So two things happen when you read this, if you’re from here for a long time you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re new here you think yeah right Middletown doesn’t have a little Italy there’s only one in NYC.
Well we have one, it’s really small so maybe we should get to call it Tiny Italy as not to confuse anyone.
A few years back I lived right in the heart of it. Most of my neighbors lived in the same home their grandparents had back in the late 1800’s and the elder relatives who still resided there often only spoke Italian.
On the dead end of Montgomery Street used to be a garden plot where the Piccolo family grew vegetables they sold at their own shop in this section of town.
Many of the homes on Montgomery, Cottage, Ogden, Grand, and Beattie still have beautiful lush vegetable gardens; if you look closely you’ll find many with grapes growing on trellises in the back yards.
I used to watch the older widows all dressed in black walk to daily Mass at St. Joseph’s Church while the bells rang out their beautiful tunes. Tony Boffa’s restaurant on the corner of Railroad Avenue and East Main Street is a great place for traditional NY Italian cuisine they have sauce so good they now sell it by the Jar. Tony’s has been making meals and pizza since 1951.
Little Italy has lost its bakeries over the years but luckily you can go downtown just a few blocks away and visit DeFilippis or Carmines Bakeries and get some fantastic breads and pastries. Let’s go back to the bread for a minute. You’ve not had Middletown cuisine until you have had DeFilippis bread, Carmines is good too but not my personal favorite.
It is so wonderful I dreamed of it often in my out of state days when you just can’t get Italian bread, don’t take it for granted people (to the paleo diet people I made drool I’m sorry stay strong sorry I <3 carbs).
So Tiny Italy as I shall now try to refer to it has changed but it is still a great neighborhood. This neighborhood is home of the only Montessori School in town New Beginnings, great architecture and large unique homes, beautiful churches and is close to Route 211, downtown, and the New Touro Medical College.
Tiny Italy a piece of what makes Middletown so Middletown.
Big Believer in My City