Street art. Bowery Street. Chinatown. Some interesting sculptures running down the median of Bowery Street. The sculptures (about 12 of them) are metal on black bases (perhaps granite). They are the work of Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro who calls the exhibition ‘Las Bicicletas’. They are obviously people riding bicycles. But take another look with an open mind. Don’t they resemble Chinese writing? I wonder if they can be interpreted from Chinese to English and what the message is.

Turns out my conspiracy theory is just that. In total, 122 ‘Las Biciletas’ similar to those above, were placed around the city in all five boroughs. The fact that I think they look like Chinese writing, in the heart of Chinatown is just my observation, not the artist’s intent.

The bottom Chinese character is provided for illustration. It is the Chinese symbol for ‘love’. I still say it’s a pretty good observation and I’m going to stick with it. What are your thoughts?

Paris Restaurant. Chinatown. This restaurant is on Mott Street which used to be part of Little Italy but has slowly been taken over by Chinatown. So what we have here is a restaurant called Paris, serving Vietnamese food in Chinatown, on a street that used to be part of Little Italy. If there was a culture clash going in Manhattan, it would definitely be in the area surrounding Little Italy and Chinatown.

Paris Restaurant. Chinatown. This restaurant is on Mott Street which used to be part of Little Italy but has slowly been taken over by Chinatown. So what we have here is a restaurant called Paris, serving Vietnamese food in Chinatown, on a street that used to be part of Little Italy. If there was a culture clash going in Manhattan, it would definitely be in the area surrounding Little Italy and Chinatown.

Little Italy has literally become littler. Once known for it’s large population of Italians (10,000 back in 1910), it has shrunk down to a few blocks that intersect Mulberry Street, Little Italy’s main street. The area was more of a stopping ground for immigrating Italians who quickly moved out of Little Italy when more spacious digs became available. Little Italy never had the largest population of Italians in Manhattan, it was East Harlem that had that distinction. Soon after 9/11, areas south of Houston Street, including Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo and Tribeca  were cut off from the public for several months severely impacting businesses already suffering from a slow economy. Once things began to open up, upscale businesses entered the northern portion of Little Italy making the ‘Italian zone’ even smaller. 
Chinese immigrants became an increased presence after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 removed immigration restrictions. Over the past 30-40 years Chinatown has literally surrounded Little Italy on three sides as it expanded into the SoHo and The Bowery areas.
Today, Little Italy is basically a veneer with 50 or so restaurants and shops catering to tourists. Many New Yorkers feel the name ‘Little Italy’ remains purely out of nostalgia. In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed as a single historic district in Manhattan on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a year (in September) Mulberry Street comes alive during the Feast of San Gennaro. All types of vendors line Mulberry Street and over one million visitors crowed the tiny area for almost two weeks to enjoy all things Italian…especially food!
Today the neighborhood of Little Italy is on the verge of extinction. The name ‘Little Italy’ however will most likely live on forever.

Little Italy has literally become littler. Once known for it’s large population of Italians (10,000 back in 1910), it has shrunk down to a few blocks that intersect Mulberry Street, Little Italy’s main street. The area was more of a stopping ground for immigrating Italians who quickly moved out of Little Italy when more spacious digs became available. Little Italy never had the largest population of Italians in Manhattan, it was East Harlem that had that distinction. Soon after 9/11, areas south of Houston Street, including Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo and Tribeca¬† were cut off from the public for several months severely impacting businesses already suffering from a slow economy. Once things began to open up, upscale businesses entered the northern portion of Little Italy making the ‘Italian zone’ even smaller.
 

Chinese immigrants became an increased presence after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 removed immigration restrictions. Over the past 30-40 years Chinatown has literally surrounded Little Italy on three sides as it expanded into the SoHo and The Bowery areas.

Today, Little Italy is basically a veneer with 50 or so restaurants and shops catering to tourists. Many New Yorkers feel the name ‘Little Italy’ remains purely out of nostalgia. In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed as a single historic district in Manhattan on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a year (in September) Mulberry Street comes alive during the Feast of San Gennaro. All types of vendors line Mulberry Street and over one million visitors crowed the tiny area for almost two weeks to enjoy all things Italian…especially food!

Today the neighborhood of Little Italy is on the verge of extinction. The name ‘Little Italy’ however will most likely live on forever.