settembre 2020
around the neighborhood
Little Italy Neighborhood Association & LICO/Little Italy Community Organization

  • LINA's board had a positive virtual meeting with City Council President, Brandon Scott, and his Chief of Staff, Scott Davis. The Board shared a few priorities for the neighborhood, including responsible development, crime & safety, and concerns for the vitality of Little Italy businesses during the pandemic.

  • Trinity Street Development: WRH Properties has purchased 906 Trinity Street (former site of Panino's Restaurant) and are developing 40 one- and two-bedroom apartment units. The project has begun, with roof and interior demolition being done manually. Construction is expected to continue for approximately 12 months. The 900 block and a portion of the 800 block of Trinity Street is closed to parking yet a lane open as a thoroughfare eastbound to Exeter Street. Additional information will be reported as it occurs; both organizations thank everyone in the neighborhood - and visitors to Little Italy - for their patience.

  • Other Little Italy Development: Members of LINA's board met with Yosef Lefkowitz to discuss properties he has purchased in Little Italy, including (among others) Caesar’s Den and Da Mimmo's restaurant and its parking lot. Lefkowitz has plans to add apartments and ground-floor businesses to some of the properties and said he expects to submit plans in one proposal to the City. He looks forward to sharing his ideas with the community as plans progress.

  • LIGHT IT UP! An ongoing discussion is happening about repairing and maintaining the 'Little Italy' and star lights which have been hanging in the neighborhood for several decades. (They were originally installed as Christmas decorations and never taken down.) The light strands have been repaired throughout the years; and in 2010, people were able to "Buy a Bulb" in the Light Up Little Italy campaign organized by Promotion Center for Little Italy to raise repair funds. Nine strands are hung throughout the neighborhood, consisting of 2,355 light bulbs.

PANDOLA LEARNING CENTER will soon announce its fall in-person and online classes!

COLUMBUS STATUE UPDATE - Fundraising efforts continue for the restoration of the toppled Christopher Columbus statue in Little Italy July 4th. The repair estimate is approximately $45,000 with close to $7,000 donated to date. Work on the restoration has begun. Transfer of statue ownership from Baltimore City to Columbus Celebrations Inc. has been verbally promised with documentation to follow. A private property alternate location for the statue is to be determined. Ideas include: 1) temporary storage; 2) placed in a proposed Italian Heritage museum, preferably in Little Italy; or 3) placed in a proposed national “statue park” in the Baltimore/ Washington area. As well, the City has approved installation of fencing around the statue’s pedestal to protect it from more vandalism.
To donate to the statue effort using a credit card or Paypal, click here >>>. As well, you'll find the address for where to mail CHECKS.

WHAT ABOUT THE COLUMBUS PIAZZA? City Councilman Zeke Cohen (1st District, Baltimore City Council) has held several virtual meetings involving various Little Italy-related organizations about what to do about - and what to rename - the Columbus Piazza on President Street in Little Italy. Another meeting mid-September is planned between members of Indigenous Strong and some of Baltimore's Italian American community in a "discussion concerning possible replacements for the Columbus Statue and the renaming of Columbus Day," wrote Juan Nunez, Community Liaison for Councilman Cohen, in an email. "It is our hope this meeting will serve as an opportunity for those participating to begin getting to know one another, build relationships, and lift up the cultures and contributions of our peoples to Baltimore."

ST. LEO'S FALL RAVIOLI DINNER IS ON! Good news for ravioli lovers! The November event may look different this year, however, St. Leo's twice-annual Ravioli Dinner will happen! (Date to be announced soon.) The difference this year? No sit-down dining; instead, carryout and curbside will be available. It is uncertain yet whether the parish will host its annual pre-dinner ravioli- and meatball-making sessions. That will be announced as soon as a decision is made.

NEW LOOK FOR PARISH BULLETIN - St. Leo's is boasting a new design of its weekly parish bulletin and reminds you bulletins can be sent automatically to your email inbox weekly. Subscribe free here: Parish-related items for publication should be emailed to Rob Daniels, by 10 a.m. Mondays.

Sunday, September 13
11:30 am, St. Leo's Church
(Masks on, Maryland!)

Lodge members' names of those who died between January 2019
until now will be honored, read, and listed in the Mass program.

LITTLE ITALY LODGE president Mike Castino reports in September's La Notizia newsletter that after a letter was mailed to Lodge members soliciting donations, close to $25,000 was received from 19 families, representing 5% of the Lodge's total membership. "While this generosity will certainly assist the Lodge during these hard times," wrote Castino, "it also helps to secure our Lodge remaining in Little Italy ... exploring a possible move has currently been tabled by the Council."
Castino challenges the remaining 95% of Lodge members "to do what you can - for every Friday Night Dinner you’ve attended ... danced at a sock hop, or ... enjoyed being with your family at a festival or Lodge event." It is not yet known when the Lodge can safely reopen. General donations are payable to Little Italy Lodge #2286 and mailed to 905 E. Pratt Street, Little Italy/Baltimore, MD 21202.
To raise additional revenue, the Little Italy Lodge is offering a Cash Raffle during November. Buy a chance! Details below >>>
lodge raffle flier
Little Italy restaurants are still cooking!
Little Italy restaurants wish to serve you while keeping staff, customers, and the community safe. Not ready to visit in person? Consider buying gift cards for future use. Gift card purchases are a great way to support your favorite Italian restaurant!

THANK YOU for supporting Little Italy's
family-owned businesses.
You might want to check out this impressive list of book titles written by
Italian Americans ...
in the Order
Sons & Daughters
of Italy Book Club!
blast from the past
st. leo's 1958 ring
1958 St. Leo’s School Ring
submitted by Gary Molino
“I lost this school ring in the summer of 1959 while playing baseball,” said Gary Molino, who grew up in Little Italy and whose parents (John & Angie) were an integral part of St. Leo’s and neighborhood organizations. “It flew off my hand as I swung and sounded like it hit a parked car. We could not find it. About 10 years later, someone tracked me down using the year on the ring and my initials engraved inside, and showed up at my house in Little Italy at 410 S. Eden Street. Part of the stone was missing, but even after 10 years in the wild, it still is in pretty good shape. I don’t know of any other elementary school that produced student rings. Amazingly, my parents bought it for me. We were not rich and it seemed extravagant. I wore it often, and once gave it to a girl as my first ‘steady.’ When things didn’t work out, I had to ask her to give back the ring.”
Almost 200 captivating vintage photos tell the history
of some Baltimore-area Italian immigrants in
a new book, Italians in Baltimore.
Photographs and documents
in the book were submitted
by families of Baltimore
Italian immigrants.

Publication date
November 2, 2020
(think Christmas gifts)

Book proceeds benefit the mission of the nonprofit Promotion Center for Little Italy as it promotes the heritage and history of Baltimore's Italian Community.
old photo1
from our e-mailbox
"Thank you. Great newsletter!
~ Cyd W.

"Excellent edition. Thanks."
~ Rosalie R.
paid sponsors
sponsor space 50% off!
$30 / ad (reg. $60) or
$75 for remainder of year (3 more in 2020)
proceeds benefit the mission of the nonprofit
Promotion Center for Little Italy

Director & Founder

Ray Alcaraz
Co-Founder & President

Celebrating 10 years! Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2010 with a mission to promote Little Italy's events, community organizations, church, history, and Italian heritage.