Ninth Avenue’s shrinking Little Italy

There used to be several Italian neighborhoods in Manhattan, like the Pleasant Avenue vicinity in East Harlem (still home to Rao’s, the Mafia and celeb hangout) and in the South Village centered along Bleecker Street.

Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen was another one.┬áThe neighborhood is now Duane Reade-ified and its ethnic groups (Irish, Italian, Greek, among others) dispersed, but some of these old Italian-American businesses survive.

Like Mazzella’s Market, selling produce for more than 75 years:

mazzellasmarket

Not too many store signs contain the word “grosseria” anymore:

manganarogrosseria

Rib bellies! Smoked loins! Pig toes! All that and more are available at Esposito Pork Shop:

espositoporkshop

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4 Responses to “Ninth Avenue’s shrinking Little Italy”

  1. OmaK Says:

    I grew up on Bleecker St. between McDougal and Sullivan when it was an Italian neighborhood. We did not live in the “South Village, nor did we call it the “South Village”. We lived in Greenwich Village. What’s up with this re-naming of the neighborhood?

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    It seems to have been rebranded sometime in the last few years. Now there’s even a South Village Historic District: http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/south_village/south_village-main.htm

  3. OmaK Says:

    The GVSHP is probably embarrassed that they did not include this area in their original historic preservation of the Village. (I wonder if that was a political calculation because they did not want to be seen as attempting to thwart NYU’s plans to take over the entire area?) But just because they are calling it the SOuth Village does not mean that it is. After all, I grew up exactly 2 blocks from Washington Square Park, which is and always has been in Greenwich Village.

  4. Joe R Says:

    In the fictional world, Don Corleone’s Genco Olive Oil Import Company was also located along that stretch of Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

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