Must-See NoLIta and Little Italy
by Christopher Wallace, 03/19/2013
Courtesy, Storefront for Art and Architecture
The Italian American Museum on Mulberry Street was born out of The Italians of New York: Five Centuries of Struggle and Achievement, the acclaimed 1999 exhibition at The New-York Historical Society. The venue is an excellent destination for those looking for a window into the neighborhood's legacy. The now-permanent collection bears witness to the struggles and achievements of Italian Americans both in New York and in America as a whole. In an entirely different vein of the cultural spectrum, Openhouse up the street is one of the best-known host sites for an ever-changing roster of pop-ups and special-occasion celebrations. Sometimes serving as a temporary restaurant, or hosting a party to launch a new brand of gin, clothing or magazine, Openhouse is a testament to the flurry of social events and entrepreneurial élan that make the City so vital. Treading the lines between museum, meeting place and event space, the Storefront for Art and Architecture is both exhibition gallery and town hall for the avant-garde in design, and it recently celebrated its 30th year. New Yorkers have always been rather innovative in their use of limited square footages, and, fittingly, this diminutive triangular venue—nested in a building on the corner of Kenmare and Centre Streets—showcases that ingenuity.