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Italian Festa: 1908

Italian Festa: 1908

New York, May 16, 1908. "Italian festa. Mott Street decorated for religious feast." View full size. At left is a section of street seen in this post a few days ago. Google Street View. To the left of the white horse, 166 Mott (Buffa & Cianciosi) is now Ken Mable Inc. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.


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The cobblestones and horse-drawn modes of transportation are gone, but the view south on Mott Street from Broome Street is pretty much the same. This is the the same perspective taken in April of 2008.


I think this photo gave Coppola his reference for the Little Italy scenes in "Godfather II." Great photo! Thanks for sharing

I would also give anything...

I would also give anything to walk into this street scene.

I would venture to say I'd give up my Blackberry forever to walk into this street scene.

Love the little girl in boots...with pigtails, the painted signage on the back of the wooden wagon...

I can imagine the sound of this street, children shouting, adults calling down to them. Oh, beautiful. Now it's honking and alarms going off and people chattering in a million languages. But back then, it must have been sweet, the clip clop of horses and the calls of the busy street.


It's the old national flag by the look of it. Like the present, but with the House of Savoy symbol in the middle.

Mott Street

I'd give anything to be able to walk into this photo.

Bottled Water

Obviously not just a recent phenomenon. (Gentile Bros)

Every Living Thing

Every living thing in this bustling scene is dead now, I suppose. The picture is so full of life, at that captured moment. Great photograph.


There's a kitty sleeping on the window sill above the candy store. Cute.

[And another kitty crossing the street! - Dave]


What's the flag flying next to the American flag on the left? It looks like the Italian flag with a plus sign.

[It's the Italian flag, which had a cross in the middle. - Dave]


Those strings of roasted chickpeas were some of my favorite treats at the festas in the 1960's. I see larger nuts as well. Are those chestnuts? (Wrong time of year for them.) Also note how the children are surrounding the candy store.

Memories of Grandmother

My grandmother, upon arriving in America from Naples, lived on Mott Street. Along with her parents, three sisters and a brother, they were crowded into a four room apartment where an eternal "To Let" sign hung next to their tenement. Obviously, there were many "To Let" signs within that precarious yet ambitious time in New York City. Beautiful and sublime image. Thanks.

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