Much of Nolita’s culture centers on eating and drinking in style—easy to do amid the wealth of restaurants and nightspots in the neighborhood. Despite Nolita’s compact proportions, however, there are also other things to see and do here, from checking out art galleries to visiting the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was completed in 1815 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The famed baptism scene in The Godfather was filmed in this Gothic Revival church, and a scene in Mean Streets was set in its graveyard. (Mean Streets director Martin Scorsese had been an altar server at the church.) Ninety-minute candlelit tours take you through the catacombs and other private areas of the property.
Along with swooping trees and lush plants, this one-acre park features a gallery’s worth of sculptures and inviting nooks furnished with wrought-iron chairs and stone benches. These, along with a variety of classical concerts, movie nights, and holiday gatherings, make the park not only a welcome green space but also a community hub.
Since 1982, Storefront has provided gallery space for up-and-coming artists, architects, and designers, particularly those whose works confront social issues. Recent exhibitions included “Public Space in a Private Time,” in honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary, and “The Absolute Restoration of All Things,” a multimedia installation by artist Miguel Fernández de Castro and anthropologist Natalia Mendoza focused on the corrupt practices of a Mexican gold-mining company.
Yve Laris Cohen, Jeanette Mundt, and Cajsa von Zeipel are among the contemporary artists represented by this gallery. Among its recent shows were “Fog,” paintings by Jonathan Lyndon Chase that integrate photographs in their depiction of gay Black sensuality, and “Doll Party,” featuring sculptures and photographs by the late Greer Lankton.
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from March through December, weather permitting, artisans set up tables on the Prince Street sidewalk between Mulberry and Mott Streets to sell jewelry, apparel, and accessories. Some vendors, such as artist and T-shirt maker Nick Peate (aka Nick and the Peeps), photographer Ciaran Tully, and jewelry designer Mano NYC, are regular presences, and there are always new makers to discover.