This weeks assignment is to go to Tenement Museum in LES. This is an interesting museum, because you need to join one of the tours. It is great because you hear stories about the place, so you don’t need to read any boring writings.
We took an early tour in the morning with Eyal, Juri and Liesje about Moore family. Moore family is an Irish family, one of the immigrant families who lived in that building. There are so many interesting stories about the place. Mostly they focus on water and cleaning. It’s because their basic problem was health which caused by cleaning. One of the interesting things that I learned was LES has the first sewage system in New York.
There are so many stories about the house, seems like there were a lot of families in that building during the time. Walls ceilings, floors are so great. I couldn’t stop myself to keep looking at them. I think they all tells a story, especially the wall papers. Tour guide told that, they found almost 25(?not sure about the number now but it was a lot) different layers of wall papers, means that 25 different stories, life’s, families and tastes.
They are using projection and sound to give a sense of those times, which is really interesting. They are using windows to project in a really old room. I think it was great.
Also they don’t have enough lights in the building, I think that also gives a sense of their life’s. I think keeping it old, not using a lot of technology really works for their purposes.
“I think I am really lucky that I am not an immigrant like them. Yes, I have some hard times, but at least I have a clean place to live. Well seems like some things are not changed to much, but at least it is not that bad. Look at this apartment, how can you leave in this place with 4 other people and with out water. That’s imposible…”
“What is this place dad? Why are the rooms so small? Who is living in here? Why does it a museum? I can’t see anything interesting… Why didn’t they have water? Was New York a bad place dad?…”(I was like this when I was a little kid, if I don’t get why, I would keep asking questions to my father till I drive him crazy)
An Irish American
“I am so thankful to my grandparents. I don’t have to deal with all these stuff now. They had really hard times, but we made it, now me and my family have a great life. I guess, I they can see us, they would be really happy. I think that was the reason that they moved in here, to make us happy….”