Posts Tagged ‘Italian neighborhoods in New York City’

“La Festa Di Santa Lucia” on East 12th Street

April 13, 2009

This 1960 painting, by New York City–born artist John Costanza, depicts a 1930 street fair on East 12th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A in honor of St. Lucy (there she glows in the first-floor window).

lafestadisantalucia2

This East Village neighborhood has long since ben colonized by professionals, hipsters, and NYU students. But decades ago it was home to a cluster of Italian immigrants.

A few reminders still exist: Veniero’s pastry shop, Lanza’s restaurant, and the former Italian Labor Center on East 14th Street, with its terra cotta panels depicting family life and work.

Ninth Avenue’s shrinking Little Italy

March 30, 2009

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. The 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