Little Italy

Squeezed between sprawling Chinatown and hipster NOLIta is the slither of what used to be: LITTLE ITALY. A clue to the neighborhood’s ethnic history can be found in “Lieutenant Petrosino Square”. Lt Joseph Petrosino was the smallest cop on the beat in the 1900’s but his undercover activities were Herculean. Adorning various disguises Petrosino infiltrated the gangs who victimized newly arrived Italians. Unfortunately he came to a sticky end. In 1909 Petrosino was ‘hit’ by the mob in Palermo while investigating American-Italian mafia activities.

I think about Lt Petrosino slipping in and out of LITTLE ITALY’S side streets dressed as a beggar – or a slick gangster. The sidewalks, crowded with Italian families, would carry the aroma of sweat, cigars, hot pastries, Roma coffee and simmering tomato sauces. I think Petrosino would dine at Angelo’s and so should you. Keep LITTLE ITALY alive – visit - eat there!