Italian Unity Rally: Little Italy 03/26/11
The Italian Unity Rally in Little Italy
Over the past few years tensions have increased between the upscale markets of the portion of Little Italy dubbed “Nolita” by real estate developers and the businesses and residents of traditional Little Italy. The focus of the tension is the annual San Gennaro Festival, part street fair, part religious festival part culinary extravaganza, the merchants and residents of Nolita launched an effort to contain the festival by shortening the space allotted. The Festival won this round, with the usual Canal to Houston stretch of Mulberry Street open for festival booths.
Today the Italian American community rallied and marched along the festival route to demonstrate their solidarity and cohesion of the community. Representatives from the Chinatown community turned out and marched in solidarity with the folks of Little Italy. The store owners and residents went about business as usual while what some construe as “victory lap” was taken through the neighborhood.
As far as I am concerned the merchants of “Nolita” complaining about San Gennaro makes as much sense as someone moving into Chinatown and complaining about all the signs being in Chinese. One doesn't change the history of neighborhood by changing the name to something trendier, no matter what the real estate developers say, Nolita is part of Little Italy. And Clinton is just nonsense, it's Hell's Kitchen.