad is the ninth largest city in Pakistan, while the larger Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the country's fourth largest with a population of about 7.4 million. Built as a planned city in the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad is note...

[ read more ]

Alkmaar in North Holland

Alkmaar in North Holland

[caption id="attachment_151347" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Cheese Market © Yoshi[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Alkmaar is a municipality and a city in the province of North Holland. Alkmaar is well known for its traditional cheese market. For tourists, it is a popular cultural destination. The North Holland Canal, opened in 1824, was dug through Alkmaar. In 1865 and 1867 the railways between Alkmaar and Den Helder and between Alkmaar and Haarlem were built respectively. In the second half of the 20th century, Alkmaar ...

[ read more ]

Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle

Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle

[caption id="attachment_164340" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © EMP|SFM Archive/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]EMP Museum is a nonprofit museum, dedicated to contemporary popular culture in Seattle. EMP Museum was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000. Since that time EMP has organized dozens of exhibits, 17 of which have toured across the US and internationally. The museum, which used to be known as Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM), has founded many public p...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn 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