Skip to comments.Little Italy is on the brink of extinction
Posted on 03/30/2014 12:06:33 PM PDT by Olog-hai
A piece of New York City history is bidding arrivederci.
Rising rents and changing demographics have driven Little Italy to the verge of extinction. Once a teeming neighborhood stretching 50 square blocks, it now barely covers three blocks of Mulberry Streetand even that strip is under threat.
You cant rebuild Little Italy, said Robert Ianniello Jr., owner of the famed Umbertos Clam House. If we go away, it will never be here again. You cant build an Olive Garden and say its Little Italy.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
You rais-a da rents and ba-bing, weeze all moved to Joisey. What? You tink weeze all stooopid, Paisan?
Umber tow Clam House is where Carmine “Lillo” Galante got gunned down
It has been a mob hangout for years IMHO
The problem is that the Italian immigrants all died off and their descendants all moved to nicer neighborhoods (and eventually to the suburbs), leaving behind only a few restaurants and bakeries. The same thing happened to the traditionally Jewish part of the Lower East Side.
Well, some people think Olive Garden is great authentic Italian food.
Ethnic neighborhoods of many ethnic groups have faded away, as such groups assimilated and many of their members moved to the suburbs.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but, I’ve heard that Chinatowns in many cities have been preserved more as tourist attractions, than neighborhoods in which big numbers of ethnic Chinese still live. I’ve heard that many shopowners and restaurant owners in these Chinatowns don’t live in the Chinatowns anymore. Just what I’ve heard. The same may well be true of Little Italys in various cities.
Italians are now part of the melting pot.
It’s-a Catch-a 22.
‘ey, paisan’. Whutsa matta fo’ you. You talkin’ **** witout knowin’ whatchyou talkin’ aboud.
We’ll see how long the barrios last.
I wonder what’s happening in the Murray Hill district in Cleveland? Haven’t been there in a few years.
We’ll always have Harlem :-)
Many of the Italian restaurants in Little Italy have Mexican’s cooking the food and waiting on tables. Many of the Italians who owned the restaurants there worked hard so their children could go to college and become upwardly mobile. My father used to go to Little Italy often to purchase Italian records. Those days like my dad are long gone.
Come on up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx if you want Little Italy.
It seemed to me some years ago at least, that were it not for the Vietnamese, LA’s Chinatown would be in its death throes.
Ah yo, gummba, the San Genero festival at NY is a 300 pace stroll. Heck, Hoboken ‘s SG festival is bigger & better, and includes the local Catholic parish. Just saying. But true, little Italy is did shrink due to migration. My parents neighbors of my childhood home where my parents still live is flanked by good folks whom grown up in little Italy.
Mrs. Jrzguy is from Korea. I took her to Ktown in nyc, its bigger than little italy, I was surprised by that.
I think the only way an ethnic ghetto can last is if it gets a regular pilgrimage from “the old country”, to reinforce the old ways and introduce the new generation to them.
I heard that all the Japanese restaurants in Phoenix are owned by Koreans.
MacArthur Park was all mansions around WWI, now it’s a slum full of illegals from Central America.
HEY for mafia fans Godfather 1 2 3 is on Cinemax right now
Tsk, tsk, tsk ... how very "unmillenial" of you. Don'cha know you that melting pot/assimilation and salad bowl are no longer approved by Big Brother? (sarcasm off)
I remember that song LOL!
It seems there are a lot of Vietnam Chinese living there--from Cholon in South Vietnam and Haiphong in North Vietnam. A lot of Chinese from mainland and offshore China now live in San Marino, Alhambra and Monterey Park.
Bring it back?
Italians need to have families of 6+ children again...
Actually SO CAL we have Little Saigon in Westerminter thanks to Duck Dynasty craze SO CAL resident are renaming Little Nam
In San Diego CA we still have Little Italy that not going away LOL!
The Italian community in Los Angeles vanished decades ago. Many “Italian” restaurants here are owned by Middle- and Far Easterners and are staffed by Latinos. The Eastside Market just outside Chinatown is one that is owned by an Italian family, and they serve good food.
There is an iconic Sopranos episode toward the end of the series, they are in Little Italy on a foggy day, they walk a block or two the fog clears and they are in Chinatown already.
Other ethnicities can move in to keep a neighborhood vibrant. Cambodians and Vietnamese have moved into LA’s Chinatown and Toronto’s as well. Most of the better quality Chinese restaurants are in the suburbs of both cities but the “old” Chinatowns do have good Vietnamese restaurants.
You’re right about the management but that has been true of many ethnicities. Most of the professional Ukrainians that used to be in my neighborhood now live in western and northwestern suburbs of Chicago.
Many Thai, Vietnamese and sushi restaurants around the country are actually managed or owned by ethnic Chinese from those countries. My local Thai place is run by Cantonese-speaking folks from Bangkok. Prior to attending a wedding in Tucson I went to a sushi place and asked the Chinese maitre d’ if he liked sushi? Apparently, the entire crew was from China. In Shanghai dialect, he pragmatically said, “young people like sushi so that is our market, too.”
While living in Italy for a half-year I came to the conclusion that Olive Garden is a far cry from the great food I had in central and northern Italy, especially in the little family-owned places. At one little newly-opened roadside trattoria, the daughter of the owners gave me a handmade bowl and plate in a matching pattern; I still have the plate - great memories.
“Hey, come over here kid, learn something. You never know when you might have to cook for twenty guys someday.
“First, you fry some garlic.......
BTW, I made Godfather spaghetti for the first time. Just now managed to lose the last of the ten pounds that resulted. The secret is Italian sausage. That recipe should be banned.....
So, when Italians can make the down payment, they move to the suburbs like everyone else since the end of WWII. What’s the mystery?
I miss eating at Puglias. The sheepshead was to die for. Great entertainment. Think I might still have pictures of the guy who used to bring in the parrot.
“Come on up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx if you want Little Italy.”
Yep. Haven’t been to Dominicks Italian restaurant in a few years, definitely overdue for a visit.
This seems to be happening in a lot of places. Lots of Koreans in San Francisco's Japantown, although many restaurants are labeled as Korean eateries. I eat often at Japanese restaurants in and near SF, and it's somewhat disconcerting to see and hear the staff are filipino or Korean, although the chefs are largely Japanese (except one place where the sushi chef is white).
As long as Arthur Avenue in the Bronx exists, there will be a Little Italy
Same with some Chinese restaurants too especially franchised ones like Panda Express, Pei Wei and others.
Hey Jimmy whats’tsa matta fa you...Carmine got whacked at Joe and Mary’s...it was Crazy Joe Gallo what got his at Umbertos...
No, Crazy Joe Gallo.
Well, that's what I did, sort of. I went to Google Street View and searched Arthur Avenue in the Bronx from Crotona Park to E. Tremont Ave. and did not see a single Italian business, let alone a restaurant. Did I miss something; am I looking in the right place?
I grew up not far from the other Little Italy—Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. It was a huge mob stronghold that used to be the safest neighborhood in the Bronx. I mean, you could walk around the area at 2:00am and never, ever feel afraid. The old timers have died off, the younger generation have moved to the suburbs, and the neighborhood is now only about three square blocks compared to the entire area that it used to be. I have so many memories of how great the area used to be just like Manhattan’s Little Italy. I hate to say it, but when the mob moved out, things changed. And not for the better.
Chinatown has been swallowing Little Italy for years and for the reasons you state. This has been going on for at least 25 years.
Arthur Avenue is fun and good but it is not the same size as what was formerly Little Italy.
And Hispanics have been preparing and hand carving the pastrami at Katzes for years.
“Can’t even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup.” - Goodfellas
It honestly makes me wonder how Cajuns and coonasses keep their cultures ongoing and alive. I guess nobody else wants to go live in the swamps and near the bayous in the backwoods. It seems even a good many of the few who go to college, come back.
Dominick’s is still good. Still no menus. Still no credit cards. Though a few years ago, the owner was followed home after closing up the place and was robbed at home. Teitel Brothers and Randazzo’s are still there too and just as good as ever.
It’s an immigrant neighborhood - the Italians and Eastern European Jews took over the Lower East Side after the Irish, and now the Italians and Jews have gotten better off and moved away and the neighborhood is either Asian (mostly Chinese and Vietnamese).
Of course, there’s also a lot of prosperous younger New Yorkers of a variety of backgrounds, and there are some very fancy mixed-use buildings replacing the tenements and even the old housing projects.
I don't think so. Crazy Joe Gallo was gunned down at Umberto's and Galante got his at Joe and Mary's, in Brooklyn.
Maybe I'll just stay home...
“Well always have Harlem :-)”
Even Harlem is returning to its gentrified self of a century ago. Getting hard to find ethnic anywhere. And, really, that’s a good thing (except for the eateries).
It’s a shame. Particularly will miss the Ristorante S.P.Q.R. Love the San Gennaro festival and the church. Seems that few successful things can last forever in their original form. America has too many lawyers.