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Immigration History: Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Part 2

2015-04-08 | 🔗

The second half of our interview with Dr. Annie Polland from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum focuses on specific figures in the building's history and ongoing research and expansion projects.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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I'm Shane Bacon joined by my good friend MAX Homer, and we are launching get a grip with maximum chain bake in a pot gas. It will give you a true look. What professional Gulf is all about from? One of the most honest boys is between the ropes. That is true. Seeing honesty the journey will take it from a wide, a pebble, Augusta Asia and everywhere that allows max at tea time and a free players. Buffeting. free food remains. Undefeated dinner, MAX Solomon, Kane, Bacon from yours February. Third, you can listen and follow on the Iheart radio. App apple, podcast ever you listen, podcast working feminist industry works tat. I would welcome to the body ass, I'm handling fright and I'm Tracy Wilson Previous episode, we share the first part of our interview with Doktor, Annie Poland, who is senior director of educational programmes at the Tenement Museum on New York's. We were inside
He told us in that first episode about the discovery of the building that would eventually how's the museum and were heard there on the losing side as it developed from the eighteen. Sixty two, the nineteen thirty's today. We're gonna learn more about the ongoing research. That's happening at the museum along with programme and plans for the museum, were also good. A little bit about whatever favour topics which is boot, It relates to telling the story of immigration and New York. You have some really fun stuff, do you have a favorite story or stories of some other residents that lived at ninety seven orchard fact unheard question, because I think there are the family every family and fascinating.
You know the kind of like picking who's your favorite child. You had like seven children and had a big one of the most interesting fell. Well, you know the one at the moment Fascinated me, the most is a woman named, but will be won the garden and he and her husband ran a closer, but your shop at ninety seven orchard from approximately eighteen, eighty, nine to nineteen. Oh two, it was the mother of six children. She raised her children in an apartment right behind the butcher store. She probably worked six days a week alongside her husband. In fact, we have a picture of the left garden family, I'm standing outside of their sharp and all of them every one of them, I believe, of wearing an apron, including their little five year.
Fun, William, though this was a family that works together, and I am always fascinated by her thinking about how she be raising her family, while also helping to run a business, and the story becomes even more complicated because in May of making us to the price of closer me went up. The wholesalers raise the price and the retail butchers try to boycott it. They tried to get the wholesalers to back down because they knew their customers couldn't afford. That steep ran at speed. That's a price increase, but the others did in fact out Emma retailers. In many we really had no choice but to start selling me again because they were on earth position may have to pay rent further spaces they had set. You know, keep their businessmen going so bade open up, but the women of the neighborhood
they organise and may start to boycott, and so the women in the neighbourhood are able to effectively no give speeches. Rally. Everyone basically to stop buying need bigger than it has in a newspaper reporters both the Euro reporters and the reporting of town until they carry out this really intend really powerful consumer protest and consumer strike, and some times at some. pointing in the Perkins became violent, and we know that in May of one thousand nine hundred and two may 17th one thousand nine hundred and two someone attacked the Lowe's garden shop because we had a picture of ninety seven orchard with the window broken and I think about what it was like for global less guardian to in some way to really You stand why the women were striking, could see. Herself was a woman who had to manage the funds and provide for her kid, and he probably really understood this vision that the house's were in processing that
increase, I'm sorry and in that price increase, but she was torn because he had to run her store. So I do think that he must have been a really interesting woman he had to deal with a lot of complicated subject and really she stands in for all of these immigrant women who were raising children, but they were also been people, whether they were running their own chapter or simply managing a family household meant that you had to be business minded because a lot of these women in order to afford the rent for the apartments needed to act as many Lamb Ladys in the sense that they found borders, who would rent a space within the apartment and pay the housewife as Kind of dough stubbornly ambrady of the apartment, so everyone took on borders and able to make rent search. The housewife were not only taking care of the borders were taking care of their children, and then will be less gardeners. On top of that is taking care of store, and then she a kind of deal with this political protest is she's kind of my
here I'll innocent is thinking about someone who is able to deal with a lot of stress that such an amazing story. Could be a whole episode of ours on her own. the story. The economy- and I we don't know too much about this, but we always like to find out what we can about the descendants and. I'm gonna be less gardens of his daughter air. Her name is Danny and you got married and he and her husband and undisturbed provide ran a restaurant for many years. On the lower east side they had several children, one of whom was a daughter named blossom and blossom grew up to become a lawyer, and he worked for government and in the fifties and sixty so it's kind of amazing to think like a strong woman in nineteen hundred as a housewife and may be running a store, but I within who generate them.
A lawyer- and I agreed that- tells the story of american opportunity, and would american education can do love it love it Why do I love it? I get so excited about their stories. Those are the kind of fisheries the Tracy and I both just really glum and you were doing research. So I understand your enthusiasm completely. Yeah and you get any kind of funding in some ways that coercive. What's my favorite, the story of my favorite stories are the ones that we find it but we have not yet been able to interpret because seven thousand people learn that ninety five in order, but we can't how all of their story is right. Careful decision processes made about which storytelling
time we want to make sure were representing different immigrant ways and different kind of stories emerged. We want to be able to tell stories that represent the range of occupation. Zena offered two considerations: go into selecting a family apartments you interpret, but we came across recently and newspaper article four nineteen ten that describes a baker who lived it when you have an orchard who was so distraught over his unemployment and that he he jumps out the window and committed suicide note. That story would be a really hard story to tell for a number of reasons, but I think it's an important story because speaks to the levels of Strasbourg. These immigrants endured and, of course, that the headline of that story was way fails to stop husband veto jumped back because the wife had come in and try to stop him from. He had like a knife and she tried people the knife away from him, and then he ran to the window and jumped out the window opens,
what that woman then had to deal with after moving her husband losing per Ino potential source of income. And then you know, even if he had to see that newspaper headline with her, she was the one that prevent prevented him from from the suicide guph that is why we need those sort of cover. I'm sure, like that. You have that combination of this cool, but also really tragic, but also really cool, but also really tragic right in vain. I mean it. We also try to as much as possible link our stories to contemporary issues, though the bout easy family came to American in eighteen, twenty two Adolfo came in nineteen, twenty three worked as a carpenter and then he sent for his life Rosaria and she comes over, but yeah there's no documentation for her, because at the time he sent for her, the laws have been passed. The national origins,
I am sorry that the Dublin Red ACT makes it very difficult for Italians to get em, but yet we know she gets here, even though there is no record for her at our silent. We know she gets here because they have children in eighteen, twenty, eight years later and so
I'm sorry. I we can tell us in an undocumented immigrants and those everything's gonna tell that story be in the home of the bout, the easiest and then have visitors kind of bring up there. I'm questions about the topic today, so we don't want to preserve history, just the kind of locked away in a box or to think about our building as a kind of dollhouse, let's quaint and a nice to look at. Rather, we want. You know that the richness of the layers within our building to be paired with really intricate thought provoking store, is based on primary sources and told through engaging stories that really got visitors to make connections between their own lives and the stories and between past and present. That might be the answer to the next question. Verse gonna ask you, which is, since you run programmes of education,
like what is the most important take away for visitors for you like what is your priority and goal for your education into her programmes? I think a cup of all right. I mean, I think we wine fruit, the Mai. We want people to engage. We want people to be exposed to the richness of the detailed in history. We want people to hold primary forces in their hands and try to Anna I then, and to let them know that they too are historians right that, with the proper document, with a proper information with no knowing what other historians have set about general trends, we are able to interpret and analyze. History of history is not just on something historian should do something that we all can engage with. That's one thing I would think Another thing is to really think about the idea of may be applied history once we know the history. What do we do with it? And it's not up for the museum?
Now that you know the history, you should vote this way or do this thing Now you know the story know that there are many sides to a story, no, that further complicated and apply that way of thinking to everything that you engage with an inside the kind of teaching people to look at things from a variety of perspectives is, I think, another goal I mean you know another thing that we don't it's hard to describe, but our museum is very unique because, rather than have people walk around on their own, we have them take tourists with other third, there led by educators, and I think that one of the most that, in addition to the building its the educated, that are most valued asset at the museum, because our educators are the ones that bring the story to life, but our advocate further also the ones that help people forts connection.
to one another, so good scores are like a community. You all the sudden you have to like, be in a group with fourteen other strangers and you're going to learn history together and how often are adults put in positions where there, with other stranger, they're gonna learn together, and I think there's something really valuable about that. You can't really planet. I mean, I think, that's cut. That kind of spontaneity and excitement also is part of the tourist I get. One of the goals of our tourism to kind of things are Sal's as members of society and listen to each other with respect and learn and learn from each other and and or is that we all have in tracking eyes at each individual has a story which is kind of a nice mirror of really what was probably going on in the tenement building like that people. That did not know each other. Suddenly there, together figuring things out.
Absolutely right. We made it clear that the great thing we're not gonna make you move, ended in three hundred in point about with one another and we're not going to collect rent from you, but we're gonna give you the ability to like being a room with abundant stranger that maybe came from different parts of the world. Just like your people living the tenement would have been exposed to people of different quarters. That can only happen on the part of the really good point. hey progress listeners have you ever wanted to share a love story with someone, but you may be wanted to do it in a really unique in interesting way, or you were struggling to get the exact rate words in place. Will you not always have to worry about that? You can put it into a book, and that is where love book comes in love books customers express those sentiments that there hard to make their own unique thing, and each book is completely customizable. Most customers use them to list the reasons why they love someone, but you can you kinds of things
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What sort of ongoing research projects is the museum involved? And I know you are constantly researching the people that lived there and sort of those stories. But what else do you guys branch out into. oh yeah, so we ve been talking a lot about ninety seven orchard. But ninety seven orchard is only one venue anyway for them for the story about with how we now offer five locking tour Are we not only research, our building, that we refer to different sites in the neighborhood, and we tell an array of stories based on the built environment that the lower, if I'd so there's a way in which you can pay the lower. If I'd is our, is our playground and wildly interpreters, and so we have an end. I think one of the best ways to experience the museum to go.
building tour and then go on a walking tour so that you're able to kind of put those two things together, because even the people who lived in the tenements in one thousand, nine hundred or one thousand nine hundred and twenty or one thousand eight hundred and eighty none of those people would have spent their whole life and right, especially when the crowded you're gonna wanna, get outside your walking towards give us the opportunity to kind of trace the status of some of the people who might have lived in ninety five in order to see the civic society, thereby newspaper buildings or the synagogue for the churches of the schools, are the movie theater that they would have spent time in a loud and
one of the things about them already signs that you are not the only historic building. There are many historic buildings on the lower east side and you can get a sense of the street escape, and so you can kind of you the lower aside to imagine the task, but at the same time- and this really gonna build into our mission of connecting past present, we can tell stories of contemporary immigrant or in the neighborhood today and contemporary shopkeeper elsewhere in the neighborhood today. So it becomes a really dynamic experience when you're walking through the neighbourhood in you learn about the path that you're also observing the present. I never see the last them in another frontier of our research is that we are going to be interpreting
one two three or charge, which is the building on the museum owns on the corner of orchard and delinquency in its own, been serving in the shop and has been serving as a place for classrooms, where fifty thousand schoolchildren are able to learn. But we are now on doing research on the third floor about building and were resetting stories of people who live in that building post World WAR two years. So you know ninety seven orchard. We can only tell the story, the families who lived there before nineteen thirty five, because after nineteen thirty five no family with thereabout there were stored, but the story of family in the grand and migrant life takes that right at one free orchard enough or trying to do is extend our narrative to be able to tell the story as we move into in more areas.
at my recent decades were also able to diversify the story. Let me town now were able to tell the story of a family who survived the Holocaust and came here to start a new life were able to tell the story of puerto rican migrants and also the story of chinese immigrants who came after nineteen sixty five after this quota laws, and then I can twentieth were were taken away, and America again became much more welcoming place. You have a lot on your plate. I know I'm getting talking to your idea back you my dad about it so exciting, like I love the idea of seeing that the posting of workers directive a weapon where that's gonna go do you have any other, exciting future plans. Or does it that's plenty to talk about our athletes?
You know one other thing I wanted to talk about just to give a little bit like a little bit more credible, can angle and how people experience the newly in one of those at the New York today. Thirty, seven percent of the population is in agreement and if you include immigrants, Then you get closer to sixty percent. So we're really aware, as we know it what we do with our schoolchildren. Immigration is a story that is really important now, and we have a programme that were working on with school children where they tell us their immigrant story as well and were creating a website never to a tour of Oliver. Jack said the students come. They experienced the museum through the Torres. We then send educators back into the classroom. and we reveal how they learned about immigrant history through objects of the family and then transition into the students, sharing objects of trying to brainstorm objects, but tell their own family history
and fell. Kids come up at the most exciting and unusual things. Last year in a school in Brooklyn, one classroom had students, thumb, Albania is annoying and China and Russia in Poland and Bangladesh, Pakistan, and as well as students, where the descendants of irish Italian induce immigrants and they came up with an array of objects, including you know, ecuadorean sheep with all that was used to coffee together from that of the girl. Father had done a polish girl brought in an Easter basket that her, but she had brought over.
I think as loud and a teacher brought a tea cup that his grandmother had brought over from ITALY. People brought in market people brought him picture. Someone bought an airplane tickets because that immigration story was so recent, but that ticket told their story. People also brought in recipes recipes for sweet potato pie from North Carolina include the migration story. People brought in a prayer, mouth flow, muslim prayer mats that worry that are used for prayer five times a day, and the boy said that, when they use that they can sometimes now the grandparents that have used it before coming from Bangladesh, really like tat title aspects in a ray of them and its fascinating, because you started
individual story is that the students have, but when you put them altogether, you kind of sea that no matter where people came from or what time period they arrived, that there's a lot of commonality, an immigrant experience, because a lot of it is dealing with adapting to America. Thinking about how to preserve traditions and king about how to become american answer, this project is really really fun, and so will be able to exhibit it on our website. My calling at your story our stories. I love the whole idea, because I It would, I think, it's important me as we're all making history all the time right and I feel like this project in it time consuming and it takes a lot of like you know Malta hens, and that nothing. The children have this time to develop Story and able to write about it to meet the curriculum these there even uploaded there take a photo of it and they kind of historian
Then we have an exhibit at the end where the students are able to exhibit their work and their parents come, and then their parents are able to see their story is part of an American for a coelom the Turks. This episode of stuff. You missed in history glasses, brought to you by Norton three sixty with lifelong, whether with sure online with your smartphone. Its super feels like ear person. Information is just right there in your hand, but that's not always the case, because, as soon as you hit submit your person, Information could start going other places and- Whenever you shop, bank or browse online, your personal invoking get out of your control, and that can we be vulnerable to cyber criminals. More threats demand more Protection, that's why Britain and lifelong are now part of one company, Norton, three sixty with
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we bring you a free program. Tenement hogs, Canada, Hug were able to take Why do they come up in the tournament during the day with our visitors and explore them in more detail? So we have tonight, for example, but we have people talking about immigrants, food ways. We have people talking about New York architecture. We have authorised talking about their new book, so this is the tenement toxin, what program absolutely free and we invite you to take us out all of you New Yorkers and for those of you who are the New York recordings of the arm of becoming talks are now on mine on our website. Can I come in It can be done and I think there has been a there were more than one about food because that's in my wheel, house, fish yeah. You know why we have we didn't finalize one for the future. We ve done wonders
with my favorite one would weaken everything you could look after and we looked at her and then from nineteen o one, and was we cook some the recipes from that as well? But there is one coming up the visa ban on June third and which we have a cup of its than newly translated from the? U S. It's the villa budgetary and cook book written in nineteen, thirty, eight on and the recipes are astounding, because its thing here is one of the using like so Larry ACT and she was using Andrew Swim ritual. her food and so we're gonna grass and we're going to discuss and explore the history with the woman who translated the buck. But then we also have a man to coin who's. The owner of dirt candy witches amazing. On vegetarian restaurant on the lorry five will be looking at the detection, food, the women who took it and the woman who write about it altogether past and present. I love it. We have worked with us
cover food episode, so I knew they will be interested in that and we have made a bare ain't Lee and her new documentary on Jennifer and her new documentary on I'm generals has taken unequal first set up another great food story. I think I have heard her speak about that she did a TED talk about it. Didn't she yeah he's great its excellent, it's so good. If your into again food at all, it's just fascinating on the history how that came to be so, I am sure that is going to be an awesome little. My brain just explode. Literally got so excited thinking about chicken so they're gonna be an awesome and delectable little bit of info. I'm sure- and I know that, You kind of thinking in these terms all the time Written interesting article that you wrote for having imposed last year about what a tenement museum that open in twenty sixty four would look like and how
If one is today's immigration, which is a great red, I recommend it to all of our listeners even marginally interested in this is a really good way to kind of look at it and contextual eyes. Like I said we are making history all the time every day any. This is such a delight. Thank you so much for sharing all of your information with us. You like it would you like that article? Oh, I love it and I know that museum website which we will linked to in our show notes, has no I am not exaggerating when I say a wealth of it mention you guys have so much. Occasional material there. There is a pod, the ear the people can listen to you. If they want to, Where can I find you online would have great ways to kind of contact the Tenement Museum in you. If you want that and kind of new iron town. On our website is
W W tenement that work and what, but you also you stay tuned for late. Twenty fifteen will be putting up a virtual, a poor and that your story, our stories, exhibit, will be on line as well to keep checking back, but our website. I have a great place to find information and I think the best way to experience that sentiment is the comes it up. If you want to contact me, my email is a pollen. at tenement that work and we're interested in your immigration and migration story that allow or not, is collecting the stories of the students. We want to hear your stories to so you can be in if you have a story, you'd like to contribute taken in on you not as LA fantastic again. Thank you so much for spending
with us. Today- and I, like, I said, you're a busy woman- you know like going on, so I really appreciate it now. I think I was out of the office when he did this and reveal yeah. I got to listen to it with totally fresh ears. Ass though I were upon podcast listener, and I really really enjoyed it and I hope everyone else did also. And these amazing she just such a wealth of information, and because history is her background, like you can just hear the passion of of sort of all of their projects when she speaks, I really had it I'm talking to her new. I have some listener meal. This is from our listener amber and it is about our LEO Bake. Lend episode recently, I was listening to your podcast about the Father of plastics, fascinating fellow. I think I would have liked, You have met him me too, and finally, I had something or your time she's early,
in the emails mentioned she had yet to find the perfecting to write to us about. Seven enclosed a picture of something which I inherited my great grandmothers nineteenth. If these big light radio, its fully restored and imperfect working order? the gentleman who did the restoration said it was quite rare to find a colored peace and to be very careful when cleaning it. When I first received I was rather nonplussed, but now it is one of my most cherished possessions having an understanding of the historical importance and having it in working order has in my mind, from an ugly pink radio to an amazing did of technology that cannot be replaced. I hope this reaches you. Well, that's such a cool. She some as this picture and it's a lovely little kind of pale pink rate It is very exactly what you think of anything of nineteen. Fifty styling, I'm so sort of blown away that its working and she's had it. You know, dad and that its it's not just the perfectly preserve peace of history, but a perfectly pray and working piece of history. I love it
I would like to write to us in sheer you're historical connections, either through your magical, big lights collection. Anything else. You'd like to talk about. You can do that at history broadcast at Helstone Work start com. You can also find us. On twitter at Mister History, at Facebook, dot, com, Slash missed in history at missed in history that we are also missed in history that missed in history. We are also Mr History, that spreadshirt dot com. If you would like purchase your very own, missed in history goodies, if you want to do some additional investigating about the tenement museum. You can find them by beginning mentioning the ended the interview, but we'll do it again at the leader. w dot. Tenement start work on Twitter at Tenement Museum. If you would like to do Little bit of research about related topics even go to our parents say how it works. the word landlords in the search bar, and you will get an article landlords,
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