Monday, November 24, 2008
Cast in shadow by the Second Avenue elevated train, Allen Street and its tenements were awash with prostitution. So pervasive was the commercial sex trade that it caused one observer in 1890 to protest, “[In] broad daylight you can see them [prostitutes] at their windows and calling to passersby at night. They are so vulgar in front of their houses that any respectable person cannot pass without being insulted by them.”
For some young immigrant women, prostitution offered a more remunerative alternative to difficult wage labor. Where pieceworkers in a garment factory earned $8 or $9 dollars a week, some prostitutes made as much as $30. Married and unmarried working-class and poor immigrant women were also vulnerable to economic hardship, and some sought occasional work as prostitutes.
More about prostitution in 19th Century New York:
City of Eros
The Murder of Helen Jewett
Friday, November 14, 2008
Excitingly, Professor Dolan’s talk was also captured for CPAN’s Book TV, so keep your eyes open for an airing.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Filmmaker Almudena Carracedo has won an Emmy for Made in L.A., a documentary that shadows three women fighting for better working conditions in
Tenement Talks hosted Almudena earlier this year for a screening of the film, which mirrors themes in the Museum’s Piecing It Together tour. Not only does this documentary open your eyes to the workplace discrimination taking place in our own country, Made in L.A. also provides a unique window into the lives of three very different women, who ultimately take very different paths.
We can’t help but note that the
Lupe sees pictures of the immigrants who came to
Both Lupe and Almudena understood the fundamental idea behind the
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So we’re very saddened to hear of the death of Danny Cassidy, author of How the Irish Invented Slang, earlier this week. Danny came to do a talk with us last March, along with Peter Quinn and Mick Moloney, and shared his wit and wisdom on the Irish language and American culture. We know even in his absence that his scholarship will continue to influence future historians, linguists, writers, and every day folk like us.
Two of his friends share their memories:
The Museum's website also features podcasts of Danny Cassidy talking about the Irish roots of "dude" and "the yellow kid":
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
We believe that history is a valuable resource for understanding contemporary issues. Historical perspective can shed new light on what's going on in our world today. In our programming, we aim to talk about the present as well as the past.
In this blog you'll find lots of historical information about New York, the Lower East Side, and 97 Orchard Street. We'll post about new research we've done on families who lived in our building, photographs of objects we've collected, and reviews of new history books we've read. We'll also keep you updated on contemporary immigrant issues, as they relate to the themes and stories that come up on our tours. And we'll provide updates on the wonderful Tenement Talks that we host weekly in our bookshop.
I hope you'll hang in there as we get a feel for this blogging thing, and I hope you'll email us with suggestions or questions for what you'd like to see or read about.