Little Italy is one of the oldest and most famous ethnic enclaves in the city, extant since the turn of the 19th century. Once it used to sprawl over a large expanse of Grand Street, and more than 10,000 Italians called it home.
But today, it is hemmed into a tiny two-block expanse located between Centre and Mott Streets, and surrounded by Chinatown on all fronts. It has also become more of a theme-park with Italian restaurants and cafes targeted at tourists, rather than a residential enclave. The few remaining Italian households in the area are very hard to spot.
This specific walk happened to coincide with the Feast of San Gennaro, for which a major street fair, lasting 11 days, is traditionally held. It heightened the festive atmosphere, but also emphasized just how much this enclave has become a kind of Disneyland.