Once a much large neighborhood bounded by Canal Street, Kenmare Street, Lafayette Street and the Bowery, Little Italy now consists of a three-block area of Mulberry Street, a result of a dwindling Italian population.
Nolita -- or North of Little Italy -- is situated between Houston Street, Bowery, Broome Street and Lafayette Street. Beginning in the 1990s, the neighborhood began taking on the characteristics of neighboring SoHo/NoHo, with a growing presence of high-end residential buildings, upscale restaurants and expensive designer boutiques.
Today, Nolita is a popular residential neighborhood, known for its elegant conversions and lower-density new developments that complement the traditional character of the neighborhood. Area landmarks include St. Patrick's Old Cathedral and the Puck Building.
Though the area has lost much of its Italian population, Nolita/Little Italy is host of the annual Feast of San Gennaro, an 11-day street fair in September that stretches along Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal streets.
Nowadays, Little Italy proper consists of a few dozen restaurants and cafes that cater primarily to tourists. The influx of new businesses -- coupled with an expansion of nearby Chinatown -- has markedly shrunk both the geographical boundaries and ethnic make-up of Little Italy. According to the 2010 census, there were no Italian-born residents of Little Italy. At its peak in 1910, Little Italy was home to 10,000 Italians.