The New Littles: Guyanans, Italians, and A Map!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Each Thursday in June, the Brian Lehrer Show and Andrew Beveridge of Social Explorer will discuss New York’s diverse communities - areas of ethnic concentration that are changing quickly or that you may not know about.

Listener Monica Dus discusses her Italian neighborhood of Astoria, alongside Giuseppe Vitterale, owner of Ornella Trattoria. Then Vishnu Mohadeo, a community activist and teacher in Richmond Hill, Queens, discusses the area "Little Guyana."

Be sure to check out the New Littles Interactive map below!

New Littles now has a map form. WNYC has taken Andrew Beveridge's data set and mapped it around the city. Explore the full map here, and check out the neighborhoods discussed on today's show below:

Guyanese Areas of Richmond Hill

Italian Areas of Whitestone

Comments [19]

Larhonde from Brooklyn

It's 'Guyanese' not 'Guyanans'

Mar. 21 2013 10:51 AM
Lisa La Valle-Finan from Upper Montclair

How excellent! I arrange the Littles Tours of North Jersey if you would like a tour.
Little Havana
Little Bombay
Little Ramallah
and More!

Jul. 21 2011 08:26 PM
Helen from Brooklyn

I work on a large community-based public health research study in which we're trying to reach older men (age 50+) of African descent by partnering with churches, mosques, barbershops, and other community organizations. This brings us to just about every part of the city. What I'm curious about the "littles" that are underrepresented in Census/American Community Survey data. These littles may also be even compact than a community district and therefore not show up as well on Census data analyses, yet still be substantial communities and include very large numbers of people.

Jul. 07 2011 10:45 PM

Vishnu Mahadeo does not reside in Richmond Hill nor does he have a business in the area. The large old homes in Richmond Hill referred to by Mr. Berevidge are located in northern Richmond Hill. In Southern Richmond Hill nearer to Liberty Ave. are much smaller homes many of which have been subdivided into numerous illegal apartments. Numerous Guyanese real estate businesses contributed greatly to numerous foreclosures and lis pendens notices in the areas surrounding Liberty Ave due to some very questionable business practices and predatory lending. Mr. Mahadeo is vocal, but is often volatile, less than accurate in his comments, and who seeks to remain insular from the other 75% of the area's population.

Jul. 03 2011 12:42 PM
Suranga Perera from Staten Island

I would like to add Little Sri Lanka into this program. There are over 3000 Sri Lankans live in Staten Island.


Jun. 27 2011 08:25 AM
Christopher from Staten Island

I live and work on Staten Island. I am involved with many cultural communities here. As many New Yorkers do, this map fails to capture the complexity of the 21st century Staten Island. Not to mention that you have represented the entire borough as one big "Little Italy." Staten Island has a very large and active Sri Lankan, Liberian, and Russian name just a few. However, I do appreciate your efforts. I hope listeners continue to contribute to this conversation.

Jun. 23 2011 10:46 AM
francyne from Pelham bay Park

There is an Asian Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi around Parkchester, Castle Hill Ave in the Bronx.

Jun. 23 2011 08:55 AM
Giuseppe V

Italians have been living in Astoria for the better part of a century... no new Little Italy there, just the continuation of one. We owe any semblance of the various "Little Italy" (always littler) hoods to the Italian immigration of the 1960s and 1970s, which was substantial (yet somewhat under the mainstream radar) and of a similar quality to the immigration of the early 20th century (poor, uneducated, laboring class, etc). Ethnic neighborhoods need immigrants to survive, and as Mr. Vitterale observes, there are no immigrants coming from Italy any more (only professionals and young students on a jaunt... those folks don't make neighborhoods). The strongest Italian areas of the city -- those where you will encounter the most off-the-boat Italians continue to be Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, and Pelham. Staten Island may have a lot of people of Italian ancestry, but it's not terribly Italian. I unfortunately don't foresee much of a future for Little Italy neighborhoods, unless there is some mass migration out of Italy. Thing of it is that Italians go all over the world, so they may not necessarily come here!

Jun. 16 2011 08:17 PM
Sanford Santacroce from Williamsburg, BK

I was living in a Little Italy around Graham Ave in Williamsburg for 3 years and the Italian population were just so rude. They would walk past you on the street and not even make eye-contact or acknowledge your existence - like a sci-fi movie. They also seem to hate it when you try to buy something in their shops because they really wouldn't talk to you unless you really gave them no choice. They only want to deal with the people they've known since they were born I decided. Kind of a tall order in NYC!

Jun. 16 2011 12:51 PM
Richard from Wantagh, NY

I came back to the comments page 45 minutes later and found the map. Maybe it was just off-line for a bit.

Jun. 16 2011 12:35 PM

@Richard There are maps on this page, as well as a full-size version here:

Jun. 16 2011 11:45 AM
Richard from Wantagh, NY

I went to the website to see the map that had just been discussed on the program. I got as far as "see map below". But I could not find any map--either below or on links.

Disappointed. And surprised.

Jun. 16 2011 11:45 AM
Rebecca from Morristown, NJ

@Mike from Park Slope - to New Jerseyans, the Ironbound section of Newark is the "safe" part of the city. I go there all the time with my friends and it's not any less safe than many of these other neighborhoods.

As for Mexican food, I'm from Arizona and I empathize. Union City/West New York have the best Mexican food I've had on the East Coast.

Jun. 16 2011 11:39 AM

Thanks for the Little Guyana piece! Had I not known otherwise, however, I would have thought Guyanese were all of Indian heritage, when in fact Guyana is a diverse place. According to wkikipedia: The largest ethnic group is that of the descendants of immigrants from India also known as East Indians (Indo-Guyanese), comprising 43.5% of the population in 2002. They are followed by people of African heritage (Afro-Guyanese) (30.2%). The third in number are those of mixed heritage (16.7%), while Aboriginals (Arawak, Wai Wai, Carib, Akawaio, Arecuna, Patamona, Wapixana, Macushi and Warao) are fourth making up close to 10% of the population. The smallest groups are the Europeans (including Portuguese), who number at 1,600 individuals, and the Chinese, who number at 1,400 persons. A small group (fewer than 1%) were unable to be classified.

Jun. 16 2011 11:09 AM
Rebecca from Morristown, NJ

This is fantastic! Kudos to the very hard-working WNYC staffers who put this together. My friends and I frequently venture to different ethnic neighborhoods to explore cuisines, specialty shops, grocery stores, etc. This will be a fantastic resource. Hope you will expand this to New Jersey.

Jun. 16 2011 10:54 AM
Vinne from UES

Wait! I used to live in Italy and there are massive stores like Walmart... They're called Carrefour (it's a French chain).

Jun. 16 2011 10:52 AM
Tracy from NYC

Pronunciation tip for Brian--the first a in the word "Guyana" sounds like a in the word "flat" or "and."

Jun. 16 2011 10:49 AM
Ramin Ganeshram from Westport, ct

Little Guyana us also home to info-csribbeans from Trinidad and Suriname. I became acquainted with it while working as a stringer for the Nytimescity section 10 years ago. It held s personal fascination as I am the daughter if an indo Trinidadian who Dane to Brooklyn in 1954 and lived in a small Pam west Indian community in bed stuy. I grew up in NYC so without the benefit if a cultural enclave. Ours was an in between life in a cultural sense. Richmond Hill captured my attention so completely it is the setting for my novel Stir It Up! out from Scholastic on August 1. It is a culinary novel for Tweens and teens. It's safe to say the cultural cacophony and vibrant foodways of Richmond Hill is a main character. The heroine, 13 year old Anjali Krishnan works in her parents roti shop there. The book gas presume 140,000 copies. Cross cultural interest indeed!

Jun. 16 2011 10:14 AM
Tracy from NYC

I grew up in Richmond HIll. I am so happy that the rest of the city will finally hear about the wonderful sounds and colors and smells of Little Guyana! (My family is Barbadian, by the way, but Guyana is cultirally bonded by a common language with the rest of NYC's Caribbean community.)

Jun. 16 2011 09:58 AM

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