Spots Finds a New, Lonely Home on Mulberry Street

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Weve known Spots since he was just a puppy. When his eponymous St. Marks caf closed, we worried that hed go to doggie heaven. But that wasnt the case! Sometime in the past week or so, Il Piccolo Bufalo, a Little Italy red-sauce joint, took in the lovable stray. Its 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 thats 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 Ive never seen anything like this. The other replied, Its embarrassing! Turns out its not just New Yorkers who are absent from the streets these days, its 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.