Bronx Little Italy (Church and Community)


Which comes first, the chicken or egg? I never heard of the Little Italy up and around Arthur Avenue, the commercial heart of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx, just south from Forhdam University. In this ethnic-religious enclave, everything about it, down to the signage, feels like a throwback to sometime in the 1970s. The bond between church, street, community, and tradition is thick and intimate. We were up just a couple of days before a festival for St. Anthony.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Bronx Little Italy (Church and Community)

  1. dmf says:

    ah yeah my mom was born to the Polito clan in the Bronx, her father Mario could remember hearing opera 78s being played out into the streets mixing with the smells of laundry and early morning beginnings of the cooking of lunch.
    thought this might be of interest:
    Unable to get into the Monet show,
    Too many people there, too many cars,
    We spent the Sunday morning at Bowl Pond
    A mile from the Museum, where no one was,
    And walked an hour or so around the rim
    Beside five acres of flowering waterlilies
    Lifting three feet above their floating pads
    Huge yellow flowers heavy on bending stems
    In various phases of array and disarray
    Of Petals packed, unfolded, opening to show
    The meaty orange centers that become,
    When the ruined flags fall away, green shower heads
    Spilling their wealth of seed at summer’s end
    Into the filthy water among small fish
    Mud-colored and duck moving explorative
    Through jungle pathways opened among the fronds
    Upon whose surface water drops behave
    Like mercury, collecting in heavy silver coins
    Instead of bubbles; some few redwinged blackbirds
    Whistling above all this once in a while,
    The silence else unbroken all about.
    “Monet” by Howard Nemerov

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