About Us

Who are we?

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York is a rigorous academic program that places a strong emphasis on the past, present, and future of New York City through four interdiscplinary seminars. These seminars include: The Arts of New York,The Peopling of New York, Science & Technology in New York and The Future of New York. The second of these seminars educates its students on the diverse group of people that comprise New York City.  Each class chooses one neighborhood of people to study, learning about the demographics, population, culture, ethnicity and much more. Our class is comprised of 19 students that come primarily from Queens, with a handful from Long Island, New Jersey and Manhattan. Some of us our Italian-Americans ourselves but the class consists of a breadth of ethnicities.

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Why Italian-Americans and Howard Beach?

In 2009, MTV produced a reality TV show entitled The Jersey Shore. This show places eight Italian-Americans into a house and follows them around over the course of a summer. These roommates refer to themselves as "Guidos" and "Guidettes," a controversial classification of Italian-Americans that may be understood as a racial slur. Though the term "'Guido' has become the name of a lifestyle, many Italian-Americans were upset by this "ugly" portrayal of their culture. Through this website, we attempt to shed some light on the real Italian-American culture.

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How did we conduct our study?

Over the course of a couple of months, our class read numerous scholarly essays, visited Howard Beach and conversed with its residents and researched the neighborhood through the census. This website provides a history of Howard Beach and Italian-Americans, video interviews on various topics and other important information about this neighborhood.