Only a few short blocks from our hotel lies a staple of American and New York history in the neighborhood of Little Italy. Read on for how Little Italy has shaped our city.
Little Italy is Shrinking
Beginning in the 1840s, a large influx of Italian and Sicilian immigrants made their way from Ellis Island to the neighborhood of Five Points and gave birth to a sprawling culture of ideas and hope. What began as a thirty block, two square mile area with almost 10,000 people living and working there has since boiled down to only three blocks surrounding Mulberry Street.
One of the main attractions of Little Italy is, of course, their gourmet cuisine. Interestingly enough, the dish that most think of as “authentic” Italian cuisine, spaghetti and meatballs, actually originated right here in Little Italy. Meat products were less expensive in the city than in Italy, so families began incorporating it into their meals. At the same time, canned tomatoes were readily available and were relatively cheap to purchase. Eventually, the ingredients were combined to make the dish we all know and love today.