This was the Ravenite Club in Manhattan’s Little Italy sometime in the 1980s. The address known as 247 Mulberry Street today is now a fancy shoe store. When I say fancy, I don’t mean they are fancy, just expensive. Something that is for certain genuine leather, looks like something created by Native Indians or pioneers, which is fine, but not something I would pay $300 for.
I find it very ironic. The only way it could be more ironic is if it were a corporate retail chain of some sort.
The purpose of this website is what we wish we could recapture from the past. A small Italian section of a city or town where it feels like home. The food is authentic, fresh, and the experience is genuine and real. No commercialism, no cashing in with the mere symbol of the Italian flag, and certainly not charging $20-30 for a plate of pasta, homemade or not. I certainly understand that when you buy a plate of pasta in Manhattan, you are paying part of the rent for some of the most expensive real estate in the United States, but there better be a side of lobster or steak to justify those prices.
Back in 1999 there were no such things as blogs, but SicilianCulture.com was as close as it got, and I personally authored thousands of pages on Sicilian culture, food, drink, winemaking recipes, history, newsworthy and news in general. I had been interviewed in PRIMO Magazine and had even written articles for them.
As time went on I became involved in many other projects and eventually blogs came about. I tried to keep up, but I started to lose my focus. I knew that Sicilian culture was not only Italian culture, but it had and has a lot more influences, even today. Once a lot of countries collapsed and refugees from Northern Africa migrated into Sicily and Italy, I know that while there were cultural and culinary influences, the world was changing rapidly and there was no more pure examples of Sicilian culture.
With the help of easy ways to blog like WordPress, I tried to start again with something less “Sicilian Only” and more about the Italian experience in America and abroad, outside and inside of Italy. The Ravenite Club seemed perfect. Old school people just looking for the real deal, whether it be food, drink, culture, music or whatever. So much of this world is nonsense today. The guys who hung out in Manhattan’s Lower East Side were no-nonsense.
This is what this website is about. We won’t address organized crime or politics, unless it is in a way in past history. We just want to explore a great meal, good company, some good wine, and pleasant experience to escape the problematic world of the 21st century where we live today.