Thursday, June 3, 2010

Visitor of the Week: Jasmine Tanasy

Over the summer, look out for this new feature - Visitor of the Week! Each week we'll profile a different person who's been to the Tenement Museum. If you're coming to visit and would like to be profiled on the blog, send us as email.

Meet Jasmine Tanasy, who visited the week of May 24. Jasmine, a New Jersey resident who is in branding, came to New York for school but also to learn about some of her ancestors.

Jasmine, like many of our visitors, has immigrant and tenement ties. Half of her mother’s side of the family came through New York City and eventually settled in Brooklyn. On her father’s side, her grandfather and his father immigrated from Ireland and came to live in Jersey City.

“I remember my grandfather telling stories of how he and his father lived in one room apartments, which is very similar to tenement living,” recalled Jasmine.

We were very pleased to find out that Jasmine has done all the tours the Tenement Museum has to offer. After she took her first tour, she was so intrigued that she felt compelled to come back and do them all.

“I’ve been recommending it like crazy!” she said.

Her favorite was the Getting By tour featuring the Gumpertz and Baldizzi families. When asked what was most resonant about the tour, Jasmine mentioned two parts.

“With the Gumpertz family, it was really great to see the story come to the present,” Jasmine explained, referring to the way family members helped piece together the story of their ancestors. She was also moved by the connection between the Gumpertz' 19th century tragedy (Mr. Gumpertz' disappearance) and their 21st century one (Frank Riesman, a Gumpertz descendant, was killed in the World Trade Center attacks).

Jasmine also found that listening to the daughter of the Baldizzi family reminisce on tape about her time at 97 Orchard Street was very poignant.

“To hear Josephine talk was one of the best pieces of the tour,” Jasmine said.

-posted by Devin

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