Little Australia An ethnic enclave in nyc


I chose the ethnic enclave of Little Australia or "Nolita", located around Mulberry Street, just north of Little Italy. Here, the majority of residents are of Australian heritage or descent, or are direct immigrants themselves.

Australians that migrate to the U.S. are predominantly in search of new, bigger and better jobs, ones that are especially evident in the urban/city landscape. This is all courtesy of the E-3 visa, one that is only given to Australian residents. This is a big pull factor to the U.S.. The E-3 visa is given to people who have current professions and whose skills are needed in American Commerce. The visa allows Australians to come and work in the U.S. for extended periods of time. Also, the job opportunities in America are much more numerous and fruitful as opposed to the job market of Australia. This is another pull factor. The fabled tale of America being the "Land of Opportunity" is especially thriving in the minds of many young Australians. People not only come to work heavy business jibs, but to bring over aspects of their own Aussie culture and give them a new home in the States. Numerous Australian-style cafés, clothing shops and restaurants have all been opened in the six-by-six blocking of Little Australia and to some, it seems as a home away from home.

Through studying Little Australia itself, I've come to learn about Australian culture as a whole. Though much of it seems to be similar to the culture of the Western Hemisphere, there a subtle differences and nuances which make Aussies unique. From clothing, to a special café environment, to food, to music, Australians are rich in cultural pride and individual expression as well as a community focus.

The architecture of Nolita is truthfully not distinct or tied to Australia whatsoever. Its pretty analogous to its surroundings and resembles much of the basic building styles and features of the majority of central Manhattan. But, its what is in the buildings that makes this enclave individual. Like mentioned earlier, clothing and food are huge parts of Australian culture. Nolita has become the one of the largest hubs of Australian fashion outside of the country itself, housing Aussie brands such as Sass & Bide, Zimmermann, One Teaspoon, Ksubi, Aesop, Mambo, Dinosaur Designs and Driza-Bone. These brands are the Australian equivalent of popular American brands such as Urban Outfitters, L.L. Bean, J. Crew and so forth.

Food is also a huge part of Australian living. From kangaroo meat to Vegemite, you'll find all the Aussie necessities in Little Australia being sold in markets, cafes, restaurants and by street vendors. Coffee is also a staple to Australians and there is certainly not a drought of that in Nolita. With several coffee shops on every block, Australians are sure to get their coffee fix whenever they may need it. Seafood is also another staple to the Australian food culture. Having NYC be such a hub for fish markets, there is definitely not a drought in ocean eats on Mulberry Street.

I think ethnic enclaves for new immigrants are perfect places to live because they essentially provide a 'safety net' or a home-away-from-home. Since the majority of E-3 visa users are young (mid 20s-30s) making a move across the entire globe can be kind of nerve racking. But from having a place that has all the aspects of home, the transition becomes a little smoother and easier. Also, ethnic enclaves are imperitatve to full-time U.S. residents as it allows them to see parts of the world without ever leaving the country. From spending a day in New York City, someone can travel from America to China to India to Mexico to Japan to Australia and back without ever stepping foot on an airplane. Enclaves are essential to America becoming the melting pot that it is. Without them, cities would not be diverse and there wouldn't be as much cultural pride and history in a place so rich in tradition as NYC.


"Hidden Aussie community living in NYC." NewsComAu. N.p., 21 Feb. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

Silver, Dena. "New York’s So-Called ‘Little Australia’ Gets a New Clothing Shop." Observer. N.p., 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

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