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Vivienne Gucwa
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Attended Hunter College
Lives in New York City
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Paris -  Springtime at Jardin du Luxembourg

It’s always interesting to look back at moments through photography especially moments during travel. Everything is tinted by a certain distant nostalgia filtered through mood and every other external influencing factors. Were the leaves really that vivid? Were the vistas really that inviting? Did the streets really wind their way into your heart the way they have wound up there in retrospect?

I am in the process of putting the majority of my Paris photography online in one way or another. I am populating my Paris Pinterest board, adding to my Flickr Paris album (linked below), and I will eventually launch a travel photography portfolio site which will be part of my main photography portfolio.

A number of people have messaged me via email and my Twitter asking what cameras and lenses I used while in Paris. All of my Paris photos were taken with my Sony A99 and Sony A7R. I used the Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 lens with the A7R and the Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 with the A99. For the interior photos I have posted like in this post about The Palance of Fontainebleau, all photos were hand-held. In fact, I did have a tripod with me but I used it to shoot video (more on that in a future post!).

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There are a TON of photos that accompany this post. If you are interested in more Paris photos and all the relevant links that should go with this post, here you go:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/83541376290/paris-streets-and-cityscapes-its-always

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Tags: #paris #paristoday #france #travel #travelphotography #spring #springtime #flowers #landscape #sonyalpha #photography #photo
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Nice
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The Palace of Fontainebleau - France

(There are a TON of photos of this palace that go with this post with descriptions here: http://nythroughthelens.com/post/83369915721/paris-day-trips-the-palace-of-fontainebleau )

While in Paris, I was able to take a few different day trips to the outskirts of Paris to visit some truly awe-inspiring places. One of the trips was to visit the Chateau de Fontainebleau. The palace is located 55 kilometres south-east of Paris in the sub-prefecture of Seine-et-Marne. I took the Paris metro to Gare de Lyon where I hopped on another train to the destination. After I got off of the train, it was just a simple taxi ride to the palace which makes this a great day trip destination. 

Dating back to the 12th century, the Palace of Fontainebleau has over 1500 rooms (!) , 130 acres of land, and is the only palace that has been continuously inhabited for over seven centuries hosting many royal families. Its proximity to the large forest of Fontainebleau made it a prime location for the Kings of France.

--- Read a dedicated post about Chateau de Fontainebleau with (MANY) photos arranged in a set along with descriptions here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/83369915721/paris-day-trips-the-palace-of-fontainebleau

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Tags: #photography #travel #paris #paristoday #france #travelphotography #castle #palace #fontainebleau #sonyalpha #history #writing
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Queria ir a um lugar assim........
 ·  Translate
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Paris - Le Marais

(More Paris photos from this set here: http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

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Le Marais was one of my favorite parts of Paris that I explored. It's a historic district whose roots date back to the 1200s. In the 1600s, it was a favorite residence of the French nobility and many of the French nobles built their mansions in this district. I could probably have spent an entire week people-watching and exploring all of the courtyards. Perhaps I will explore more when I go back :).

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View more Paris photos of Paris streets here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

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Tags: #photo #photography #paris #paristoday #travel #travelphotography #sonyalpha #history #marais #streetphotography
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Thanks +Silva Kallas 
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Paris - Île de la Cité 

(More Paris photos from this set here:http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

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Île de la Cité is one of two natural islands in the Seine in Paris.  It is the oldest settlement in the city of Paris, set up around the 3rd century B.C. 

Read more and view more photos of Paris streets here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

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Tags: #paris #paristoday #travel #travelphotography #sonyalpha #photo #city #history #urban #street #streetphotography #photography
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Thanks all!!
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Paris - The Medici Fountain- Jardin du Luxembourg

Paris is a heady rush: the feeling you get when the earth drops out from under you when eyes meet and lips turn upwards in unison.

There is a heaviness that is etched in its architecture, a solemnity of the inevitable without any consequence because history lingers like trailed off sentences in tones reserved for late night confessions.

Paris sweeps you off of your feet: a lover so tragically beautiful on the outside while teeming on the inside with fleeting nostalgia-laced promises of a distant, yet familiar infinite.

—-

This is the Medici Fountain in the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was built by Marie de’ Medici in the 1630s. Marie de’ Medici was the second wife of King Henry the IV of France and the mother of King Louis the XIII of France. She was embroiled in quite a bit of mistress drama with one of Henry’s mistresses, Catherine Henriette de Balzac d’Entragues, Marquise de Verneuil and ended up with a not-so-favorable view in the public eye due to various political intrigue.

This particular incarnation of the fountain came into being during the 1800s after it underwent a restoration after spending many years in disrepair. The statues in the center represent Polyphemus discovering the lovers Acis and Galatea which was a popular story represented in art throughout the centuries. It’s a tale of love and jealousy.

I came across this fountain on the last day I was in Paris. It took my breath away as so much did during my 9 day visit but I was already completely in love with Paris at that point. I fell hard within the first few days and it was a never-ending blush on the skin and butterflies in the stomach after that.

I had an interesting conversation on my Twitter earlier today about the differences between Paris and NYC when it comes to initial visual and emotional impact. One of my open-ended conclusions was: “NYC is harder to fall in love with at first sight. Paris sweeps off the feet. NYC woos.” And while I think I need to think about this some more on subsequent returns to Paris, there is some truth there.

Paris does sweep you off of your feet.

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View this post with all relevant links at my photography blog:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82429440973/paris-the-medici-fountain-jardin-du-luxembourg

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Tags: #paris #paristoday #france #travel #sonyalpha #sonya7r #travelphotography #jardinduluxembourg #gardenofluxembourg #medicifountain #poetry #writing #prose
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+Nick Oman  - I really, really, really need to update that post. I can't believe how many people find it even now. So much has changed for me since then. So, so much. Thank you though for finding me via that post! And for reminding me that I need to make an update to it :).
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Paris - Springtime - Cherry Blossoms

You remind me

of springtime

as hope

unfolds

from the

pauses

between

your words

like blossoms

opening

on trees.

And I

cling to the

promise

of petals

like the city

clings

to the promise

of summer.

---

View this post with relevant links over at my blog here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/83471336713/paris-springtime-cherry-blossoms-you

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Tags: #paris #travel #spring #paristoday #sonyalpha #photography #springtime #cherryblossoms #architecture #poetry #prose #writing  
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Have a good time in france Vi.
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Fontainebleau - Galerie de Diane

(A photo-tour of Fontainebleau can be found here: here: http://nythroughthelens.com/post/83369915721/paris-day-trips-the-palace-of-fontainebleau

This is the Galerie de Diane (Gallery of Diana) at the Palace of Fontainebleau in France (in close proximity to Paris). It’s one of my favorite areas of the palace that I visited. The Gallery was rebuilt in the 19th century to serve as a banquet area and then a library for Napolean III.

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Tags: #travel #paristoday #sonyalpha #france #palace #castle #chateau #fontainebleau #library #history #architecture  
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Ah. So it is just named after the goddess herself. Thanks.
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Paris - Citadines Tour Eiffel - Rooms with a View ...

(There are a TON of photos that go with this post with full explanations over at my travel blog: http://adventurethroughthelens.com/post/83049000641/paris-citadines-tour-eiffel-rooms-with-a )

I had the pleasure of staying at Citadines - Tour Eiffel for 3 nights during my visit to Paris. Located in the former village of Grenelle, Citadines - Tour Eiffel is in a prime location situated across from a major metro hub with tons of cafes, restaurants, and marketplaces all within walking distance. It is also quite close to the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, Invalides, and Champs des Mars. In fact, while staying there, I was able to easily take the metro across the street to Versailles (with a transfer) for the day which made things quite convenient.

The really cool thing about the hotel is that some of the rooms on the upper floors of the hotel feature really beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower.

However, what makes this hotel standout from many others is that it is known as an aparthotel or apartment hotel because it also functions as a place to stay for extended periods of time if you wish. People can stay for a few nights, a few weeks, a month, a few months, even a year if that is what they wish. This makes this a great place for families or individuals looking to relocate who may need a habitable living space centrally located in the city they are trying to relocate to. It also makes it a great place for people who are looking to try to live in a city to get a feel for the city while having the comforts of home.

An intriguing facet of staying at an aparthotel is that not only do you have the comforts that you would associate with an apartment such as a fully functional kitchen and living area but you get the amenities and benefits of hotel living as well. For example, Citadines aparthotels offer various cleaning arrangements for all guests as well as other perks that you would typically associate with staying in a hotel. Only you can enjoy these perks during your extended stay in any of the Citadines locations all over Europe and the Asia Pacific.

I had a great stay there during my time in Paris. I had the misfortune of getting quite sick with bronchitis while in Paris and the staff at Citadines Tour Eiffel were really wonderful when it came to getting me the medical help I needed and making my stay pleasant while I recovered. I really enjoyed the fact that there was a Monoprix right across the street. The Monoprix there had a huge grocery section which allowed me to buy reasonably priced groceries that I was able to store in the refrigerator. This was a great relief to my wallet since it let me save money on certain meals since I could use the kitchen in my room.

And of course, I loved the views. But that goes without saying, right? :)

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I posted a ton of the views including the views from the most in-demand suite at Citadines- Tour Eiffel which features a view of the Eiffel Tower right from the bed over at my travel blog. Check it out here:

http://adventurethroughthelens.com/post/83049000641/paris-citadines-tour-eiffel-rooms-with-a

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Tags: #paris #paristoday #travel #photography #france #hotel #citadines #sonyalpha #writing #travelwriting #travelphotography  
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Awesome it's so very nice to Parisian .... & my dream I'll go to Parisian !
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Paris - Streets

(More Paris photos here: http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

It’s these city streets,

the ones that press on

the backs of eyelids

at night,

persisting and passing

through the cobwebs

of memories

that are spun

like fairy floss

across dreamscapes

where every

passing stranger

tells tales

that skip beats

of a heart

hung on

every bit of

concrete, steel,

and paint.

—-

How people interact with their environment has always intrigued me. I have a tendency to view life as an elaborate film. Every cityscape, street, and landscape forms a backdrop in a scene that unfolds before my eyes. When I was a child, I used to tell people that every time I blinked another scene started. And in a lot of ways, this has carried over into my photography and writing. I craft elaborate narratives in split seconds of the people who are populating any given scene and moment.

Paris is probably one of the most intriguing cities when it comes to observing people against the city’s backdrop. The city itself is a complex set of characters. The days I spent there were mostly cloudy and ominous which was fascinating. I think there is a tendency to romanticize Paris as a city of sun in terms of kitschy Paris photos that seem to populate Pinterest full of lush blossoms and never-ending sunny days. But the reality (at least while I was there) was far more nuanced.

These are just a few photos I took while I walked around Paris of street scenes. Normally I take photos alone. Photography is a very solitary process for me and I tend to be “in my own head” most of the time. However, I was often with either Gael or Hugo from Rendezvous with Paris or (later in the week) also Katherine from Atout France. And, what was strange was that I really enjoyed it. It helped that everyone was a veritable fountain of interesting knowledge and that they all had a super passionate love for Paris. Typically when I shoot when other people are around it negatively influences my photography but it really wasn’t the case while I was in Paris which was awesome. In fact, it was nice to talk quite a bit about all sorts of things while shooting and the icing on the cake was that I learned so much.

--

View this post with all relevant links (there are a few I haven't included here) and more photos here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82848804786/paris-streets-its-these-city-streets

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Tags: #paris #travel #paristoday #sonyalpha #france #streetphotography #parisphotos #travelphotography #poetry #writing #sonya7r #sonya99 #viviennegucwa
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Wow
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Paris - Historic Places

I have been back from Paris for a few days now and I am still in the weird twilight phase of jet-lag where I feel like my mind is suspended between sleep and dreaming yet somehow acutely in tune with all of the experiences I had in Paris. Jet-lag seems to work well for me creatively. Who knew?

Over the last few days I have been preparing my Paris photography for the gallery event at the end of the month. I will be sharing my experiences and photography over the next few weeks. I hope you will enjoy my musings and views of Paris.

There is so much to write about and share. I stayed in some truly epic hotels with fascinating histories and views and I got to meet some really amazing people. The beauty of travel is that it is something that is enjoyed multiple times: the first time while living through the experiences, and on subsequent occasions when you are able to share your experiences and fill in the memories with color, light, and emotion.

For now though, here is a photo from one of the first few days I was in Paris. I actually wrote a little bit about this spot in one of my earlier posts while I was in Paris. I ate lunch there with Hugo from Rendezvous with Paris while talking about the history of the area. While the interior is fascinating on many levels, the exterior is quite beautiful.

The name of the restaurant is A Vieux Paris d’Arcole which was built in 1512 after the completion of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. It is located at 24 Rue Chanoinesse and it even contains some remnants from Notre Dame’s interior. The diocese sold it in the 1700s when it became a wine bar. As one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, it also enjoys an interesting tourist exception in that the Mayor of Paris allows the external floral decorations which adds to its beautiful medieval character.

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Please check out France Guide on Facebook. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here taking photos of Paris and having the experience of a lifetime!:

https://www.facebook.com/franceguide

And I also must highly recommend Rendezvous With Paris. They offer passionate tours about specialized subjects as well as tours of different districts of Paris:

http://www.rendezvouswithparis.com/about

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View this post along with all relevant links (there are a ton!) over at my photography blog here:

http://nythroughthelens.com/post/82309931704/paris-a-vieux-paris-darcole-i-have-been

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Tags: #paris #paristoday #france #sonyalpha #sonya7r #travel #travelphotography #history #writing #viviennegucwa #viviennegucwaphotography  
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owsm
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Work
Occupation
Travel photographer and writer specializing in finding the special elements of urban cityscapes, landcapes, and architecture.
Employment
  • Photographer
    New York City and travel photography, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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New York City
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Travel photographer and writer based in New York City.
Introduction
Photography found me a few years ago and I found, in turn, that photography and writing are two of my biggest passions in this world. 


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Feel free to read more about me at my Photography Blog. Here are some links of interest:

Read about my photography:  About Page 

Past, current, and future events, conferences, and published work: Media

Social media reach, goals, and information about brands and sponsorships: PR

List of photography gear that I use: Gear



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My formal photography portfolio: Vivienne Gucwa Photography

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If you have any questions, feel free to email me at:



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Education
  • Hunter College
    Literary Theory - Literature, Language & Criticism, 2009 - 2011
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Birthday
January 4
I don't know what I could possibly say that hasn't been said already regarding this beloved late-night East Village establishment. The fries are potato perfection: slightly crispy and golden on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. Their wide array of sauces is unmatched and I am personally fond of the pesto, mango and wild mushroom sauces. Every time I am in Pommes Frites, a number of people are ordering the poutine which looks heavenly. The only negative I could possibly come up with regarding this spot is that the lines can get super long especially on the weekends. The East Village is home to many bars and fries seem to go well with a bit of inebriation making the wait a bit long at times.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
This is a really low-key, understated Thai food restaurant. Their curries are incredible and they have curries I haven't seen listed in many other places like pumpkin curry. The prices are reasonable relative to the neighborhood and the vibe here is a relaxing one. The staff is also very attentive and they offer free-wifi which is always a plus.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Whoa! I found out about this place from Yelp. Living close to it, I have passed it quite a few times since reading about it but haven't had the time to try it out until this fine evening. Knowing that it frequently is full of NYC cabbies (and seeing this every time I pass it) looking to have a great meal added to it's appeal for sure. I just ordered a bowl of rice with 2 sides (I chose #4 and #7 sides today) and oh my.... this is *seriously* the best Indian food I have had in NYC, hands down. Not only that but everything is obscenely cheap! I cannot believe I just paid what I paid for this! Also, the rows and rows of Bollywood videos lining the walls are great to browse through while waiting for your tasty meal to be heated up. You would never, ever imagine such gastronomic delights existed within since it's a fairly tiny and definitely under-the-radar sort of place. Will be going back for more!
• • •
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Look, I think that anything I attempt to say about this place will never quite suffice because it's really *that* good. However, I will attempt to explain why I frequent this taco truck with wild abandon and why I have even told people on more than one occasion that their burrito is akin to a metaphorical food of the gods. This is authentic Mexican food at its finest. It's not laden with salt to make up for a lack of seasoning. It's not generic tex-mex. It's no frills, super tasty (they don't know the meaning of bland) and ultra fulfilling Mexican food done right. Let's talk about their burritos. For $7.50, you get a gargantuan burrito packed with cilantro, the tastiest rice of its kind around (if you opt for the vegetarian option which is *excellent*), your choice of meat, lettuce, queso fresco (fresh), onions, chopped tomatoes, guacamole and a nice tiny sprinkle of fresh grated cheese and sour cream. If you ask for it 'hot', they really pack a punch with the spice so unless you are ready to commit in that way, you may want to first try it without the super spicy stuff (which, by the way, brings the burrito to a whole other level of awesome if you love hot and spicy food). There was a 3 day period a few months ago when they weren't on their typical corner and I was in a serious panic. I can't imagine a world or the East Village without this beloved truck.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
6 reviews
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Map
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This definitely ranks in my top 10 New York experiences now. Yes, it was that good. I attended the two hour tour called Getting By- Past and Present and not only was the tour guide extremely personable and knowledgeable but it's such an incredible way to live through history. During my tour, we went through two different tenement apartments, learned all about the families who lived there and got to look at census records, photographs and keepsakes of the former tenants. We also listened to a short oratory recollection of an inhabitant of one of the apartments. She spoke about what it was like to live there when she was a little girl and described in detail parts of the kitchen where we were standing which had been lovingly restored to be exactly as she had explained. It was chilling and heart warming. The guide took us through a non-restored apartment to show how things were when the museum initially found the space which was harrowing since there was so much decay and history before us even down to the writing on the walls indicating the amount of garments that had been stored in the room by tenants. Since it was the two hour tour, there was much spirited discussion and lots of questions and it was just one of those perfect New York experiences where people discussed their own family migration histories. We even all had some cookies and iced tea together at the end! I am considering becoming a member now. What a great, great place and space. Highly recommended for those visiting NYC looking to piece together their own histories by viewing the early experiences of these former tenement families and also native NYers looking to learn more about their city.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
This definitely ranks in my top 10 New York experiences now. Yes, it was that good. I attended the two hour tour called Getting By- Past and Present and not only was the tour guide extremely personable and knowledgeable but it's such an incredible way to live through history. During my tour, we went through two different tenement apartments, learned all about the families who lived there and got to look at census records, photographs and keepsakes of the former tenants. We also listened to a short oratory recollection of an inhabitant of one of the apartments. She spoke about what it was like to live there when she was a little girl and described in detail parts of the kitchen where we were standing which had been lovingly restored to be exactly as she had explained. It was chilling and heart warming. The guide took us through a non-restored apartment to show how things were when the museum initially found the space which was harrowing since there was so much decay and history before us even down to the writing on the walls indicating the amount of garments that had been stored in the room by tenants. Since it was the two hour tour, there was much spirited discussion and lots of questions and it was just one of those perfect New York experiences where people discussed their own family migration histories. We even all had some cookies and iced tea together at the end! I am considering becoming a member now. What a great, great place and space. Highly recommended for those visiting NYC looking to piece together their own histories by viewing the early experiences of these former tenement families and also native NYers looking to learn more about their city.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago