My Life On Arthur Avenue.
The place where I was born is called Arthur Avenue,* located in the Fordham section of New York City's northernmost borough, The Bronx.
Much has changed, but when I was growing up Arthur Avenue was the heart of Bronx's Little Italy, a vibrant Italian-American working class neighborhood lined with delis, bakeries, cafes, restaurants and merchants of every kind.
I was raised on Arthur Avenue, starting out in a cold-water flat before spending my formative years working in my parent's deli and butcher shop. I went on to open a butcher shop of my own there in my late twenties, shortly before I was incapacitated by Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Years later I returned as a purveyor of sundries in front of Ernie's Hardware and, through a series of seemingly fortuitous circumstances, went on to purchase a commercial building on Arthur Avenue. I used the ground level to build Emilia's Family Italian Restaurant, which I owned and operated for many years and which still stands today. My sister and nephew own and operate two vibrant businesses there today-Mike's Famous Italian Deli in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, and Arthur Avenue Trattoria, the fine Italian family restaurant located next to Emilia's.
I learned many lessons on Arthur Avenue that made me a better man. I'm Salvatore Cappiello, and this is my story.