On this week's show we celebrate the time of the famous San Gennaro Festival in New York by exploring the two neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan where Italian immigrants settled: Little Italy and the southern part of Greenwich Village.
My guests will be returning Rediscovering New York guest/expert Joyce Gold, Founder of Joyce Gold History Tours; and a member of the local business community in Little Italy.
Jeff introduces his first guest, Joyce Gold of Joyce Gold History Tours, a regular on the show. Joyce starts by talking about moving to New York at fourteen and how she began working with NY history. Jeff then asks what Little Italy was like before Italians settled in it, and they talk about the Irish immigrants who lived there first. Joyce moves on to talk about how poor Italian immigrants began to move to New York. Jeff asks how the Italian wave of immigrants in the 1900s differed from the other types of immigrants. Jeff talks about how Ellis Island had the largest number of Italian immigrants and the neighborhoods settled by these Italians. Joyce then discusses how Italians from different parts of Italy settled into other neighborhoods. Jeff and Joyce talk about the work that male Italians would get, which Joyce describes as the “dirtiest and most dangerous jobs.” This leads to them talking about how the Italian women worked in factories and candy manufacturing stores. Jeff moves on to talking about the horrendous conditions in impoverished NY areas and some of the Italians who lived in them.
Jeff begins by asking Joyce about how she is operating her tour business in the wake of the pandemic. Next, Jeff asks about the Italian immigrant’s religious experience once they came to New York and how they got along with the Irish. They go on to talk about the historic Saint Patrick’s church and how it has evolved over the years. Jeff asks about the major churches still operating in Little Italy today, which leads Joyce to talk about Saint Gennaro’s church, which has been open since the 1920s. Jeff changes topics by asking why Italians had such little political control when they first came to the city. Jeff and Joyce talk about Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and why he was such a beloved mayor. They talk about how he went after gangster Lucky Luciano in an effort to change harmful stereotypes of Italians at the time and how during a newspaper strike, he would read comics over the radio to children. Jeff asks Joyce why she thinks films about Italian Americans have always been so prevalent in our culture and the significant films about the Italian experience. Jeff then asks about what displaced Italians from Little Italy as time went on.
Jeff introduces his next guest Lou Di Palo owner of Di Palo’s fine foods. Due to technical difficulties, Jeff has Joyce back on to ask about Italian immigrant children’s experience in schools. Italian children were often put down by teachers who believed stereotypes that they were dirty and unintelligent. Jeff asks Joyce the origins of the San Gennaro festival, which began as a festival to honor Saint Januarius by local store owners. Lou rejoins the podcast, and Jeff starts by asking if Lou lives in Little Italy and his ancestor’s experience moving there. Lou discusses how his great grandfather opened the first Di Palo’s food store and how his family still owns it today. Jeff then asks Lou about his travels to Italy for his store’s inventory and which parts of Italy he visits.
Lou starts by talking about his book on Italian food and what inspired him to write it and how the story of his family and their culture informed his writing process. Jeff asks Lou what he likes about Little Italy today and its current vibe. Lou answers how today he works with the fifth generation of Italians, which include his children. He discusses how Little Italy has changed over the years and how he works to preserve the history of the neighborhood amongst gentrification. For his final question, Jeff asks Lou his advice for people wanting to open a business in Little Italy.
00:00:33.450 --> 00:00:42.720 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York
00:00:43.230 --> 00:00:48.930 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown hair Stevens and as most of you know I love this city.
00:00:49.740 --> 00:01:04.350 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York is a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of New York, and we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists in the occasional elected official
00:01:05.430 --> 00:01:15.510 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight's we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhood special
00:01:16.530 --> 00:01:22.530 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:23.100 --> 00:01:27.390 Jeff Goodman: Prior episodes. We've covered topics such as American presidents who are from New York.
00:01:27.960 --> 00:01:33.300 Jeff Goodman: The history of women activists to the women's suffrage movement in the city. We've covered African American history.
00:01:33.840 --> 00:01:39.180 Jeff Goodman: Going back to the time of the Dutch we've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community, the gay rights movement.
00:01:39.810 --> 00:01:44.130 Jeff Goodman: We've explored the history of bicycles in cycling the history of punk and Opera.
00:01:44.550 --> 00:01:53.880 Jeff Goodman: And even our public library systems. And believe it or not, everyone. We have three New York City has three public library systems, not one, not two, like everything in the city, which is great.
00:01:54.810 --> 00:01:59.160 Jeff Goodman: We've looked at some of our greatest train stations and even gone across some of our bridges.
00:02:00.030 --> 00:02:15.450 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast, you can get us on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services. Tonight we're visiting a very special neighborhood one that's dear to my heart. It's probably one that I have more family history than any other
00:02:16.890 --> 00:02:26.400 Jeff Goodman: Next Monday is Columbus day and say what you will about what Columbus. The, the not so great things he did as well as good things. He celebrated as being from Italy.
00:02:26.790 --> 00:02:32.340 Jeff Goodman: And Columbus Day is a grand day to celebrate Italian American heritage in New York and in the United States.
00:02:32.850 --> 00:02:37.770 Jeff Goodman: And last month if it wasn't for coven we also would have had the sun Janata festival
00:02:38.580 --> 00:02:44.760 Jeff Goodman: Which takes place over 10 days in September, so I thought it was the perfect evening to talk about and visit. Little Italy.
00:02:45.720 --> 00:02:51.180 Jeff Goodman: Our first guest is someone who's no stranger to our show. It's choice gold of choice called history tours.
00:02:51.630 --> 00:02:59.160 Jeff Goodman: Choices a recognized expert and educator in New York history and for over 40 years has been guiding New Yorkers and visitors to rave reviews.
00:02:59.640 --> 00:03:08.580 Jeff Goodman: She does private walking tours, as well as towards open to the public Joyce's published two books from windmills to the World Trade Center walking guide through the history of Lower Manhattan.
00:03:09.150 --> 00:03:17.670 Jeff Goodman: And the second one from trout stream to Bohemia, a walking God through the history of Greenwich Village choices contributed entries to the Encyclopedia of New York City.
00:03:18.270 --> 00:03:33.540 Jeff Goodman: And I love to say this, if this wasn't enough. The New York Times is called Joyce. The Diane of new york city tour guides. It's a level of recognition that any tour guide would relish and we welcome back to rediscovering New York choice code Joyce. Welcome back to rediscovering New York
00:03:33.750 --> 00:03:35.880 Joyce Gold Thank you, Jeff. It's great to be here again.
00:03:36.480 --> 00:03:43.410 Jeff Goodman: I you know I always love to ask people about you know where they came from before they made this this this great city, your home, you're not from New York originally
00:03:43.950 --> 00:03:55.860 Joyce Gold I'm from a small town in Pennsylvania eastern Pennsylvania called Hazleton, but when I was 14 or 15 with my family. I moved to New York City. So I've been here for a very long time.
00:03:56.520 --> 00:04:10.860 Jeff Goodman: And you give amazing tours. I've been on a lot of tours that you've given how did you get involved in the work you do, which is not just tours, but it's really bringing new york's history to life for the people who were lucky enough to find out about you and put themselves on your walks
00:04:11.430 --> 00:04:20.220 Joyce Gold Oh, thanks for asking. I was a computer analyst working on Wall Street and one day in a wonderful old bookstore Mendoza's bookstore on gone
00:04:20.760 --> 00:04:30.360 Joyce Gold I picked up 100 year old book about your prior to that it discuss streaks that I passed every day coming from the subway to my office.
00:04:30.780 --> 00:04:48.210 Joyce Gold And suddenly the world of New York look very different to me people I worked with the know much New York history in the 1970s. So I started telling the history to people who lived here and that's how the business began, I just thought of something they needed to know.
00:04:49.050 --> 00:04:55.020 Jeff Goodman: And one of the many wonderful tours that I have gone on that you have given have been has been of Little Italy.
00:04:56.280 --> 00:05:06.540 Jeff Goodman: You know the show I build is being Little Italy, and we're going to be talking mostly about Little Italy, but we're also going to be talking about a neighborhood adjacent to Little Italy, the South Village.
00:05:07.020 --> 00:05:21.600 Jeff Goodman: Specifically, the two neighborhoods that Italians settled in lower Manhattan is different from upper Manhattan. Let's talk about Little Italy. First, what was the neighborhood like before it became Little Italy before it became settled, bye bye bye people from Italy.
00:05:22.560 --> 00:05:30.660 Joyce Gold Well, you know, the very big waves of immigrants before the Italians and Eastern European Jews came in the end of the 19th century.
00:05:31.080 --> 00:05:47.430 Joyce Gold Or people who came from Ireland in the 1840s and 50s and people who came from Germany in the 50s. So what became Little Italy was largely an Irish area. The notorious five points and mulberry Ben was
00:05:48.090 --> 00:05:57.030 Joyce Gold Was a notorious part of that. And so one group comes in and the previous book moves out and that's what it was before.
00:05:58.200 --> 00:06:04.620 Jeff Goodman: When did Italian start immigrating to New York in sizable numbers and also another part to that question.
00:06:04.950 --> 00:06:18.360 Jeff Goodman: Is why would it have been at that time. And we could look at Eastern European Jewish immigration and point to programs in 1881 that sort of started a big wave. You know, when did Italians first start coming to New York and large numbers and why at that time.
00:06:18.750 --> 00:06:24.330 Joyce Gold Well, it's a good question because so much of New York, history has to do with what was happening elsewhere in the world.
00:06:24.810 --> 00:06:37.290 Joyce Gold In the 1870s, Italy, which had been a combination of separate States gets unified and people in the rural part of Italy, most notably the South, but some of the north as well.
00:06:37.710 --> 00:06:50.550 Joyce Gold Just look their country, but they couldn't afford to live there. And so by the 1880s, 1890s, they start their IQ cultural exports started getting big.
00:06:51.150 --> 00:07:02.700 Joyce Gold Competition their wines from France. Their citrus fruits from Florida and California and so they started moving out of southern Italy.
00:07:03.180 --> 00:07:12.960 Joyce Gold And originally started going to South America to Argentina to Brazil both countries that were Roman Catholic and spoke Romance languages.
00:07:13.350 --> 00:07:28.350 Joyce Gold But Argentina and Brazil started having epidemics and revolutions. So by about it. About 1900 the exodus from southern Italy started coming to America to New York, especially
00:07:29.670 --> 00:07:39.780 Jeff Goodman: How did immigration from Italy differ from the earlier waves, specifically from the Irish and the Germans who came in several decades before
00:07:41.220 --> 00:07:58.440 Joyce Gold In a number of different ways. Before 1892 when Ellis Island opened the incoming places for people. Originally before 1855 peers. They just landed at the peers or from 1855 to 89 the castle garden.
00:07:58.860 --> 00:08:09.270 Joyce Gold Or their board to process immigrants, rather than to keep out the undesirable. But when Ellis Island was active from 1892 to 1924
00:08:09.660 --> 00:08:17.340 Joyce Gold Its main purpose was to keep out the undesirable and that was the atmosphere into which the Italians came
00:08:17.760 --> 00:08:28.050 Joyce Gold So that's one difference there was a terror. I mean you got half a mile from the battery downtown and you didn't know whether you'd be accepted or if somebody in your family would be accepted.
00:08:28.500 --> 00:08:37.770 Joyce Gold There was also a big difference because many of the Italians, as I said, many of them loved their homeland. They, they just didn't have the money to live there.
00:08:38.070 --> 00:08:46.800 Joyce Gold So many of them came here temporarily they helped a quarter. As a matter of fact of these birds of passage and they came to be called
00:08:47.070 --> 00:08:54.570 Joyce Gold Went back to Italy and maybe came back again. So another difference. Therefore, was that there was more back and forth plus
00:08:55.140 --> 00:09:06.600 Joyce Gold Another difference was that sometimes there were four men to every, every female who came from Italy in the Irish immigration, the more women came
00:09:07.140 --> 00:09:21.330 Joyce Gold And of the German immigration, it was more families that came and so the men came really some of them had families already in Italy they came to get the wherewithal to perhaps go back and buy a farm if they could
00:09:22.560 --> 00:09:32.580 Jeff Goodman: Ellis Island did open in 1892 it opened on January 1 and even though the first immigrant was any more. The famous Andy more of that after the pub was named after her.
00:09:34.920 --> 00:09:41.220 Jeff Goodman: I think immigrants from Italy, as well as Jews from Eastern Europe with the largest group of immigrants, but more immigrants.
00:09:41.610 --> 00:09:52.740 Jeff Goodman: Would have come through Ellis Island from the country of Italy than from any other individual country in Europe did Italians have any experience at Ellis Island that might have been different from people from other places.
00:09:53.100 --> 00:10:00.300 Joyce Gold Well, for one thing, they came incredibly poor, you have to officially have $25 in your pocket to be admitted.
00:10:00.780 --> 00:10:14.460 Joyce Gold But I hear that sometimes, there was a $25 that got passed back to the next person in case they were asked to have some money and they just weren't totally impoverished, they might come over with $7 in their pocket.
00:10:15.780 --> 00:10:23.610 Jeff Goodman: What were the neighborhoods in Manhattan. That was settled by immigrants from Italy and and another question I wanted to ask also was
00:10:24.690 --> 00:10:29.580 Jeff Goodman: Did immigrants from different parts of Italy settle in different neighborhoods specifically
00:10:30.240 --> 00:10:35.700 Joyce Gold Um, yes. Your first question is, where they settled in Manhattan. Is that your first question, yes.
00:10:35.730 --> 00:10:45.390 Joyce Gold Yeah, well they settled were primarily people from their part of Italy, I had settled already. So for example, if you came from Sicily.
00:10:45.750 --> 00:10:57.990 Joyce Gold There was a good chance you would live on us on Elizabeth street Martin Scorsese, his parents both came from Sicily. They both they met each other on Elizabeth street if you're from Genoa.
00:10:58.860 --> 00:11:15.540 Joyce Gold That might be Baxter Street. If you're from Naples, that would be Mulberry Street. So they talk about making Manhattan kind of patchwork quilt quite similar to what it had been in their native land as well. Right.
00:11:16.860 --> 00:11:27.720 Jeff Goodman: Well, I had you know I'm half Italian American and my mother's father's family, they were from fo job, which is sort of right across from Naples.
00:11:28.080 --> 00:11:43.320 Jeff Goodman: And my great grandmother. Her father was her mother was Irish, but her father was from Titania in Sicily and they lived on Mulberry Street. And my great grandmother, who was from Avellino outside Naples, she actually lived in a building on prints and Lafayette Street.
00:11:44.400 --> 00:11:45.600 Jeff Goodman: So I wonder if there were other
00:11:46.680 --> 00:11:55.650 Jeff Goodman: Neapolitans who are living in that building. It seemed i mean you know people they she would speak to an Italian and sort of, you know, we're from a little village in that building. I remember it well, growing up.
00:11:56.220 --> 00:12:09.390 Joyce Gold And also they came speaking different dialects. So I was reading about one family who is in laws lived in the same building, but the inlaws didn't speak the same dialect couldn't understand one another and it made for a lot of peace in the family.
00:12:11.670 --> 00:12:19.320 Jeff Goodman: That's great. What kind of let's let's talk a little bit about how people made their way once they got here.
00:12:19.710 --> 00:12:24.900 Jeff Goodman: Um, what kind of work would Italian men have gotten into who who was sort of fresh off the boat.
00:12:25.530 --> 00:12:36.030 Joyce Gold Well, to some extent they picked up the jobs that the Irish had had before them. So the men would be barbers, they would be shoemakers, they would work at the docks.
00:12:36.360 --> 00:12:43.080 Joyce Gold News boys street cleaners pick and shovel and it to a certain extent, the dirtiest most dangerous jobs.
00:12:43.560 --> 00:12:49.950 Joyce Gold Is what they have. They always have on Ellis Island. They always have this joke and Italian guide says
00:12:50.400 --> 00:13:00.780 Joyce Gold When I came to America. I heard that the streets were paved with gold when I got here, I found three things that were not paved with gold. They were not paved at all. And we were expected to pay
00:13:01.020 --> 00:13:01.230 Some
00:13:03.150 --> 00:13:08.010 Jeff Goodman: What kind what was there any particular kind of work that that women from Italy would do.
00:13:08.430 --> 00:13:17.670 Joyce Gold Well, yes, about 94% of those women go into manufacturing and to a very large extent, that was the needle trades, the garment industry.
00:13:18.660 --> 00:13:26.340 Joyce Gold Some of them also went into candy making which was a downtown kind of manufacturing job as well and
00:13:27.060 --> 00:13:34.440 Joyce Gold There was a tradition among the Italian families that it was fine. If a woman wanted to work in a factory before she got married.
00:13:34.800 --> 00:13:45.000 Joyce Gold But once she got married. She shouldn't really leave the house because the family was a very basic institution among the immigrants, if you, if you want to generalize.
00:13:45.390 --> 00:13:59.970 Joyce Gold And so then they weren't then she would often work in the tenement small rooms. But it would still be in the garment trade, she would have the material brought tuber work at home and then it would be taken away.
00:14:01.560 --> 00:14:09.900 Jeff Goodman: Well, you know, one of the dark sides of New York history is that there was astounding poverty in lower Manhattan. Specifically, there was poor health in a very high death rate.
00:14:10.620 --> 00:14:18.930 Jeff Goodman: Jacob Reese brought it to the public side by publishing his famous book has the other half lives and you look at pictures from that book and you think, Oh my God, it's
00:14:19.200 --> 00:14:29.040 Jeff Goodman: You know how squalid and how how unhealthy were Italian immigrant homes part of the horrendous conditions that repeated depicted in his book.
00:14:29.190 --> 00:14:39.660 Joyce Gold Oh yes he did a lot of pictures. He and some of his associates photograph. They were some of the first people to photograph for changing, changing life.
00:14:40.770 --> 00:14:53.310 Joyce Gold Bandits roost and other spots of the five points. In fact, even harder island, the potter's field of you. And then, as well as now some of those where I were Italian immigrants as well.
00:14:53.730 --> 00:15:01.260 Jeff Goodman: In fact, we had the first tenement law, which is what's called the Old Testament law that came in as a result of that book, which required
00:15:03.330 --> 00:15:12.690 Jeff Goodman: Building of a certain time so that so that living rooms, you know, living rooms and bedrooms would all have sources of light and fresh air, even if they were air chefs.
00:15:13.740 --> 00:15:25.590 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Joyce gold of choice gold history tours about Little Italy and a little bit about South Greenwich Village will be back in a moment.
00:17:42.600 --> 00:17:46.680 Jeff Goodman: There we go, unmute we're back live shows via zoom. I love them.
00:17:47.400 --> 00:17:56.550 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and this is our ED fifth episode. Can you believe we've been on the air almost two years and this is episode 85 about Little Italy and a little bit about the South Village.
00:17:57.450 --> 00:18:02.490 Jeff Goodman: I want to give a special shout out to my wonderful mother who is listening from Boca Raton, Florida.
00:18:03.540 --> 00:18:14.340 Jeff Goodman: She would have been back in New York. By now, but sadly because of restrictions involving coven she's holed up in her wonderful home in Boca Raton wish I was there with your mom miss you terribly
00:18:15.900 --> 00:18:29.160 Jeff Goodman: Choice before we get back to Little Italy, I want to ask you. You're in the business of giving tours and you know covert, of course, has impacted your, your business, but you're back now to giving some small person tours, aren't you some some private tours.
00:18:30.210 --> 00:18:32.190 Jeff Goodman: Holding you're not unmuted. Hold on a second.
00:18:34.710 --> 00:18:37.350 Jeff Goodman: You have to unmute yourself. SOUND Okay, you go, okay.
00:18:37.980 --> 00:18:38.490 Joyce Gold Can you hear me.
00:18:38.880 --> 00:18:40.110 Jeff Goodman: Yes, yes, loud and clear.
00:18:40.440 --> 00:18:52.560 Joyce Gold Okay, yes, I'm doing tours for people's birthday might be for people might be two people. I'm doing tours for a company that is promoting certain neighborhoods.
00:18:53.040 --> 00:19:04.470 Joyce Gold And so they can kind of control. How many people are on the big I hope in the spring to start doing my tours, where you just the public tours, we just show up. It's pre scheduled
00:19:04.890 --> 00:19:16.920 Joyce Gold And people can get on my mailing list. So I'd be glad to let them know when that starts, but a lot of people give my tours privately as gifts and I like to be a part of people celebrations well
00:19:17.310 --> 00:19:20.520 Jeff Goodman: I you won't find a bigger booster for your tours then be Joyce.
00:19:20.760 --> 00:19:22.680 Jeff Goodman: Joyce photos are amazing.
00:19:23.070 --> 00:19:27.240 Jeff Goodman: And you can find them at a choice colds hit Joyce cold history tours com
00:19:27.450 --> 00:19:30.120 Joyce Gold You always come along and asked me very hard questions.
00:19:31.710 --> 00:19:45.900 Jeff Goodman: You know better private tour. I had the pleasure, one time you put together a new tour of Jewish immigration to lower Manhattan, and I couldn't believe it was, I had a private tour from the amazing for us gold was one of my highlights with you, was it was it was wonderful.
00:19:47.280 --> 00:19:51.090 Jeff Goodman: Anyway, moving back to Little Italy and the southern part of the village.
00:19:52.260 --> 00:20:07.710 Jeff Goodman: Italy is a very Catholic country and, of course, people who coming over were were devout Catholics, was there anything uncomfortable about Italian immigrants attending church services when they arrived and how and what role did that play and how they have in their religious life.
00:20:07.950 --> 00:20:14.580 Joyce Gold Well, as I said, the Irish were here first. Even though two and a half million Italians came through Ellis Island.
00:20:15.120 --> 00:20:25.020 Joyce Gold And much of the city was Italian quarter of the city in the 1850s had been Irish. So the Irish pretty much ran the
00:20:25.530 --> 00:20:42.900 Joyce Gold The Catholic Church, according to the Italians. I mean, the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's in 1815 got the name on the city Cathedral. So they often felt sort of discriminated against within the Irish churches.
00:20:43.980 --> 00:20:56.490 Joyce Gold So that was part of the problem. Also in Italy, some people oppose the Catholic Church because they felt it too much aligned with people who have power and not the public. There were also Protestant groups.
00:20:57.000 --> 00:21:00.750 Joyce Gold Judson church, for example, started, partly as a way
00:21:01.470 --> 00:21:15.030 Joyce Gold It had a very Italian architectural look but partly as a way to convert Catholics to Protestantism and there was an element of that as well. But in terms of the discrimination, there were churches.
00:21:15.750 --> 00:21:26.070 Joyce Gold For example, St. Francis on Huston street where the Irish prayed upstairs, but the Italian speaking priest presided in the basement.
00:21:26.430 --> 00:21:38.430 Joyce Gold So there was an element of that. And another reason was that the Irish have a lot had been here for decades. They had more money to support the church and the Italians were very impoverished at that point.
00:21:39.600 --> 00:22:01.980 Jeff Goodman: Speaking of which, when the archdiocese moved its cathedral uptown St. Patrick's the old St. Pat's is on marsh street well between Martin mulberry and Princeton house in St. What did the old St. Pat's that that become more of, of an Italian church after after the cathedral move downtown
00:22:02.520 --> 00:22:21.060 Joyce Gold Well, it's very interesting. If you go into the old St. Patrick's now the silica to look on the wall. The names of the priests and for a while they were Irish and then they were Italian and then they were Hispanic, which is more what they are today. So you can just see that changing neighborhood.
00:22:22.200 --> 00:22:24.450 Jeff Goodman: Well, I'm Jewish. My
00:22:25.590 --> 00:22:35.010 Jeff Goodman: Half of my extended family is Catholic and my great grandmother and great uncle's parish church was in was in the Old St. Pat's so many fond memories, even of going to services.
00:22:35.310 --> 00:22:44.550 Jeff Goodman: In the Old St. Pat's and it's it's a wonderful church. I've actually been there for midnight mass on Christmas Eve anyone's anyone's never done it, it's, it's certainly worth the price of admission.
00:22:45.150 --> 00:22:50.550 Jeff Goodman: Um, what are some of the other major churches in Little Italy in the South Village. Now, are there any others.
00:22:50.880 --> 00:23:08.910 Joyce Gold Well, the most precious blood is the national shrine for St st January of San Gennaro as you mentioned there since 1926 there has been a festival 11 day festival for San Gennaro and, of course, since that was where a lot of Neapolitans move to
00:23:09.270 --> 00:23:15.810 Jeff Goodman: I think my nephew was baptized it most that's it that's further down toward Canal Street, isn't it became very and Baxter. It's like goes through
00:23:16.260 --> 00:23:18.000 Jeff Goodman: Canal. Right. Right. Okay.
00:23:18.570 --> 00:23:20.640 Joyce Gold Yeah, it's quite a beautiful church.
00:23:21.810 --> 00:23:22.950 Joyce Gold And of course in
00:23:24.030 --> 00:23:34.020 Joyce Gold The southern part of Greenwich Village, you have. Our Lady of Pompei which wasn't there originally, but move there and the 1920s and one on helston that I mentioned.
00:23:35.490 --> 00:23:48.480 Jeff Goodman: One of them to a question about politics about 100 years ago. Um, why did Italians have so little political clout relative to, say, Irish, who were here, what
00:23:48.510 --> 00:23:49.200 Jeff Goodman: Why was that
00:23:49.680 --> 00:23:53.340 Joyce Gold You may have noticed that political is like people who vote for them.
00:23:53.910 --> 00:24:00.810 Joyce Gold And since a lot of the Italians expected to return to Italy, a lot of them didn't become citizens and didn't vote.
00:24:01.200 --> 00:24:06.750 Joyce Gold So if they didn't have the chance that you would help support them in their office they cared a lot less about you.
00:24:07.320 --> 00:24:17.700 Joyce Gold Also Tammany Hall, which pretty much ran the Democratic Party of New York was almost all Irish, which is actually why are great mayor Fiorello LaGuardia
00:24:18.180 --> 00:24:29.640 Joyce Gold Started out as a reply was even though is you might say his attitudes were very much of the Democratic Party, but he knew he wouldn't get anywhere in that party so he ran on the Republican ticket.
00:24:30.270 --> 00:24:40.230 Jeff Goodman: And also speaking about the polyglot Fiorello was he was Catholic, but his mother was Jewish and he also set aside for SPEAKING ITALIAN. He also spoke Yiddish.
00:24:40.920 --> 00:24:56.310 Joyce Gold Yeah, he spoke five languages and to pay for it his way through NYU Law School. He was a translator at Ellis Island, and he himself was Episcopalian, so three three religions, get you more votes in a city like this.
00:24:57.750 --> 00:25:00.540 Jeff Goodman: Why do many New Yorkers feel he was our best mayor.
00:25:01.080 --> 00:25:08.250 Jeff Goodman: Well, by the way, we're gonna have enough. We're going to have to devote a future episodes to some of the more colorful mirrors of the city, and of course LaGuardia is going to be a headliner
00:25:08.550 --> 00:25:18.090 Jeff Goodman: For that show. But for now, you know, since you know he is a child of an Italian immigrant why. Let's talk about him for a minute. Why does so many New Yorkers feel that he was our best man.
00:25:18.330 --> 00:25:19.830 Jeff Goodman: Well, he was right on my mother does
00:25:20.070 --> 00:25:34.080 Joyce Gold He was very passionate and he was very passionate and social causes I think having been at Ellis Island was very confused immigrants came off the boat. It gave him a feel for what it was like to be impoverished to be new to the country.
00:25:34.980 --> 00:25:40.980 Joyce Gold He restored public faith in City Hall and the 1920s. It was very corrupt Jimmy Walker was our mayor.
00:25:41.970 --> 00:25:54.240 Joyce Gold He ran the city so well that would Franklin Roosevelt became US president in 1933 if he had a new idea to show the United States, for example, public housing.
00:25:54.540 --> 00:26:11.580 Joyce Gold He knew that if he showed it off in New York LaGuardia would show it off to best advantage. The first thing LaGuardia did when he became mayor was to go after the mobster Lucky Luciano. For one thing, the negative press and
00:26:13.140 --> 00:26:26.010 Joyce Gold Character tour of Italians, was that it was very crime oriented and he hated that. And so changing that around was the first. But aside from all of these deeper reasons he
00:26:26.820 --> 00:26:36.330 Joyce Gold You know, in 1942 the newspapers of New York went on strike LaGuardia felt terrible that the kids would miss out on Dick Tracy and the other comic strips.
00:26:36.540 --> 00:26:50.670 Joyce Gold So he went on the radio and read all of the main comic strips with the different voices for the different characters. So, that is what many New Yorkers who were around that mainly children at the time, remember him best for
00:26:51.720 --> 00:26:57.450 Jeff Goodman: Why little personal experience family spirits. I know he was not a fan of some of the less
00:26:58.530 --> 00:27:15.030 Jeff Goodman: bright side of some Italian immigrants, I have some colorful family history, shall we say, and there's a recorded of this recording of male Guardia on the radio in 1945 was lambasted some of my relatives. And it was interesting.
00:27:15.270 --> 00:27:15.870 Jeff Goodman: To hear him.
00:27:16.170 --> 00:27:29.190 Jeff Goodman: Hear him, you know, talk he. My family name is Sheila Tani and when he talked about that he almost poke fun at it and it was very strange to hear an Italian American who was poking who was almost being anti Italian
00:27:29.550 --> 00:27:36.750 Jeff Goodman: In the way he was speaking about about somebody. By the way, if anyone is interested in that. It's a five minute clip I'll be happy to send it to you. It's on YouTube.
00:27:36.990 --> 00:27:49.320 Jeff Goodman: You can email me good chef and rediscovering New York that NYC. Which leads me to the next question about Italian Americans and popular culture films about Italian Americans have always been popular. Why do you think choice.
00:27:50.220 --> 00:28:07.980 Joyce Gold Well, I think there's a family element, it's even a mob organization is called a family. And I think people relate to that. People also like to think about people who do things that they would never dare to do. And I think those are two of the main reasons.
00:28:09.510 --> 00:28:14.070 Jeff Goodman: What are the summer. What are some of the major films about the Italian experience. Do you think
00:28:14.490 --> 00:28:32.610 Joyce Gold Well, certainly godfather, one, two, and three are probably the most famous on TV, you have a long series The wonderfully done series called The Sopranos, so there are a lot mean streets is another one taxi driver is one, although it doesn't take place downtown primarily
00:28:34.080 --> 00:28:34.470 Joyce Gold But
00:28:35.610 --> 00:28:47.790 Joyce Gold I guess these are some of the main ones, and they all have to do with crime. My personal two favorites are, however, have nothing to do with crime, but they do have to do with family and that's both moonstruck which I think I just
00:28:47.790 --> 00:28:48.870 Jeff Goodman: Love moonstruck
00:28:48.930 --> 00:28:54.180 Joyce Gold Tense time and My Cousin Vinny and if any of your listeners have not seen both of them.
00:28:54.210 --> 00:29:04.140 Joyce Gold I probably recommend moonstruck with share and other great actors and My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci and other very appealing people
00:29:04.500 --> 00:29:09.180 Jeff Goodman: You know, I'm almost embarrassed to say as many times as I've seen moonstruck I've never seen. My Cousin Vinny
00:29:10.410 --> 00:29:12.060 Jeff Goodman: I'm going to take it as an ID admonishment
00:29:12.060 --> 00:29:12.420 Jeff Goodman: From you.
00:29:13.050 --> 00:29:23.490 Jeff Goodman: To do that, um, we have a short time left. In this segment, you know, neighborhoods change over time of what displaced many Italians from Little Italy and also the South Village.
00:29:23.850 --> 00:29:27.930 Joyce Gold Well if Italians move to New York. These days, they don't move to Little Italy.
00:29:29.190 --> 00:29:36.540 Joyce Gold But one group that was kept out of the United States from the 1880s to 1965 where people from Asia.
00:29:36.960 --> 00:29:53.310 Joyce Gold And so, China Town, which for many years 50 years was just three little blocks is expanding and it's pretty much taking over. Little Italy, a lot of the buildings that look Italian because they have Italian restaurants are really Chinese or Asian owned at this point, um,
00:29:54.270 --> 00:30:00.180 Jeff Goodman: Well choice. There's so much more we could talk about. But we're limited to half a show which almost half an hour.
00:30:01.140 --> 00:30:09.240 Jeff Goodman: Thank you so much. My first guest on to me. What's a very special show a better very special neighborhood. Little Italy and a little bit about the South Village.
00:30:09.540 --> 00:30:15.570 Jeff Goodman: Has been choice gold of choice called history choice. You can find out about choices extraordinary excursions.
00:30:15.840 --> 00:30:26.490 Jeff Goodman: Some of which now are private and small audiences and so you can be protected in the age of coven and you can read about choices tours and choice cold history tours com
00:30:27.210 --> 00:30:41.610 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we have a very special guests, he and his family have been in business, its fourth generation business now in Little Italy for 95 years and still going strong. We'll be back in a moment.
00:33:04.680 --> 00:33:14.220 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support comes from our sponsors the mark mind man team mortgage strategies that freedom mortgage
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00:33:30.540 --> 00:33:42.270 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 our shows about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and the myriad textures of our amazing city.
00:33:42.930 --> 00:33:51.060 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague brown Harris Stevens.
00:33:51.750 --> 00:33:56.520 Jeff Goodman: You can hear Vince's show on Tuesday mornings at 9am on voice america.com and also on podcast.
00:33:57.210 --> 00:34:04.920 Jeff Goodman: You can like my show on Facebook. It's called rediscovering New York with Jeff Goodman and you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is they were Jeff good been NYC.
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00:34:12.570 --> 00:34:17.310 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.
00:34:17.730 --> 00:34:23.940 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I'm indeed a real estate agent now amazing city where I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property.
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00:34:37.680 --> 00:34:48.210 Jeff Goodman: Well, we have a special guest for the second part of our show salute Apollo Lou is a noted trade member Epicurean and fourth generation purveyor of authentic products of Italy.
00:34:48.840 --> 00:34:57.000 Jeff Goodman: His family run business to Palo find foods down on Grand Street opened its doors in 1925 and Little Italy and it remains there today.
00:34:57.840 --> 00:35:08.460 Jeff Goodman: Lou and his family are personally involved in every facet of the business Lou travels to Italy several times a year to personally, select the country's best handcrafted specialties, ensuring excellence, with every season.
00:35:09.390 --> 00:35:18.930 Jeff Goodman: Top amongst lose revered business practices. He explains the traditions in history behind this product offering tastes to store patrons, many of whom have known to palace through the generations.
00:35:19.770 --> 00:35:27.840 Jeff Goodman: Lubricate New York City is very own beloved Italian cheese guru and originally featured educator and lecturer on Italian cheeses and specialty products.
00:35:28.530 --> 00:35:39.270 Jeff Goodman: In September of 2014 he released his first book to palace guide to the essential foods of Italy, I'm looking at a copyright here and just looking through the pictures and reading the chapters. I'm getting hungry. I gotta tell you
00:35:40.380 --> 00:35:47.460 Jeff Goodman: Anyway, cut short the title. Sorry about that. The palace guide to the essential things of Italy 100 years of wisdom and stories from behind the counter.
00:35:48.030 --> 00:35:51.420 Jeff Goodman: To further share his passion and knowledge of Italian foods throughout the US.
00:35:52.110 --> 00:36:08.070 Jeff Goodman: Lose appeared on many radio and television broadcast and been featured in numerous magazine and magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times Vogue gourmet Wine Spectator and various publications on Italian cuisine lewd to Palo a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York
00:36:10.380 --> 00:36:12.120 Jeff Goodman: Lou, you may have to unmute yourself.
00:36:13.950 --> 00:36:14.490 Jeff Goodman: Are you there.
00:36:17.700 --> 00:36:18.750 Jeff Goodman: Can we unmute Lou.
00:36:24.870 --> 00:36:27.390 Jeff Goodman: Can we unmute Lou, Sam.
00:36:29.610 --> 00:36:34.500 Jeff Goodman: I don't think I can do it here, from my perspective,
00:36:40.260 --> 00:36:41.100 Jeff Goodman: Lu, are you there.
00:36:43.800 --> 00:36:47.730 Jeff Goodman: You are unmuted. I see you're unmuted but well
00:36:48.780 --> 00:36:54.720 Jeff Goodman: Until Lou joins us as we're going to talk about his book and Lou, feel free to chime chime in. Anytime.
00:36:56.670 --> 00:37:03.570 Jeff Goodman: Lose book is amazing. I'm going to read you some of the chapters here, not some of the chapters, but some of the titles of chapters.
00:37:04.530 --> 00:37:16.920 Jeff Goodman: He talks about his family business and a century in Little Italy talks about the regions of Italy. He's got a chapter on Woodside ELA chapter on pecorino chapter on Regatta, there's a chapter in the book on sea salt.
00:37:18.120 --> 00:37:32.490 Jeff Goodman: There's one on coffee olive oil balsamic vinegar and one on pursuit to my mother is going to love that I have to get her a copy of this book and it's an amazing book and the forward is actually written by none other than Martin Scorsese
00:37:35.430 --> 00:37:36.240 Jeff Goodman: Lou. Are you there.
00:37:38.970 --> 00:37:40.800 Jeff Goodman: Lou was not there. Okay.
00:37:42.840 --> 00:37:43.980 Jeff Goodman: Joy. So you still there.
00:37:45.600 --> 00:37:46.650 Jeff Goodman: Let's unmute choice.
00:37:50.010 --> 00:37:53.250 Jeff Goodman: Good. So while we're waiting falutin to to chime in.
00:37:54.330 --> 00:38:05.940 Jeff Goodman: One question I wanted to ask you, Joyce that I that I didn't get to ask you is, how did Italians adjust to the public school system when they got here. Did they like it. Did they dislike it.
00:38:08.430 --> 00:38:14.490 Joyce Gold The teachers in the public schools in 1900 were largely Irish woman.
00:38:15.570 --> 00:38:16.110 Joyce Gold And
00:38:17.340 --> 00:38:28.080 Joyce Gold A lot of them thought it was very low class to be Italian. So one of the problems that the children had in school was that they would be put down by the teachers.
00:38:28.500 --> 00:38:30.780 Jeff Goodman: I think we have Lou back choice.
00:38:32.250 --> 00:38:32.640 Joyce Gold I loo.
00:38:34.410 --> 00:38:38.490 Jeff Goodman: I see your picture loop, but you're not coming through on your voice now.
00:38:42.540 --> 00:38:44.310 Jeff Goodman: There may be a setting on your phone.
00:38:46.110 --> 00:38:53.670 Jeff Goodman: And thank goodness for the podcast we can splice this a little bit. So we'll get tighter and tighter rendition for the for the replay.
00:38:55.050 --> 00:38:55.830 Jeff Goodman: Lewis there.
00:38:59.010 --> 00:39:05.880 Jeff Goodman: I see. I see your mouth moving, but I don't hear you actually
00:39:07.440 --> 00:39:10.740 Jeff Goodman: Could you check the mic sitting on the phone that might do it.
00:39:21.390 --> 00:39:24.150 Jeff Goodman: It's not anyway. Well, why don't you keep trying that Lou, and then we'll
00:39:25.230 --> 00:39:32.130 Jeff Goodman: When, when you get it, you know, just chime in and then we'll and then we'll and then we'll cut in as much as I hate cutting off. So it's called
00:39:34.500 --> 00:39:39.660 Jeff Goodman: You, by the way, you might have to swipe up or down on the phone for the mic. I'm not sure you have an Lou Di Pola. Don't you
00:39:51.930 --> 00:39:53.850 Jeff Goodman: Was that a Joyce whistle. I heard or Vegas.
00:39:55.980 --> 00:39:56.490 Jeff Goodman: Whistling Joyce.
00:39:59.010 --> 00:40:00.840 Jeff Goodman: Whistling in the dark. Well, you're not in the dark.
00:40:02.790 --> 00:40:08.970 Jeff Goodman: Okay, so anyway, back to schools. What was, what was the experience of Italian immigrants in schools as
00:40:09.570 --> 00:40:17.100 Joyce Gold Well, the kids were put down. I mean, a lot of people in this country really didn't respect the Italians, for example, their foods.
00:40:17.790 --> 00:40:29.790 Joyce Gold They the Italians. A vegetables that came out of the dirt and there were organizations that put them down for that they basically said you should have more salads, with a lot of mayonnaise and other things.
00:40:30.120 --> 00:40:46.650 Joyce Gold That today we would we would certainly take issue with so the kids were told they were dirty. They were stupid. And it was quite horrible because when the Irish came, most of them, although not all spoke English, but when the Italians came, it was a very different story.
00:40:49.350 --> 00:40:51.750 Jeff Goodman: What are the origins of the San Gennaro festival
00:40:52.980 --> 00:41:05.670 Joyce Gold It was a festival to honor st January is who in earlier centuries had say save the city of Naples and it was in 1926 that
00:41:05.850 --> 00:41:08.310 Jeff Goodman: Is it from playing that he saved the city of Naples, or
00:41:08.910 --> 00:41:10.230 Joyce Gold I forget what it was from
00:41:10.380 --> 00:41:12.300 Jeff Goodman: Okay, sorry, I didn't mean to put you on the
00:41:12.300 --> 00:41:12.720 Spot.
00:41:14.550 --> 00:41:19.410 Joyce Gold Now that that's your way to come up with a question. I haven't really review. Wow.
00:41:20.580 --> 00:41:20.880 Joyce Gold Well, that's
00:41:21.030 --> 00:41:23.640 Jeff Goodman: An unexpected series of questions on this part of the show so
00:41:23.820 --> 00:41:41.220 Joyce Gold I never the churches had saints that and then have festivals for the saints. And so it was a 1926 that the basically the store owners, the cafe owners in Little Italy put out a kind of a kiosk and praise the St. And as I mentioned,
00:41:41.820 --> 00:41:50.250 Joyce Gold The most precious blood Roman Catholic Church mulberry is the national shrine for St for ascension. Our oh
00:41:50.730 --> 00:42:04.470 Joyce Gold And it was very popular and they welcomed many other people from other other parts of the city, and it was, it was very good. Now people if they had a wish a health wish for example, would put
00:42:04.950 --> 00:42:14.880 Joyce Gold Bills money into the the float of the St. And then that money would be used to help some of the impoverished people of the neighborhood.
00:42:15.450 --> 00:42:26.940 Joyce Gold So that's how it all started and became the thing that many people went to every year. This is the first year I think that they're not having a. It used to be owned by the people of Little Italy, now I
00:42:27.300 --> 00:42:28.110 Lou Di Pola: Don't I don't know.
00:42:28.830 --> 00:42:30.090 Jeff Goodman: Yes, you're on. We hear you but
00:42:30.120 --> 00:42:30.990 Lou Di Pola: I'm on. Okay.
00:42:31.440 --> 00:42:34.260 Lou Di Pola: Great. Well, let me, let me just say something
00:42:36.600 --> 00:42:37.680 Lou Di Pola: For one thing,
00:42:39.510 --> 00:42:46.380 Lou Di Pola: I'm not really that computer savvy and will, and even with these iPhones over here I'm better off with a flip phone probably
00:42:47.010 --> 00:42:49.650 Lou Di Pola: Anyway, thank you for the introduction.
00:42:50.550 --> 00:42:51.810 Jeff Goodman: I heard very welcome for
00:42:51.810 --> 00:43:01.590 Jeff Goodman: You. Great, great. So, uh, well, Joyce. Thank you for that extended got from that center. Now the one thing I wanted to say was that it's not just limited to literally I remember my grandmother, my
00:43:02.430 --> 00:43:18.570 Jeff Goodman: mother's mother, she lived in Lyndhurst and they'd also have a festival. It's on Donato and I remember the, the, the flow coming by with with the statue and all and everyone pinning dollar bills to it. That was a lot of this a long time ago LW welcome to rediscovering the
00:43:18.570 --> 00:43:20.970 Lou Di Pola: Euro. Thank you. Thank you. It's a pleasure.
00:43:21.480 --> 00:43:32.940 Jeff Goodman: And everybody I gotta tell you, Lou has a great book to polish guide to the essential foods of Italy. I've already read off the titles to some of the chapters which I was going to do later in the in the episode anyway but anyway.
00:43:33.300 --> 00:43:36.660 Jeff Goodman: i'm lou your fourth generation New Yorker and a business owner
00:43:37.710 --> 00:43:39.870 Jeff Goodman: Do you also you also ever live in Little Italy.
00:43:40.830 --> 00:43:46.860 Lou Di Pola: Yeah. Actually, actually, I do have a place in Little Italy, I'm talking to you from my place my apartment in Little Italy.
00:43:48.120 --> 00:44:08.370 Lou Di Pola: However, it was right at work after World War Two, that my grandparents moved to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and Little Italy was always meant to be a place to come here and when you moved into mainstream America actually move away from this community and they moved to other areas where
00:44:09.630 --> 00:44:24.540 Lou Di Pola: That open air and gardens and little bit more land and something that they were more used to in Italy away from these these these tenement buildings but but Little Italy is actually has always been my home people
00:44:24.600 --> 00:44:25.140 Lou Di Pola: Ask me
00:44:27.090 --> 00:44:36.960 Lou Di Pola: You don't live in Little Italy. I said, Where does a person live a place where they go and sleep for a few hours or a place where they actually spend their time that day.
00:44:37.470 --> 00:44:47.970 Lou Di Pola: And communicate with people and my entire life. I have to say I lived in Little Italy. It was a, you know, from growing up here. I just want to say
00:44:50.010 --> 00:45:02.730 Lou Di Pola: My grandparents opened up their shop in 1925 but it was my great grandfather's of Vino de pollo. Who was the patriarch of the family who emigrated from Italy in the turn of the last century in 1900
00:45:03.930 --> 00:45:04.290 Jeff Goodman: What what
00:45:04.530 --> 00:45:12.930 Lou Di Pola: Really opened the first Apollo's and we're 110 years in business in New York City's Little Italy, going back to my great grandfather's of Vino de pollo.
00:45:13.530 --> 00:45:24.510 Lou Di Pola: Wow. Why continue the store with my brother cell AND MY SISTER MARIE which was opened by my grandparents Concetta and Luigi and they were the ones who
00:45:25.680 --> 00:45:37.080 Lou Di Pola: were supported by my great grandfather. They had two stores open at the same time, never competed with themselves because Little Italy was a hustle and bustle of Italian immigrants.
00:45:38.520 --> 00:45:40.800 Lou Di Pola: And it was an area where
00:45:42.180 --> 00:45:47.460 Lou Di Pola: You know, the Italians when they came here, I have to say the first thing they did. They tried to
00:45:48.960 --> 00:45:56.940 Lou Di Pola: Just rediscovered a new life, learn the language of the community of the of the of the country, maybe even changed the way they dressed
00:45:57.270 --> 00:46:02.100 Lou Di Pola: But they never lost sight of the foods that they were accustomed to in their country and even today.
00:46:02.460 --> 00:46:14.130 Lou Di Pola: Many people associate themselves as being Italian, even though they might be American. American third generation born here in America but associate themselves with being Italian simply from the foods that they eat.
00:46:15.240 --> 00:46:15.750 Jeff Goodman: Well, I got
00:46:16.710 --> 00:46:17.160 Lou Di Pola: Yes.
00:46:17.310 --> 00:46:30.480 Jeff Goodman: I'm half Italian American and actually today is my first wedding anniversary. And my husband and I had our wedding feast at God jewels in Coney Island.
00:46:31.140 --> 00:46:31.890 Lou Di Pola: Great place.
00:46:32.010 --> 00:46:38.460 Jeff Goodman: Thanks also to my wonderful mother who I hope is still listening who was so instrumental in helping us plan that amazing event.
00:46:39.720 --> 00:46:47.010 Jeff Goodman: Which I can, I can still taste the food. Well, we're going to take a break in a minute but but I want to ask you a question. Lou.
00:46:48.060 --> 00:46:59.340 Jeff Goodman: subsequent generations who go into family business have different sometimes. Should we say levels of passion and sometimes even different levels of competence and as they just go into it but but you've really sees
00:46:59.760 --> 00:47:08.220 Jeff Goodman: That the Paula bull by the horns and done some amazing stuff you traveled to Italy multiple times a year to choose the best product for your business. That's a job and stuff to happen.
00:47:10.920 --> 00:47:13.770 Jeff Goodman: How do you decide where to go in Italy when you go on these trips, what
00:47:13.800 --> 00:47:21.540 Lou Di Pola: You know, Italy. Italy is divided into 20 regions like we have 50 states in the United States, Italy has 20 regions each region.
00:47:22.320 --> 00:47:35.760 Lou Di Pola: I often say Italy is 20 countries in one with 110 personalities, because each region has its own food and wine culture and it was important for me to go an over 40 years ago.
00:47:35.880 --> 00:47:36.420 Lou Di Pola: I started
00:47:36.600 --> 00:47:41.280 Lou Di Pola: 45 years ago I started to go to Italy on a regular basis. And while going there.
00:47:41.880 --> 00:47:58.740 Lou Di Pola: I had to learn break bread with the people that made the products that I sell in my place, and only then I could really give the proper education to my consumer that I knew what the product was about how it was supposed to be and I went to Italy to find
00:48:00.000 --> 00:48:11.400 Lou Di Pola: The old new products, but it doesn't make sense. Old new products, but it was the old products of historic products of Italy. That really wasn't known here in the United States, and it was my
00:48:11.880 --> 00:48:18.750 Lou Di Pola: Passion to bring that to the American consumer and that's what I started to do on on a regular basis.
00:48:19.830 --> 00:48:23.460 Lou Di Pola: We've always made over 100 trips in the last 45 years back and forth.
00:48:23.910 --> 00:48:24.750 Jeff Goodman: As I said,
00:48:24.780 --> 00:48:26.880 Jeff Goodman: That's a job that I would love to have
00:48:28.020 --> 00:48:36.690 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with luda palo of the palace fine foods on Grand Street in Little Italy will be back in a moment.
00:50:54.030 --> 00:50:57.900 Jeff Goodman: We're back with a little speed it up version of our music today.
00:50:59.130 --> 00:51:07.470 Jeff Goodman: To episode 85 rediscovering your own Little Italy, my second guest is new to Palo of the palace fine foods on Grand Street and little. Little Italy.
00:51:08.280 --> 00:51:15.300 Jeff Goodman: Well, I want to ask you about your book the first book is the palace guide to the essential foods of Italy. It's published by Valentine press everyone, by the way.
00:51:15.690 --> 00:51:25.590 Jeff Goodman: And I'm looking at it right now. And it looks so sumptuous with all the chapters that I mentioned before, um, what was the inspiration for you to write the book.
00:51:27.090 --> 00:51:30.150 Lou Di Pola: Well, many people have been asking me to write a book.
00:51:32.370 --> 00:51:33.780 Lou Di Pola: What is quite some time.
00:51:34.980 --> 00:51:46.410 Lou Di Pola: I have. I do have a lot of knowledge in the foods of Italy, but I said I'm going to write a if I'm going to write a book and I said this to my agent. I said I needed to write a book to tell a little bit of the story of my family.
00:51:47.820 --> 00:51:57.000 Lou Di Pola: I needed to tell the story of of the products that Italy produces the food products and I needed to tell the story of the people that produced it.
00:51:58.110 --> 00:52:07.140 Lou Di Pola: But I had to do with through stories. I'm a storyteller and the way I needed to get the message across was to the stories and
00:52:08.220 --> 00:52:17.340 Lou Di Pola: It also had to do with an underlining theme that I wanted to present food to me is very important, very essential to bring people together.
00:52:17.700 --> 00:52:25.890 Lou Di Pola: I think if the best moments we can have with someone is to sit down and have a meal together and share one this wonderful meal and food.
00:52:26.220 --> 00:52:35.820 Lou Di Pola: To me brings people together on a wonderful note and if you'll notice when you read the book. The book is full of stories, stories about the product, but I tell it through.
00:52:36.720 --> 00:52:49.710 Lou Di Pola: Relationships somewhere along that line and that story is some type of relationship between people, whether it's with my great grandfather and the Iceman, or it's with myself and someone
00:52:50.790 --> 00:52:54.360 Lou Di Pola: small farmer in Italy, there's a relationship between that
00:52:55.590 --> 00:53:02.760 Lou Di Pola: And and this good or bad, there's a relationship that food brings these people together and
00:53:04.140 --> 00:53:20.520 Lou Di Pola: This is what I wanted to do, why my agent said no, you can't do it too much. So then I want to write a book eventually put it together. And when it all came out he said you accomplished everything that you wanted to do it. So that's the reason why I wrote it needed to tell those stories.
00:53:21.660 --> 00:53:22.410 Jeff Goodman: That's right.
00:53:22.590 --> 00:53:23.430 Lou Di Pola: People behind the
00:53:24.750 --> 00:53:39.810 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking of the stories. And speaking of Italy. Let's go to Little Italy. Before we talk about some of the changes you've seen in the time that you've lived and had your business there. What is it that you like about the Little Italy of today what describe the vibe of the neighborhood.
00:53:40.800 --> 00:53:44.250 Lou Di Pola: Well, you know, I've seen many changes in Little Italy. Okay.
00:53:45.390 --> 00:53:54.030 Lou Di Pola: First of all, I just want to say one of the greatest satisfaction that I've had being in business was the fact that I worked with my family and and you had mentioned before, and
00:53:54.630 --> 00:54:06.270 Lou Di Pola: How the Italian family was so very instrumental Lee how close they were. And I could say, working with my father with my mother and my father with his parents and my
00:54:06.840 --> 00:54:16.320 Lou Di Pola: Grandparents with their parents means that this the business was took on a different type of persona became part of our everyday life, sharing
00:54:16.920 --> 00:54:26.970 Lou Di Pola: The joys and the hardships that a business has to do it, but we shared it with our family together today, I have to say we work with the fifth generation, our children.
00:54:27.510 --> 00:54:39.270 Lou Di Pola: My sister's children. My children, my, my brother and my sister myself were there. Almost every day and it's the greatest reward we get. But what took place in Little Italy.
00:54:40.890 --> 00:54:43.470 Lou Di Pola: And first, which I thought was very, very sad.
00:54:45.210 --> 00:54:51.930 Lou Di Pola: When I was in the Air Force in 1969 I was in Travis Air Force Base, and I went over to San Francisco and I noticed in San Francisco.
00:54:53.400 --> 00:55:02.490 Lou Di Pola: North Beach, the Italian community there. There were a lot of Chinese stores right next to Italian stores and they came back and
00:55:03.000 --> 00:55:10.410 Lou Di Pola: In the early 70s. And I said to my father and said, Oh, I was in San Francisco. And that little Italy section over there. It's mostly Chinese
00:55:11.130 --> 00:55:27.210 Lou Di Pola: And then I noticed the first Chinese store that moved north of of Canal Street and by 1980 1982 we were the last Italian store on on our block on the corner of mud and Grand Street.
00:55:28.500 --> 00:55:34.290 Lou Di Pola: The first it was a little bit depressing. I saw our world starting to close in on us and disappearing.
00:55:36.150 --> 00:55:39.810 Lou Di Pola: And then my father took ill in 1990 and and
00:55:40.890 --> 00:55:51.630 Lou Di Pola: My father said, showing us the keys of the stores hit to my sister Maria myself and my brother sound said, Listen, this is time for you to close the place
00:55:52.740 --> 00:55:58.140 Lou Di Pola: And he says, unless you want it. So we gave us the keys and I went to my brother and sister. I said, you know,
00:55:59.790 --> 00:56:10.830 Lou Di Pola: Let's not focus in on outside. Let's think of our store, not as an eyesore in a changing community, but a shining jewel in a changing community.
00:56:11.640 --> 00:56:21.240 Lou Di Pola: And I realized at that point that I was looking at my with the new immigrants that are coming. I was looking at my grandparents and great grandparents, how they first came and settled in the community.
00:56:22.500 --> 00:56:24.150 Lou Di Pola: And and to me.
00:56:25.980 --> 00:56:44.430 Lou Di Pola: I think the survival of Little Italy was due to the fact that the Chinese came in and started settling and Little Italy. What few members of Little Italy remained realized we needed to to develop
00:56:45.660 --> 00:56:53.760 Lou Di Pola: The story of the Italian immigrants and Little Italy was part of that story and we needed to hold fast and keep the tradition alive.
00:56:55.380 --> 00:57:11.490 Lou Di Pola: What's happening today in the community is very different. It's no longer a only ethnic community Chinese or Italian it's both. And it's much more it's become gentrified we have
00:57:11.700 --> 00:57:13.650 Jeff Goodman: The Jordan, a part of its become the leader.
00:57:14.430 --> 00:57:24.420 Lou Di Pola: Well, no leader is invented by you guys the real estate people they invented the name nolita for me no leader is nothing but Little Italy and ended into north of of
00:57:25.800 --> 00:57:25.980 Lou Di Pola: Of
00:57:27.210 --> 00:57:46.380 Lou Di Pola: Chemistry. So, so the point. The point I'm saying and reason for calling it nolita was in my opinion, raising the raising the rents in the community, but forget about that. Little Italy is becoming gentrified Chinatown is becoming gentrified and because of that.
00:57:47.850 --> 00:58:01.200 Lou Di Pola: The Community has become a the spirit of immigrants, the spirit of the Italian immigrant lives today in Little Italy which businesses like mine. The Ferrara family.
00:58:02.580 --> 00:58:11.220 Lou Di Pola: Right across from me. The Oliva family. The Rossi family and a host of Italian restaurants that have been around for many, many, many years.
00:58:11.670 --> 00:58:21.840 Lou Di Pola: That's the spirit of the Italian immigrant the spirit of Little Italy and it will always remain, we have four businesses in business over 100 years on my block.
00:58:22.350 --> 00:58:37.830 Lou Di Pola: family businesses that have been in business for over 100 years there's not too many blocks that could make that claim. So, so, Little Italy is here, it's here to stay to the spirit of of the Italian immigrant families like mine.
00:58:38.760 --> 00:58:48.240 Jeff Goodman: Um, we're almost at a time, live. But I want to ask you a question about business in Little Italy, would you have any advice for someone looking to open up a business in Little Italy, right.
00:58:50.040 --> 00:58:59.460 Lou Di Pola: Well in anywhere you want to open up a business. This is really a few things you have to do. You have to understand your customer your client.
00:59:00.360 --> 00:59:12.570 Lou Di Pola: Give them the best service, give them the best quality and give them a reasonable price. And it doesn't matter what type of business you open, whether it's a food business or a clothing business or barbershop.
00:59:13.260 --> 00:59:29.280 Lou Di Pola: You're going to be successful in Little Italy or any other community. Little Italy is very, very active. A lot of people, a lot of tourists come down. We're not a tourist store, but we're a tourist attraction. But we're not a tourist store and
00:59:30.390 --> 00:59:43.740 Lou Di Pola: Little literally still has a lot of life left in it, and I encourage people to come here in Little Italy. We got to get through this coven right now. But other than that, it's, it's still going to be here and it's still going to be going strong.
00:59:44.610 --> 00:59:49.950 Jeff Goodman: One last question before we sign off. Do you know if most of your customers are regulars at the Palace or
00:59:50.700 --> 00:59:58.470 Lou Di Pola: We have, we have generations of customers generations, I could say we're five generations in the business. We have five generations of customers.
00:59:58.800 --> 01:00:06.030 Lou Di Pola: Same families for many generations, whether they live in the little, little community where they make what I like to call a pilgrimage to come and visit us.
01:00:08.040 --> 01:00:12.750 Jeff Goodman: Or great Lou. Thank you so much for being our guest on rediscovering New York this evening.
01:00:13.200 --> 01:00:19.050 Jeff Goodman: My second guest has been moved to Palo he's the fourth generation, but not the last generation of Apollo's fine foods.
01:00:19.560 --> 01:00:30.270 Jeff Goodman: And lose book is called capello's guide his first book is called The palace guide to the central foods of Italy. I'm sure it's available on Amazon. It's published by Valentine's press thanks Lou.
01:00:31.080 --> 01:00:31.470 Lou Di Pola: Thank you.
01:00:31.740 --> 01:00:40.650 Jeff Goodman: Well, thank you for joining us tonight on our journey to Little Italy, you can like us on Facebook rediscovering New York with Jeff Goodman and you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
01:00:41.040 --> 01:00:48.360 Jeff Goodman: My handle. Is there a Jeff Goodman NYC. Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors the mark Miami team working strategist at free to mortgage
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01:00:54.390 --> 01:01:01.710 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent at Brown Hair Stevens in New York City and whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting
01:01:02.070 --> 01:01:11.070 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761
01:01:12.120 --> 01:01:22.710 Jeff Goodman: Our producer Israel story or our engineer assembly bullets our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.