PODCASTLittle Italy is the pocket-neighborhood reminder of the great wave of Italian immigration which came through New York CityÂ starting in the late 1870s. Â This was the home of a densely packed, lively neighborhood of pushcarts, cheese shops, barber shops and organ grinders, populated by thousands of new immigrants in dilapidated old tenements.
The area has some of New York’s oldest still-operating shops, from Ferrara Bakery to Di Palo’s. Â But there’s also a dark side to this neighborhood, memories of extortion plots by the Black Hand and a perpetual presence of organized crime.
The present-day Little Italy is completely charming but constantly shrinking. How long can the neighborhood survive in the face of a growing Chinatown and the threats of gentrification?
PLUS: Our love/hate relationship with Nolita — REVEALED!