At a senior center in Borough Park (my old neighborhood):
Iole Mazzaro, 68, who traveled to New York from Sicily as a tourist in 1968, met her husband here and never went back, recalled how prevalent Italian used to be on the streets of southwest Brooklyn. "Just as much as you hear Spanish today," she said.
"On my first week here, my aunt asked me to go to the bakery to buy some bread. I walked there repeating to myself, 'bread, bread, bread,'" Mrs. Mazzaro said. "But then I get to the bakery and the man was Italian. We had a big laugh."
She sighed, lowered her gaze and added, "That wouldn't happen anymore."
For Italians in Brooklyn, Voices on Streets Have Changed (New York Times)