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Old 03-24-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I believe that parts of Seattle and Portland OR have decent concentrations of Italians.
I don't know much about Seattle's old Italian communities, but I know Portland, specifically the area called South Portland previously used to be a heavily Italian neighborhood(with a lot of Jews as well). The south part of downtown Portland near PSU used to be sort of the immigrant hub of Portland at that point(early 1900s) though the area was destroyed by urban renewal in the 1960s and the assimilation of most of the original residents who moved out to the suburbs. On the SE side of Portland, the old Produce Row area, was run by Italian produce vendors who lived nearby in Ladds Addition. I have a couple friends who are part of the Italian families that have been in the local produce business for years--although most of them live an work out in the suburbs as well.

Butte, Montana actually had a big Italian area on it's east side called Meaderville--that was completed destroyed by the Berkeley Pit mining operations in the 1950s. But the area was famous for Italian restaurants and social clubs back in the 1920s and 30s.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Balducci View Post
In the United States, if you're Italian American, you're most likely living in the Northeast, the industrial Midwest, California, or the New Orleans area. My dad's parents were immigrants, and they settled in the Mississippi Delta, along with many other Italian families. Almost all of them were from Ancona province along the Adriatic Sea northeast of Rome. Many of their descendants living today in the Mississippi/Arkansas Delta are wealthy farmers (soybeans, rice, cotton, and corn). I'd like to hear from those of you who are of Italian ancestry and live in a community outside the "typical" Italian-American areas. God bless.
It's interesting that you mention the Mississippi Italians, because I was reading an article about that earlier today.

Many of those Delta towns like Shaw and Drew saw Italian immigration up through the Mississippi River valley prior to Southerners moving west from the colonies. Some of those cities had businesses owned by Italian families at some point, though they unfortunately didn't survive over the years.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
It's interesting that you mention the Mississippi Italians, because I was reading an article about that earlier today.

Many of those Delta towns like Shaw and Drew saw Italian immigration up through the Mississippi River valley prior to Southerners moving west from the colonies. Some of those cities had businesses owned by Italian families at some point, though they unfortunately didn't survive over the years.
People don't know that many Delta towns had Jews and Chinese too. Tchula, where my dad is from had merchants of both backgrounds.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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Don't forget that a major port of entry for many Italians at the turn of the century was the port of New Orleans, and to a lesser extent Galveston. The Fertita family took this route before ending up in Houston and setting up their empire, now legitimate.

All of my family immigrated into Ellis Island at the turn of the century but my parents eventually ended up in Houston. Houston, while not as large as the Northeast actually has a vibrant Italian American Community complete with an Italian Cultural Center for both Italian Americans and Italians, an Italian Embassy, and the annual Italian Festival (Festa) at St. Thomas.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
southern West Virginia due to the coal mining operations of the past.
Lots of Italians where mining was once big. For example, UP Michigan, MN's Iron Range, Butte, MT and Pueblo, CO.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Apparently, West Virginia has some Italians.
One of my best friends in grade school in CA had a Dad who was the son of WV Italian coal miners. Essentially the same swath as the Western Pennsylvania mining effort.

Have another Italian friend that hails from Birmingham AL. Not sure about other major AL cities, but B-ham definitely does. His Catholic high school there was half Italian and that city has, or had, a supermarket chain called Bruno's.

Knew a full-blooded, and very aggressive, Sicilian girl from Pueblo CO. Again, mining brought her grandparents over.

Houston TX (as described in post 14) had a sizable Italian immigrant community, mostly Sicilian. That means that their American-born kids were likely to speak with a Texan accent, which would be interesting. Houston houses its Italian Cultural Center in a beautiful mansion.

Seattle had an Italian community to the east of downtown in Rainier Valley and they called it "Garlic Gulch." It has vanished. Portland had one, too, mostly hailing from Liguria and Calabria. This area in SE was almost exclusively Italian and supported a parish, but the small bungalows in that area are now expensive, and not worth it, and replete with yuppies and people who shop at New Seasons.

California has many Italians, but they are scattered everywhere. North Beach in SF no longer feels Italian, except for the kitsch homage paid to it via some restaurants. Except for San Pedro, CA, Italians are even more scattered in LA. A lot of Italian retirees in Palm Springs. A lot of Italians in California's central valley farming, alongside Portuguese, Hispanics and Armenians (the latter being heavy in Fresno).

None of these Italian communities have the Italian personality which you can expect between Boston and Philadelphia. In a way, they've become so diluted into WASPdom, having lost the language and the culture, that it's kind of sad. Most of the people are trying to re-awaken this spirit outside the NE corridor, but it seems contrived.

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 03-24-2012 at 08:27 PM..
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:20 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I think there are Italian communities in almost every large city. For some reason, Italy contributed a lot to the population of the US.

There is a decent size Italian community in Omaha, Nebraska. Marlon Brando is from there. Henry Fonda was actually born in Grand Island, NE, but grew up and got his acting start in Omaha.

Denver has a large Italian community as well. NW Denver used to be the Italian part of town; now a lot of the old Italian families have moved to the suburbs, especially the western suburbs. My little community of Louisville, CO has an Italian community. We are an old mining town, but Omaha and Denver are not.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
There is a decent size Italian community in Omaha, Nebraska. Marlon Brando is from there. Henry Fonda was actually born in Grand Island, NE, but grew up and got his acting start in Omaha.
So true. Omaha has the annual Santa Lucia Festival. My parents knew people who made Omaha their immigration destination. I believe the initial draw to Omaha was railroad work. Throw in the Kansas City metro area, too.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:00 AM
 
Location: BMORE!
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Baltimore
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Steve Albini, an icon of the alternative rock movement who fronted the bands Big Black, Rapeman, and Shellack as well as recorded and produced albums by Nirvana, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Pixies, PJ Harvey, etc etc, is an Italian-American who was born in Pasadena, CA, but raised in Missoula, MT of all places. He wrote a song about it called "Kerosene."


big black - kerosene - YouTube

Steve Albini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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