Embracing Culture

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hustling around the city all day, I was able to see some rather exciting things.  We started at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum where we were able to see what the life of an immigrant was like when they first came from Ellis Island.  When we first arrived I did not really know what to expect.  As we started our tour, the group was told that we would be meeting a woman who was going to play the role of a fourteen year old girl, named Victoria, who had come from Turkey four years earlier.  Our tour guide then preceded to tell us that not only would we the woman be acting but we would also have a role to play; we would be playing the role of a family that just moved here from Ireland and was in search of a place to live.  Victoria then gave us a tour of her apartment and gave us the inside scoop on where to go. what to avoid, where you can find a place to work and some of the new inventions that America had to offer.
I thought that the Tenement Museum was extremely interesting because at some point or another someone has had a person in his or her family who immigrated to America, and the visit helped me to understand what it was like for them.  For me, I know that my grandmother came to this country from Whales in the early 1960's and although her family her family had a lot more of the technological advances than these people did, it was still hard to support a family of seven children.
After the Tenement Museum, we strolled down to the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy.  As we got closer to it, you could smell all of the foods from sausage and peppers to pasta and of course Italian pastries and cookies.  The streets were all decorated with red, white and green and you could see the Italians and how much fun and excitement they had.  Since this was my first time there, it was very exciting and there was a lot to take in.  Although we were only able to spend a short time there, it was thrilling just to have gone.
Once we left the festival we got onto the subway to head to see the musical [Title of Show].  Running late, we briskly walked to the theater as not to miss the start of the show.  As the opening number was being sung it gave me a goose bump sensation.  The way the actors sang was sensational, and they were fantastic.  Throughout the play there was always something comedic happening and jokes being told.  The background for the play was also very different from In the Heights in the fact that it had just a simple set, four chairs and a piano.  The overall performance was stunning, and I would love to go and see it again.