Bowne Park is in the midst of a residential area to many Italians. Most of the Italians at Bowne Park are both elderly and young. Old Italian men were predominantly at the bocce court. Old Italian women were usually in pairs or groups of three, taking a stroll in and around the park. Teenage Italian Americans go to Bowne Park to socialize and play sports.
Elderly Italian Women
Walking with her sister around Bowne Park, 53 year-old Claudia Pascuito said that “taking walks is a great way to pass time and enjoy the scenery.” To her, Bowne Park is more than just a park. She likes how it is not just simply a playground with concrete and asphalt. There are elements of nature, making the neighborhood “so much more beautiful.” Around this time of the year, she likes “to see the geese walking around the park and swimming in the pond.” Sometimes, she would bring peanuts to feed the squirrels and leftover bread to feed the birds. She also commented that many other Italian men and women walk their dogs on sunny days. Dog walking is big in Bowne Park.
Italian American Teenagers
Many teenagers utilize the park, including those of Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian ethnicities. They seemed to be just hanging out and socializing. Sometimes, teenagers would be smoking by the pond next to the turtle statue. Some groups of teenagers would also hang out on the playground equipment if it is empty. However, a majority of the teenagers are Italian Americans who go to Bowne Park to play sports. A couple of teenagers would bike to and around Bowne Park. In an interview with Chris Fricchone, an Italian American, he explained how he utilized the park. As a senior in high school, Chris still enjoys a a game of soccer and basketball every other day after school. He noted that he liked soccer better and played it next to the basketball courts. About 13-14 other Italian American kids would play with him, since the neighborhood was populated mostly by Italians.
Anthony Coletti was among the many teenagers who were playing basketball on a Saturday evening. He came with two other friends, both of whom were Italian Americans. In a brief interview, Anthony said, “My parents are from Italy, but I was born and raised here. I only visited Italy twice. I come to the park with my friends on a good day to get some pick up games. Usually, we go on weekends because there are many other kids playing basketball and soccer. Most of them are like me – Italian Americans. There are also a lot of old Italian grandmothers who come here for a walk. This is a nice park!”