- Italian Market (Philadelphia)
The Italian Market is the popular name for the South 9th Street Curb Market, an area of
Philadelphiafeaturing many grocery shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, butcher shops, etc., many with an Italian influence. [http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20071026_Dan_Gross___Vandals_damage_market_marker.html] It is generally considered to extend along 9th Street from Fitzwater Street at the north to Wharton Street at the south. The term Italian Market is also used to describe the surrounding neighborhood that's nestled between South Street to the North and Wharton Street to the South running a few blocks to the east and west of 9th street. It is entirely contained in the Bella Vista neighborhood. In recent years, an influx of immigrants from Latin America, mainly from Mexico, has significantly changed the Italian Market area and it is now also home to many stores and restaurants catering to Philadelphia's Hispanic population. There are an estimated 10,000 Mexicans living in South Philadelphia. The numbers contiune to rapidly grow. Today there are many Mexican stores where they sell Hispanic products and goods.
The Italian Market, frequently referred to simply as 9th Street, has its origins as a marketplace in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. The area, outside the original boundaries of William Penn's planned city, was an area for immigrants to settle in. Italian immigrants began to move into the area around 1884, when Antonio Palumbo began receiving "hundreds of Italian immigrants into his boardinghouse." Shops along 9th Street opened up shortly afterwards to cater to the new Italian community and have remained in the area to this day, with many of the present vendors tracing the founding of their business back to the first decade of the 20th century. The area continues to attract new immigrants as a significant number of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Mexican-run businesses have joined the traditional Italian shops in the market. Many new Mexican stores have opened up around the market. Many Latino Immigrants also work in the market.
The market also plays host to an annual Italian Market Festival with music, activities and, of course, food.One of several curb markets established in the early 20th century offering fresh produce and a variety of ethnic specialty foods. It has evolved into a popular Philadelphia icon. On October 12, 2007 the Market was honored by the dedication of a PA State Historical Marker as the "South 9th Street Curb Market" at the NE corner of 9th and Christian Streets.
Today's Italian Market
The Italian Market is considered to be an "outdoor" market. Bright colorful metal awnings cover the sidewalks where vendors of fruit, vegetables, fish, and housewares conduct business year round. Ground floor shops in traditional
Philadelphia rowhouses line the street. Owners would have originally lived above their shops, and many still do.
The market is open year round, generally from 9 am to 5 pm, though it varies from business to business. Most businesses are closed Monday. The broad awnings shield shoppers from sun, rain and snow. In the winter vendors set up burn barrels in the street near their stands.
The market also plays a role in
Culture of Philadelphia. It is often included in cultural depictions of the city. For example, The Italian Market was featured in " Rocky". Most notably, the running/training montage where a vendor tosses the boxer an orange. It is rumored that the vendors were annoyed with the intrusive film crew and the orange toss which seems friendly was actually meant in another spirit.Fact|date=September 2007 The television series "Hack" also filmed several episodes that featured the Italian Market.
As Philadelphia has
gentrifiedso has the Italian Market. Outdoor seating at cozy cafes, upscale gift stores and top notch gourmet shops are thriving among the market's traditional produce vendors and specialty butchers and cheese mongers.
Pat's King of Steaks
* [http://www.phillyitalianmarket.com/ Official website of the Italian Market]
* [http://www.9thstreetitalianmarketfestival.com/ Italian Market Festival]
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