After taking line 7 to Queens and getting off in 103, I began to feel a Latino flavor. Being there was like being in no one’s land, as like no frontiers between countries existed, all united for the same cause and paying the same price for it. I could only hear Sanish around me, in different accents and slang; my Latino ego grew with every step I took towards the place of destination. It’s just that we Latinos have that hot thing that the North American doesn’t have, that gallant and seductive spirit that those born in this northern hemisphere lack. It’s as if we had conquest and seduction incorporated in our organism.
I got to the place with an overflowing feedback: the museum house of Louis Armstrong. Since it was lunchtime, I was the only person in the 2pm tour, which was a good thing. Every tour to important homes I had taken in the area were with groups of Londoners or North Americans touring New York, making the guide’s English fast and fluent, leaving me with moments of not understanding details, decorative decisions and the how the distribution of the house’s inhabitants worked, the protagonists of the story. Because of this I was lost in the best parts, at least in the one were the group would laugh, and my face of not understanding the situation would make the guide reject my presence. This tour wasn’t like this. With a personalized guide, Paul, an elderly man that, though it was hard for him to walk and breathe at the same time, loved his job so much, as well as the Musician’s life. He wanted me to comprehend every detail of the house, of its life and the way that he and his beloved fourth wife had turned this house in Queens into a home for themselves and for all the children that went to their garden for music lessons, filling the parental necessity they could never concretize. Among the houses I’ve visited through this system, it’s by far the coziest, comfortable and human. Now, in some places, like the bathroom, there was an excess of golden colors, but the mirrors on the walls and the roof forgave the ostentatious details, though visually multiplying them. Every corner and every detail were full of joy and good humor. Maybe that’s why his music has been transmitted through generations, laying out groundbreaking work for present day music, because he lived, breathed and felt musical chords.
Enjoying intímate spaces and personal universes, of important icons, entering unexplored worlds in a didactic way, helps understanding, from the intimacy of a home, whe so many people chose to live o leave cities, in this case NY; opening our eyes to history from the place of its protagonists, of the old Newyorkers. Maybe that’s why every time I leave this homes I believe in giving a chance to every corner, park, and avenue in this city.