Little Italy Is Dead, Long Live Chinatown


“Little Italy is becoming Littler Italy,” the New York Times declares in today’s paper, noting that census results released in December count not one person living in the New York City neighborhood as a native of Italy. This time around, only 5 percent of residents in the 24 square blocks identify as Italian-American, as compared to 6 percent in the year 2000, down from almost 50 percent in 1950. That year, when things were still in black-and-white, 2,149 residents were Italian-born, but by 2000, that number was already down to 44. Though it’s been swallowed by other, trendier neighborhoods like Soho, Noho and NoLIta, the real aggressor is Chinatown, which continues to take over.

Via the Times:

Following the lead of three local community boards, the City Planning Commission is expected in March to approve the creation of a Chinatown Business Improvement District, which would engulf all but about two square blocks of a haven that once spanned almost 50 square blocks and had the largest concentration of Italian immigrants in the United States.

“It’s really all Chinatown now,” said John A. Zaccaro Sr., owner of the Little Italy real estate company, founded by his father in 1935.

The Italians, meanwhile, have all moved back to the Motherland. By which we mean New Jersey.

New York’s Little Italy, Littler by the Year [NYT]

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