The Tenement, Revisited


(Rita Ascione, at The New York Tenement Museum. Photo by Damon Winter)

Rita Ascione, the last remaining former resident of 97 Orchard Street, now the New York Tenement Museum, recently made a pilgrimage back to her former home. This journey was chronicled in a New York Times Piece, where she recalled life in The Lower East Side back in the 1930’s as Rita Bonofiglio, member of an Italian Immigrant family amongst many others.

Harkening back to one of our prior posts on The Museum which recalled the old Tenement Windows, one can imagine Ms. Ascione ascending the staircase to her apartment and approaching the window where she looked out at such a young age. A lifetime has elapsed in between, with memories spanning decades.

In a poignant ending to the article, Ms. Ascione comments that the neighborhood “is alright,” a nod, one can say, that even as the forces of change sweep through Our City, some things just don’t change as much. Perhaps it is the familiarity of surroundings, the scale of the buildings, or an echo on The Street. These personal recalls must be preserved over the life span of time, much as they have been for Rita. For as The City churns through its machinations, it will always be a Collector of Memories; Made to be Revisited.

Links of Relatable Note:

For a link to the New York Times piece about Rita Ascione, please click Here.

For a link to Gordon’s Urban Morphology’s Memory Piece on the Tenement Museum, please click Here.


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