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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 23, 2011
Little Albania

"Little Albania” is a name sometimes applied to the Belmont section of the Bronx (also known as “Little Italy"). This “Little Albania” has been cited in print since at least 1997.

Another “Little Albania” has been claimed (“The New Littles” on WNYC in June 2011) for Staten Island, along Victory Boulevard.

New York City’s Albanian population has been estimated to be over 200,000 people, but both “Little Albanias” are small and have not reached official designation (or popular designation in many guidebooks).

Wikipedia: Albania American
Albanian Americans are United States citizens of full or partial Albanian ancestry. Although according to data from a 2008 Survey of the United States Government, there are 201,118 Americans of full or partial Albanian descent.
Geographic Distribution
Currently the areas with the largest population of Americans with Albanian descent are New York City, New York, Detroit, Michigan, Boston, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Chicago, and Connecticut. New York City particularly is known for its large Albanian population, which is estimated to be over 200,000.

Wikipedia: Belmont, Bronx
Belmont is a residential neighborhood geographically located in the west Bronx. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 6. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: Fordham Road to the north, Bronx Park to the east, East 183rd Street to the south, and the Third Avenue (which formerly was served by the IRT Third Avenue Line) to the west. These boundaries give the neighborhood a crescent like shape. Arthur Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Belmont. Zip codes include 10458. The area is patrolled by the NYPD 48th Precinct located at 450 Cross-Bronx Expressway in East Tremont.

Belmont has a population over 15,000. For decades Belmont has been one of the poorest communities in America. Over half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance (AFDC, Home Relief, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid). The vast majority of residents in the area are of Puerto Rican or African American descent. There is also a small population of Albanian immigrants and longstanding Italians along East 187th Street near Arthur Avenue.

19 March 1997, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “He Saw Folly of Albania’s Pyramids” by Ellis Hennican, pg. A6:
Most New Yorkers know Arthur Avenue as the Little Italy of the Bronx And that is true But it is also Little Albania with cafes and social clubs and many ...

14 April 1999, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “In N.Y., Albanian Editor Helps Readers TrackKin in Kosovo,” pg. A18:
Up in the tiny Belmont section of the Bronx is Little Albania, a cluster of bakeries, butcher shops and cafes where men sip raki, a dry brandy, and watch the war on television. Right now, no gathering place is busier than Isuf Hajrizi’s community newspaper, Illyria. The weekly paper is a nerve center for the New York area’s 200,000 Albanian Americans, and Hajrizi has the difficult job of being part of the story he is covering.

Google Groups: soc.culture.puerto-rico
Newsgroups: soc.culture.puerto-rico
From: h0mi
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 06:39:00 GMT
Subject: Re: What a country! Series....The New planned segregation....

The old Italian neighborhoods are no longer very italian… theyre more mixed, as other immigrant groups have moved in. In NYC there’s an area of the bronx called “Belmont” which was a heavily Italian area… the “little italy of the bronx” as they’re known. I lived south of Belmont but went there/through there every day practically.

In 85, the area was heavily italian, with small clusters of Latinos (Mexicans or Central American descent) and Koreans living/working in the area. Some Eastern Europeans moved in… usually Albanians or people from Yugoslavia but not enough to turn the area into “Little Albania” or anything like that.

Google Books
A Skeptic’s Guide to Writers’ Houses
By Anne Trubek
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press
Pg. 129:
Little Albania is exotic in that way that off-the-beaten track places are supposed to be in the Bronx.

Preparation: A visit to “little Albania” in the Bronx
Posted on March 6, 2011 by amydoeskosova
Our first assignment was to compose a contextual analysis based off of a trip to Lydig Ave in the Bronx where there is a significant Albanian presence. The point was to try to make assumptions about Albanian culture from the things we saw and experienced. It wasn’t extremely productive because everywhere in NYC is pretty diverse and while there were slightly more European grocery stores, and many signs were written in Albanian in addition to the standard English, Spanish, & Chinese, it wasn’t overwhelmingly apparent that this particular area had a high Albanian population.

WNYC—The Brian Lehrer Show
The New Littles: Explore The Data and Map
Check Out The Census Data and Map and Add Your Notes

Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 06:00 AM
By John Keefe / Jody Avirgan : Producer, Brian Lehrer Show and It’s A Free Country
Larry from Brooklyn
Major “little Albania” in Staten Island.
Jun. 09 2011 10:58 AM

random notes: geographer-at-large
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The New “Littles”: Mapping ethnic enclaves in NYC
“Over the course of our New Littles project, we’ve identified some of New York’s overlooked ethnic communities.  Now, we want artists and illustrators to draw a new neighborhood map. Our favorites will be featured on the WNYC website and on-air during the Brian Lehrer Show. Upload your artwork directly below, or post a link in the comments page. Here are some of the neighborhoods you may want to include:
»» Little Colombia in Jackson Heights, Queens
»» Little Italy in Astoria, Queens
»» Little Pakistan in Coney Island, Brooklyn
»» Little Guyana in Richmond Hill, Queens
»» Little Thailand in Elmhurst, Queens
»» Little Panama in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
»» Little Albania in Staten Island

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Friday, September 23, 2011 • Permalink