An American success story


Get your Tootsie Frootsie ice cream, before it melts

Get your Tootsi Frootsi ice cream, before it melts

Little Italy’s on the brink of extinction From an original 50-square blocks to three, and those three are on the way out. The NY Post article provides a voice to the nostalgic but it seems to me that this is really a story of assimilation, with the Italians succeeding and dispersing, as the Jews who replaced the Germans in the lower East Side did, and even – proving that there is a merciful God – the Irish did when they left the bogs and shanties of what would become Central Park and moved out of the city to afflict proper towns like Greenwich. It’s all change, and it’s all good. Besides, the yuppies’ spawn need someplace to live.


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30 responses to “An American success story

  1. Anonymous

    many landlords are chinese.

    same thing’s happening in san francisco.

    both are a bastion of what once was. the younger generations aren’t stepping in to take over he family biz that provided them a better opportunity than their parents/grandparents.

    and yes, it is sad, but whattayagonnado?

  2. Who’s next?
    Probably not the dwindling WASC (White Anglo Saxon Catholic) proud subspecies.
    At least we are still breeding!

  3. anon

    Little Italy has been in name only for years before this. No self-respecting Italian would eat there; the few restaurants left make meals the tourists think are Italian, not what Nonna would have made in Naples. Telltale sign, good luck finding a cannoli made with ricotta not some sugary concoction. Brooklyn has more true Italian neighborhood stores than Manhattan. I hope when Little Italy disappears, the San Gennero festival disappears too. Once an iconic Italian tradition, now it’s a street party of drunk kids from NYU and booths selling Che t-shirts.

  4. Anonimo

    Greenwich Town Hall is the new Little Italy.

  5. Anonymous Citizenette

    Pretty much same thing going on down on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Still some Italian shops and restaurants left, the indoor marketplace is still there, but kinda sad when I remember how it used to be.

    • Anonymous

      Providence. It has all the IROC driving gumbahs you could want and the southern peasant food we think of as Italian cuisine.

    • FF

      You want assimilation, the vast preponderance of restaurants on Arthur Avenue are owned by Albanians, who heartily adopted Italian food upon their colonization in the 1930’s

  6. Mazama

    Same thing has transpired in San Francisco’s one large Italian North Beach neighborhood.

    When I lived in SF circa 1972-74, Chinatown ended sharply where Grant Avenue intersected Broadway and from there to the bay North Beach still had a lot of Italian residents and was full of Italian owned and operated restaurants, groceries, bakeries, old style coffee shops as well as small clothing, housewares and hardware stores full of imports from the old country. But the waitresses and cooks in “family style” Italian restaurants were closer to my parents’ age than mine, and I learned that some of the business operators already were commuting to North Beach from suburban residences.

    Last time I visited North Beach what was once the most “authentic” coffee house was Mexican owned and operated – even the period photos decorating the walls were now of Mexico! – with nary an Italian old timer to be seen. Now its closed.

    Washington Square Park, in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church (address is 666 (!) Filbert Street), was once considered the “spiritual heart” of Italian North Beach with its endless saints’ festivals, Italian weddings, street fairs, etc. Now each morning Washington Square Park is filled with hundreds of Chinese retirees doing their traditional exercise routines.

    The only constant is change.

  7. Anon2

    Cleveland has a very robust and traditional Little Italy neighborhood, off Mayfield road. Better than Boston or Chicago or Philly. Now I’m craving speecy spicy meatballs.

  8. Walt

    Dude –
    This is the progressives dream. We can’t have any ethnicity. BECAUSE WE ARE ALL THE SAME!! Differences are bad for some reason. Although we embrace diversity. That one still confuses me, which is why I think I can never be a progressive.

    Anyhows, it is politically incorrect to admit the Wop’s make better meatballs and spegatii.. sphagahtii…better pasta and meatballs. THAT’S OFFENSIVE FOR SOME REASON!! WHY?? They actually do!! As long as they don’t drop any armpit hair in it. Nobody does pasta better than the Wop’s. Even though the Chinks invented it.

    When are we going to stop pretending, and admit reality? That we are ALL different. And that is a good thing. Should we pretend the Chinks don’t have slanty eyes? Why? Should we not discuss the Greeks invented anal? Why? Should we pretend the French don’t retreat at the drop of a hat? Why?

    LET’S JUST BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER!! You self-important, better than thou, lily assed, uninteresting white WASP!! The reason you don’t embrace diversity is because WASP’S ARE all the same. YOU ARE BORING!! Puritanical, satanical, witch hunting, stick up the ass, prude abiding, law abiding, rule driven, personality hidden, frigid, rigid, BORING STICKS IN THE MUD!!

    So anyhows again, I will miss Little Italy. I like goomba’s, and garlic bread, and lasagna. Served by a hairy guy in a wife beater. Where can you find that in Greenwich?

    Cos Cob maybe?
    Your Pal,

    • You describe my tribe as “satanical, witch hunting, stick up the ass” puritans and yet dare call us boring? You just haven’t been invited to any of our yacht club balls – as a guest. Next time, put down your serving tray long enough to observe the jollity and fun we indulge in.

    • anonymous

      Some ethnicities fight to keep their cultural identity strong- Indian (both dot and feather), Jews (there are probably more Jews Only golf clubs than No Jews Allowed), Koreans are deeply attached to their heritage. Most others fear being different is bad. Different is what made America proud and strong.

      • Anonymous

        anon, in my own view and experience, the older folks of different ethnic background did indeed protect their culture, but they were all immensely proud of being AMERICAN.

        i have relatives from italy that didn’t even finish grade school, came here on the boat through ellis island, and spoke barely any english for literally decades. but they made a decent enough middle class life for their kids, who are now in their 50’s/60’s and who now have their own kids.

        america was the land of opportunity. today, i don’t really know what it stands for in the eyes of many. entitlement, maybe.

  9. Anonymous

    Do you know what a lot of these immigrants loved about America? No class warfare or limitations. Everyone has the chance to move up.

    Obama and his leftists are doing their best to change this

    • FF

      Yup, there is no class warfare, or class welfare in Little Italy. as you may have seen from the Post article, the Italians are getting out of there because their landlords are paying insane money for their real estate and passing that on to their tenants. What restaurant you know can survive a $34,000 a month rent? So I suppose by your rationale that Obama is responsible for rampant capitalism, and that the Italians that used to own the buildings are no longer in their rights to sell them at a decent profit because that might keep the Italians in their place or something like that.
      Please try harder next time

  10. BigMick

    I will not be baited by your anti-Irish remarks, you sheepshagger!!
    GPD Folk are you taking note here?

  11. Anonymous

    Great story I was told once by a an Irish guy with a NYSE seat or two.
    Back when he was young (call it 80 years ago), the Irish were treated like crap, basically. He was a runner in those times, and did whatever odd job he could do to make a buck.

    He had an interesting observation, saying that Latin Americans today (with respect to leadership positions in the financial markets) are where the Irish were back in his early days, and will one day be running the show.

    Does that mean I’ll be able to one day buy a slice of AAA CLO exposure from a taco truck parked on 7th ave?

    • anon2

      I can see that scenario happening, not just in the financial arena, but in business in general. Not all Latin Americans are industrious though, Guats and Hondurans more than others. Once again, blacks get left behind, opting to complain of continued white oppression and kissing the likes of Obama, Sharpton, and Rev. Jesse.

  12. Anonymous

    “Yeah gimme 2 asada soft tacos w/corn torillas, black beans on the side, and a slice of ABACUS 2018-6 AAA. Thanks amigo.”

  13. trayvon

    Latins will never run anything. The folks that do not work with their hands are absolute criminals.