About Nolita / Little Italy
The charming section
of Manhattan known as "Nolita" (short for "North of Little Italy") is best known for its upscale boutiques,
celebrity residents and trendy eateries full of fashionable patrons spilling into the streets. Until recently, Nolita was
considered part of Little Italy, but that changed over time as Italian-Americans started to migrate out of Manhattan. A favorite
landing place among young urban professionals, Nolita is surrounded by Houston Street at its north, the Bowery on the east,
Broome Street at its south and Lafayette Street at the west. An attraction of the neighborhood is St. Patrick's Old
Cathedral at the corner of Prince and Mott Streets. This church opened in 1815 but was rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in
1868. Before 1879, this was the city's primary Roman Catholic cathedral when the new St. Patrick's on Fifth Avenue (at 50th
Street) was constructed. This site is also widely known for scenes from The Godfather and The Godfather, Part III as well
as a publicized memorial service held here in 1999 for John F. Kennedy Jr. The Puck Building, at 295 Lafayette Street,
is another famous structure in this section of the city. Named after America's first satirical magazine, the building is now
home to New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, housing office space as well as ballrooms used for large-scale
events. Founded in 1871 in St. Louis, Puck Magazine was held under various editors until 1916, when the William Randolph Hearst
Company took over until its final circulation in 1918. Issues were 32 pages and included political cartoons and comic strips,
a double-page centerfold featuring political satire and pages of editorials. Shakespeare's mischievous Puck character from
A Midsummer Night's Dream was of course the inspiration for the magazine, and visitors to the building can see two figures
of Puck at the entrance's façade.
Nolita really stands out on weekends, when shops and restaurants prop open their doors
and artists crowd the streets. The Young Designer's Market (268 Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston), held every Saturday
and Sunday from 11am to 7pm, features a bevy of designers showcasing all types of jewelry, clothing and other knickknacks
in the St. Patrick's Youth Center gymnasium. Free admission gets you access to the real side of New York's art scene –
artist types trying to make it in the big city. Just around the corner, popular hangouts like Café Habana (corner of
Prince and Elizabeth) and Café Gitane (Mott Street near Prince) are sure to deliver both excellent treats (try the
Mexican grilled corn at Habana) and people-watching for the hungry and curious traveler.
Nolita is surrounded by Houston
Street at its north, the Bowery on the east, Broome Street at its south and Lafayette Street at the west.
Little Italy Parameters
Mulberry Street, extends as
far south as Canal Street, as far north as Bleecker, as far west as Lafayette, and as far east as the Bowery. It borders Chinatown
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