Monday, March 22, 2010

Tenement Kitchens

One of my favourite books ever is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I had never seen a character like Francie before in a book, and the racism that existed against Irish-Americans at the time shocked me. I mean, I had no idea that kind of discrimination existed. NO IDEA. And to know that the book is fairly autobiographical and that Betty Smith did endure such conditions of poverty is pretty amazing. The scene in the book when Francie and Neely when they go to buy tongue for their mother to cook because that's all they can afford was incredible.

Anyway, I saw this article on Apartment Therapy today about the Tenement Museum in NYC. To me, this is exactly what the kitchen in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn might look like. I can just imagine Katie Nolan, Francie and Neely's mother, stoking that stove and washing dishes at that sink.

Aren't those amazing? What I'd give to have a kitchen like that first one, and yet it was considered the lowest of the low at the time.

You can take a virtual tour of the museum here.

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