We’ve known Spots since he was just a puppy. When his eponymous St. Marks café closed, we worried that he’d go to doggie heaven. But that wasn’t the case! Sometime in the past week or so, Il Piccolo Bufalo, a Little Italy red-sauce joint, took in the lovable stray. It’s a win-win, really: The little mutt should feel right at home, going from one swarmed tourist strip (St. Marks) to another (Mulberry Street). And Il Piccolo Bufalo gets a mascot that’s way cooler than animatronic reindeer and Santas. But wait, is Little Italy really all that crowded these days?
Last night, we heard one sidewalk barker call to another, “Eleven years on the block and I’ve never seen anything like this.” The other replied, “It’s embarrassing!” Turns out it’s not just New Yorkers who are absent from the streets these days, it’s tourists, too. Even on a nice night like last night. Also of note in the nabe, Casa Bella and Caffe Palermo are closed (for vacation, they say) until the 12th and 13th, respectively.