Thursday, April 28, 2011


With few days left and a touch of nostalgia, I’m walking down every street possible. Today, after a heated walk to China Town, a place that congregates thousands of tourists and that through them an oriental world in North America is dressed in fashion, you are able to superficially introduce yourself in this culture, that little by little turns occidental, through souvenirs sold at half the market price, t-shirts, tea cups, magnets, stickers, hats, umbrellas; everything you can imagine with the traditional logo that Milton Glaser (North American) designed in 1976, with that phrase stolen from the mouths of everyone who has ever come to this city: “I Love New York”. There were also many miniature Lady Liberties, Chinese luck cats, and dragons and musical instruments from their oriental culture as well, that unsuccessfully ask to be taken by the enormous amount of tourists that pillage every store looking for their dream t-shirt. It must be the price of keeping up a business and having to live from it, to adapt to all the demands of the public in a world where the Free Market satisfies every temporal need we can invent. Now, this occurs only in the commercial part, because like in every neighborhood, there is also a more marginal part: by far the most Chinese part of the Town, where only oriental people walk, where languages don’t mix because you only hear Chinese, and where everything seems to happen in another rhythm, with different smells and other customs.

In the middle of this oriental world is where one can strangely encounter the Eldrige Street Synagogue Museum: a reflexive space that has transformed during the years into a place of encounter for the millions of Jewish immigrants in the US. This beautiful temple, full of detail and wonderful stained glass windows, keeps Jewish culture well alive, showing through different educational devices, how their traditions and faith has been kept during the years, in a universe so easy to corrupt or where one’s own culture can get lost, in a world where they will always be seen as foreigners, showing that with constant work you can live your nation far from its land.

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