GUIDOS and GOOMBAS are both synonymous terms used to describe a certain, very ethnic Italian-American, which usually resides in small New Jersey and New York neighborhoods known as Little Italies. When you take all of the children and grandchildren of Italian immigrants from all the different regions of the boot and throw them together, you have your Little Italy neighborhoods in America, and the GUIDO/GOOMBA subculture emerges. Things get translated and changed and carry on onto the next generation, but the Italian root is still there. The residen ts are special types of Italian-Americans who usually fit a lot of the Hollywood stereotypes, because they are pretty entertaining characters. And this is an east coast subculture that existed long before the movies or TV decided to portray it. It's a special distinction made to certain guys who like Italian things over “meddigan” (white bread waspy) things.
I am proud to say I am one of these characters. We do things to the extreme when it comes to showing off pride for this particular east coast subculture! There’s a special look that separates the GUIDO from a regular American of Italian descent, and from some fool who doesn't have a clue about his heritage. We have certain speech patterns, ways of dress, attitudes and ideas, but we all truly love family, friends, and things that derive from Italy. See, we love to play up all the stereotypes (because most are true). And that love revolves around incorporating something Italian into each day. Whether it's clothes, food, or cars—if it has roots from the boot, it's always better. As long as you have an Italian name and several nicknames, use hand gestures, speak with the GOOMBA slang dialect in that Jersey or Brooklyn accent, and have that unmistakable strut when you walk, you got it a ll as far as I’m concerned.
Look, we don't wanna walk on the moon, we wanna walk to the corner pizza parlor. We don't try to discover a cure for Cancer, we’d rather go down to St. Francis Church and pray for it. We like drinking and just hanging out. The little things in life. I’m a simple guy, and I’ll walk you through my daily routines…
First, I wake up and get ready using my GUIDO hair care and hygiene products (spiking glue, Aqua Net hairspray, Axe body spray). On work days, the outfit is black pants with a big-buckled belt and usually a black shirt, shiny shoes and leather jacket. For breakfast, I usually eat some peppers and eggs and then I stop at the bakery for some espresso. In my sweet Caddie, I pump up my KTU, or pop in a CD of Angelo Venuto, or some freestyle beats.
Once I’m at work, I check the internet news for what's happening on the other side (Italy). When having any conversation with my co-workers, we chat about sports, music, movies or whatever else but we always focus on the Italian-American athletes or singers or actors. Of course, only my fellow paesan co-workers have an equal amount of interest in such things. At lunch time, I go to the Italian deli and pick up a gabagol and mozzarell' sengwich with a cold Manhattan Special. Mmm!
Now getting back to my GUIDO lair is the best part of the day. The first thing I do is to grab an ice cold Peroni out of the fridge and light up a DiNobili cigar. At dinner time, it's homemade macaroni with meatballs and a nice glass of vino. Then I hit the hay with my gal and fall off to sleep until the next day…
When the weekend rolls around, it's out to Club Rise in Lodi to dance and kick back a dozen, and in the summer, it’s always trips down the Jersey shore or to an Italian feast. The Friday and Saturday night attire is usually a designer t-shirt (Armani Exchange, Diesel, Ed Hardy) with jeans, and always my bling (bracelet, nice wristwatch, two pinkie rings, and of course, two necklaces). The Italian horn and religious emblems (Christ on the cross, Holy Mary) are worn on these chains to show off my family heritage and religion. Plus they look cool.
On Sunday afternoons, I get up and throw on a dark colored jogging suit, the prototypical casual outfit. For those that may not be familiar, this attire starts out with a white or black guinea tee and boxer shorts and then the matching jogging suit goes on. They come in cotton or velvet, and all sport the insignia of the company that makes them—Fila is best, obviously, because it is an Italian brand. Puma, Adidas, Nike and Reebok are a few other good ones.
The bottom line is you will know a GUIDO when you see one, at work or at play. We love to party and enjoy life. Even if we aren’t rockstars, we think we are!
I'M A GUIDO (AKA: GOOMBA)