Ninth Street Market Analysis

1939 Words 8 Pages
When I think of my Italian heritage, the first place that comes to mind is the Ninth Street Italian Market in Philadelphia. I think of all the different family owned butcher shops, bakeries, specialty cheese shops, restaurants and more that have been in business longer than I have been alive. At one time, this outdoor market was an urban enclave in which mainly Italian and Jewish immigrants worked, lived and raised their families. Today, while this outdoor market has become diversified with people and businesses of many different ethnic backgrounds, the sense of pride remains just the same. In this paper I will talk about the history and location of the Italian Market, as well as the area as an urban enclave. I will also talk about some of …show more content…
Similarly, to any other enclave, the people of the area “remained devoted to the market’s traditional character and product offerings” (Tangires, 2011). I would say that the Italian Market had high levels of social capital, especially due to the constant face-to-face business within the family owned stores and vending carts. Social capital is defined as what “holds a community together and provides the structural and interaction resources that enable people to benefit from their association with each other.” (Hutter, 454) The social interactions between residents, business owners, and even tourists of the present day keep the Italian Market up and running in my opinion. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museums Commission officiated the open air market in October 2007, of which a marker was placed in the heart of Ninth Street reading “9th Street Curb Market.” Below is photo of the marker that still remains on the Northeast corner of 9th and Christian Street. As previously mentioned, the earliest vendors of the Ninth Street market were Jewish and Italian immigrants with strong neighborhood roots, which I am pleased to say continues today. The market also continues to be a place filled with pride because of how hard the older generations worked to achieve what they now have. Many of the vendors on Ninth Street have been there for upwards of 50+ years, including Sarcone’s Bakery (1918), Isgro Pastries (1904), Claudio Specialty Foods, Carl’s Farm Eggs & Poultry, and Esposito’s Meats (1911). All of these businesses are family owned through five or more generations. Of course the market has undergone some changes over time, including becoming more visually appealing for those who come from different states to experience the “urban novelty” that is the Ninth Street Italian Market. Hygiene and sanitation conditions have also improved and kept

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