Stu Bykofsky, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist recently asked how it is possible that Philadelphia will not have a Columbus Day parade this year. Apparently, according to Columbus Day Parade coordinator Kathleen Murray, a state grant of $40,000 has helped cover costs in the past, but the funds didn’t materialize this year. Bykofsky asks in his column, “How is it possible that a city with so many proud Italian-Americans, Italian cultural institutions, civic and fraternal organizations — not to mention Italian restaurants — can’t raise a piddling $40 grand? There’s almost a half-million Italians in Greater Philadelphia. If this were a family, they could be sued for nonsupport. Whatsa matter wit youse, anyways?” While we agree with Bykofsky’s argument, his delivery is offensive! Clean up your act, Stu(pid).
Category Archives: Italian Americans
This blogger prides himself on making the best organic limoncello in town. We enjoy sipping an ice-cold shot of my limoncello when good friends are present. But guests recently brought us the relatively new limoncello, made in Italy with Sorrento lemons, and marketed under the Danny De Vito label. We tasted it with low expectations, wondering what an actor knew about making good limoncello. But we were very pleasantly surprised. De Vito’s limoncello is excellent — fresh, crisp, sweet and tart. Bravo, De Vito!
The title of Mike Dash’s book, The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia, says it all. Anyone with an interest in learning more about the history of organized crime in the U.S., in particular the history of the Mafia and its nexus to Italian Americans, may want to read this book. According to Dash, the story of Giuseppe Morello, a Sicilian immigrant who became the American Mafia’s “boss of bosses,” proves that the American Mafia was not created by Prohibition-era bootlegging, nor by Sicilian Mafia bosses who dispatched members to New York but by individuals like Morello. At the same time, Joe Petrosino, the Sicilian-born NYPD detective, gave his life trying to prevent men like Morello from “ruining the reputation of Italians in general,” according to the Washington Post. Read the book and share your views.
We note from time to time, those fellow bloggers who have something to say about Italian Americans – good or bad. Here’s a post from Saint Bernadette, who apparently, lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut:
“The purpose of this post is to crudely generalize my ethnic heritage and point out, that regardless of how many Italian-Americans have had to pose as merely “Americans” by dropping the “etto” and the “icci”, the fact remains, that Italians (hyphenated or otherwise) are the best entertainers in the world. And the reason is: we are sentimental, romantic, nostalgic, simplistic, genuine saps, simultaneously ruled by by emotion and able to conjure emotion, just as comfortable ending a show stopper with arms spread under the spot light as winding down a ballad perched on a stool next to a grand piano letting one tear spill down a quivering cheek.” Read more
“When I first moved here, it was universally loved. Now some consider Little Italy as more of a tourist destination than a collection of wonderful family-run, authentic Italian eating places. … I still don’t think Baltimoreans want Little Italy to change much. There’s too much nostalgia tied up in the neighborhood. ” READ THE ARTICLE AND THE COMMENTS . . .>>
“I live in Little Italy and there are still many Italian-Americans living here. As far as the restaurants, I would agree that many of them are just too pricey for what they are…”
Are “Little Italies” a thing of the past? We would like to hear your views.
Also posted at Ciao America.
Elvira S Oliver, from Carmel, New York, claims that at age 99 she is the author of “The Joys of Growing up Italian” which is on the internet as anonymous. We don’t know who Elvira is – we never met her – she might not even exist – but her story is intriguing at least as told by whoever posted the blog at http://theoldestbloggeronearth.blogspot.com/2009/08/before-i-begin-blogging-i-want-to-pose.html.
As told by Eric Shackle, another blogger – who may not be an investigative reporter – “Elvira’s new blog will wow the millions of Americans proud of having an Italian ancestor. She claims that 40 years ago she wrote a heartwarming story, “The Joys of Growing Up Italian” that has since been “stolen,” and posted on hundreds of websites without permission or even a byline.” We located the “The Joys of Growing up Italian American” essay and posted it on the Voce Italiana web site. If someone has some scientific evidence or proof of authorship of this essay, in addition to Elvira’s blog, please come forward.
If you thought that cable TV’s The Housewifes of New Jersey was a black eye for Italian Americans, and not just for those who call New Jersey their home, MTV may be topping that degrading program by reportedly producing a new reality show called The Guidos — “a not-so-complimentary reference to young Italian-American men who frequent the Jersey Shore in Ocean and Monmouth counties,” according to Philadelphia’s Daily News. If true, we say, enough is enough. Basta with the exploitation of Italian Americans. If anyone has any more information on this planned further assault on the stereotyping of Italian Americans, please let us know.