My Motivation Behind the Creation of ItalianHarlem.com- My Father, Albert :-)

Over 4 years have passed since you left this earthly plane of existence. Gone, but never forgotten. Your presence is very much missed, Daddy.
Riposa in Pace.

Italian Harlem

Daddy In December of 2007, I was 3 years into my “whirling dervish” obsession of gaining every drop of family history knowledge that I could garner. It became self-evident that my ancestral journey had begun, and so I conceived the idea of creating a website to memorialize, and forever “etch” into existence, the information that I would render from this extensive research. I named my website “Pathway to My Ancestry,” and so began the painstaking steps to build the site on the then existing “Live Spaces” platform. A few years into building the site, live spaces was drawing to closure, thereby necessitating me to find another platform to maintain my website. Hence, I found WordPress, and so here I am, and hopefully, will continue to be! In the interim, I had to transfer whatever was transferable to the new website, and decided to change the title of my blog to

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On the Inside Looking Out: My America, a Voice from Italian Harlem’s Past…

Italian Harlem

Asked if she liked America, an Italian homeworker replied in 1911: “Not much, not much. In my country, people cook out-of doors, do the wash out-of-doors, tailor out-of-doors, make macaroni out-of-doors. And my people laugh, laugh all the time. In America, is “sopra, sopra!” [up, up, with a gesture of going upstairs]. Many people, one house; work, work all the time. Good money but no good air.” 

Source: Elizabeth C. Watson, “Home Work in the Tenements,” Survey, 25 (1910), 772

In hindsight, perhaps, the above statement could have been spoken by the hard-working Italian woman portrayed in this iconic, social journalistic photo. Her name was Mary Mauro. Mary lived in Italian East Harlem, in a 5 story “old-law” walk-up tenement, along with her family in 1911. By some “synchronistic serendipity,” Mary was one of the “homeworkers” chosen by sociologist and photographer, Lewis Wickes Hine, to be portrayed in his photographic…

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CALL FOR VINTAGE PHOTOS! KEEPING MEMORIES ALIVE on ItalianHarlem.com!

Italian Harlem

ALTHOUGH THE “HALCYON DAYS” OF EAST HARLEM ARE LONG GONE,PLEASE HELP ME KEEP THE MEMORY ALIVE, OF WHAT LIFE ONCE WAS IN OUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD!

SEND ME YOUR PHOTOS! I WILL POST THEM ON ITALIANHARLEM.COM! I WILL POST THEM IN MEMORY OF YOUR ANCESTORS…JUST MENTION YOUR FAMILY NAME, AND IT SHALL BE DONE!

EMAIL YOUR PHOTOS TO: italianharlem@gmail.com

THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR MEMORIES!

Angela Bella Puco

SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF ITALIAN HARLEM! SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF ITALIAN HARLEM!

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An East Harlem Scene from “The Godfather”: Sonny Corleone(James Caan) beats up his brother-in-law Carlo(Gianni Russo.)

Italian Harlem

The Godfather Movie:Click on this link to view YouTube video-  Sonny Corleone(James Caan) beats up his brother-in-law Carlo(Gianni Russo.)

In this scene from The Godfather, James Caan seeks revenge for the unmerciful beating of his pregnant sister, Connie Rizzi. He heads for East Harlem’s E. 118th Street, to brutally beat up his wife-beating brother-in-law Carlo Rizzi(played by Gianni Russo.)

The scene was filmed on the 500 block of East 118th Street. My family and I lived there before this movie was filmed. The stoop that Carlo(wearing an orange and tan suit) is standing on-before he attempts to run from crazed Sonny, is 503 East 118th Street.

 Note of Trivia: Most of the principal photography took place from March 29, 1971 to August 6, 1971, although a scene with Pacino and Keaton was shot in the autumn. There were a total of 77 days of shooting, fewer than the…

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An Italian Harlem Notable: Anthony Ravielli- Renowned Illustrator.

Italian Harlem

Anthony (Tony) Ravielli (1 Jul 1916–9 Jan 1997) was born in Italian Harlem. He attended the Textile High School, taught himself anatomy by volunteering at the Bellvue Hospital morgue, and later studied at the Cooper Union and Art Students League. He began his career as a portrait painter, went into advertising, and by the early 1950s had become an author and freelance illustrator. By this time he had mastered what would become his signature medium–the scratchboard (or scraperboard, if your British). His spare, elegant, and remarkably accurate illustrations still stand today as some of the best examples of the medium.

ImageBut Ravielli would be forever linked with golf, a sport especially in need of instruction. In 1957 Hogan approached Ravielli to illustrate a five part series titled the “The Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.” The result, which was quickly turned into a book, would become, perhaps, the most…

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As I add salt to the boiling water, in a small way, I am also “reconnecting” to my Italian Harlem heritage…Rao’s sauce is my favorite macaroni sauce-bar none! There, I said it…macaroni! Shall I say gravy? Sure, why not! ;-)


Secrets of Mt. Rushmore: The Great Italian-American Master Sculptor, Luigi Del Bianco

Italian Harlem

Douglas Gladstone

Luigi Del Bianco in Gutzon Borglum's studio at Mount Rushmore with the models for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Notice the torso and full dress on Washington; Borglum had originally planned to make Rushmore more than just the four faces, but lack of funding, skilled laborers and faulty rock precluded that. (Photo courtesy of Del Bianco Family Collection) Luigi Del Bianco in Gutzon Borglum’s studio at Mount Rushmore with the models for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Notice the torso and full dress on Washington; Borglum had originally planned to make Rushmore more than just the four faces, but lack of funding, skilled laborers and faulty rock precluded that. (Photo courtesy of Del Bianco Family Collection)

It’s a 1,727 mile drive from Italian Harlem, New York – between Pleasant Avenue to the east, First Avenue to the west, East 114th Street to the south and East 120th Street to the north — to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in Keystone, South Dakota. If you’re taking I-80 and I-90 westbound you can do the trip in just under 25 hours. 


There’s no way to do the trip faster, just as to date, there hasn’t been a way to bridge the gap that exists between the United States Department…

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