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February 10, 2005



Ahhhh, gosh, that's a shame. I'm sorry, Julie. The ironic thing -- well, maybe it's not ironic but it's damn curious -- is that your neighborhood used to be one of the major Italian-American enclaves in Manhattan, along with Little Italy and the West Village. As recently as 10 years ago, I remember reading an interview Molly O'Neill did with the owner of Andy's Colonial Tavern on 125th Street and (I think) 1st Avenue, Salvatore "Mr. Wab" Medici. I don't know if Andy's is still open, or even if Mr. Wab is still alive. I know he loves the nabe, and he stuck with it long after his neighbors headed east to Long Island and north to Yonkers.

It sounds like you have the same problem with deliveries that I had when I moved to New York 16 years ago (arrrrgh! has it really been 16 years? I am older than God! arrrrgh!). The second year I lived here, I moved to a place on East 4th St. and Avenue B. This is before the East Village had become uniformly fabulous, and restaurants wouldn't let their delivery people cross 1st Ave. Plus ca change, etc., etc.

Good luck finding that hero. I'll let you know if I hear of anything.


Bakerina, I've read a fair amount about the Italian history of East Harlem. There's a wonderful little book called "Teacher with a Heart" about the school principal Leonard Covello, who taught and led at that school that you can see from the FDR drive near 116th St.(in my other life I'm an NYC public schools functionary, god help me). In the 30s and 40s, the whole gang struggle in this neighborhood was between the Italian kids and the rapidly growing Puerto Rican community -- Sharks and Jets, anyone? Anyway, it seems as if all that's left are Patsy's, Rao's (where no one unfamous can ever get in) and Morrone Bakery on 116th, which we haven't yet tried. The last time we ate at Patsy's, the bread was delicious, so we asked if they made it in-house, as many pizzerias do. Turns out it's from Morrone's, which apparently has many other old-style Italian goodies, so we're going to have to check that out...

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