Charles Marsala, President of the Italian American Federation of the Southeast, addressed the New Orleans City Council Government Affairs Committee on October 28, 2021. During an agenda item reviewing the Inspector General for the City of New Orleans, Marsala suggested the IG Office review how the City Council and its committees and commissions are...

Located adjacent to the Piazza d’Italia in the CBD, the American Italian Cultural Center provides a place for Italians to reconnect with their heritage and where non-Italians can learn more about a culture that is an important part of New Orleans. Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maselli, today his son, Frank Maselli, is chairman of the American Italian C...

Three New Orleans area high school students have received scholarships from the Italian American St. Joseph Society (IASJS). Selected for the honors were graduates Gabrielle LoCoco and Katherine Lorusso, both of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, and Benjamin Broussard, of St. Paul's High School in Covington. This marked the third year for the so...

At a time when we still have to painfully realize how much the racial question is an open wound in the evolution of the United States of America and a very urgent situation to be resolved, our Italian heart in love with America is also shaken by the specious and mistaken attempts to promote hostility between the African American and Italian communi...

The chrome Harley-Davidson parked outside Lilette on Magazine Street most nights belongs to a restaurateur who escaped Chicago. Five years ago, Anthony Potenzo owned two of the hippest joints in my hometown, Three Aces and Charlatan. When rising rents threatened profits, Potenzo called it quits. That was the culmination of a hospitality career for...

What a difference a clam makes. The fresh linguine vongole on the menu at San Lorenzo restaurant in the recently opened Hotel St. Vincent is revelatory. Beyond the house-made pasta — and beyond the heft of the toasted garlic in buttery sauce topped with ribbons of parsley and fried breadcrumbs — there are those clams. Although littleneck clams are...

As New Orleans jazz landmarks go, it’s an unlikely one. For starters, it’s still standing, somehow having survived that period in history in which the idea of preserving the city’s cultural landmarks simply didn’t exist. Also, there’s its location. It’s not Backatown, that then-unfashionable area behind the French Quarter where the city’s Black pop...

Italian influence in New Orleans culture typically takes a second fiddle to more indiginous and inarguably dominant inspirations. And while jazz’s creation in New Orleans is credited to African-Americans, the Italians of the city, most notably Nick LaRocca and Louis Prima, can safely be assigned a supporting role. Of course, while the cuisine of th...

The residents of New Orleans have a history of creating unusual pronunciations of words. Local street names provide common examples of New Orleanians’ inventive pronunciations, such as Burgundy Street (pronounced bur-GUHN-dee, not BUR-guhn-dee) and a cluster of Uptown streets named for the nine Greek Muses, including Urania, Thalia, Euterpe, Callio...

On March 14, 1891, 11 Sicilian immigrants who had been falsely accused of murdering the police chief of New Orleans were shot and hung by a mob of thousands in the largest mass lynching in American history. The 130th anniversary of that dark day was marked in Chicago with a moving commemoration in Arrigo Park hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of...