NoLita a Diverse Neighborhood
NoLita is a New York neighborhood that lies just north of Little Italy, and that is how it gets its name, from the No in North, the L in Little, and the ita in Italy. The boundary on the north is Houston St. The Bowery is on the east. Broome St., is the southern edge. Lafayette St. is the western limit. In addition to being north of Little Italy, NoLita is east of SoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and south of NoHo.
The neighborhood had long been a part of Little Italy, but it began to loose much of its ethnic character as many Italians moved out of the area in recent decades. A sizeable population of elderly Italians remains. A feast day is still celebrated after Labor Day every year along a section of Mulberry St. between Houston and Grand Sts. in honor of Saint Januaries.
Starting in the mid 90’s, a large number of young professionals moved into the area. There was also an influx of expensive boutiques and stylish restaurants. As the neighborhood grew more upscale, realtors searched for a new designation to call the place. The New York Times carried an article on May 5, 1998 declaring that NoLita was now the official name for the district.
Historic Sites Aplenty Here
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral can be found in NoLita where Prince, Mott, and Mulberry Sts. meet. The church originally opened in 1815. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1868. The church was the Catholic Cathedral for New York City until the completion of the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. in mid town in 1879. To honor the old church, it was rechristened in 2010 as the Basilica at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. The site also contains a Catholic School.
The Puck Building is an ornate structure that sits at Houston and Lafayette Sts. It was built in 1885 and used to house the offices of Puck Magazine.
The 14th Ward Industrial School is a stand out piece of public architecture. Saint Michael’s Russian Catholic Church is another religious building of stunning design.
Many Notables Live in the Area
NoLita is becoming an increasingly popular address for many in the entertainment field. Singer Vanessa Carlton lives here. She even dedicated a song to the district, “NoLita Fairytale.” The musician Moby resides here as well.
Director Martin Scorsese was born and grew up on Elizabeth St. between Houston and Prince. His immigrant grandparents had settled here.
David Bowie maintains a home in NoLita, and so does the singer and song writer John Mayer. Actor Gabriel Byrne also lives in the district.
NoLita seems to be growing more popular. Real estate is fetching increasingly high prices throughout the district. The area is centrally located to many of the most job rich portions of the city. Many young people appreciate being able to walk to work and live in this portion of Manhattan that is home to so many shops and restaurants.