mulberry bayswater shoulder bag Little Italy is getting smaller
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Little Italy is getting tinier as once vibrant immigrant community is diminished thanks to gentrification Little Italy is getting smaller
facebook email Owner of Cafe La Bella Ferrara, Frank Angileri, in front of his closed cafe on Mulberry St., once a tourist mainstay of Little Italy. (Lawrence Schwartzwald)
Raise the rents, take the cannoli: Little Italy is disappearing.
The downtown neighborhood long a haven for immigrant families from the old country was once threatened by an ever expanding Chinatown. But now the fatal blow is being delivered by the gentrifiers.
Young professionals, expensive lofts and boutique shops are all moving in. Brooks Brothers, the epitome of conservative style, is considering a Little Italy outlet.
“The blocks used to be full of Italian families,” recalled local resident Sonny Mongielle, 85. “Every block represented a different region of Italy.
Gaspar, a waiter who has worked for more than 35 years at Angelo of Mulberry St. in Little Italy. (Noonan, Jeanne Freelance NYDN)
“But it’s just a matter of time before Little Italy is no more,” he said.
The most recent census delivered stunning news for the tract at the heart of Little Italy: The neighborhood is home to not a single Italian born resident, down from 44 in the 2000 Census.
But the Chinese born population of Little Italy is down, too 31% and the Asian immigrant population is also on the decline, falling 18.6% in the last decade. (David Handschuh/New York Daily News)
What’s up are incomes and homogeneity.
The median pay of residents of Little Italy has risen 27% and the population of residents earning more than $100,000 is soaring, up 156% over the last decade. The white population is up 33%.
Celebs such as director Sofia Coppola were among the well to do recently checking out condos at the Brewster Carriage House at Mott and Broome Sts. The properties sold for millions.
Puglia Ristorante of Mulberry St. has cut back as Little Italy gets littler. (David Handschuh/New York Daily News)
“The lofts are selling for higher and higher,” said Tim Bascom, owner of Bascom Real Estate. “It’s becoming a cool place to be. Young people love it, and can afford it.”
Faith Hope Consolo, retail chairman for Douglas Elliman, said Little Italy remains caught in a residential and retail shift.
“This is SoHo extended,” she said. “The little boutiques are in Nolita, but they are coming fast to Little Italy.”
Director Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, viewed a million dollar condo at The Brewster Carriage House on Broome St. (David Handschuh/New York Daily News)
There are still 44 distinct Italian restaurants, bakeries and cafes in Little Italy.
At La Bella Ferrara, the monthly rent went from $7,000 to $17,000 in just two years and the sad owners closed after 42 years in business.