New York City is home to the most diverse population in the world. Here at the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch, students have done extensive research on how immigrants utilize parks in their neighborhoods. All findings are based on the observations recorded at Bowne Park, Marine Park, Seth Low Park, Seward Park, Smokey Oval Park, and Travers Park. The objective of this website is to describe how immigrants use public parks and to analyze the retention of cultural practices across various immigrant groups.
Collectively, you will find that immigrants use these parks in culture specific ways. Some gather to practice meditative exercises such as tai chi, while others have revived games like bocce from their home country. In addition, a total analysis reveals a strong presence of elderly immigrants in parks throughout the city. They typically use the park to perform activities that are prominent in their homeland. However, the high cultural retention among older immigrants is being challenged by the quick assimilation of second-generation immigrants. Younger generations demonstrate more loyalty to “American” games and are beginning to forsake the customary activities of their heritage.
Please feel free to explore each park further by clicking on the links at the top of the page.
Bowne Park, located in Flushing, is dominated by Italians and Koreans. Marine Park, Brooklyn’s largest park, incorporates a wide range of immigrant groups. Seth Low Park, situated in Bensonhurst, commands a mix of Italians, Chinese, and Russians. Seward Park can be found in the Lower East Side being a hotspot for Chinese immigrants. Smokey Oval Park in Richmond Hill is a center for Indian and Guyanese festivities. And finally, Travers Park in Jackson Heights is growing in diversity but still exhibits a steady Hispanic presence.