A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 26, 2009
Little India (Lexington Avenue in Manhattan)

"Little India” describes the area along Lexington Avenue (between East 26th and East 30th Streets) in Manhattan, just south of Murray Hill. The neighborhood features many Indian restaurants and shops. The name “Little India” dates to the early 1980s; in the early 1990s, the same area got the nickname Curry Hill.

New York City has several other neighborhoods that are called “Little India,” although the Lexington neighborhood was probably the first. There is a Little India on East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenues) in Manhattan and a Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens.


Wikipedia: Little India (location)
Little India is an ethnic enclave containing a large population of Indian people within a society where the majority of people are either not South Asians or where the majority in the enclave are indigenous to states in the country of India within a South Asian Society not identifying as Indian.
(...)
* New York City With 575,541 Asian Indians per 2007 American Community Survey Census data, the largest ethnic Asian Indian community of any metropolitan area in North America.
** Manhattan
*** Lexington Avenue, between 26th and 30th Streets
*** 6th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues
** Queens
*** Flushing, Queens, in vicinity of Hindu temple on Bowne Street
*** Hillside Avenue, Glen Oaks, Queens
*** 73rd and 74th street between Roosevelt and 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, Queens

Wikipedia: Murray Hill, Manhattan
Murray Hill is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Around 1987 many promoters of the neighborhood and newer residents described the boundaries as within East 34th Street, East 42nd Street, Madison Avenue, and the East River; in 1999, Frank P. Vardy, the demographer for the City Planning Commission, said that the traditional boundary is within East 34th Street, East 40th Street, Madison Avenue, and Third Avenue. The neighborhood is part of Manhattan Community Board 6.

South of Murray Hill, blocks on Lexington Avenue around 28th Street are sometimes informally called “Curry Hill,” due to the current high concentration of Indian restaurants.

17 August 1983, New York (NY) Times, “Food Notes” by Marian Burros, pg. C7:
On Saturday, Aug. 27, Mr. Goldberg (of Adventure on a SHoestring walking tours—ed.) will lead another group around the area in Manhattan known as Little India. The group will gather at 1 P.M. at the northwest corner of 30th Street and lexington Avenue.

6 June 1984, New York (NY) Times, “Food Notes” by Nancy Jenkins, pg. C4:
The Shops of “Little India”
The onset of warm weather always brings to mind curries, doubtless some association between the heat of Indian food and the steamy climate of New York in summer. With visions of tandooris and vindaloos, of chutneys and raitas, of pulaos and kebabs and fragrant bowls of mulligatawny soup, it seems appropriate to head over toward “Little India” and wander through the fascinating bazaar of shops in the vicinity of Lexington Avenue and 28th Street.

21 August 1985, New York (NY) Times, “Some Shops That Carry the Spices,” pg. C6:
THE spices and several of the ingredients in the accompanying Gujarati recipes can be purchased in a number of stores in Little India, the area in Lexington Avenue around 29th Street. Among the shops are these:

Spice and Sweet Mahal, 135 Lexington Avenue…
Little India, 158 East 28th Street…
Annapurna, 136 East 28th Street…

25 August 1985, New York (NY) Times, “Rising Rents Threatening ‘Little India,’” by Marvine Howe, pg. 39:
The area of spice bazaars, sari shops and curry restaurants on the East Side of Manhattan known as Little India is beginning to feel the gusts of changing times.

The strip, concentrated along Lexington Avenue between 27th and 30th Streets, faces sharp rent increases, new competition from other Indian centers—mainly in Queens—and the erosion of traditions.

Several Indian shops have been forced to close lately. Some shopkeepers are hanging on, but say they fear they will have to leave when their leases are up. Others, who own their buildings, are prospering and have opene branches in Jackson Heights, Queens, in what is now called Little India No. 2.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 26, 2009 • Permalink