We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No visit to NYC is complete without a little side trip to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The old Little Italy in downtown Manhattan has mostly been invaded by new Chinese immigrants who have been expanding Chinatown, and the Italians have moved through the tunnel to Jersey. Don't ask me why.
Is it a "safe" neighborhood? Hardly need to ask that about a heavily Italian neighborhood in New York, for several reasons. You do not need to lock your car. Many in the metropolitan area come by just to shop for Italian delicacies.
The restaurants do not take reservations, so you have to plan it out, be early, or wait in line a bit. Lots of folks I know like Roberto. I need to get there soon.
As in the US, immigration blessed Canada with a large Italian community and there aren't many cities where there isn't a Little Italy of some sort. Thank God too! How else would I get my mozzarella di bufala?
One perq of being a Catholic kid was growing up regularly rubbing shoulders with whole extended Mediterranean families - Italians and Portuguese in particular - that the WASPs only briefly encountered in restaurants and trips to Europe.