As is often reported, the New York City accent is vanishing. Some people are even paying good money to unlearn it, much like Radio Days’ Sally and her diction lessons. Bronx-born filmmaker Heather Quinlan is working on a documentary all about it. If These Knishes Could Talk is both, as Heather says, ‘an homage to my father and grandparents, who had wonderful accents I don’t hear anymore, and also to celebrate that which makes New York so unique.’
And in the interview:
New York accents sound different in Jewish neighborhoods (think Woody Allen), Puerto Rican neighborhoods (Rosie Perez), Irish neighborhoods (Jimmy Cagney), Italian neighborhoods (Al Pacino), etc. Though again, your ethnic background does not necessarily determine your accent. Rudy Giuliani is an example of an Italian-American whose New York accent is not Italian, but Irish, since he grew up in an Irish neighborhood.