This article, written by Judith Messina, appears in Crain’s New York Business.
First came the immigrants who gave Little Italy its name. Then came the wave of Chinese immigrants who began raising families, opening shops, restaurants and even small factories in the neighborhood in the 1980s. More recently, soaring property prices have ushered in the era of affluent urbanites and hipsters. Today, even Little Italy stalwarts concede that the name falls somewhere between “last vestige of a vanished time” and “total misnomer.”