Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Italy - only 5% Italian - but still all NYC

I'm married to a proud Italian-American and I'm always going to be a proud New Yorker no matter where I go, so this hits home.

According to the recent Census, only 5% of residents in Little Italy are of Italian descent, and there are NO residents originally born in Italy.

From the New York Times: "In 1950, nearly half of the more than 10,000 New Yorkers living in the heart of Little Italy identified as Italian-American. The narrow streets teemed with children and resonated with melodic exchanges in Italian among the one in five residents born in Italy and their second- and third-generation neighbors."

"The number of residents of Italian descent in the neighborhood has been declining since the 1960s, as immigration from Italy ebbed and Italian-Americans prospered and moved to other parts of the city and to the suburbs."

“When the Italians made money they moved to Queens and New Jersey, they sold to the Chinese, who are now selling to the Vietnamese and Malaysians,” said Ernest Lepore, 46, who, with his brother and mother, owns Ferrara, an espresso and pastry shop his family opened 119 years ago."

Apparently, as Chinatown moved north and SoHo moved east, the neighborhood has slowly been absorbed by the surrounding areas.

You haven't lived until you've attended the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy.  So NYC.

(tip from Joe.My.God)

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