A Nice Italian Neighborhood in Queens

Jan 04, 2022 4977

BY: David J. Domino

Howard Beach is one of the only Italian American neighborhoods left in New York City. Located in the southern portion of Queens, half of the population is Italian or of Italian descent. In fact, hundreds of locals showed off their Italian pride in response to Italy’s win in the European soccer championship in 2021.

After Italy pulled off the victory, people flocked to Cross Bay Boulevard, waving their Italian flags. Motorists even drove up and down the boulevard honking in support of the team and proudly waved their own Italian flags, while playing Italian music.

Among the overwhelming amount of Italians, there are small groups of Jewish, Irish, Polish, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Austrian, French, Swedish, and Lithuanian residents. It is an incredibly suburban neighborhood with no apartments or high rises. The neighborhood is also home to many patriotic Americans, who are not afraid to speak their minds.

Residents of Howard Beach seem to never want to move away as it is a comfortable neighborhood where people are generally Roman Catholic. The neighborhood also has terrific Italian restaurants and pizza shops along Cross Bay Boulevard such as Gino's Pizzeria, Bruno Ristorante, Prima Pasta and Cafe, Matteo's, and Divino Pizzeria.

Like other Italian American communities in the Big Apple, people get together around Colombus Day to represent their Italian heritage, at the annual parade on the boulevard, organized by the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation. It is always a fun event.

This close-knit Italian American neighborhood is also where Pia Toscana was born and raised. A gifted pop singer, Toscana gained popularity as a contestant on the 10th season of American Idol. In addition to that, it is also where the famous author Victoria Gotti grew up in a two-story house with her siblings.

You may be interested