Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Questions for Curatorial - Pets in the tenements

Curatorial Director Dave answers your questions.

Did any 97 Orchard Street residents keep pets?

According to Josephine Baldizzi, who lived in the building in the late 1920s and 30s, their family owned a canary while living at 97 Orchard Street. Her father Adolfo was extremely fond of all the animals. After a busy day at work, he would walk into the apartment and immediately get a piece of lettuce to feed the bird in its cage. His wife Rosaria, however, hated all of the animals because they tracked dirt and bugs into the apartment. Josephine remembers her having a particularly hard time with Adolfo’s bird because the fluttering of its wings would send birdseed flying.

In her oral history, Josephine also mentions that the family had a cat, as well as a black and white dog, but it is unclear if this was at 97 Orchard Street or a subsequent residence.

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