Yesterday Jeremiah posted about the 1974 Martin Scorsese doc Italianamerican, featuring the director’s parents. Jeremiah’s post is one in a series about the contest in Little Italy/Nolita over the future of the San Gennaro Feast. My own take on that debate is that I get annoyed by high-fashion Nolita newcomers who poo-poo neighborhood tradition, but I also get annoyed by drunk people roaming Little Italy at night and streets slick with coconut milk and puke (neither of which has any intrinsic tie to Italian heritage). My own preference would be for the festival to amp itself up on the tradition side, to make the whole affair a celebration of the neighorhood’s history, not just an excuse for generic carnival attractions. But … I’m just a newcomer to that neighborhood myself, so I’ll stop now.
Here’s the first installment of Italianamerican. I do think that newcomers to the neighborhood have an obligation at least to find out a little about the place to which they’ve come to live or work: