START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY – A WALK THROUGH LITTLE ITALY .

FB_IMG_1501779261721FB_IMG_1501779265670FB_IMG_1501779239525FB_IMG_1501779253093FB_IMG_1501779256054FB_IMG_1501779258921It  seems  as  though  the  three  of  you  are  walking  around  in  circles .

You’re  looking  for  Bowery  Street ,  which  supposedly  will  lead  the  three  of  you  to  your  next  destination  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  –  Little  Italy .

At  one  time ,  Bowery  Street  was  the  skid  row  area  of  the  city  with  many  people  down  on  their  luck .

Not  anymore .

”  See  that  huge  statue  of  Confucius , ”  you  say  to  your  cousins .

You  point  to  the statue  of  the  Chinese  philosopher  Confucius  looking  oh so  peaceful  near  the  entrance  to  the  Manhattan  Bridge .

Nearby  is  Columbus  Park ,  which  looks  very  calm  now ,  but  at  the  turn  of  the  century  this  was  the  center  of  the  very  dangerous  Four  Points  neighborhood .

You  remember  seeing  the  movie  and  reading  the  book  about  it  called  ”  The  Gangs  of  New  York . ”

You  all  finally  see  Bowery  Street  but  no  sign  that  Little  Italy  is  even  close  by .

You  see  a  map  that  tells  you  where  the  three  of  you  are .

There’s  another  Little  Italy  but  most  tourists  want  to  see  the  Little  Italy  that  the  three  of  you  are  having  trouble  finding .

This  is  the  Little  Italy  that  most  tourists  know  about ,  not  the  one  on  Arthur  Avenue  in  the  Bronx .

The  three  of  you  aren’t  the  only  tourists  that  seem  to  be  having   an  ”  Are  we  there  yet ?  moment .

Two  other  tourists  seem  to  be  looking  at  the  same  map  that  you  are .

As  the  three  of  you  keep  walking ,  you  finally  see  it .

One  of  your  cousins  points  to  the  banner  that  proudly  reads  :

”  WELCOME  TO  HISTORIC  LITTLE  ITALY .  ”

At  one  time  this  neighborhood  was  mostly  Italian ,  then  many  Chinese  people  moved  into  the  area ,  sending  many  Italians  out  of  the  neighborhood  and into  different  areas  of  the  city  and  other  boroughs .

The  three  of  you  forgot  how  long  it  took  you  all  to  get  here  once  you  saw  all  those  Pizzerias ,  Cappuccino  shops ,  and  Gelato  stands ,  not  to  mention  the  one stand  the  three  of  you  seem  very  mesmerized  by .

”  CANOLIS ! ,  ”  the  three  of  you  scream  out  in  unison .

What  would  a  trip  to  Little  Italy  be  without  seeing  a  stand  or  bakery  that  sells  canolis ?

The  three  of  you  are  tempted  by  the  little  crepes  filled  with  Vanilla  Cream ,  Chocolate  Cream ,  or  Vanilla  Hazelnut  Cream  surrounded  by  Chocolate  Chips .

This  is  one  of  the  reasons  you  all  wanted  to  see  Little  Italy  –  the  food .

After  you  all  have  paid  for  the  canolis ,  which  you’ll  eat  when  you  get  back  to  the  hotel ,  you  walk  across  the  street  to  the  San  Gennaro  Church .

This  church  is  the  starting  point  for  the  week  long  Feast  of  San  Gennaro ,  which  honors  the  patron  saint  of  Naples ,  Italy .

It  takes  place  in  September  and  you  all  can  imagine  how  much  fun  it  is .

Standing  on  the  sidewalk  and  looking  at  how  very  narrow  these  streets  are ,  you  wonder  how  anyone  could  get  through  here ,  let  alone  people  carrying  religious  statues  on  their  shoulders .

As  the  three  of  you  walk  into  the  courtyard  of  the  church  and  see  all  the  religious  statues  as  well  as  a  mural  honoring  the  Italian  –  American  soldiers  and  the  flag  of  Italy ,  you  all  don’t  seem  to mind  how  long  it  took  you  to  get  to  this  neighborhood ,  which  really  does  seem  to  be  swallowed  up  by  Chinatown .

 

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