• Fra Noi – Embrace your inner Italian. Fra Noi isn’t just an amazing website. It’s also one of the most popular and respected Italian-American publications in the country.
  • Jane Addams Hull House – Bowen Country Club – located in Waukegan, Illinois, was opened in 1912 and served as a summer camp for children and their families from Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood until 1962.
  • National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – located in Chicago, Illinois. The museum is located at 1431 W. Taylor street and features Italian American sports figures.
  • The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii – located at 1224 W. Lexington in Chicago.
  • And They Came to Chicago: The Italian American Legacy – This award-winning documentary traces 150 years of the Italian American experience in Chicago.
  • Immigrant Connect: Chicago – This web site shares stories across immigrant communities.
  • Casa Italia Chicago is an Italian Cultural Center located at 3800 Division Street in Stone Park, IL. The Cultural Center features a Library and several Museums, and offers classes in Italian culture and language.
  • Italians R Us – Your guide to Italy and Italian Culture on the Web. Enjoy as you learn more about the traditions, heritage and way of life that make Italians who they are.
  • Ellis Island, New York – where most Italian Immigrants came to America. You can search by Passenger Name and find the dates, passenger’s point of origin, and copies of the ship’s manifest.

Wikipedia Links

The following links are to Wikipedia articles. Vince Romano and Taylor Street Archives made contributions to these articles. They include the story of Chicago’s Little Italy.

His name was actually Casey Jones and he lived to be over 100 years old. He went everywhere with that chicken (or one of his many chickens) riding on his head. The last time I saw him was in Lincoln Park, back in the 1960s when his vaudeville style act included a conversation with the chicken by means of a little pink telephone.

I lived on the other side of the city (3050 Addison) from 1945-1949 and there is no more memorable sound from that era than the Ragsaline Man coming through the alley behind our apartment. My grandfather worked nights as a ticket agent for the L and often met the Ragsaline Man (I think his name was Koutek) on his way home. Koutek knew my grandfather would always be interested in unusual brass hardware. Once he offered a single brass nut for the outrageous price of $1. My grandfather argued that he could buy the nut for less than half that at the hardware store. Yeah, maybe so; but I show you something with it. So, one dollar, Oscar! Grandpa paid him with a silver dollar we were going to use for the movies. Now give me shoe lace, too! This was getting very interesting; I gave him mine. So he looped the shoe lace through the nut, and with me holding both ends of the lace, covered the nut a moment with his hand, blew a cloud of cigar smoke at it, and Poof! the nut came free. It took me almost sixty years to discover how Koutek did it, but I still think his was a better show than whatever the movie was that week.

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Copyright, 2011, Vince Romano, All Rights Reserved

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