Lower East Side Tenement Museum | Snapshot, Take Two!

Yesterday I attended the encore Snapshot! event at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street in New York City.

The first time I went to the museum was a few years ago to research an immigrant novel I was writing. Photos were not allowed, so I took copious notes about the dim hallways, the pressed metal ceilings, the coin-operated gas meters.

Then last July I attended Snapshot!–an event sponsored by the museum, inviting photographers to spend an hour inside the apartments.

A photographer’s dream, most assuredly, but also a writer’s dream. While I shelved the novel, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a photographic record of the immigrant home. I took hundreds of photos, but I really wanted to see the Confino apartment, the home of a Sephardic family from Turkey.

In yesterday’s encore event, that apartment was made available for photos and I spent the bulk of my hour there. The jar of chickpeas on the mantel, the mousetrap with four entry doors and a decapitator, the coin-operated gas meter.

While the photographers who participated can upload their photos to the museum’s Flickr site, we cannot commercially use our photos. But that’s okay. If I ever return to that immigrant novel, I’ve got my interior setting, even for an apartment-based sweat shop.

Question for you: How has photography helped your writing?

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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2 Responses to Lower East Side Tenement Museum | Snapshot, Take Two!

  1. Terry Borzumato-Greenberg says:

    Barbara, my husband and I also attended Snapshot! It was a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for sharing yours.

    Terry

  2. Terry,
    Did you have a favorite apartment or aspect to photograph? What attracted you to the event?
    Barbara

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