Local Flavor Swap!

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I am so super excited to be a part of another Chaotic Goddess Swap!  This one is all about local flavors!  Now that I live in Oregon and this is the state I grew up in, I can’t wait to share all the amazing goodies that exist here!

So if you want to participate, check out http://cgswaps.blogspot.com.

This is a great way to get involved with swaps!  They are super fun and you meet awesome people this way!!

Important Dates to Remember

  • Sign-Ups Close on August 9th, 2013
  • Partners Assigned on August 10th, 2013
  • Packages Ship between August 23rd and August 24th, 2013
  • Swap Show-Off Post/Linky goes life on August 27th!

A Visit to the Tenement Museum

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One of my goals living in New York has been to do the New York activities. Well it’s kind of taken me leaving to get to some of them. One of the ones that has been high up on my list has been to go to the Tenement Museum. The concept behind the Tenement Museum is really cool, in the late 80’s, two women wanted to create a museum to the immigrant experience that centered around the Lower East Side starting in the 1800’s (as early as 1830s & 40s). They fell upon 97 Orchard Street. 97 Orchard Street had been a tenement house, in fact one of the earlier built ones, in the 1860’s but in the 1940’s when housing laws were getting more strict, the owner couldn’t afford to fireproof the building and so just sealed the upper floors shut. It stayed that way for forty some years and now has been made into a museum.

For a great book about the building, there is a book called 97 Orchard that tells the story through the edible history of the family-a great book that I completely recommend. The book talks about the families from different countries and religions based on the foods that they ate but also gave a good description of life in the tenement.

My roommate and I went on a tour entitled Sweatshop Workers. The tour centered around two Jewish families from the turn of the 20th century, the Levin’s and the Rogarshevsky’s that both lived in the building. The Levin’s lived in the building and the husband also ran a sweatshop in his front room and main room, employing three other people. The Levins ultimately moved to Williamsburg where Mr. Levin ended up working in the garment industry outside of the home. We got to see a sweet picture of his three daughters at the wedding of one of their grandchildren in the 70’s.

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The front room of the Levin’s house where dresses were put together.

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The Levin’s main room with the stove.

The other family’s apartment that we saw were the Rogarshevskys. They had the same size apartment but lived in the tenement slightly later than the Levins. They also had six children living there. I cannot even imagine how eight people lived in three rooms. The older two girls worked in a factory as did the father. The father was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1916 and passed way in 1918. Mrs. Rogarshevsky was actually quite brilliant and used her skill as a master housekeeper to become the superintendent of the building and was actually permitted to live there long after everyone else had been evicted.

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A Tenement Apartment that had not been replicated.

The entire neighborhood has existed as somewhat of an entry point for new Americans and the streets have even represented that.

Allen Street, Avenue of the Immigrants

There are still remnants of the large Jewish community that remained throughout the Lower East Side and we walked near some of them but ultimately were curtailed by the massive rainstorms.

A Synagogue Economy Candy

97 Orchard Street “97 Orchard Street-built in 1863-64 by Lucas Glockner, a German-born tailor, 97 Orchard Street is typical of the earliest form of tenement house constructed in New York. For millions of immigrants from scores of nations, this tenement and others like it was a place of first settlement in America. We salute them as our urban pioneers on the municipal frontier.

This is the first tenement to be individually listed on the National Register of Historical Places by the United States Department of the Interior. September, 1992.”

My family’s immigration story is a bit different, my mother’s family immigrated directly prior to and following WWII and lived in Upstate New York, Lockport, near Buffalo before moving to California. I’m not sure if my father’s family lived in the Lower East Side at all but my dad’s grandfather definitely came in the right time period-landing at Ellis Island in 1906. My dad’s mother’s family came earlier and unfortunately I haven’t been able to discover much about her family although I would really love to.

It’s interesting to think how our family histories play such an important part in where we end up today and I wish I knew more about certain pieces of my family history. Regardless, the Tenement Museum offers quality tours and quality historical documentation on a huge piece of the American Immigration experience.

Bumming around Brooklyn

So last weekend my roommate, Russell, and I decided to bum around Brooklyn.  The day was beautiful and we just wanted to take advantage of the amazing weather.  We also had a few things we wanted to do.  We started by walking to BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music to catch a showing of 42-the Jackie Robinson movie.

BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music

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This movie was especially poignant for me as the Dodgers, especially the Brooklyn Dodgers have a special meaning in my life.  I may have already written about this but my dad was born in Brooklyn and legend tells a few stories about the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The first being that my grandparents had actually broken up at one point and my grandmother had a friend give my grandfather a ticket to the Dodger game and she “happened” to be there.  Second is that my family lasted one season after the Dodgers left Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles.

The movie did not disappoint!  It was a wonderful story of how Jackie Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball and Branch Rickey, the manager who got him there.  I loved seeing different parts of Brooklyn and loved thinking that we were on Flatbush Ave-only a few short miles away from where the Dodgers used to play at Ebbets Field!

Even the walk was beautiful:

Texas Bluebells and Tulips

Texas Bluebells and Tulips

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Russell in front of Barclay's Center

Russell in front of Barclay’s Center

We walked back up to Prospect Heights after that and ended up getting some Mexical for dinner–hard to find good stuff in NYC but this wasn’t bad:

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We also just played around with the camera:

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There was another reason I wanted to end up in Prospect Heights  I had read about an Ice Cream place called Ample Hill Creamery.  And let me tell you, the line was out the door and around the corner!

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It took us about 45 minutes just to get into the store and then the line wound around the restaurant.  I felt like I was at a ride at Disneyland.  It didn’t hurt that there was tons of cool murals and stuff on the walls!

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Some really interesting stuff about the owner:

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And we finally got the front and by goodness, the ice cream did not disappoint!

I had Salted Crack Caramel: salted caramel ice cream with pieces of Deb’s famous crack cookies (saltines, butter, sugar, chocolate) and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake: The smoothest, creamiest vanilla ice cream with gobs of St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Pieces.

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Russell had Bananmom: a twist on banana pudding: organic bananas, Saigon cinnamon and vanilla wafers and Sweet As Honey: homemade honey comb candy in a sweet cream ice cream.

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At the end of the day, thanks to my handy dandy UP by Jawbone bracelet, we had walked nearly 7 miles.  A very good chill day in Brooklyn!