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The Confino House

While in NYC, we visited the Tenement Museum on the lower east side of Manhattan. I had checked it out on the Internet and booked the Confino tour, in which an actress portrays Victoria Confino, a Sephardic Jew who shares the secrets of acclimating to life in America. We (15 of us on the tour) play the role of new immigrants, eager to learn the ropes.

Victoria surprised us by asking the women what happened to their clothes. The women amonst us were wearing pants, which led Victoria to guess that our luggage had been stolen. We made up a suitable story about our bags being taken when we weren't looking. She then told us how to get a job, where to bathe, and how to use the features of a "modern" American apartment. She was very convincing and gave us a good glimpse of what life would be like as a new American back then.

After the tour we went across the street to the newly relocated Gus's Pickles and tried their full done (which I highly recommend) and their half sour (which are still too much like a cucumber for my taste).


I remember a similar place in Illinois. I think it was the supposed boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln. I say supposedly because it wasn't exactly his home, just one that was close and still standing when they created the place. for more info, read "Lies Across America." It's an interesting read for historic preservationists and history teachers (for which there is also "Lies My Teacher Told Me").

Posted by: AtheneBelle at January 1, 2004 3:20 PM