How Little Italy Became Little Albanian-Mexican Italy

Mar 15, 2020 719

BY: Helene Stapinski

On a cool sunny weekday afternoon, the crowds were out in Little Italy. In the two outdoor European-style cafes that anchor either end of Arthur Avenue, in the Belmont Section of the Bronx, tourists and locals sat outside, sipping espresso, smoking and chatting away.

At Luna Cafe, just past the giant Italian flag painted in the intersection, the red Albanian flag was flying, while men smoked hookah in the plastic-covered outdoor area. Over at Prince Coffee House, four blocks away, regulars chatted in Albanian. The only Italians were the third- and fourth-generation shoppers from the suburbs, stopping in for a coffee break between mozzarella and soppressata runs in the nearby stores.

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