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Mulberry Street's Little Italy

Updated on May 29, 2013

Little Italy Early 1900s

This is the story of Manhattan's Little Italy. From the 1880's until the 1950s waves of Italian immigrants came to America and settled on Mulberry Street. Unlike the earlier Italian immigrants these people were poor and uneducated. They came to America for a better life for themselves and their families. They were hard working people struggling to make ends meet. They came here thinking that the streets were paved with gold. But soon, they realized that was not the case. The streets were paved with filth, disease, bigotry and hardships. But they survived and succeeded to make a much better life for their families.

Segregated by Region

When our great grandparents and grandparents settled in Little Italy they lived in the parts of Little Italy where people from their home towns lived in. For example, those from Naples lived on Mulberry Street. Elizabeth Street was home to those from Sicily and most notably Sciacca. Mott Street was home to those from Bari and Baxter Street was home to those from Calabria. Italians from the north lived on the south side of Canal Street along Baxter Street.

They did this to keep their local traditions alive and to be able to associate and hang with pisani from their section of Italy. One reason for their decision as to where to live was because many of these immigrants spoke the Italian dialects from their region. It was also a way to try to prevent their children from marrying those from different parts of the "Old Country", as inter marriage was frowned upon by older Italian immigrants. This still did not prevent children from marrying someone from one of the other regions of Italy.

Most Precious Blood Church
Most Precious Blood Church

The Early Years

Discrimination the Norm

As the Italian immigrants began arriving in large numbers they were the victims of hatred and disdain. Most of them were poor, coming to America for "a better life". The word in Italy was that in America "the streets were paved with gold". When they arrived here they realized that the streets were paved with filth, poverty, sickness and discrimination. That did not prevent them for working hard, taking any job offered them and making a success for their families. Most of these immigrants left their family’s home in Italy with the promise that when they had enough money they would send for them. The trip to America for many was in steerage at the bottom of the boat. Many caught diseases and when they finally arrived were sent back to Italy. On the trip to America they were abused by the more affluent passengers who slept in cabins at the top of the boat. Finally they arrived in America.

Italian immigrants had family members, who had arrived earlier, that took them in and got them settled in the "new world". Sleeping quarters were cramped and most of them lived in tenements and cold water flats. These new comers to America took menial jobs and worked hard in order to make enough money for their own place to live. Then they sent for the families left behind in Italy. In New York, many of the new comers took jobs in construction and worked as laborers, although they were paid much less then the non-Italians. They were beaten and urinated on by the so called Americans of that day. But they took it because they needed to work to support their families.

In Little Italy and many Little Italies in New York, discrimination even existed in the Catholic Church by church officials. Italian immigrants were not allowed to go to mass in the churches and had to have their services in the basements of the church. Two such churches in Little Italy were St. Patrick's Old Cathedral on Mott Street and Transfiguration on Mott Street, in what is now known as Chinatown. This forced the Italian community to put their money together and build their own church, the Church of the Most Precious Blood at 113 Baxter Street.

The discrimination got so bad that Pope Leo XIII had communications with Archbishop Michael Corrigan letting him know that the actions of the church in America with regard to the new immigrants was not acceptable and requested him to end that practice. Archbishop Corrigan ignored the request of Pope Leo. This infuriated Pope Leo and he instructed Mother Cabrini and her group of nuns, the Sisters of Charity, to come to America to work with the Italian immigrants. When she arrived in America, Archbishop Corrigan suggested she go back to Italy. Mother Cabrini refused and began to build orphanages and hospitals to help the poor. A free school was established on the Lower East Side where many of the poor immigrants lived. The sisters taught catechism in the Italian parish of St. Joachim, which was on Roosevelt Street now the Chatham Green Coop. All the while, Mother Cabrini with the sisters constantly traversed the streets of the Italian district, visiting families, trying to help and guide them, and bringing God nearer to them. To support themselves and the orphanage, the sisters had to beg for alms because the help they received from other women's religious congregations and donations from the wealthy were not enough to support the growing number of orphans. Young women soon offered their help and some asked to join the Institute.

In the new world, another culture, without contacts, not knowing the language, Mother Cabrini set out to establish her mission. She went back to Archbishop Corrigan and gained his support and friendship. He approved the house in which the Countess di Cesnola wanted the new missionaries to live. On Palm Sunday of 1890, an orphanage for Italian children was inaugurated on the property, part of which the missionaries occupied as a convent.

World War 2

Fighting the Good Fight

When Italy declared war on America it was a tough time for Italian Americans. But they knew what they had to do. When America called their sons to defend our country, Italian Americans did not hesitate. Many of them enlisted to fight for this country but at the same time fought to liberate their homeland from the tyranny of Mussolini. Italian Americans made up the largest ethnic group fighting for America and they had to largest casualties of any ethnic group.

Those that came home from the war, came home with medals for the fight they waged. John Basilone, Vito Bertoldo, William Bianchi, Anthony Casamento, Ralph Cheli, Joseph Cicchetti, Mike Colalillo, Peter Dallasandro, Anthony P. Damato, Frank J. PatracraArthur F. DeFranzo, Gino J. Merli, Frank J. Patrarca, and Robert M. Viale were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their service to our Country.

When America called Italian Americans from Little Italies all across this Country answered that call.

War Bond Fundraiser
War Bond Fundraiser

On the Home Front

Serving America Anyway They Can

For those not in the service during World War 2 found other ways to help in the war effort. In Manhattan's Little Italy War Bond Committees were formed. Many events were held such as Victory Balls to raise money for the war effort.

Post World War 2

1950s a Time Of Innocence

After the war ended many of the service men arrived home to Little Italy. This was the beginning of the baby boomer age. Second and third generation Italian Americans were now being raised in Little Italy. Times were great and Little Italy was like one big family. The building I was born in was 123 Baxter Street, a cold water flat. The toilets were in the hallway. We were poor but we didn't know it because back then most people that lived in Little Italy were in the same economic status. We were happy and loved living in a neighborhood such as Little Italy. Everyone living in the building was like family. The bond of friendship was strong. There were no locks on the doors and it was common practice to walk into your neighbor’s house and enjoying a cup of coffee. On a Sunday the aroma of the gravy, not sauce, and meatballs cooking permeated the whole building.

The streets were filled with kids playing various street games, IE stickball, kick the can, ringalevio, tag and hide and seek. Kids played in the streets until they got the call from their parents to come home for dinner or to sleep. The call was not made by a cell phone, they did not exist. It was the old fashion way, out the window. On the hot summer days the fire hydrants were open for all to cool off. I remember my father bringing home a block of ice and placing it in a bucket with a fan behind it. That was our air conditioning. On those hot summer nights many slept on the fire escapes and the rooftops.

Little Italy was a safe neighborhood. What made it safe was the neighborhood protecting itself. If a stranger was seen going into a building, he was stopped and questioned as to where he was going. If a neighborhood person was being harassed or attacked, within seconds the street was full of neighborhood people to help him.

Religious Celebrations

The Feasts of Little Italy

Italian immigrants took with them to America their many customs. One of those customs was honoring their patron saints outdoors. In Little Italy, they continued that tradition. Three feasts were larger than the others. Sicilians, especially from the region of Agrigento, went all out for the huge September festival of San Gandolfo. In July, thousands turned out to honor the Madonna del Carmine. And in the fall, Neapolitans paid their respect to the patron of their mother city, San Gennaro."

Worshippers lined the streets as processions moved toward the parish church, and they vied to pin money on the statue, place gifts on platforms, or make various penances such as walking barefoot or crawling to the feast. The Saint Rocco Procession had many worshipers carrying body parts (fake) thanking the Saint for curing an ill of that body part for themselves or a family member. Irish prelates frequently attempted to ban such events, viewing them as pagan rituals and public spectacles. I remember as a child many women from Mulberry Street would walk barefoot to Italian Harlem as a devotion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Most strictly old-world forms of religious observance and belief were discarded as the second and subsequent generations grew to maturity, leading to what some have called the "hibernization" of Italian American Catholicism. Many feast day celebrations remain, although, in some cases, they have been transformed into mass cultural events which draw thousands of non-Italians. The San Gennaro feste in Manhattan's Little Italy is a case in point: once celebrated only by Neapolitans, it now attracts heterogeneous crowds from hundreds of miles away.

Today, only four feast continue in Little Italies; San Gennaro, Saint Anthony, Madonna del Carmine and Santa Rosalia. San Gennaro being the largest feast which continues to be held in September on Mulberry Street.

Pedestrianization of Little Italy

Mulberry Street Mall

In 1994 the small restaurants and cafes in Little Italy were threatened with strict enforcement of the sidewalk cafe laws by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The regulations that are in place to be able to get a legal sidewalk cafe license would restrict many of the very small mom and pop businesses on the strip. This would make it difficult for them to survive in business and force them to close. It would also give an unfair advantage to the restaurants and cafes that have a larger front. Depending on the frontage of the outside of your establishment would determine the number of tables and chairs that you can legally place on the sidewalk. Also, if there is a vault located in your frontage and table cannot be placed there. The concern that we had was that if these stores were forced to close because of the fact that they could not legally place tables on the sidewalk Little Italy will lose more mom and pop businesses that have been in existence for many years.

So, in 1994, I, Anne Compoccia and Kenneth Marino went to the City and asked if we could resurrect a pedestrian mall that was done in 1975 for one year and failed. What we had wanted was to remove the parking and have ornate Italian fences with plants placed between the driving lane and the area that was being used for parking. Thus, creating an area where the visitors can walk and leaving space for tables and chairs on the sidewalk. We would then apply for a blanket permit for all the locations giving them the right to have their tables and chairs out. The city reviewed our plans and rejected them because they were concern for the safety of the visitors walking in that space should a car lose control and go into the fence. The city then recommended that we close the streets to all traffic which would then create a Little Italy Mall. Since then, the mall begins on the last weekend of May and runs up to the San Gennaro Feast in September.

This mall has been an enormous benefit to these struggling businesses. Without this mall Little Italy would no longer exist and the storefronts would be taken over by "high end" boutiques and businesses.

Little Italy businesses

In Little Italy today you will find the following businesses.

  • Accessoroes by Regali

    118 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 925-5501

  • Anthony Shoes

    126 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 334-8482

  • Alleva Diary

    188 Grand Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 941-1025

    Alleva Diary

  • All State Glass Corp

    85 Kenmare Street

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 226-2517

  • Amici II

    165 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/amiciII/

  • Angelo's of Mulberry Street

    146 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    Phone: 212-966-1277

    Fax: 212-925-0367

    http://www.angelosofmulberryst.com/

  • Aqua Star

    172 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 431-4311

  • Benito's 1 the Original

    174 Mulberry St Frnt

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 226-917

  • Buona Notte

    120 Mulberry St

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 965-1111

    www.buonanottenyc.com

  • Caffe Napoli e Trattoria

    Canta Napoli

    191 Hester Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-8705

  • Caffe Palermo

    148 Mulberry St

    (between Hester St & Grand St)

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 431-4205

    www.caffepalermo.com

  • Caffe Roma

    385 Broome Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-8413

  • Cha Cha's In Bocca Al Lupo Cafe

    113 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/chacha/

  • Casa Bella Italian Ristorante Restaurant

    127 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 431-4080

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/casabella/

  • Da Gennaro Ristorante

    129 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 431-3934

  • Da Nico

    164 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 343-1212

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/danico/

  • DiPalo's of Little Italy

    200 Grand Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-1033

    http://www.dipaloselects.com/

  • Eileen's Cheesecake

    17 Cleveland Place

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 966-5585

    www.eileenscheesecake.com

  • Ferrara Bakery and Cafe

    195 Grand Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-6150

    www.ferraracafecafe.com

  • Florio's Grill & Cigar Bar

    192 Grand St (nr. Mulberry St.)

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 226-7610

    http://www.florios.com

  • Giovanna's Ristorante Italiano

    128 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 334-3811

  • Grotta Azzurra Ristorante

    177 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 925-8775

    grottaazzurrany.com

  • Il Cortile

    125 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/ilcortile/

  • Il Fornaio

    132 Mulberry St Ste A

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 226-8306

    ILFORNAIO.COM

  • IL Palazzo Restaurant

    151 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 343-7000

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/ilpalazzo/

  • Il Piccolo Bufalo

    141 Mulberry Street

    (between Grand St & Hester St)

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 219-9068

    www.ilpiccolobufalo.com

  • Just Shades

    21 Spring Street

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 966-2757

    www.justshadesny.com

  • La Bella Ferrara

    108 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 966-7867

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/labellaferrara/

  • La Mela Ristorante

    167Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 431-9493

    www.lamelarestaurant.com

  • Lendy Electric Eqpt Supl Corp

    176 Grand St

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 941-1334

    www.truevalue.com

  • Lombardi's

    32 Spring Street

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 941-7994

    fttp://www.FirstPizza.com

  • Lunella Ristorante

    173 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 966-6639

    www.lunellaristorante.com

  • Mambo Italiano Ristorante & Piano Bar

    145 Mulberry Street

    New York

    (717) 919-6930

    www.mambolittleitaly.com

  • Manhattan Grand Optical

    203 Grand Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 219-8896

    http://manhattangrandoptical.com

  • Mulberry Street Bar

    176 1/2 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-9345

  • Mulberry Street Cigar Co

    140 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 941-7400

  • Onieal's Grand Street Bar & Restaurant

    174 Grand St

    (between Baxter St & Centre Market Pl)

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 941-9119

    www.onieals.com

  • Paesano of Mulberry Street

    136 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/paesano/

  • Parisi Bakery

    198 Mott Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-6378

  • Pellegrino's

    138 Mulberry Street

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 226-3177

    http://www.littleitalynyc.com/pellegrinos/

  • Pomodoro Ristorante

    31 Spring Street

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 966-9229

    www.pomodoroypguides.net

  • Poly Pharm Drug Co

    208 Mott Street

    New York, new York 10012

    (212) 226-1415

  • Positano, Manhattan

    122 Mulberry St

    New York, NY 10013

    Contact: (212) 334-9808

  • Puglia Ristorante

    (212) 966-6006

    189 Hester St

    New York, NY 10013

    pugliaofnyc.com

  • E. Rossi & Co

    193 Grand Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-9254

  • Rudy's Pizzeria

    174 Hester Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 941-1025

  • Sambuca's Cafe

    105 Mulberry Stret

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 431-0408

    www.sambucascafe.com

  • Sofia's of Little Italy

    143 Mulberry St

    (between Hester St & Grand St)

    New York, NY 10013

    (212) 219-9799

    www.sofiaslittleitaly.com

  • Spring Mart

    202 Mott Street

    New York, New York 10012

    (212) 941-6601

  • S.P.Q.R. Restaurant

    133 Mulberry Street

    NYC, NY 10013

    Tel: 212-925-3120

    Fax: 212-925-2382

    http://spqrnyc.com/

  • Umberto's Clam House

    132 Mulberry Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 431-7545

    www.umbertosclamhouse.com

  • Vincent's in Little Italy

    119 Mott Street

    New York, New York 10013

    (212) 226-8133

    www.originalvincents.com

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is great information, I like them very much. :)

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Some of my best friends have Italian last names and have good reason to be proud of them! What an impressive list of Little Italy businesses. May the old neighborhood flourish, prosper and resist being homogenized.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      There's a great old hand coloured photo of Mulberry Street in the wikicommons on wikipedia. It's one of my favourite pictures and I don't even know Mulberry St. Let me know if you can't find it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Wonderful historic info.

    • Meloramus profile image

      Meloramus 5 years ago

      Excellent insight into Little Italy and its culture!

    • profile image

      ottnepal 5 years ago

      you are mostly welcome to Nepal. Nepal is not only for climbing mountain. Nepal is a country which is naturally decorated. are lots of places for visiting. Nepal is birth place of Lord Buddha. You can visit Lumbini (birth place of Buddha) and can pray for peace in whole world.

    • tjustleft profile image

      tjustleft 5 years ago

      Such a wonderful lens. I really enjoyed learning about Italian Americans and Little Italy :)

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
      Author

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @vecchios-sicilian: thank you for visiting my lens and your comment

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
      Author

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: thank you for visiting my lens and for your comment

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh wow, this is a great glimpse of Little Italy. Thanks!

    • vecchios-sicilian profile image

      vecchios-sicilian 5 years ago

      Ah Little Italy from when I was a child and still today I visit there often. Angelos is my favorite Italian Restaurant and who can resist The Feast of St. Genero every year. Vincents and Umbertos...nice memories. Thank You.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      interesting lens.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 5 years ago

      Wonderfully done! I learned about Little Italy today. Thank you so much! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Happy April Fool's Day!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 5 years ago from Canada

      WE have a Little Italy in Ottawa although I am sure it is pretty little.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to my Best of St. Patrick's Day lens.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 5 years ago from London, England

      Very interesting lens.

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      You put a lot of work into this. The business directory is especially nice. My husband grew up in a similar neighborhood in Philadelphia. Those friendships and relationships are lifelong.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
      Author

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Thank you for visiting my lens and for your comment.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, you've got a lot of Italian-American history on this lens. Interesting read!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
      Author

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @lyttlehalfpint: Thank you for visiting my lens and for your comments.

    • lyttlehalfpint profile image

      lyttlehalfpint 5 years ago from Canada

      Even though I am not in your neck of the woods, I would love to support this endeavour, anything that saves some history, is a wworthwhile cause. This is also a pretty darn ingenious idea to helping mom and pop stores. Great lens

    • DIY Mary profile image

      DIY Mary 5 years ago

      What a rich and interesting history! I've only been to New York City once in my life (and it was a very brief visit), but the next time I get the chance, I will definitely visit Little Italy.

    • profile image

      PollyFreakingAnna 5 years ago

      Really interesting lens. I'm sorry to say that the only exposure I've had to Little Italy was in movies. I'd love to read an entire lens on Mother Cabrini!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I believe my family once ate in Little Italy at a place called Villa Penza. It was in the late 60's. It was very good.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @LiteraryMind: Yes, Villa Penza was a very good restaurant. Too bad it closed down some years ago. The food was great.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @TheBaseballCoach: thank you for visiting my lens.

    • TheBaseballCoach profile image

      TheBaseballCoach 5 years ago

      Wonderful story about Mulberry streets Little Italy

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
      Author

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @kathysart: thank you very much for visiting my lens and giving me your blessing

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Ohh I want to go there! Great lens, so interesting. Angel blessed.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @Paul Ward: Thank you, Paul. The profile settings have already been changed. I will make the changes you suggested.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Really good lens on Mulberry Street's Little Italy. If ever you add a few more pics and break up some of the longer paragraphs contact me - you're one step away from a Blessing

      ps edit your profile and enable Contact - that way people can send you private messages.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @kathysart: Thank you Kathy for the blessing and the liking. You made me hit 20 likes and I really appreciate it.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Oh YAY I was # 20 in liking this wonderful lens.. it is for sure WONDERFUL! and it is ANGEL BLESSED!! whoooot whooot!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens and love the way you've made this history come alive. Nice use of Yelp too by the way. I love the business pictures they speak volumes.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      This is a well documented story that reminds me of the Italian community where I grew up in Bondi. We were very wary of them as well and later I loved them so much that it was important for me to learn italian and to go to Italy to see where they had come from. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @homesteadinglif: I am glad that you enjoyed my lens. Mulberry Street is a very unique place and for those of us who were born and raised there it is a special place in out hearts. Not sure where you live now but if you find yourself in New York come in person, especially during the summer of the San Gennaro Feast.

    • homesteadinglif profile image

      homesteadinglif 5 years ago

      I lived in Naples when I was younger and have very warm memories of pizza (of course) and the wonderful people. We arrived on Christmas eve and were surprised to learn about Buofanna (not too sure about the spelling) and the throwing of everything out in the streets on new years! lovely lens, brings back fond memories..nice to get to stroll down the streets of Little Italy in New York with out having to leave home :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cool Lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You are sharing a wonderful piece of history here...with love!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image
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      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      @jvyzsy: thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • jvyzsy profile image

      jvyzsy 5 years ago

      Really informative lens. I am sure a lot of people will like it too.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Awesome lens with some truly historic photos, thanks for sharing. If the young Italian Americans knew of our families sacrifices to come to America, they wouldn't be watching shows like Jersey Shore & Mob Wives, nor would they be playing games like Mafia Wars. When I went to Ellis Island I wanted to cry when I saw what they went through and how they were treated.