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Harmonizing Cultures in the Hub City

Migrants and Cultural Intersection in New Brunswick

A historic sign on Albany Street in New Brunswick focuses on the early history of non-native migrants to the city. Photo Credit: Special Collections, Alexander Library

The diversity of New Brunswick can be measured in a number of ways when considering the various cultures that make up the demographics of the Hub City. In a city that comprises just over 50,000 residents and an additional 40,000 college students, the memories and experiences of New Brunswick can be told from many different perspectives.

New Brunswick’s population can be divided into the specific migrant groups within the city. These migrant groups consist of cultures such as Puerto Ricans and Hungarians, as well as student migrants that attend Rutgers.  Throughout the most recent decades, the diversity of such groups has directly influenced how the city functions on not only a day-to-day basis, but also over time.

On the interactive map below, specific locations are identified as major cultural representations and contributions made by the various migrant groups within New Brunswick. These locations represent the contrasting cultures that have stationed themselves in New Brunswick through an alternation of space. 

Our tour illustrates that the relationship between culture and space is dynamic. Many of our interviewees connect place to group identity formation, whether they are discussing a “House full of Puerto Ricans,” which served as the basis for future community activism, the Hungarian Sacred Heart Church, or the expansion of student life from College Avenue to Easton Avenue. Through a subdivision of space, the cohabitation of these cultures has led to New Brunswick’s growth as an epicenter of culture for migrants whether their stay is four years or life long. 

Credits

Andrew Farinaccio, Christine Lee, Sarah Rodriguez, Gabriel Szabo