Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 4 NYC--Tenament Museum

Today we went to the Tenament Museum. This is where most of the immigrants first lived. Many of the apartments have been renovated back to what they would have looked like in the day the immigrants were living there. You could choose a tour to take and it was a guided tour. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside the museum. It is amazing the squallor that these people lived in, with trash, dead animals, and waste dumped in the streets.

The apartments were minute. They were build long and skinny...with a window in the parlor, then a door to the kitchen which led to the door to the bedroom. The bedroom barely had room for a double bed and hardly any room to move around in there. There were sometimes 10 people living in one apartment. There were 12 of use in their little kitchen and there was absolutely no room to move. Later on in the years of tenament living, there were windows placed inside the house between the parlor and kitchen to let the light into the kitchen and this is the way it was when we were in the apartment. Even with this window and a VERY small lamp in the outside hallway, it was dark dark dark in the kitchen.
I really loved learning about this part of our history. This is a part of NYC I will visit again, and take a different tour. The tour we took was the Irish tour.

Then we headed down the street to Little Italy, but on the way we came across a Fire Station. It was a beautiful building and painted and decorated beautifully. There were 6 or 7 plaques posted outside of firemen lost, and five of them were September 11 losses. As I was taking pictures of these plaques, Ladder 55 came down the street back from their dispatch. 9/11 still leaves me feeling a little mad, but when I see firemen, anywhere really, but especially here in New York City, a feeling of awe and wonder comes over me. These are the men that went up into the towers as thousands upon thousands of people were coming down. It leaves me speechless and pretty close to tears. I wonder if I could have done the same thing if it had been me expected to go up to do my job?

As the engine came down the street, they stopped and let out several firemen. These men made sure it was safe for the fire truck to back into the station. If I had been my brother Josh, I would have gone up and shook this man's hand and said thank you. I wish I had done it.

It's amazing how many people you see taking pictures of the fire trucks here. There were at least two others taking pictures of this truck as it came back to the station. There was one time as we were standing in line downtown that several fire trucks went by. A man behind us, a man from another country based on their speech, kept running out to the street to take pictures as the trucks drove by. I didn't do that, and I even thought to myself, my goodness, what a tourist! But when we witnessed this truck, I couldn't do anything EXCEPT take the pictures and wish I was brave enough to thank them for their bravery
So anyway, we ended up finally in Little Italy. We at at La Mela, which was mediocre food. Neither of us cared for it.

After we got back to our hotel that day we were hot and tired and thought a drink would be nice. Most of NYC is a little more than here in Junction, sometimes just a few dollars, sometimes more than that. BUT this was nuts...we sat down at the Blue Bar, our hotel bar, and the waiter told me that the Blueberry lemonade was good. We thought, oooh, that sounds refreshing. After it was delivered and I was drinking it, Jery looked in the menu...that drink was $18 flippin' dollars! Okay, so Jery and I tend to spend too much money when we take trips, but I can guarantee you that I would have NOT ordered that drink if I had paid any attention to how much! Insane! This was the most expensive thing we got in NYC I think, for what we got!!!
That night we went to see Hairspray, The Musical. It was soooo totally awesome! I loved EVERY second of it. Being the doofus that I am, I even teared up at the end. It just amazes me that people can get up there and act and sing and do such an amazing job. I just know they are feeling so good at the end when it all goes off without a hitch...I just couldn't do anything but clap and cry!!! I didn't tell Jery I cried, not that he would have done anything except understand. But crying in Hairspray....come on now!!!
We had to leave the next morning. We were ready to be home. It was a fabulous trip. We missed our kids terribly, but really enjoyed our time together too.

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