Recap: Saturday’s Little Italy Unity Rally

Posted on: March 28th, 2011 at 6:28 am by

Dozens descended upon Little Italy at high noon on Saturday to show their support for the historic neighborhood.  From the outset, organizers wanted to make it clear that the rally was an Italian American unity gathering, not an instigation against the boutique owner nemeses.

This image has been archived or removed.

The route was essentially a church-to-church affair, meeting at the Franciscan Fathers Church of Most Precious Blood and marching northward on Mulberry Street to the St. Patrick’s Basilica at Prince.  It was a brief fifteen-minute hike, and aside from one outspoken gentleman, the overall crowd was fairly subdued.  Not much chanting, heckling, or violence.

This image has been archived or removed.

Upon arrival at the 200-year-old cathedral, the mob was treated to some live music and oratory from the pastor and also rally organizer Johnny Fratta.  His speech was more about Italian American unity in the face of bigotry than about the whole San Gennaro saga. It was a fitting platform to announce the nascent National Italian American Action Network to fight such injustice, and how this unity rally would occur each year as a show of solidarity.

Wellington Chen from the Chinatown Partnership also spoke, lending support to the cause, and to dispel incorrect notions that Chinatown butts heads with the Italian community here in the city.  “A diminished Little Italy doesn’t make a greater Chinatown,” he said.  “The day will come when the gondola and dragon boat [will move] down Mulberry.”

Recent Stories

DOT Reinstalls Chinatown Bilingual Street Signs

The Department of Transportation yesterday began replacing bilingual street signs around Chinatown that had been removed for reasons such as damage or construction projects. Crews showed up early on Mott Street to install a missing sign at the corner of Mosco, then proceeded to other spots in the neighborhood. The bilingual street signs first appeared […]

After 120 Years, Future of Parisi Bakery Looks Uncertain on Mott Street

Parisi Bakery, an institution in Little Italy dating back to the turn of the last century, appears to be on shaky ground. The landlord (May Leun Realty) last week taped an official Notice of Termination to the shuttered roll-down gate at 198 Mott Street. Seemingly signaling the end an era. The letter noted a cancelation […]

The Push to Save New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Building, as LPC Stalls

With plans to close the 165-year-old New York Eye and Ear Infirmary building on Second Avenue, demolition is likely the next step. Preservation-minded groups have been lobbying the city to save the building from possible destruction. Led by Village Preservation, the organization sent a Request for Evaluation letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on April […]

Excavation Underway on Affordable Grand Street Guild Towers

Work is officially underway on two new towers adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge. On-site excavation has been ongoing for several weeks at Broome and Clinton Streets, yielding plenty of dust and noise for neighbors. Earlier this year, demolition crews razed the two-story parking garage and Little Star early childhood center in the shadow of the […]

Mr. Fong’s Owner Plans All Day Cafe on Hester Street

Another day, another principal of Mr. Fong’s starting a new Lower East Side venture. Aisa Shelley – who co-founded the Chinatown hotspot with Lucas Moran, Noah Shelley, Daniel Eric Gold and Adam Moonves – is headed to 61 Hester Street. The long-inactive storefront previously occupied by L’estudio. There, Shelley will impart an “all day cafe” […]