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Archive for August, 2010

Hester Street, Lower East Side, 1902, Library of Congress

The other day I stumbled upon a great little program called Food(ography), hosted by the delightful Mo Rocca. The particular episode I was watching (still airing a handful of times on the Cooking Channel throughout September) was about street food, and it investigated various carts/trucks in cities throughout the US. I’m something of a foodie, and I love Mo Rocca, so it wasn’t a stretch for me to watch this show. But I wasn’t expecting it to have anything to do with my work until suddenly culinary historian Jane Ziegelman pops on the screen, on location at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC. (more…)

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21st-Century Warriors

I was in Amsterdam a week after this summer’s World Cup championship game, in which Netherlands lost to Spain, 1-0. At the Amsterdam Historical Museum I saw this exhibition case, built out from the side of the building into a public courtyard:

It normally houses just the medieval armor, but was updated to include the orange dress and vuvuzela in response to the World Cup. Here’s another angle:

In a previous World Cup match against Denmark, 36 young women were thrown out of the game for allegedly participating in a publicity stunt by Bavaria beer in orange dresses like this one. Several online sources quoted museum spokesman Hester Gersonius: “The orange dress stands for ‘originality, cheekiness, entrepreneurship, creativity and humor, in short, all qualities that belong both to Amsterdam and our museum.” I love the contrast with the armor, and the fact that the museum was able to respond so quickly to an incident that everyone in Amsterdam was talking about.

Of all the city museums I visited in Europe this year, Amsterdam Historical Museum was one of my favorites. Stay tuned for more discussion of its strengths in subsequent posts.

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