From here, we stroll towards the neighborhood's premiere church, Our Lady of Pompeii – founded in 1892 as a national parish to serve Italian-American immigrants who settled in Greenwich Village. Over time it became the American equal to Italy's own Our Lady of Pompeii. Next, we stroll down MacDougal Street, lingering in front of several famous bars and pubs – often frequented by celebrities Bob Dylan in their hey-days.
During our time together we'll encounter The Church of St Anthony of Padua, America’s earliest extant Catholic church, and several key monuments dedicated to the Italian American immigrants who built up the neighborhood together. As our tour concludes, we'll visit several other key restaurants and cafes which have each played a critical role in adapting and preserving classic cuisines which are foundational to the Italian-American heritage.
Can I learn more about Italian Food before my tour?
Yes! Context is proud to offer several Italian-themed cooking classes. For additional details, click here.
Alexandra Leaf is a culinary historian and cookbook author. She writes for a variety of publications including The Philadelphia Daily News, Gastronomica and Country Living and most recently SAVEUR. She has been featured on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and in such print media as The New York Times, Food and Wine, and Travel and Leisure. Alexandra is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International; is a board member of The New York Food Museum; and is former chair of Culinary Historians of New York. Alexandra holds a Masters' degree in Comparative Literature from NYU and speaks fluent French and Italian. In 1992, she was awarded a Soros Foundation Teaching Fellowship and in 2002 was cited for her outstanding contribution to the James Beard Foundation. Her award-winning (IACP) cookbook "Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux" (Artisan Books, 2001) has just been reissued in paperback. In 2002, the French edition of the book was published by Hoebecke. Alexandra's first book, "The Impressionists' Table: Recipes and Gastronomy of 19th Century France" was published in 1994 by Rizzoli International. Alexandra is a well-known expert on chocolate and is the principal organizer of the 92nd St. Y's annual World Chocolate Extravaganza. She lectures around the country on the history, manufacture and appreciation of fine chocolate. In addition, she teaches tasting classes at the Institute for Culinary Education and at the 92nd St. Y in New York City where she resides.
Dave Cook is a New York-based photojournalist. Since 2005 his website Eating In Translation has explored lesser-known food in the five boroughs of the city and, occasionally, farther afield. Dave's work has also appeared in The Art of Eating; Culinary Backstreets; The New York Times; Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City; and many other publications.
Francesco was born in Sicily and grew up in New York. He graduated with a Master's degree in Architecture and worked professionally in that field for his entire career. When he retired, Frank started leading tours of his city as a way to share New York with visitors from all over the world. When leading tours of the history, architecture and food scene of NYC, Frank is introducing visitors, or new friends, to this intriguing city, revealing its hidden and sometimes forgotten past, in order to better understand its present. A true “Cicerone”, storytelling is at the center of Frank’s tours and he introduces visitors to the characters from New York’s rich history, from his Sicilian grandmother to Emily Roebling, a little know contributor to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Frank’s passion for all things New York shines through on his tours all over Manhattan.