Thanks for visiting Vince Parrillo’s website. Here you can access information about his blogs on firsthand immigrant stories, as well as his books, films, shows, and other endeavors. If you are looking for just the right gift for someone, click a link to read detailed descriptions about them and how to order these unique DVDS or these popular historical novels.

Vince’s latest documentary, Paterson: A Delicious Destination, won the prestigious 2022 Director’s Choice Award at the 10th Annual Northeast Film Festival.

55 thoughts on “Home

  1. Vince, please email me also for a copy of that DVD. I’m in Fla or I wouldn’t have missed it. My great grandfather owned a silk mill there. Thanks.

  2. Vince, great to see such a video on Paterson. I am a seventh generation Patersonian and this project as well as your others show the positive side of humanity in Paterson, of course including conflicts that present themselves in an industrial city. I would appreciate info on the DVD being sent to me as I am presently disabled and in Newark. Again I compliment you on this and your advisors as well (Ed Smyck is a great historian). Thanks again…

  3. Bongiorno Vince : I obtained a copy of your novel “Guardians of the Gate” and have begun to read it. I enjoy the topic very much, and hope to finish it later this week. I am employed by the Palisades Park, NJ School District. I am sure you know that Palisades Park is home to a very large Korean community. Working within the Pal Park High School, I have become aware of a huge influx of new students arriving from Guatemala. I don’t know if you realize the magnitude of this new wave of immigrants to our country. Many speak no English at all. Yet they are thrust into the “education mill” that exists. It is so inadequate to their new needs as recent arrivals to The United States. If this issue and this particular situation is of interest to you, I would be very interested in working with you on an ‘academic work’ on which I would follow your professional protocols for publishing, and on which I would request an acknowledgement and/or co-credit. I work first hand with many of these students and am friends with many of them : Marvin, Mario, Crisandra, Deifilia, et al. I like them very much and would like to help them. I must mention Freddy. He is from Guatemala, I’m not sure of his age, say 16, he doesn’t speak much because he knows little English, but I can tell that he is a good kid, intelligent and with abilities. He is also only about 5ft2in. but he has presence. The first time I met him was last spring when I covered classes for the ESL teacher, Mrs. White, who was absent for two weeks. She is nearing retirement and (I’m just guessing) using up her accumulated sick days. And that is another aspect of the deficiencies in the existing education system. In my opinion new arrivals to this country who speak no English should receive “intensive instruction” designed to get them up to speed in the most efficient way. I saw Freddy most recently in one of the computer tech classes. I walked around the classroom that day and asked all the students who were not actively engaged in school work, if they would cast a vote for PGL. Although he has intelligence, he had no idea how to operate the computer. The education systems in this country are so messed up, that is the reason why I essentially had to leave full-time teaching. Anyway,through these students we would be able to reach their parents, family members, and their personal experiences that resulted in them living in Palisades Park, New Jersey, 07650, United States. It could be a great acedemic study, perhaps in the Spring. What do you think Vince ? Sincerely, your assistant director, Mick

  4. Thanks, Mick. I agree with your comments regarding new immigrants, young and old, and, yes, I am aware of the many Central Americans settling in northern New Jersey. Your project proposal sounds interesting and I hope someone does it. I can’t, however, as I have numerous writing commitments for the next two years. Whew!

  5. Dear Dr Parrillo,

    Just read the article in my Fall 2015 WP magazine about your latest film, “Paterson and its People.” Where can I get a copy? Will it be aired on TV again?

    I grew up on Lane Street in Paterson — a neighborhood that exists only in my memories. They tore the buildings down to make way for the Christopher Columbus Project sometime in the late 1950’s. We played in the abandoned building — “old school #4” — that stood on Temple and Matlock Streets.

    I wrote a paper for a geography course I took in William Paterson — “Changing Faces of a City: A Case study of Paterson.” Although my teacher, Dr Warner, kept me focused on the geography of the city, my main interest was the people. Also enjoyed a couple classes with you. In fact, a good portion of my geography paper was right out of your Urban Sociology and the day trip we took around Paterson’s Historic District and the Central Business District.

    I could go on and on, but I’m sure you are a busy man.

    Irene Avato

    1. Hi, Irene. Thanks for writing. NJTV has no immediate plans to air the film again, but does have a licensing permit to do so through September 2017, so it may well air again. Meanwhile, the gift shops at the Paterson Falls NHP and Lambert Castle do have copies for sale, with all net proceeds going to them. You’d be surprised at the look of your old neighborhood. The CC Project was torn down, lots of new homes built by Habitat for Humanity are in that area now, along with a new fire station and community center. I was in School 4 two years ago (still used) when I was filming my Federici documentary to record his Mother Goose sculpture there, and in adjacent School 28 just two months ago to speak at an assembly program for the gifted and talented academy students. Saw all their hallway posters for Founder’s Day in Paterson, which were very impressive.

      1. Dear Dr Parillo,

        Thank you for your response. I attended school 4 from 1947 to 1953, and Sunday School in the little white church on North first street, German Methodist which later changed its name to Christ Methodist.

        I lived all over the city. My husband and I started our married life in a one-room apartment in one of those big original mansions which stood on the corner of Ellison and Carol Street across from the YWCA. Our little place was the original dining room. The architecture was amazing. Our tiny kitchen area was originally the butler’s pantry.

        I look forward to getting a copy of your film. Always enjoyed your classes.
        Irene Avato

  6. I only got to see part of this but loved it. I would love to buy a copy of Paterson and its People. Could you please let me know how to get a copy.

    1. Don’t know why I’m only seeing this now, Russell. Don’t know if you’re still interested, but the DVD is available at the gifts shops at the Paterson Falls and Lambert Castle. Or, if you write to me (vinceparrillo@yahoo.com), I’ll explain how to get it by mail through me.

  7. Dr. Parrillo,

    I was just down at the Great Falls gift store today the 31st of January 2016 and they had no idea about the video. The lady there was very pleasant but didn’t know what I was talking about. I called Lambert Castle and they knew what I was talking about but I could not get there in time since it was too late in the day. You may want to touch base with the Great Falls gift store since you are directing people there.

    Once again thanks so much for making this documentary about Paterson. I look forward to getting a copy of the DVD to watch with my family.

    1. That’s strange, Russell. The Great Falls gift shop has twice restocked on this documentary. Perhaps it was a new person or they are out of stock again. I’ll look into it. Thanks for bringing this matter to my attention. Let me know if you are successful in getting the DVD and what you think of it.

  8. Dr. Parrillo–I’m coordinating your presentation at Four Seasons at Great Notch on Monday, March 28 at 7:15. I’d appreciate connecting with you concerning the length of the program and your AV requirements. Please contact me via e-mail at your earliest convenience. Looking forward to meeting you, Sandy

  9. Dear Dr. Parillo,

    Do the gift shops at the Paterson Falls NHP and Lambert Castle have your film for sale online?

    Irene Avato

    1. Hello Irene Avato, I read your post about you living on Lane St. in Paterson between 1947-1953. The little white church that you referred to was Christ Temple Baptist Church if I’m not mistaken. The Pastor at that time was Rev Freddie Robertson. I in fact attended Sunday School and church services with my whole family in 1953 and beyond.
      Ron Foster

      1. Hi Ronald,
        Nice to hear from you. I believe the larger brick building on the corner of Clinton and North 1st Streets was a Baptist Church. I remember hearing the music as we passed by. At that time we went to Sunday School, and Bible school in the summer.

        When I came back to Paterson in 1956 (still lived on Lane Street) we still attended the same church.


      2. Hello Irene, the church you’re referring to must be Gilmore Tabernacle opposite school #4.
        Christ Temple Baptist was on Water St. not far from West Broadway. My father Harold Foster lived at 95 Lane St.

      3. Hi Ronald,

        WE moved there when I was 4, and lived there until they tore the buildings down around 1957. I left in ’53 to live with an aunt and uncle; returned to my family in ’56. I am the oldest of four.

        Are you on facebook? You might enjoy the “Paterson groups.” I am a member of 2 groups.


      4. Do you know the Grifone family? Martin Grifone went to Central High with me. His family lived in that same area near school #4

      5. Hi Ronald,

        I believe I went to school 4 with Martin Grifone; the name is very familiar. When I got back to Paterson, in ’56 I went to Central for a while – never graduated. Went back to school as an adult.

        And, by the way, my little white church was on
        north 1st Street.


  10. I am a teacher at the Passaic One Stop Career Center and I would love a copy of your DVD for my students which is excellent. Please advise where I can get it. My e-mail address is mpentarakis@pcwdc.org.
    Thanks Dr. Parillo
    Maria Pentarakis .

  11. Hi Vince Parillo,

    would you be able to let me know to which book your essay on “Sociology and Aesthetics” is a foreword to?

    Thanks very much,

    Richard Sutcliffe

    1. Hello, Richard. Thanks for writing. My essay, “Sociology and Aesthetics,” is the Foreword in the book, Sociology, Aesthetics, & the City. edited by Vincenzo Mele (Pisa: University of Pisa Press, 2011). If you have difficulty securing a copy, you should contact Prof. Mele.

  12. Hello My name is Carol, I too would like a copy of your DVD please if you could email me the details and thank you!

  13. I am interested in purchasing a copy of your DVD “Paterson and Its People” for my parents, as they both grew up in Paterson. My mother missed the screening at WPU last year and I would love to surprise her with a copy of the film. Can you send me further information?

    On another note, I am a graduate of Penn State University and I had taken a class (back in the Spring of 1998) called “Italians In the Mass Media” which essentially showed various examples of media and the movies creating their own stereotype regarding Italians (one example that was used was the book The Godfather which was mainly about an Italian family trying to assimilate in a new country and what they went through to make it). Was the best 3 credits I ever had the pleasure of taking in my entire life. Your books and films remind me of that class and the various discussions we had.

    Thank you!

  14. Good afternoon. I would like a copy of Paterson and Its People but I just learned it is not available at Lambert Castle. Can you tell me how/where I can order one? Thank you in advance.

    1. Rosie, did you ever get your copy? I informed the folks at Lambert Castle about you and they promised to get in touch. Please let me know if it all worked out. Thanks. ~Vince

    1. Hi, Catherine. The film, “Silk City Artists and Musicians,” is in post-production and will not be released until mid-2017. I will let you know about its premiere. ~Vince

  15. Good morning.
    I am looking for information about artista Gustave von Will (Tava). You may could help me.
    If yes please contact.
    Thanks in advance.

  16. It’s a crazy story that brings me here, so I have to ask: Are you related to the Vincent Parrillo who published “Il Messagero” in Paterson? I stumbled upon a January 1936 issue and I don’t know what was more interesting, the articles or the advertisements! It appears to have ceased publication in 1938 but I’m guessing the name was just changed.

    1. Thanks for writing, Mary. My grandfather started that paper and my father continued it until around 1940. Eventually, my dad discontinued publishing that newspaper to concentrate on another, The Sunday Chronicle. Discontinued during World War II, it went through a metamorphosis into a weekly magazine that thrived in the 1950s and 1960s until my dad retired. I agree that the articles and ads are a fascinating look into this area’s past. At http://www.njdigitalhighway.org, you can see many past issues of both publications.

  17. Hi Vince,
    News about your latest film popped-up in my feed this morning. I’m a third-generation Patersonian who now lives in Richmond, VA.

    My parents recently relocated from NJ to VA and we frequently reminisce about the long-lost delicacies of Paterson, like Libby’s, Falls View, Johnny & Hanges. To satisfy some nostalgic longing, we’ve decided to host a traditional Paterson Beefsteak. There are lots of Jersey ex-pats here and many others who’ve never heard of such a thing.

    It would be marvelous to anchor our dinner with a showing of your film. Is it possible to purchase a DVD? Let me know and we’ll make it so!

    Looking forward to viewing your documentary!


  18. Hello Mr. Parrillo, today I was able to attend the release of Paterson: A Delicious Destination at the Northeast Film Festival. It was beautifully done. My dad and my uncles were the owners of Scordato’s Restaurant, and I couldn’t be more pleased that Scordato’s was included as one of the featured restaurants from the past. It’s good to know that the Scordato restaurant legacy in Paterson is still being remembered. Thank you for producing such a magnificent documentary on Paterson’s restaurants past and present. I have often thought that there is a need for greater links to be forged between Paterson’s past and Paterson’s present, and your documentary has done exactly that. Thank you for doing so in such a beautiful (and appetizing!) way.

  19. I’m in the process of buying your book Guardians of the Gate. In research on the web I’ve come across various interviews with what appear to be real subjects (for example where you state):
    True Immigrant Tales: Traveling in Steerage
    Posted on April 8, 2014 by vinceparrillo
    Steerage conditions varied greatly, depending on the steamship line and the ship’s size, but all were unpleasant to say the least. Below is testimony from a government inspector, disguised as an immigrant, reporting in 1909 to the Dillingham Immigration Commission about the poor sanitary conditions on a smaller ship that carried less than 200 immigrants. Interested to learn: Are these true histories (not fictionalized). Thank you.

  20. Would like to speak with you about Paterson baseball history. My father sponsored a baseball team from the late 1920’s into the 1950’s. Played for his team (Uncle Sam’s) in the early 1930’s while still in high school were Larry Doby and Lou Costello. At that time the team played at Hinchcliff Stadium. Larry was seen playing and was recruited to the Negro League. Lou would announce the games and started “Who’s On First” as part of his announcing the games. Please send your contact information to my email address: taxlaw1@aol.com.

    Walter LeVine

  21. Loved the film today, Vince, I look forward to another year of eating in Silk City. I mentioned my role in getting a marker for the Silk Strike. If you ever want to do a film on labor history, maybe we can be a resource for you at the NY Labor History Association, where I am Newsletter and Book Review Editor. And I’m sure you know the lovely ladies of the Botto House, Angelica and Evelyn, custodians of labor history for Paterson and beyond. My association’s website is newyorklaborhistory.org.

  22. Out of the ether of the internet I came across your name today when looking up notable people from Paterson. My name is Jerry Calabrese, and I was a classmate of John and Terry at St. Paul’s grade school. I also believe you were, at least briefly, a leader with our scout troop. You’ve certainly traveled far and I was truly impressed at how you used Paterson as the foundation of so many interesting projects, congratulations. My own life and career were also deeply influenced by our shared urban upbringing, though not so directly as yours. In my retirement I’ve been working for an English language, Italian university in Florence, called Istituto Lorenzo de Medici, as head of their communications department. My own career included time as a newspaper journalist, working for Playboy Enterprises, stints at Marvel Comics, NASCAR and then as head of the old Lionel Model Train company, before getting involved with teaching. Mostly as a “Passatempo” I’ve been researching a story about Paterson, during the time when my dad was a beer distributor, in the late 1950’s and ’60’s, and I spent a lot of time there. I spend about half the year in Italy, and the rest in Sharon, CT, though I’m in and around New York City a lot, when in the US. I’d love to talk with you about your work, and Paterson. I’m here until October. best, Jerry Calabrese

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