Sunday, January 15, 2023

On Arthur Avenue

Last Sunday it was no. 2390. This Sunday I’m still on Arthur Avenue, famed street of Italian-American culture, and today I’m admiring Arthur Avenue Noodle & Macaroni Manufacturing. I love the words beneath the company name: “di pura semola.” And I love the 6 in the window. It’s not often that you see anything selling for 6¢. Maybe nails in a hardware store.

[Arthur Avenue Noodle & Macaroni Manufacturing, 2376 Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, c. 1939–1941. From the NYC Municipal Archives Collections. Click for a much larger view.]

You can see AAN&MM with a different sign in an earlier photograph, found by an assiduous reader. Squint past the pushcarts.

Until recently, no. 2376 was the home of Arthur Avenue Fiasco, an Italian restaurant. “Permanently closed,” says Google Maps. The restaurant’s Facebook page is still up, but the restaurant’s website is gone.

I must mention: in the Italian-American world of my mom’s childhood, all pasta was homemade. None of this manufactured stuff. My mom’s grandmother did the work, cutting by eye with great accuracy. Even spaghetti.

And if you’re wondering about the difference about macaroni and noodles — I am too. That’s a rabbit hole I will eye from a distance, through a manicotti telescope. The distinction might be between tubular and non-tubular pasta, but in Italy, maccheroni can refer to both.

Coming next week, nos. 2374 and 2378. Worth waiting for, believe me.

Related reading
More OCA posts with photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives

comments: 7

Anonymous said...

Well done

Michael Leddy said...


Anonymous said...

some pasta history

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Anon.

Anonymous said...

non-skid spaghetti

Anonymous said...

Michael Leddy said...

It’s always a good meal when the spaghetti doesn’t skid off the plate. But it looks like the Roman factory has problems with skidding letters. Thanks, Anon.