"Little Italy"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Dec 3 21:14:41 UTC 2001

A few months ago, I think, we were discussing "Little Italy" and
whether it referred to more than the one centered around New York's
Mulberry Street. Soon afterwards I read some interesting examples
which I never got around to posting, so I do so now.

These are from the new publication of Joseph "McSorley's Wonderful
Saloon" Mitchell's _My Ears are Bent,_ a collection of his
newspaper writing first published in 1938. The pieces are undated
but "a1938" should be accurate.

a1938 J. Mitchell in _My Ears are Bent_ II. ii. 38 If the war is
between Italy and Ethiopia, for instance, the idea is "How do the
Italians in New York City feel about the war?" When a reporter is
assigned to such a story he goes on a hurried tour of the ginmills in
the nearest Italian neighborhood (Mulberry Street if he works for The
World-Telegram and Harlem's Little Italy if he works for The Herald

and, even better,

a1938 J. Mitchell in _My Ears are Bent_ VII. iii. 225 Strife over the
Mussolini program split the Italians in the country into factions and
precipitated murders and bombings and civil wars in a hundred Little

Jesse Sheidlower

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