Arthur Avenue... It’s what we call little Italy, an enclave amongst the collegiate Fordham set and the knock-off boutiques with big butt mannequins in hot pants amongst the subway sandwiches on Fordham road east!
Since my last visit I noticed decay like a scene reminiscent of a B-grade Roman movie where the empire is crumbling from the barbarian invasions!
Sad to say the bakeries are dwindling and the cloned Little Italy style restaurants with tour guides in tow of out of towner’s on the crowded sidewalks explaining the difference of extra virgin olive oil from just the regular oil visit like a freak show visit! From downtown Mario meatball type restaurants to the same bread with one-dough breads, are abundant. Still clinging to some lost memory, there is something to be savored, for how long I am not sure? Amongst the other immigrant population are the Albanians who are making in-roads as if this enclave is an escape from there current and past history, I dared myself to venture into a restaurant with name Skopje restaurant, thought again but determined to comeback for that experience,but for the moment I was feeling Italian!
My nostalgic visit found me dismayed at Pietro’s bakery shuttered, last time they still had a rye and pancetta bread in the window crying for me to buy it! Now most of the bakeries have pre-filled cannolis and the basic frolla cookie with the a-typical garnishes of chocolate and sprinkles! Where are the Italians? As real estate and gentrification determine the boundaries of where poor and middle class neighborhoods are overrun with homogenized mega markets for the rich!
es of our city, we will all be eating and drinking from the same well and with no more diversity!
I stopped at what is the market with only a few stalls and cigar makers, my usual sausage store no longer there! These are pilgrimages that a Queens mets fan makes when crossing into unfamiliar territory, Yankee land! I ate a sandwich with familiar cold cuts and cheese, semolina bread, $7.00 bucks and it wasn’t a whole hero! $2.00 for a pint of Pellegrino water, what made up for the steep prices was listening to the older gentlemen talking Italian and trying to decipher it all!
Still the place is valuable to find some gems, Tietel Bros. sale prices of imported oils and sundries. The meat markets with coniglio, strange cuts of smoked pork, tail and snout!
Dismayed but still satisfied, I hope that this corner of Belmont can survive the rich people invasion and still give some satisfaction for us foodies!