Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Karen Miller

Subject Categories

Economic History | Ethnic Studies | Food Studies | Growth and Development | History of Religion | Oral History | Political History | Public History | Radio | Social History | United States History


New York City, Lower East Side, Manhattan, Immigration, Assimilation, Business


Small businesses in New York City have often been a catalyst to assimilation for individual immigrants, their families and their communities. For this capstone project, I have recorded conversations with three small-time entrepreneurs on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and created a narrative audio piece that explores some of the important and study-worthy characteristics of New York City including economic opportunities in the city, immigration, assimilation and the ways that New Yorkers share space, just to name a few. These themes are threads that ran through all three of the conversations that I had and are crucial elements of what makes New York City such an exceptional topic for scholarship. My hope is that with these personal and family stories, I have been able to convey how the unique economic, entrepreneurial and cultural environment that exists in New York City has helped my subjects, their families and countless people like them to overcome the hardships of immigration and assimilation and become New Yorkers. The audio piece can be accessed at the following link:

Marcus Hillman Graduate School Project.mp3 (49317 kB)
Podcast recording