In search of a sense of the Lower East Side as artistic neighborhood,the Edwards Collective visits the Tenement Museum, shares ice cream, and visits the New Museum.
Alexandra Palocz (’19) reflects:
“If you fall through the floor”, the tour guide says, “that’s on you”. She is here to tell you stories – and, she hopes, help you form connections between the museum’s contents and the stories that make up your own history.
You walk through reconstructed apartments, through small rooms that once held large families. All fifteen of you crowd into the parlor, and you imagine how it would feel to live like this all the time.
They are transparent, here, about the work that goes into piecing together the narratives they present. They show you the census records, tell you about analyzing layers of wallpaper and paint, play you a clip of the interview with the old woman whose family was the last to move out of the house.
When you step back out into the daylight, the guide says she hopes you found something to inspire you in your art, in your stories. Perhaps you have. You walk through the busy avenues, through this city that means so many different things to so many different people. All fifteen of you push your way though the crowds, and you imagine what kinds of stories you are leaving in these streets.