Friday, February 26, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: The Fate of Schneider's

Curatorial Director Dave answers your questions. Read yesterday's post first.

What happened to Schneider’s Saloon after Caroline Schneider died and John Schneider moved out of 97 Orchard Street in 1886?

A year after his wife Caroline died from tuberculosis, John Schneider moved across the street to 98 Orchard. His saloon, a business that had operated in one of the basement storefronts at 97 Orchard Street since 1864, appears to have been taken over by Austrian-born Henry Infeld. According to the 1880 Census, Henry Infeld, then 21 years old, lived with his parents at 198 East Broadway and worked as a “segar dealer.”

When John Schneider moved to 98 Orchard Street in 1886, he also appears to have opened another saloon in one of the building’s storefronts. Why would Schneider open another saloon directly across the street? Museum researchers are not yet certain, but it is possible that Schneider might have had a falling out with 97 Orchard Street’s new owner, William Morris, a German immigrant, who bought the building from Lucas Glockner in 1886 for $29,000.

Schneider appears to have operated a saloon at 98 Orchard Street until 1890. He died two years later from tuberculosis at the public hospital on Randall’s Island.

Monday, more on the other businesses that operated at 97 Orchard Street during the same period.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: Schneider’s Saloon & LES Drinking Life

Curatorial Director Dave answers your questions.

When did John Schneider’s Saloon operate at 97 Orchard Street? When did the saloon close?

Bavarian-born John Schneider operated a lager bier saloon in one of 97 Orchard's basement storefronts between 1864 and 1886.

Schneider would not have been alone in his business. In 1865, a sanitary inspector named Dr. J.T. Kennedy visited the neighborhood on behalf of the Citizen’s Association Council on Public Health and Hygiene and counted a total of 526 drinking establishments in the 10th ward alone.

Seven years later in 1872, the police department counted a total of 726 drinking establishments in the 10th police district, whose boundaries were roughly coterminous with the 10th ward.

In 1882, the block of Orchard Street between Delancey and Broome was occupied for a total of four separate German lager beer saloons, including Schneider’s: Mr. John Kneher operated a saloon at 98 Orchard Street; Mr. Gustav Reichenbach operated a saloon at 94 Orchard Street; and Mr. Dederick Speh operated a saloon at 111 Orchard Street.

The saloonkeeper’s wife played an integral role in the operation of such establishments, from preparing the free lunch in the morning to greeting customers during the afternoons and evenings. So when John’s wife Caroline died from tuberculosis on June 8, 1885, it had a devastating effect on the business. It's likely that Caroline’s passing caused John to close the saloon about a year later. Records indicate that he and his only child, Harry, moved across the street to 98 Orchard.

John and Harry appear to have lived at 98 Orchard Street until 1892, when they moved several blocks away to 175 Ludlow Street. During this time, John was also suffering from tuberculosis. He died from the disease on May 12, 1892 at the Randall’s Island Adult Hospital, a public institution administered by the city of New York.

On June 18th, 1892, guardianship over 14-year-old Harry Schneider was officially given to his uncle, George Schneider, also a local saloonkeeper, who at the time was living at 105 Ludlow Street.

Stop by tomorrow to read more about the saloon. Schneider's business will be recreated in the "Minding the Store" exhibit in 97 Orchard Street's basement, slated to open in early 2011.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recent Press

A great look into the Museum from WCBS Morning News...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tenement Talks on Channel Thirteen

One of our Tenement Talks was recently posted to Thirteen FORUM, the online education arm of Channel Thirteen. The talk was with Jennifer Fronc, author of New York Undercover: Private Surveillance in the Progressive Era. The book details the way that Progressive-era reformers used private citizens (journalists, social workers) to spy on gangs, brothel workers, or radical political groups. Interestingly, she ties this era to the present day, suggesting that modern federal surveillance policy has its roots in the private investigations of the late 19th century.

Click here to watch the talk on Forum's website.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More from around the web

Immigration reporter Nina Bernstein on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show, discussing deaths in immigrant detention centers.

The Museum of the American Gangster has opened on St. Mark’s! Visit during the soft launch in March and receive $10 admission.

The students at Cooperstown Graduate Program continue their interesting discussion on immigration.

Corner of Houston and Ludlow in the 1970s, where the gym and Duane Reade are now.

See some other old pics of the corner, back when it housed Bunnies, a kids' store.
[Bowery Boogie]

The Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago has genealogy classes, poetry readings, and a pub.
[Irish American Heritage Center]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: Empire City

The imagination has a powerful effect on the shape of the built environment. The nineteenth-century planners described in David Scobey’s book Empire City: The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape imagined Victorian New York as a symbol of progress towards the nation’s imperial destiny and shaped the built environment to fulfill this particular vision.

New York had emerged as the financial capital of the United States by the middle of the nineteenth century. From 1845 to 1875, the population of New York grew from 370,000 to more than one million people. Scobey writes that “New York seemed swept up in changes of almost seismic proportions.” Victorian New Yorkers viewed these urban transformations as symbols of the city’s and the nation’s progress.

Major building projects from this time, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, reflect the focus on commerce and civilization. John Roebling, who engineered the great bridge, described his design as a symbol of New York’s commercial dominance. Elite planners also believed that the built environment could educate and socialize the population of the young American democracy. Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park as a site of education and leisure where the lower classes could learn the “values of civilized life” from upper classes, although in reality the park and the city were often segregated by class.

Although the Victorian planners did not always realize their ambitious goals, they did transform the built environment of New York, creating lasting monuments to American idealism.

(Bottom photo: New York: Ditson, C. H., 1883. Courtesy Library of Congress)

- Posted by Penny King

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

News from around the web

“We are more than just objects and artifacts. We’re the sum of our stories. Our museum is about making the walls talk.”
[The National Public Housing Museum’s founder on Lemons to Llamas blog]

“When asked that question - What are you? - Americans typically answer with their heritage. Why is that?”

“Few who pine for the pushcart days have noted that change is nothing new for the Lower East Side.”
[TM Education Associate Sarah Litvin for The Jewish Week]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: Exhibit Design

How did the Museum design the privy shed that now appears in the reconstructed rear yard of 97 Orchard Street?

While the physical composition of 97 Orchard Street’s privies cannot be known with any certainty, archaeological research, reformers’ accounts, and available photos of similar facilities help paint a picture of their appearance. Based upon extant photographs taken of Lower East Side tenement rear yards during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 97 Orchard Street’s privy probably contained four compartments positioned in a row, roughly 2 feet 6 inches wide by 3 feet 9 inches deep, divided by wooden partitions. Indeed, the vault below measures approximately 9 feet long, suggesting that four stalls was the maximum number that could feasibly be sited over the sewer-connected privy.

Each compartment likely had door with a small ventilation hole and a possibly a lock. The floors, seats, and casing between the floors and seats in each compartment were also probably made of wood. While the typical length and width of tenement privy sheds were recorded by the reformers who wrote The Tenement House Problem, they failed to note the height of these structures.

In photos taken of tenement rear yards by the Tenement House Department between 1902 and 1904, the heights of privy sheds appear to have ranged between 6 and 8 feet. In many cases, the roof of the privy shed reached as high as the woodplank fence surrounding the yard, and both were often in line with the tops of the ground floor, rear facade windows of the tenement which they serviced.

In addition, these sheds exhibited ether peaked and flat roofs. Constructed using knotty pine, wooden privy sheds were truly vernacular structures whose size and shape was dictated both by the needs of the building owner and the prior experience of the carpenter who built them.

Below this structure, underground, sits a narrow, rectangular, mortared brick vault, 12 feet long and 4 1/2 feet wide, with some water at the bottom of the 9 foot long vault interior. Each compartment of the privy possibly had a funnel connecting the seat with the vault below, allowing waste to fall into the water-filled vault.

In addition, the brick vault had a drain on the east end, which connected to the sewer system. The drain might have been stopped with an iron cylindrical hollow plug, about 1 foot in height, and a bar and rod used to lift it out of the drain. There also may have been a pipe that was connected to the vault, which provided water from the Croton Aqueduct to periodically flush out the school sink privies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: Water, water everywhere

During the late 19th century, did 97 Orchard Street’s water come from the Croton Reservoir on 42nd Street or the Croton Aqueduct in upstate New York?

By means of a hydrant in the rear yard, 97 Orchard Street also had access to fresh, clean water from upstate New York via the Croton Aqueduct. Completed in 1842, the Aqueduct for the first time delivered pure, uncontaminated water to the crowded tenement districts of Lower Manhattan—neighborhoods that had repeatedly been ravaged by water-borne cholera and yellow fever epidemics during the first half of the 19th century. Once the water arrived on Manhattan, it was held in a distributing reservoir at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue and, from there, distributed to buildings throughout New York City.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Behind the Scenes : Wallpaper Removal

Below are some photographs of wallpaper conservator Reba Fishman Snyder working on the historic wallpaper that was found behind the sheet rock in the basement level of 97 Orchard Street. We are conducting a lot of new research in this part of the building and know very little about the wallpaper found here. Reba will be taking some wallpaper samples back to her lab for cleaning (so we can see the patterns/ designs better), and also to determine if any makers marks remain on the edges of the paper (also called the selvage) - this may help us date the wallpaper. 

We are also interested in finding out how many layers of wallpaper were used in this part of the building. On the upper floors of the building, Reba has found upwards of 22 layers applied one over the other. After conducting her research and analysis, the papers will be added to the museum's permanent collection which currently includes over 300 wallpaper samples from the building. 
Learn more about the wallpaper research conducted on the upper floors of the building here.
- posted by Derya

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Come work for us

The President’s Office is pleased to announce the following employment opportunity:

The President of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum seeks an Executive Assistant to support all the responsibilities of the office of the President and to represent the President to the Museum’s internal and external audiences.

The Executive Assistant supports the President in board relations and development, fundraising, collaboration with other organizations, and special projects.

The Executive Assistant manages the President’s calendar and tasks; prepares the documents for the quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees and its Committees; takes minutes at the Board and Committee meetings; schedules appointments for Board members, staff, and prospective donors; and supports the Museum’s Executive Vice President.

The Assistant also conducts weekly tours of the Museum’s l9th century tenement.

Applicants must be exceedingly well organized, personable, outgoing, persistent, persuasive, and diplomatic with excellent computer, writing, and social skills. Salary in the high 30s/good benefits.

Please email cover letter and resume. Position will be open until filled. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is an equal-opportunity employer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An inside peek at exhibit design

If you've walked down Allen Street recently or had the good fortune to visit the Museum in the last month, you may have seen the newly recreated rear yard exhibit. Now that the laundry is firmly in place, it's looking better than ever.

Our education assistant Katie recently put together a simulation for the rear yard that gives visitors the chance to feel what it was like to carry a bucket of water up from the water source in the rear yard to their apartment inside the building. We strive for historical accuracy here at the Tenement Museum, so Katie went to work:

According to our friends at Old Sturbridge Village, a historic bucket would weigh between three and five pounds and one gallon of water weighs approximately 8.5 pounds. Assuming an average healthy female living on the fourth floor (Bridget Moore) climbing close to 60 stairs from the rear yard to her apartment would carry as much water as possible to avoid a second trip while carrying as little as possible to avoid injury, I (with the help of Derya and Pam) calculated she would at minimum attempt to carry 2 gallons.

The total weight of our simulation bucket should then be 17 pounds for water and approximately 4 pounds for the bucket itself. I have filled the non-historic bucket with an estimated 20-25 pounds of gravel to allow visitors to feel the weight of the buckets of water our early residents would have been hauling up the stairs inside our beloved tenement.

All in the name of your education, dear reader!

- posted by Kate

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Little History of 75 Essex Street

Hello all! It’s Allison Siegel, Tenement Museum educator. In the upcoming months I’ll be writing some posts for the blog on neighborhood history stuff. First up is a mini neighborhood landmark!

Not too far from our lady of Orchard Street is another relic of a bygone era. At the corner of Essex and Broome Streets stands 75 Essex Street (left), once home to the Eastern Dispensary.

A little background on dispensaries is required, so please allow me to tell you about the Eastern Dispensary’s sister, the Northern Dispensary in Greenwich Village (right). You may know it as the place where that somewhat famous writer, Edgar Allen Poe, once stayed as a patient. Founded in 1829, the Northern Dispensary is the only building in New York City with one side on two streets – Christopher and Grove Streets – and two sides on one street – Waverly Place.

Both the Eastern and Northern Dispensaries are freestanding buildings, which are pretty rare in our fine city of party walls and few alleyways.

But back to the Lower East Side:

The Eastern Dispensary (also known, by the late 19th century, as the Good Samaritan Dispensary) opened in 1832 and was built to provide the sick and poor with a place to receive aide and medicine. Helen Campbell, a 19th century missionary, described its patients in her 1898 book Darkness and Light; or, Lights and Shadows of New York Life:

Weary mothers with sick and wailing babies in their arms; women with bandaged heads and men with arms in slings; children sent by sick fathers and mothers at home for needed medicine. On most is the unmistakable look that tells of patient suffering and half-starved lives. . . .

Other publications focused on promoting the Dispensary’s success in aiding New York’s impoverished:

The dispensary is open daily, and furnishes gratuitous medical and surgical aid to the destitute sick of the eastern portion of the city. It also gives special attention to vaccination, which is freely performed upon all who apply for it, without respect to their station or pecuniary circumstances. Those able to pay for this service are invited to, and it is stated, generally do contribute to the funds of the institution.

Since its opening, it has aided seven hundred and sixty-four thousand persons, at an average cost, of fifteen cents each. The number treated the past year was twenty-six thousand two hundred and eighty-six…

The institution was visited June 4th [1870], and its operations observed.... The medical staff consists of a house physician and full boards of visiting and attending physicians and surgeons, the latter serving without pay. It is a well ordered and finely managed medical charity, worthy the gifts of the benevolent and the aid it receives from the State. (The 1870 Annual Report of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities of the City of New York State Page 170)

Fifteen cents! Somebody get Obama on the phone. Actually, there are still many clinics around the city providing pay-as-you’re-able health care – the Community Healthcare Network's downtown health center on Essex has been serving the Lower East Side since 1971. It’s certainly the legacy of the 19th century dispensaries.

But the Dispensary provided more than just doctor care. Have any of you been on our Moore family tour? If so, you already know about the 19th-century contaminated milk epidemic and its fatal effects on infants. One of the city’s “milk laboratories,” which provided sanitary milk for infants, was located at 75 Essex Street. Read yesterday’s post for more on that.

The Good Samaritan Dispensary closed in 1955. The New York City Register shows that on April 25, 1977, the City foreclosed on 75 Essex Street due to unpaid taxes. Cue the Eisner Brothers!

Shalom Eisner grew up in Williamsburg and rented the first floor space of 75 Essex Street in 1977. It was there that he opened the Eisner Brothers Store. They sell everything! Here’s a blurb from their website:
Our tremendous selection includes tee shirts, sweat-shirts, golf shirts, jackets, caps and hats… [we’re] the haven for uniformed officers; they know they can count on us for all their wardrobe needs.
Professional sports buffs and amateur wannabes: you won't find a better array of boxing equipment and licensed sports products than this.
Our collection of "I Love New York" items is beyond compare: creative, original and stimulating.

By 1985, Shalom Eisner and his family purchased the entire building. They’ve been in business for over thirty years. In this internet age, they’ve also been pretty successful with online sales.

Last year, 75 Essex Street was placed on the market for a cool $18 million. I had to know why, so I called the store and spoke with Shalom. He cited the recession as the reason why he decided to try to sell. (May I just add: People. Eisner Brothers is a neighborhood institution. GO SHOP THERE!)

While gushing over the 20 ft ceilings on every floor and the 14 ft-high ceiling in the basement, Shalom told me it’s his dream that if he sells the building “it will be left as is on the outside and become a single-family home for a famous person… Someone like Madonna. She could have her own Lower East Side home.”

He emphasized that whoever (in case Madonna isn’t interested) purchases 75 Essex Street will have to leave the outside as is (“that will be set forth in the contract”). So, not to fear, Lower East Siders and friends of preservation – while the Eastern Dispensary and its patients are long gone and Shalom and his brothers are on their way out, I can say with certainty that although Shalom believes there’s “potential for a swimming pool in the rear yard,” 75 Essex Street is going to stand strong for another 180 years.

Peace and Blessings until next time,

- Allison B. Siegel

Allison is an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, self-proclaimed (and some other folks think so, too) 19th/20th century local historian and preservationist-in-training.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Modified Milk" and Lower East Side Dispensaries

When was the technology necessary to pasteurize milk made available in New York City?

Although New York City did not make pasteurizing milk mandatory until 1912, city residents had access to milk made safe by the technology almost two decades earlier. The doctor Henry Koplik's research in bacteriology led him to open a milk dispensary on the Lower East Side in 1889, probably the first in the nation. Philanthropist Nathan Strauss founded an early infant milk depot in 1893 on the East Third Street Pier. In response to high demand, subsequent depots were opened, including those in Tompkins Square Park and Seward Park on the Lower East Side.

According to a December 8, 1901 New York Times article (pdf), "a milk laboratory may be likened to a pharmacy where a supply of the finest drugs obtainable is kept on hand, to be combined in any variety or quantity as the prescriptions of physicians may demand." Sometimes milk was mashed with bread or jam, as "prescribed" by the doctor.

At the sterilization labs, milk was heated to 157 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty-five minutes and then rapidly cooled to 40 degrees. This process, Strauss’ doctors claimed, “kills all noxious germs and preserves the nutritious quality.”

The 1901 Times article mentions the costliness of this milk, "from $6 a month at the beginning" of a baby's life to close to $25 as he or she grew older and ate more. Dispensaries set up amongst the poor to provide medical care started offering this modified milk free or at a low cost. The Good Samaritan Dispensary at 75 Essex Street housed one such facility. Dubbed a "modified milk laboratory," it claimed to be "the first in the country to engage in the preparation of sterilized or modified milk for the children of the poor." (NYT, 5/12/1899)

Bringing milk to the children of the Lower East Side proved invaluable to their overall health, especially in the summertime, when food easily spoiled. An 1897 article describes this work as "an absolute necessity, and an incalculable boon to poor mothers who formerly were unable to procure safe food for children in hot weather."

The Good Samaritan Dispensary, formerly known as the Eastern Dispensary, was at the forefront of providing child health services to the working poor. Although Eastern Dispensary doctors had been working in the neighborhood since 1832, the operation received some much needed support in the 1880s, which seems to have led to its eventual name change.

Upon her death in 1882, a Miss Sarah Burr donated roughly $3 million dollars to various charities. In her will she earmarked $200,000 for "the founding and support of a dispensary in the City of New York, to be called 'The Good Samaritan Dispensary,' for the purpose of giving medical aid and advice to the indigent in the city of New York." (British Medical Journal, 4/29/1882).

Although nephews and nieces attempted to make this will null and void by reason of infirmary (apparently Miss Burr was a bit senile in her old age - in court testimony, witnesses stated she would often forget who they were or forget to pay them for services, and that her dress was "untidy"), in December, 1883, the judge ruled in favor of the various hospitals and charities, and the money was distributed according to the original will. In 1890, a cornerstone for a new building was laid near the site of the Eastern Dispensary (more on that building's history tomorrow).

The doctor Henry Koplik was instrumental in bringing safe milk to the neighborhood. Born in New York in 1859, Koplik was educated here and in Europe and in 1887 became Attending Physician at the new Good Samaritan Dispensary. He specialized in pediatric medicine and bacteriological research and went on to spend most of his career at Mt. Sinai Hospital. According to his 1927 obituary, "the fundamental subjects on hygiene and child welfare occupied much of his thought."

On January 1, 1912, a new ordinance went into effect requiring all milk sold in the city to be pasteurized and to be marked as such (as today, debates raged among the scientific communities, farmers, and doctors about the potential loss of nutrients from pasteurization - after 1906, it was illegal to sell pasteurized milk without it being so labeled, so that the consumer understood what they were purchasing). Death rates among children and infants dropped in the coming years, and no doubt more stringent regulations in the food production industry (along with improved technology and other sanitary reforms) helped to make this possible.

The clinic closed in 1955/56, and the building sat empty for a number of years. Tomorrow, more on the history of 75 Essex Street, including the history of Eisner Brothers, the business which has occupied the building since 1971.

(Top: June 22, 1897 New York Times article. Courtesy The New York Times Archive. Above: Dr. Koplik. Public Domain)

- Posted by Kate Stober, with thanks to Dave Favaloro

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just in Time for Valentine's Day...

Ever wonder about your great-grandparents' social lives or what Lower East Side nightlife was like before The Box or The Eldridge? Join other New York City young professionals and learn more about the Orchard Street Contemporaries at this Valentine's Day-inspired event.

Wednesday, February 10 at 7 PM

RSVP required - Click the image for more details!

The Orchard Street Contemporaries is a group of young professionals committed to advancing the mission of the Tenement Museum by connecting the immigrant history of the Lower East Side to the vibrancy of the neighborhood today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saturday - An Awesome & Amazing Tour

This weekend our educators test their acting chops (and Irish/Yiddish accents) as they take on the roles of former residents in very cool & very special Tenement Museum tour.

On "Making a Home in 97 Orchard Street," visitors will play newspaper reporters assigned to cover tenement living conditions. They'll bounce from 1869, where Irish immigrant Bridget Moore discusses keeping her house clean, to 1897, where garment shop owner and Polish immigrant Harris Levine explains how his family lives and works in the same 360 square foot space. In 1918, Fanny Rogarshevsky dishes on her dishes, while Adolpho Baldizzi talks about how tough it is for their family to make a nice home for themselves in the midst of the Great Depression.

This is a truly fun program and a great opportunity to see multiple apartments inside 97 Orchard Street. For more info, click here! Tickets are available at and we recommend buying them in advance.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: German Populations

Curatorial Director Dave answers your questions.

What percentage of Kleindeutschland’s German immigrant population was Jewish during the mid-to-late 19th century?

Kleindeutschland was a collection of ethnic groups as diverse and independent as the German states themselves. Its inhabitants thought of themselves as Bavarians, Prussians, or Saxons, before they thought of themselves as Germans, even after German unification in 1871. Many dialects could be heard in the streets of Kleindeutschland and its residents practiced a variety of regional customs.

In 1860, the Bavarians dominated the city, but by 1880 the Prussians were the largest German nationality in New York. German Jews, while always a minority, made up roughly 20% of New York's German-American population by the 1880s.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Questions for Curatorial: Renovation Habitations

Curatorial Director Dave answers your questions. Have a question for Dave about tenement living conditions or the history of the Lower East Side? Send us an email.

When the hallway toilets were introduced to 97 Orchard Street in 1905, where did the residents of the apartments on the south side of the building go?

In order to comply with the requirements of the 1901 Tenement House Act, at 97 Orchard Street, two water closets and an adjoining fireproof shaft of steel and terracotta were constructed on each floor in 1905, in space that had previously been part of the inner bedrooms of the apartments on the south side of the building.

The addition of the toilets and shaft reduced the square footage of the south apartments from 345 square feet to 318 square feet. The toilet rooms and shaft occupied a substantial part of the old bedrooms of 97 Orchard Street and similar buildings, making these inner rooms uninhabitable. To alleviate this problem, but keep a three-room arrangement in each apartment, the partitions between the kitchen and bedroom in all of the south apartments at 97 Orchard Street were rearranged.

Although the addition of hallway toilets was major structural undertaking that impacted the building’s livability, Museum researchers know little about how residents dealt with what must have been challenging situation. Indeed, those who inhabited the apartments on the south side of 97 Orchard Street would have experienced the greatest inconvenience, but there is no evidence to suggest whether or not they were evicted or found residence elsewhere during the construction.

Photo © Collection of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Monday, February 1, 2010

Follow a Museum Day

Today is the day to follow a new museum on Twitter. Started by Jim Richardson of Museum Marketing, who wanted to draw attention to museums with Twitter accounts, the day is meant to encourage you to find an amazing new museum.

So read more about Follow a Museum day here, then log on to Twitter and search #followamuseum to see what great museums are out there. Start with @tenementmuseum and @tenementtalks!

A Neighborhood Champ

Our readers might be interested to head over to The Lo-Down blog to read a fine piece on G&S Sporting Goods of 43 Essex Street, which was founded in 1937 by Izzy Zerling, a professional boxer and trainer who immigrated here in 1922. His family lived above the store for about twenty years, and his wife made all the boxing gear they sold in the store. Today his son still runs to business.

Below are some wonderful photos of the store along with Len Zerling's oral history of the family business.

Photos are by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis; special thanks to Traven @ The Lo-Down for letting us repost.