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Little Italy, ZIP 10030

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Little Italy is a neighborhood in lower Manhattan, New York City, once known for its large population of Italians. Today the neighborhood of Little Italy consists of Italian stores and restaurants.


Historically, Little Italy on Mulberry Street, extends as far south as Canal Street, as far north as Bleecker, as far west as Lafayette and as far east as the Bowery.


The Feast of San Gennaro originally was once only a one-day religious commemoration. It began in September, 1926 with the new arrival of immigrants from Naples. The Italian immigrants congregated along Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Little Italy to celebrate San Gennaro as the Patron Saint of Naples. The Feast of San Gennaro is a large street fair, lasting 11 days, that takes place every September along Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal Streets. The festival is as an annual celebration of Italian culture and the Italian-American community.




Much of the neighborhood has been absorbed and engulfed by Chinatown, as immigrants from China moved to the area. What was once Little Italy has essentially shrunk into a single street which serves as a restaurant area and maintains some Italian residents. The northern reaches of Little Italy, near Houston Street, ceased to be recognizably Italian, and eventually became the neighborhood known today as NoLIta, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. Today, the section of Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets is all that is left of the old Italian neighborhood. The street is lined with some two-dozen Italian restaurants popular with tourists and locals. Unlike Chinatown, which continues to expand in all directions with newer Chinese immigrants, little remains of the original Little Italy.


Italian culture and heritage website ItalianAware called the dominance of Italians in the area, "relatively short lived." It attributes this to the quick financial prosperity many Italians achieved, which afforded them the opportunity to leave the cramped neighborhood for areas in Brooklyn and Queens. The site also goes on to state that the area is currently referred to as Little Italy more out of respect and nostalgia than as a reflection of true ethnic population.


In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.


The other Italian American neighborhoods in New York City include:


Little Italy residents have seen organized crime from the early 1900s. Powerful members of the Italian mafia operated in Little Italy.



Mulberry Street circa 1900



The St. Patrick's Old Cathedral image taken on Mulberry Street side of the Cathedral.



Canal Street and Mulberry Street, where Chinatown and Little Italy meet.



The Most Precious Blood Church, during the San Gennaro Festival, featuring a shrine to San Gennaro on the left.



A San Gennaro shrine in the courtyard of the Most Precious Blood Church



Ray's Pizza at 27 Prince Street on the northern edge of Little Italy.



Lombardi's Pizza at 32 Spring Street in Little Italy



Street Vendors selling cheesesteak sandwiches, sausages and other foods lines the streets



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