Issue #129

Stefano Vaccara

L'Indipendente

I’m Sicilian, born in Mazara del Vallo and raised in Palermo. I studied history in Siena and went to graduate school at Boston University. While in school, I started to write for Il Giornale di Montanelli. I then got a full-time job for America Oggi and moved to New York City. My dream was to create a totally independent Italian paper in New York to be read all over the world: I finally founded La VOCE di New York.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I’m a journalist, but I’m also a teacher. I love both. I need to feel free and independent when I work and, in both professions, I find myself in a situation where I can. I cover the United Nations, and I correspond from the UN for Radio Radicale in Rome. I teach Media Studies and also a course on the Mafia, not Hollywood style but the real one, at Lehman College, CUNY. I have fun when I work, and I also have lots of fun spending time with my family (my wife Robyn and two kids, Louis and Siena, raised in Brooklyn and now both in college). I love cooking for my family. My favorite dish: spaghetti con le vongole.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

I came to study in graduate school thinking that I would go back, but when I was studying, I started to write for newspapers. Then I moved to New York, and it was here that I became the kind of journalist I wanted to be: free and independent. I needed to stay here.

Please share your best memory in the City.

There are many, but I believe my best memory in NYC comes at its worst moment: 9-11. I will never forget the courage and resilience of New Yorkers. The terrorists wanted to change also the character of the city, but we, all New Yorkers, defeated them in keeping our spirit intact, open minded citizens of the most multicultural and welcoming city in the world.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

Do you mean the United Nations? It is where I work most of the time. It is where I exercise my independence and freedom as a journalist. The UN, after all, and even with all of its faults, is still the best chance human beings have to save the world. Papa Francesco, visiting the UN last year, reminded us of that, and I have believed that for years.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

An image, with the right photographer, is worth 1000 words. I’m always curious to know more about how so many Italians live successfully in New York, getting closer to their dreams.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

Well, with La Voce di New York, I think that every day we are ambassadors of Italian style and culture abroad. Our motto is liberty meets beauty. Liberty, of course, is New York and being journalists under the protection of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, but at La VOCE we also respect beauty, both aesthetic and ethical.

  • Shots

    64

  • Time

    180 mins

  • City

    New York

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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US