Caffe Reggio, via Prayitno/Flickr
Many think of Little Italy’s Mulberry Street or the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue as the centers of Italian-American life and culture in New York. But some of the most historically significant sites relating to the Italian-American experience in New York can be found in the Greenwich Village blocks known as the South Village–from the first church in America built specifically for an Italian-American congregation to the cafe where cappuccino was first introduced to the country, to the birthplace of Fiorello LaGuardia, NYC’s first Italian-American mayor.
All the historic sites right this way
Police Commissioner William O’Brien smashing a pinball machine in 1949
It’s hard to believe, but between the 1940s and ’70s pinball was actually banned in NYC, as well as other major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, for its questionable ethics. While most of us consider the arcade game a wholesome activity, its first iteration was without the flippers and considered a form of gambling. From city raids to seedy backdoor operations, pinball prohibition lasted for more than 30 years, and efforts to get the beloved game legalized were equally dramatic.
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