Saturday, July 29, 2006

Welcome to Little Italy on Arthur Avenue

Most tourists think that New York's Little Italy is a few blocks in lower Manhattan filled with overpriced red-sauce spaghetti joints, tacky and vulgar t-shirts and knock-offs of designer duds. But knowledgeable New Yorkers know that the real Little Italy is in the Belmont section of the Bronx.

Arthur Avenue is the main street of Little Italy, packed with family run food shops and restaurants. Most of the places here not only sell Italian-style foods, they create it, including homemade cheese, sausage, pasta, bread, wine and pastry. The fish shops are operating-room clean, the bakeries warm and fragrant and the delis and cheese shops are brimming with pre-cut samples of their wares.

If you visit Arthur Avenue, you'll eat a little, drink a little, taste a little, walk a little. Have a cannoli, a handful of roasted ceci, a stuffed zucchini blossom, a briny clam on the half-shell, a slice of pepperoni, a chunk of olive bread. Benvenuto! Mangia, mangia!

Little Italy in the Bronx Posted by Picasa

Scungilli Posted by Picasa

Octopus Posted by Picasa

At sidewalk clam bar Posted by Picasa

Beef tripe Posted by Picasa

Inside pork store Posted by Picasa

Outside Teitel Brothers' store Posted by Picasa

Sidewalk display outside Teitel Brothers' store Posted by Picasa

Inside Arthur Avenue Retail Market: Thank you Mr. Capone Posted by Picasa

Rolling cigars at La Casa Grande Tobacco Company
 Posted by Picasa

Lamb heads inside Arthur Avenue Retail Market Posted by Picasa

In Arthur Avenue Market: Closed for my granddaughter Posted by Picasa

Inside Calandra Cheese Posted by Picasa

Cannoli filled while you wait Posted by Picasa

Inside Madonia's Bakery Posted by Picasa

Chocolate covered cannoli Posted by Picasa

Rum cakes Posted by Picasa

Cream puffs Posted by Picasa

Eclairs Posted by Picasa

Arthur Avenue & E. 187th St. Posted by Picasa

  • Arthur Avenue

  • Village Voice: Arthur Avenue

  • Saveur: Arthur Avenue Guide

  • eGullet: Arthur Avenue

  • Off the Broiler: Arthur Avenue

  • Gastropoda: Arthur Avenue

  • New York Magazine: Arthur Avenue

  • Mike's Deli on Arthur Avenue
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    The Kids from Phyllis Wheatley

    Students, to you 'tis given to scan the heights
    Above, to traverse the ethereal space,
    And mark the systems of revolving worlds

    --Phyllis Wheatley

    Although her poetry was once an international sensation, today Phyllis Wheatley is remembered more for her extraordinary life than her work.

    Born on the western coast of Africa in the mid-1700s and kidnapped by slave-traders, she was purchased by Bostonian John Wheatley as a servant for his wife. Her name was derived from those of her owners and the ship that transported her to America, the Phillis. Observing her quick mind (she learned English in only a few months), the Wheatleys defied custom by teaching the young slave to read and write. Soon she was reading English, Greek and Latin classics and the Bible and composing poetry.

    Six years after her arrival in America, Phyllis Wheatley's first poem was published; after another six years her book, the first published by a slave, made its debut. Her work brought her freedom, acclaim and renown. As a freewoman, she traveled in the US and abroad and met noted figures of the day including John Hancock and George Washington.

    These bright-eyed kids attend a school located in a tough corner of Brooklyn and named in Phyllis Wheatley's honor. Caught on a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they display the energy and imagination "to scan the heights" -- and more than a bit of youthful, joyful hamminess.

    Three friends Posted by Picasa

    Doing a split Posted by Picasa

    Handstand Posted by Picasa

    Deep dimples Posted by Picasa

    Break dancing Posted by Picasa

    Smiling boy Posted by Picasa

  • Women in History: Phyllis Wheatley

  • Poems of Phyllis Wheatley

  • The Complete Writings of Phyllis Wheatley

  • New York School Directory: Phyllis Wheatley Academy

  • Inside Schools: Phyllis Wheatley Academy

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art