Forgotten Neighborhood’s History Springs To Life

May 12, 2022 154


“Anybody have a guess?” Laura Parisi asked, brandishing a a metal artifiact of the old Grand Avenue. Parisi, president of the Italian-American Historical Society, brandished the artifact — a “cutter” — and challenged members of the crowd to identify its use as she joined heads of four other local historical societies in Lenzi Park on Jefferson Street Monday to mark the completion of a new “Walk New Haven” tour book and online guide through the surrounding neighborhood’s history.

It is the fifth such neighborhood walking tour and book created by the New Haven’s Ethnic Heritage Center. The center grew out of a coalition of African-American, Ukrainian-American, Jewish, Italian-American, and Irish-American historical societies that worked together on the city’s 350th birthday celebration in 1988. They have created great projects and collections ever since, serving as a rejoinder to the forces that seek to divide society along ethnic or racial or religious lines.

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