Arts and CultureNew York

Get Cultured with Free Tenement Talks

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Some of us are here because we can stay up until the same hour our parents get up for work, some of us are here for Momofuku Compost Cookies, and some of us are here because we are nerdy. (Ed: In this story, and most of my life, I mean nerdy to mean cool. Just so we’re clear.)

When I first moved here, I would take my own made-up “tours” of places with National Historic Society plaques out front, and more time than a reasonable person would admit looking things up on Forgotten NY. My favorite, though, remains the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. Maybe it’s because back in middle school we had an annual “Ellis Island Day” during which everyone had to pick a card with an immigrant’s tale and live it for the day (I always had Trachoma. Always! Argh.). Or maybe because it just simply remains one of the best sources for understanding the skeletons of the history that’s shaped our modern world around us. (Go ahead… “Nerd!”)

As such, they offer up ongoing complimentary “Tenement Talks” – a series of lectures, readings, panel discussions and programming that shed light on our city’s fascinating and somewhat crazy culture. Talks range in subject from exploring the history of Five Points neighborhood and the resultant film Gangs of New York, the culinary history of NYC (and hopefully why we are OK eating things called the aforementioned “Compost Cookie”), exploration of current and past icons, and much more. All Talks are free and hosted in the Museum’s cozy gift shop, tucked right on the street where a significant amount of the history discussed was made.

If you can resist this then you, my friend, are not truly a nerd. Go have fun at The Continental instead.

“Tenement Talks” at the Tenement Museum
108 Orchard Street (at Delancey)
[Lower East Side]
RSVP for Talks to events (@) (suggested)

Photo Credit: Tenement Museum

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Jill S.

Jill S.

Jill is an Ohio native and Boston University graduate who refuses to stop saying "pop" and wearing her Red Sox gear despite being heckled for doing so since moving to Brooklyn. She's been honing her thrifty ways since doing that silly thing people talk about when they ignore reason to follow their hearts and chose a career in the fulfilling but faltering music industry. She earns her beer money as a publicist and writer, and spends her spare time cooking, biking, and trying to decide if she's ready to get a cat.