My Exploration of Culture and New York City

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The day began with a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. At first nothing looked special or unique, but upon further observations I was able to see that this town had a big history. The stories behind the buildings that lined the streets of the Lower East Side really made me think. All the hustle and bustle that once filled those same streets was not there, but I imagined it and could start to feel the neighborhood come to life. After hearing about the immigrants who survived in those tenement buildings, I thought about how important those people were. Without them what would what we call America be like today? Of course, it is also hard to imagine living in the poor lifestyle crammed with so many people. After the museum, we continued or adventure by heading to the San Genanaro Festival.
At the San Genanaro festival, the Italian flavor came to life. It was really neat to have the opportunity to walk through China town, with the open markets, and then to walk through the festival which showed its Italian roots. Smelling the Italian food in the air, we set off to find a restaurant to eat at. We chose a nice little Italian place and ate inside. I had some homemade ravioli. The food was delicious and the service was top notch. Unfortunately we did not have too much time to roam around the festival too much. I was kind of hoping to get a chance to go see the church that was actually sponsoring the festival, but I guess that’s just one more reason to go back and visit the city once again. After lunch it was time to head to the subway again; which would take us back to the Broadway district.
[Title of Show] was a very interesting piece. With such a unique plot, the show took on a form not like the previous show at all. Although I did think that the acting was very good. I personally did not enjoy the show as much as In the Heights because of the language; and also I personally did not enjoy the humor. With only four main actors and one musician, it was easier to follow who was who and get to know them each individually. Another aspect was that the actors were playing the part of themselves, and like in Heidi’s song, they were able to fit their molds beautifully. One of the big differences in this show and In the Heights was the lighting. [Title of Show] did not have nearly the in depth lighting system that the other show had.
All three events shared some theatrical elements. They all obviously took place in New York. Also these events all told a story in their own way. The Tenement Museum told the story of the thousands of immigrants who passed through New York, especially the Moore family. The San Genanaro Festival told the story of the Italian immigrants and all of their culture they brought over from their home country. The musical [Title of Show] also told a story. It actually told the story of the musical itself and how it came to be. All of them showcased culture and the changes in it. Beginning with life in the 1800s then in [Title of Show] with the more modern culture, the whole day was filled with cultural experiences.