“AIEH” Stands for ALWAYS in EAST HARLEM…the true spirit of a Bygone Era. Thank you, Roe!

Somewhere around the year 2008, after I set up this website, I found Charlie DeMonte’s and Charlie Strippone’s website, called “The Old Neighborhood Online.” I was so happy to know that there were other like-minded people, as myself, who were interested in preserving the memory of a once booming Italian community, simply called Harlem, or “the neighborhood.” I call it Italian Harlem, as that is the memory that I wish to preserve. My Italian great-grandparents came to this neighborhood, to forge a new life in a new world. The United States of America was a country that was fairly young in its own right. The year was 1901, and America was a 125 years into being established as a nation. Tens of thousands of Italian immigrants gravitated to this particular area of Manhattan, in an attempt to reap the benefits of the American way of life.

Fast forward to 2008, here I was in my 5th year of historical research of the old neighborhood, when I stumbled upon Charlie’s website. I joined the site, set up an account, and started to chat with other members, sharing stories of their lives in the old neighborhood. At some point in time, and here is the “kicker” of this article- I came across a 4 letter acronym, with the letters AIEH (all in caps) typed in at the end of a comment. I couldn’t recall who the person was that used the acronym, but it quickly spread to most users on that website, including me! When I asked what it stood for, I was captivated, and continue to use it, to this day.

AIEH means “Always in East Harlem.” That’s the long and the short of it. It holds within its 4 letters, the true Spirit of a bygone era, that so many of us are fighting to preserve. As I was pondering on writing an article about the true meaning behind this endearing, heartfelt term, I reached out to my friend JoAnne Claretti Mallano, to ask her if she knew who “coined” it. JoAnne quickly responded that the person’s name was Rosemary Alvino Milazzo, and that sadly, Rosemary had passed away over 8 years ago. So now, this article is not just about a term that embodies the Spirit of a once vibrant community, it is also about a special lady that enhanced a “thought pattern” based upon 4 letters of our alphabet. Got the message yet? Smile… AIEH

Rosemary Alvino Milazzo was born in East Harlem on November 5th 1959. She passed away on October 29th, 2009. She was a resident of Long Beach, N.Y. Her friends called her “Roe.” She leaves with us, a heartfelt legacy of AIEH. Always in East Harlem, in our hearts, our minds, and the pathway to our ancestry. Grazie Mille, Roe!


Rosemary AIEH AlvinoRosemary Alvino Milazzo. Photo courtesy of Janet Sinicola.

Rosemary and Janet EHJanet Sinicola(left) Rosemary Alvino Milazzo(right.) Courtesy of Janet Sinicola.

6 Comments on ““AIEH” Stands for ALWAYS in EAST HARLEM…the true spirit of a Bygone Era. Thank you, Roe!”

  1. Mary Ann Sciallo Cannone says:

    Angela, I so enjoy this website and all the information contained in it. We can’t wait to meet you in person, I spend my winters now in Florida with our own micro collection of the neighborhood your wonderful cousin Pam and Fabulous Frank, Cathy and Jerry Salzano, Lorraine “Letterese” and husband Tony, the infamous Johnny Lights and his wife Maria ( ofCarpenel fame) and visits from Joseph Pugliese, “puggy” , Butchie Roland, Robert Pipato, and Jackie Rizzo. We have recreated our own slice of the neighborhood and so enjoy our time together. For me as a only child this is a great asset as I can reminisce about my parents who passed away many years ago. Keep writing AIEH. Even my husband who is from the “other” neighborhood loves our camaraderie


  2. vincent casale says:

    Angela…..Thank you sharing that FYI super acronym..AIEH


  3. Anthony P. Di Perna says:

    Dear Angela,
    Thank you for keeping Italian Harlem alive. My paternal grandparents settled on 114th St. in
    1905, and my maternal grandparents on 113th St. a few years earlier. My parents met at a dance in Jefferson Park, and were married in the church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 1928. I was born and raised in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, but my parents always brought my sister and me to LA FESTA every July during the late 1930s. I still remember vividly the festive atmosphere and the joy that filled the streets as we wove our way past the many booths selling souvenirs and Italian delights. Of course, there was the mandatory visit to the church, and the lighting of a candle. One could not miss the sense of belonging of the Italian community there,
    and the frequent conversations of my parents and grandparents about their lives in East Harlem
    during the early part of the 20th century left me with the understanding that, despite financial
    limitations, there was a gioia di viva in the lives of the Italian families. That community established itself as part of the American mainstream during World War II when so many of its
    sons served in the armed forces. They were great American patriots. Bravo gl’Italiani.
    Anthony P. Di Perna


  4. ignatius labarbera says:

    Maybe we can get some nice t shirts with a pretty design: Italian flag, sketch of Pleasant ave etc and the logo AIEH. I would certainly buy some


  5. Edwin Pabon says:

    Hey I wonder if Janets dad was Mr. Sinicola . A 5th grade Teacher I had in Holy Rosary Catholic school? If you can reach out to her, tell her he was a hell of a teacher and a great guy!
    Edwin Pabon


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