Time Travel back to New York's Little Italy - c. 1900

 Mulberry St NYC c.190

Another really cool photo of the new immigrants, in a bustling new country. 

What stands out to you, as you scan the larger version of the photo? I like the children, toward the bottom and the gal sitting in the hay cart. I smell the best Italian food, this side of Italy. 

At its peak, this area was one of the most densely populated places on Earth, with 500,000 people crammed into four square miles.  The New York Times sent its reporters to characterize the Little Italy/Mulberry neighborhood in May 1896:

They are laborers; toilers in all grades of manual work; they are artisans, they are junkmen, and here, too, dwell the rag pickers....A monster colony of Italians might be termed the commercial or shop-keeping community of the Latins. Here are stores, pensions, groceries, fruit emporiums, tailors, shoemakers, wine merchants, importers, musical instrument makers....There are notaries, lawyers, doctors, apothecaries, undertakers.... 

Here it is colorized. 

I don't know how I feel about the color - I like it but I see more detail in the black and white. 

Which do you prefer? 


  1. Wow, this is amazing! Can you imagine living like that with so many people crowded into such a small area? They were strong and courageous people...pioneers! Ilike both the B&W and the colorized version, but I tend to like the color version better. The faces and personalities seems to stand out more in color, and I can almost hear the noise and laughter, music and shouts, and feel the hustle and bustle all around. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can imagine this photo in motion. Amazing. All of those people would be in heaven (hopefully!) today...

  2. I like the black and white version better. I also see my grandparents (not literally) who came over from Italy about that time!

  3. I always prefer original black and white photos to altered ones.

  4. Oh, I like them both, but there's nothing like a black and white, right? I enjoy reading about the history that you share along with the photos. Wow, the streets look really crowded. I would love to sit in a little restaurant there and eat the best Italian food. : )


  5. My eyes went to the man standing on the balcony.
    I like the color version best.

  6. Funny you should mention the dense population. Because my first thought was how awfully crowded it is! But of course we have to allow for the fact that this is a marketplace. Normally I always like color photos. But not for ones that were taken before color was available. We don't actually know what color everything was, so this could be not represented as it really was! For that reason, I like the black & white on this one. Plus, the colors on this one look so unreal!

  7. I like both photos you get a better idea of how they dressed with the coloured one

  8. I nave never been a fan of colorizing old photos or movies. Just not the same. Aah I can smell the pasta from here. Janice

  9. I like both, but the black and white is more historically correct.

    Very crowded street.

    God bless.


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