Italian American Digest JT DIGEST Summer 2018 June First (1) - Page 9

SUMMER 2018 I talian A merican D igest Valence Street Cemetery, St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, and others. By the 1920s, not only was the Italian community essential to the fabric of New Orleans culture, it was entrenched in the landscapes of its cemeteries. Possibly the most interesting example of such a remarkable cul- tural assimilation is the Lacosst tomb in Metai- rie Cemetery – built of Alabama marble by Ger- man stonecutter Albert Weiblen for French cli- ent Eugene Lacosste, the tomb itself is a copy of the 1453 tomb of Carlo Marsuppini in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. To this day, Italian cultural and architectural influence remains an essential part of New Orleans cemetery landscapes. - Emily Ford PO-BOYS The po-boy is a child of many fathers, including a couple of French restaurateurs, an Italian baker, and a 1920’s labor dispute. In 1919, brothers Bernard and Clovis Martin, both veteran streetcar workers, decided to leave that line of work and strike out on their own, founding Martin Brothers Coffee Stand & Restaurant. It was originally located near the French Market, but was moved a few years later to the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Touro Street, where it remained until its closure in 1972. When members of the streetcar employees’ union went on strike in 1929, the Martin brothers, in an act of solidarity, promised to provide meals to the striking workers free of charge. The loaves of French bread from which the brothers were making their sandwiches tapered at the ends, meaning that sandwiches would vary in size. Not wanting any striker to get less than another, and wanting to avoid wasting the bread’s end pieces, the brothers reached out to local baker John Gendusa. Gendusa had pioneered baking a style of bread that had a consistent shape, size, and thickness from end to end. Using Gendusa’s bread allowed for three sandwiches of equal size to be made from a single loaf. This bread was used for the sandwiches provided to the striking streetcar workers. Gendusa was a master baker, delivering fresh loaves to the Martins every four hours. And as for the name? Tradition holds that Bernard Martin claimed, “Whenever we saw one of the strik- ing men coming, one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy,’” and they would hand him a sand- wich. - Enrico Villamaino III New Orleans’s famous sandwich originated in the 1920s. PAGE 9 S P O T L I G H T : F Joseph C. Canizaro or over 50 years, Joseph C. Canizaro has been a fixture in the New Orleans business, Catho- lic, Italian and philanthropic spheres. Raised in Biloxi, Canizaro first came to New Orleans in the early 1960s. He quickly established himself as a shrewd real estate devel- oper. Caniza- ro’s legacy includes the 500-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Canal Place. Joseph C. Canizaro formed the First Canizaro founded and Trust Corp. in 1980. served as president and CEO of Columbus Properties, LP, a commercial real estate development company that has acquired, developed and/or managed office buildings, mixed- use projects, and land and resi- dential projects throughout the southeastern and southwestern United States. He is perhaps best known as the driving factor behind a number of high rises on Poydras Street, including the Texaco Cen- ter and LL&E Tower, which was instrumental in creating a new commerce corridor in the central business district. After some lean post 1980s years in the real estate mar- ket, Canizaro branched out and formed the First Trust Corpora- tion, a bank holding company that acquired banks in and around the greater New Orleans area. He also founded Corporate Capital, LLC, a venture capital company that invests in a myriad of busi- nesses across America. Outside of his professional du- ties, Canizaro, a man who counts senators, governors and even a president among his friends, serves as trustee of the Urban Land Institute and on the Adviso- ry Committee on Real Estate De- velopment of the Harvard Univer- sity Graduate School of Design. He is a member of the Business Council of New Orleans, the Tulane University President’s Council, the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ finance council, and the American Italian Renaissance Foundation. - Enrico Villamaino III