Thursday, February 28, 2008

LES Harlem Connection

from 5/6/06 from pseudo-intellectualism

Here I'll try to explain the synchronicity referred to before. I'll begin working up in Harlem in a little while. I've been planning a Harlem Renaissance unit. In looking for children's literature to support this topic I discovered, "Dave At Night." I found it amazing that Dave's story closely paralled my own family history. Dave Karos' father came from Greece, he was a Sephardic Jew. So did my grandfather, who was named David Belelis. Dave Karos' family came from Salonika, my grandfather came from neighboring Janina. The main reason for immigration was the same-a war over control of the territory between Turkey and Greece. Dave Karos' father died in a fall in building accident. My grandfather died almost the same way in an elevator collapse. Dave was left fatherless at 8, My own father was left fatherless at 10. Dave went to an orphanage. My father didn't, but my aunt on my mother's side did when my mother's father died father in 1926 (the same year that Dave's father dies). Pretty spooky, isn't it? I'm "migrating" my work location from the LES to Harlem as Dave is migrated his life. The experience of the early immigrants to the LES at the turn of the last century is that once they were able to secure some economic stability for themselves they moved to a better neighborhood, Harlem. Why Harlem? Ease of transportation, IRT Elevated Lines connected the areas. Many people continued to work on the LES, but lived in Harlem. Wouldn't it be great to get the Harlem School I'll be working in do a joint immigration/migration project with some kids from PS42? They can even read Dave At Night together digitally. They can visit each other's neighborhood and do walking tours. On Friday,after a year and a half, I visited principal Rosa O'Day again and explained my plan and she loved it. I love her. The map attached is a 1904 subway and trolley map. Click on it to expand it. The trolley lines are in blue.


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