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Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
20
Oct

2020/10/20 - Immigration and the New York Experience

[NEW EPISODE] Immigration and the New York Experience

On this week’s program we will take an in depth look at immigrants: where they came from, why they came to New York, and how their communities impacted the City in everything from our economic ethos to our political culture.

 We also will look at how one particular kind of institution, the Settlement House, met the needs of immigrants, and we will explore the history of one of New York’s early settlement houses, the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side.

 My guests will be Robert Snyder, Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University and the Manhattan Borough Historian, who co-authored the book All The Nations Under Heaven; and national award winning curator Ellen Snyder-Grenier, author of The House on Henry Street: The Enduring Life of a Lower East Side Settlement.

Tune in for this fascinating conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.


Show Notes

Segment 1

Jeff introduces his first guest Dr. Robert Snyder the Manhattan borough historian, a professor at Rutgers, and an author. Jeff asks Robert if he was initially born in New York, which leads him to discuss his upbringing. Jeff then has Robert tell him when he became interested in history, which Robert has been passionate about since he was young. Robert talks about how his books were helpful in getting him elected as the Manhattan borough historian. Jeff asks Robert how he became involved in writing his book All the Nations Under Heaven and his research. Jeff and Robert discuss immigration and the qualities of the first Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam. They go back before the Dutch to bring up the Spanish immigrant Juan Rodriguez, who settled on Governor's Island. Jeff asks what was different about New York’s English settlers from the Dutch ones. They talk about the history of enslaved people who were brought to New York from Africa. Jeff asks Robert when the first massive wave of immigrants, which has him bring up the massive amounts of German and Irish immigrants who entered the city.

Segment 2

Jeff asks Robert about “the rule of twos,” an idea in his book that talks about how every significant immigration surge involves two groups of immigrants. He credits the rise of Irish immigrants to the famine of the 1840s. Jeff asks whether there were any of the Irish that became part of the nativist movement. They move on to the next wave of immigrants; the Italian and Jewish people. Robert mentions how adept the Irish became about joining the American political scene and setting the stage for the following immigrants. Jeff and Robert bring up the effect World War I and World War II had on immigration in New York and how congress at the time began to limit immigration. These laws were repealed in 1965, and immigration in NYC was opened up to many new groups from around the world. Jeff asks how immigration impacts the city’s politics, and Robert talks about how politics changed to become accommodating for every group in the city.

Segment 3

Jeff introduces his next guest Ellen Snyder-Grenier author of the House on Henry Street: The Enduring Life of a Lower East Side Settlement. Jeff first asks Ellen how she became interested in history, which she inherited from her very encouraging parents. He then asks when her work as a curator started, and Ellen talks about how her college experiences led her down this path. Ellen discusses the joys of her work and working with designers and creative people. Her work has taken her to museums everywhere, from Alaska to Philadelphia. Jeff brings up the settlement house and asks how it is different from other social service houses. Jeff asks when and where the first settlement house is, which first was built in London in 1887 and was created to help solve poverty. Ellen talks about how, by 1910, there were four hundred settlement houses in the city. Ellen mentions Lillian Wald, the nurse who founded one of the city’s most popular settlement houses. 

Segment 4

Jeff and Ellen go into depth about how Lillian Wald became involved with helping the disenfranchised. She was inspired by seeing young girls home in the Lower East Side, which had terrible conditions back then. Ellen talks about the programs Lillian created for immigrants and how accepting she was of other cultures. Jeff asks about the services Lillian’s Henry Street Home offered. Jeff brings up the changing Lower East Sides neighborhoods and asks how the Henry Street Home has changed over the years.


Transcript

00:00:41.010 --> 00:00:51.030 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the western around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York

00:00:51.570 --> 00:00:57.120 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens and as all of you know I love New York

00:00:57.750 --> 00:01:02.220 Jeff Goodman: The program is a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city.

00:01:02.850 --> 00:01:12.240 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official

00:01:13.050 --> 00:01:20.910 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current, current energy. What makes that New York neighborhood special

00:01:21.990 --> 00:01:30.270 Jeff Goodman: Another shows like tonight we host a topic about an interesting and vital color the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:30.810 --> 00:01:38.580 Jeff Goodman: I'm prior episodes. You've we've covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in. We had some interesting history here.

00:01:39.060 --> 00:01:46.680 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of women activists in the suffrage movement, we've focused on African American history in the city. Going back to the time of the Dutch

00:01:47.130 --> 00:01:55.350 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement, we've explored the history of bicycles and cycling the history of pumpkin opera.

00:01:55.890 --> 00:02:00.150 Jeff Goodman: We've explored a public library systems. We have three, by the way, in this great city of ours.

00:02:00.750 --> 00:02:06.780 Jeff Goodman: We visited some of our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges. Yes, New York has fabulous bridges, as well as everything else.

00:02:07.350 --> 00:02:13.590 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcasts on iTunes Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.

00:02:14.310 --> 00:02:23.580 Jeff Goodman: Tonight, we're going to have one of our special shows and we're going to cover a topic that's near and dear to me also, because I'm sort of personally involved with it almost every New Yorker.

00:02:24.210 --> 00:02:29.700 Jeff Goodman: Is recently descended from people who came from across oceans and made this incredible city their home.

00:02:30.390 --> 00:02:41.910 Jeff Goodman: And of course, I'm talking about the history of immigrants and immigration, the city and also people who moved here who aren't technically immigrants, because they move from other parts of the United States, and we'll talk about that a little later as well.

00:02:42.930 --> 00:02:46.980 Jeff Goodman: My first guest is a returning guest to rediscovering New York. It's Dr. Robert Snyder.

00:02:47.730 --> 00:02:53.850 Jeff Goodman: Dr. Snyder is the Manhattan Borough historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and journalism at Rutgers Newark.

00:02:54.660 --> 00:02:58.860 Jeff Goodman: He's the author of crossing Broadway Washington Heights in the promise of New York.

00:02:59.460 --> 00:03:08.850 Jeff Goodman: More recently, Dr. Snyder co authored all the nations under heaven immigrants migrants and the making of New York, which not coming in. Coincidentally, we're going to be talking about tonight.

00:03:09.510 --> 00:03:15.990 Jeff Goodman: He's a member of the New York Academy of history and in 2016 was a Fulbright lecturer and American Studies in South Korea.

00:03:16.770 --> 00:03:29.850 Jeff Goodman: Dr. Snyder was appointed to the position of Manhattan Borough historian by your great Borough President Gale Brewer. And that was 2019 Bob a Rob sorry a healthy return to rediscovering New York

00:03:30.150 --> 00:03:31.740 Rob Snyder: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

00:03:32.580 --> 00:03:33.840 Jeff Goodman: Are you originally from New York.

00:03:34.680 --> 00:03:42.870 Rob Snyder: I was born in New York City. I was born in Royal Hospital in the Bronx, but my parents moved to the suburbs to do mon, New Jersey. When I was only a year old.

00:03:43.170 --> 00:03:56.190 Rob Snyder: Barely and 1956 so I grew up in the suburbs with my eyes firmly fixed on the city of New York, both because I had relatives here. And because by the time I was about 15 I thought it would be a really great place to live.

00:03:57.120 --> 00:04:08.550 Jeff Goodman: When did you first become interested in studying history, but not only studying it, because when you study, you just don't study it yourself you illuminate it for other people and and make it possible for them to discover it to

00:04:09.030 --> 00:04:11.820 Rob Snyder: always had an interest in history. I always

00:04:12.120 --> 00:04:23.490 Rob Snyder: Wondered how we got where we are today. I always wondered about who lived where we live in earlier times, I got interested in the history of New York City, I would say.

00:04:23.820 --> 00:04:33.360 Rob Snyder: In the 1960s and 70s. It was a period of great tumult in the history of the city, and I had a lot of relatives still living in and around the city, then

00:04:33.690 --> 00:04:41.040 Rob Snyder: And I wanted to understand the relationship between the city's past and its present and whenever I walked around in a place like Greenwich Village.

00:04:41.430 --> 00:04:49.650 Rob Snyder: China Town or Little Italy, the sense of previous generations was always very clear to me. And I wondered how people got there and how they came to live there.

00:04:51.270 --> 00:04:57.330 Jeff Goodman: Rob Was there a particular process or journey that led you to becoming the Manhattan Borough historian

00:04:59.520 --> 00:05:06.180 Rob Snyder: I think that got the position because Borough President Gale Brewer heard me speak a few times I spoke about crossing Broadway.

00:05:06.450 --> 00:05:16.230 Rob Snyder: My book about Washington Heights in northern Manhattan and how generations of immigrants and migrants went there to make a home I recall. Once that she was at a talk that I also gave

00:05:16.620 --> 00:05:26.370 Rob Snyder: In the southern part of Washington Heights about Audubon and the whole history of that southern part of the heights, that's the subject of a new book by Matthew spady

00:05:26.730 --> 00:05:34.260 Rob Snyder: And all together. I think I probably made a favorable impression about my passion for the city and particularly the bar of Manhattan.

00:05:35.160 --> 00:05:43.500 Jeff Goodman: Well, that brings us to immigration, it's not only what made the United States, but it was what made New York, the wonderful and amazing place that it is

00:05:44.010 --> 00:05:49.710 Jeff Goodman: I would say, personally. The best thing about New York is two different people from all over the world and from other parts of the country.

00:05:50.100 --> 00:06:01.170 Jeff Goodman: Who came to this place and left their imprint on it as well as making it their home. But when we talk about immigration, I want to talk about the background of your book all the nations under heaven. How did you get involved in the project.

00:06:01.950 --> 00:06:15.510 Rob Snyder: I first met my co author Dave Reimers in 1979 when I was in graduate school at NYU in history, and I was Dave's TA in a course on immigration history and I was just inspired by his wealth of knowledge.

00:06:15.960 --> 00:06:25.200 Rob Snyder: He wrote the book all the nations under heaven with another co author Fred binder that came out about 25 years ago. And recently, Dave suggested to me.

00:06:25.680 --> 00:06:42.960 Rob Snyder: Immigration has really transformed the city. Since the 1980s. In the 1990s, more than two decades since the first volume of that book came out, why don't we do a new updated edition that will show what immigration has done to the city and done for the city over the past two decades.

00:06:43.650 --> 00:06:55.890 Jeff Goodman: I'm holding the book right now all the nations under heaven is not just the tone, but it really is a thorough work of history. What kinds of research did you conduct and what kinds of sources. Were you able to utilize for the book.

00:06:56.490 --> 00:07:02.640 Rob Snyder: You know, my co author Dave Reimers is an authority on two big themes. One is the history of the demography of New York City.

00:07:02.910 --> 00:07:11.940 Rob Snyder: He's an expert in who came when and and what kind of numbers and what kind of conditions. He's also an expert on the regulation of immigration and

00:07:12.360 --> 00:07:22.380 Rob Snyder: Immigration in New York City, like every other city or state in the United States is also controlled by federal authorities. So we started with those big questions who came when

00:07:22.680 --> 00:07:41.010 Rob Snyder: And under what circumstances. And then I pushed out looking at novels oral histories books about immigration photographs of immigrant communities movies about life and immigrant communities and all together. I hope we painted a much richer picture than we would have in the past.

00:07:42.960 --> 00:07:54.030 Jeff Goodman: Since New York was settled by the Dutch we've been a city of immigrants in the book you write about how it's common to look at the 21st century as an age of globalization, but since founding

00:07:54.480 --> 00:08:00.060 Jeff Goodman: That New York or in the early days. New Amsterdam had been shaped by global patterns of trade and immigration.

00:08:00.510 --> 00:08:09.330 Jeff Goodman: We're going to be spending some time focusing on the large waves of immigration to New York that started in the 1840s, but I do want to ask you a question about immigration, which a lot of people

00:08:10.020 --> 00:08:23.040 Jeff Goodman: May not really think about when they think of immigration and that starting with Dutch people who came here beginning the 1620 years, was there anything about them or qualities they had that with different from typical Netherland is at the time, and why they came here.

00:08:24.150 --> 00:08:30.150 Rob Snyder: The people who settled New Amsterdam were really heterogeneous slots. Surely they were Dutch settlers, obviously.

00:08:30.450 --> 00:08:37.140 Rob Snyder: In the very beginning, but there were a couple other factors at work that made it a very diverse if small C port city.

00:08:37.500 --> 00:08:44.280 Rob Snyder: One was that the Dutch had rather developed notions of tolerance and part of that was religious part of that was business oriented.

00:08:44.580 --> 00:08:50.460 Rob Snyder: The Dutch thought that limiting your range of business partners because of bigotry was a bad business decision.

00:08:50.730 --> 00:08:57.630 Rob Snyder: So that they were some Dutch Peter Stuyvesant among them. We didn't want to have a diverse New Amsterdam, he wanted to keep Jews out

00:08:57.960 --> 00:09:08.280 Rob Snyder: But other Dutch thought that it was a bad idea to limit a range of business partners and they also thought that there was a religious component to tolerance and accepting people of different faiths.

00:09:08.820 --> 00:09:22.500 Rob Snyder: Equally important in New Amsterdam, there was a shortage of labor. They needed people to work and they accepted immigrants from all other parts of Europe and also brought enslaved Africans to the city to work in the city's labor force.

00:09:23.340 --> 00:09:31.140 Jeff Goodman: Of I was really intrigued to read. You know, I was the question I was going to ask was originally the first immigrants without settlers, but actually

00:09:31.530 --> 00:09:42.300 Jeff Goodman: After I started reading your book. I loved reading about one Rodriguez, who was actually he came, he settled here before before, there wasn't New Amsterdam.

00:09:42.600 --> 00:09:51.000 Rob Snyder: Right. Right. And I'd probably on Governors Island, and he is a street named after him in Upper Manhattan today Dominicans point to him with great pride.

00:09:51.210 --> 00:10:00.540 Rob Snyder: As the first immigrant, the first person to settle in the city for wintering over here, his story is a fascinating one. Even though we don't know all the details.

00:10:00.870 --> 00:10:19.410 Rob Snyder: But it's important to know that he was a biracial man of probably African and Spanish ancestry and his arrival in New York City has wintering over here reminds us that New York had great connections, not just across the Atlantic, but down to the Caribbean recently immigration has

00:10:20.430 --> 00:10:30.330 Rob Snyder: pushed us to realize how many people from the Caribbean came to New York City, but that Caribbean connection is very old. It goes back to the 17th century. In the time of Juan Rodriguez.

00:10:31.980 --> 00:10:36.660 Jeff Goodman: Was there anything different about the English who settled here compared with the Dutch

00:10:38.970 --> 00:10:43.680 Rob Snyder: Some scholars argue that they were they were they were better for the Jews than the ducks were

00:10:44.730 --> 00:10:54.810 Rob Snyder: It's also true that New York for the English was a port in the Empire and a port from which the British fall but we Americans, sometimes called the French and Indian War.

00:10:55.500 --> 00:11:08.010 Rob Snyder: It made the city's economy very dependent on the imperial system privateers sailed out of New York City to raid friendships and New York City, a big port, by the time that British

00:11:08.580 --> 00:11:21.840 Rob Snyder: Were thriving here, the middle of the 18th century was closely tied into the British imperial system when the imperial system was doing well economic conditions are pretty good when the imperial system faltered the economy faulted with it.

00:11:23.340 --> 00:11:29.040 Jeff Goodman: And the waves of immigrants who came to New York, Rob. One group that doesn't get much mentioned or French, you're going to those

00:11:29.730 --> 00:11:41.610 Jeff Goodman: who emigrated to the United States really in the late 17th century jack you can see houses that are 300 years old that were built by you know who's in upstate New York, and New Paltz particularly they're really beautiful old stone houses.

00:11:42.480 --> 00:11:46.440 Jeff Goodman: Did they did any settled in New York City, or did they mostly Go Go upstate

00:11:46.800 --> 00:11:52.830 Rob Snyder: Know, many settled here in New York City. But as Protestants in a largely Protestant city.

00:11:53.250 --> 00:12:05.190 Rob Snyder: And being here for a long time, they gradually settled in and merge with the native population native at that point. Meaning, mostly British and Dutch settlers. They're an example of an early group that that

00:12:05.550 --> 00:12:12.120 Rob Snyder: In some ways, a culture eats and even assimilate to the point that they almost vanish from the, from the pages of our history.

00:12:12.660 --> 00:12:17.790 Rob Snyder: It's worthwhile remembering them because it's important to remember that from its start New York City.

00:12:18.060 --> 00:12:28.170 Rob Snyder: attracted a diverse array of peoples. It's just that the diversity has always had different components, it changes over time. So if you're looking at the 17th century, you're looking at Walloons

00:12:28.380 --> 00:12:41.130 Rob Snyder: And after that Huguenots but then in another period. It's going to be Irish and Germans diversity remains a big theme in New York, but my immigration and migration constantly bring on new cast of characters.

00:12:41.880 --> 00:12:54.300 Jeff Goodman: Before we talk about the waves of immigrants who came from Europe in the in the 19th century, we can't speak about immigrants without mentioning forced immigration specifically enslaved Africans who were brought here from the time of the Dutch

00:12:55.320 --> 00:13:08.220 Rob Snyder: Yeah and that and that slavery accelerated under the English it tightened under the English under the Dutch. There was a kind of half freedom that Africans had there was possibilities of petitioning for freedom.

00:13:08.730 --> 00:13:17.550 Rob Snyder: Africans worshiped in the Dutch Reformed Church. We don't know what would have happened if the Dutch remained in power in New Amsterdam, because the English took over the city.

00:13:17.940 --> 00:13:31.680 Rob Snyder: We do know that under English rule slavery tightened as it did in many other colonies in the latter part of the 17th century into the 18th century. By the time you get to the early decades of the 18th century.

00:13:32.190 --> 00:13:39.450 Rob Snyder: 20% of the population of New York City is people of African descent, and there are two major rebellions of enslaved people against slavery.

00:13:39.690 --> 00:13:51.090 Rob Snyder: In New York City. So it's not a small thing Americans sometimes think of slavery is something that happened down south. It was very much a presence in New York City in the 18th century, for sure.

00:13:52.650 --> 00:14:09.240 Jeff Goodman: In my show about Flatbush about a month ago, I was surprised to read that in the census of 1800 that I think maybe 40% of households in the town of Flatbush had at least one enslaved person living in them. You think about it is

00:14:09.570 --> 00:14:11.310 Jeff Goodman: Remarkable in Brooklyn, of all places.

00:14:11.640 --> 00:14:12.870 Jeff Goodman: Like, I love it. Yeah, yeah.

00:14:12.960 --> 00:14:21.240 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, we're going to take a break in a minute. But I wanted to ask you, when did the first big waves of immigrants start coming to New York and also Brooklyn.

00:14:21.450 --> 00:14:29.370 Jeff Goodman: Brooklyn and had been its own city until the consolidation in 1898 but it was part of the area. When did we start seeing big waves of immigrants.

00:14:29.580 --> 00:14:41.790 Rob Snyder: The big transforming surge is the arrival of Irish and German immigrants in the 1830s, 1840s down to the 1850s. That's the immigration that takes a fairly

00:14:42.630 --> 00:14:53.340 Rob Snyder: Modest size if good sized city of largely British and Dutch ancestry into a multi ethnic, multi religious metropolis of half a million people and just a matter of decades.

00:14:54.480 --> 00:15:05.070 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation in the first half of the show about integration with the Manhattan Borough historian, Dr. Robert Snyder will be back in a moment.

00:17:21.720 --> 00:17:31.200 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering the York in our episode on immigrants in New York City. My first guest is Manhattan Borough Historian and Author, Dr. Robert Snyder.

00:17:31.740 --> 00:17:39.900 Jeff Goodman: Dr. Snyder has recently published this great book all the nations under heaven, together with washing, he wrote. He didn't publish at Columbia University Press published it.

00:17:40.590 --> 00:17:55.770 Jeff Goodman: Together with Frederick Bender and David Reimers I'm Rob. We just talked about. We started talking about the Irish and Germans who immigrated into New York and the 1840s 1850s. In the book, you talk about the rule of two's you want to talk about that.

00:17:56.040 --> 00:18:02.670 Rob Snyder: until fairly recently and I think this is more an accident of history engine demography, but it's still worth noting.

00:18:03.300 --> 00:18:10.950 Rob Snyder: Integrated migrant groups tended to come in twos in the middle of the 19th century that groups of immigrants are largely Irish and German.

00:18:11.460 --> 00:18:19.350 Rob Snyder: By the early 20th century, they're largely Italian and Jewish in the post World War two years they're largely African American in Puerto Rican

00:18:19.830 --> 00:18:28.140 Rob Snyder: And that creates its own dynamic and politics and culture, what we see now in New York City. In recent decades is a hyper diverse

00:18:28.470 --> 00:18:39.090 Rob Snyder: Immigration in which no one or two groups dominate. But the major immigrant groups, maybe 10 in numbers Dominicans Chinese Mexicans people from the former Soviet Union.

00:18:39.420 --> 00:18:51.360 Rob Snyder: Ecuadorians Colombians Indians Jamaicans is a much more heterogeneous immigration today. Then you found in previous times it has a fascinating consequences culturally and politically.

00:18:52.170 --> 00:19:00.240 Jeff Goodman: Well, the first two twos Irish and German immigrants, the peoples from those countries came here for largely different reasons didn't

00:19:00.990 --> 00:19:07.140 Rob Snyder: Yes, the big surge of Irish immigration comes because the Irish are fleeing the famine, the great hunger.

00:19:07.560 --> 00:19:16.110 Rob Snyder: In the 1840s and they come here, basically, to avoid starving to death in an economic cataclysm that's right by British policies in Ireland.

00:19:16.530 --> 00:19:26.310 Rob Snyder: Germans came because of economic dislocation and a degree of famine, but also for political reasons as well. And they brought a new kind of diversity to the city.

00:19:26.790 --> 00:19:38.580 Rob Snyder: German spoke German obviously Irish will largely Catholics and some Germans were Catholic as well. And the end result was a city that was was once largely Protestant now had a big

00:19:39.060 --> 00:19:52.410 Rob Snyder: sector of the population that was Roman Catholic lots of Protestants resented that lots of Protestants resented the Irish because they were poor and that created conflict that spilled over into the streets into politics as well.

00:19:53.310 --> 00:20:02.370 Jeff Goodman: Were there any Irish immigrants who became Americans who were part of the nativist movement at all. Do you think after they were they were here for for 15 or 20 years

00:20:02.460 --> 00:20:11.490 Rob Snyder: Eventually over a long period of time that could happen it particularly happened with regard to Chinese immigrants in the latter part of the 19th century.

00:20:11.880 --> 00:20:21.450 Rob Snyder: But, in part, the Irish History in New York City from the middle of the 19th century down into the early 20th is a process of becoming more and more

00:20:21.960 --> 00:20:26.550 Rob Snyder: Assimilated acculturated into American life without abandoning Irishness

00:20:26.880 --> 00:20:34.800 Rob Snyder: Yes, and historians will talk about how there's an element of racism, there's an element of prejudice. That's part of that. And I think that's worth noting.

00:20:35.100 --> 00:20:48.150 Rob Snyder: But at the same time, I think it's important to recognize that Irish immigrants and German immigrants to a lesser extent, the first wave of immigrants to get hit with both nativism and economic hardship in

00:20:48.750 --> 00:20:55.530 Rob Snyder: The middle of it. A DEVELOPING city. And I think that shape their encounter with American life. And also it's a ways well

00:20:55.590 --> 00:21:01.980 Jeff Goodman: It was interesting. One characteristic of German immigrants is that most German immigrants were very literate when they came here.

00:21:02.370 --> 00:21:14.730 Jeff Goodman: And a lot of Irish. We're not but Irish before the Germans well after the the wave of German immigration, we have the next tues we have people from southern and people from Eastern Europe.

00:21:15.450 --> 00:21:29.820 Rob Snyder: Yeah, the Southern and Eastern Europeans are varied but two groups stand out, above all, that's Jews and Italians as well. And it's Jews who are coming, not just from the former German lands, but also from Russia.

00:21:30.330 --> 00:21:39.750 Rob Snyder: Poland, what we today think of as Eastern Europe at the same time you have a lot of Italians coming from not just Italy, but also Sicily.

00:21:40.590 --> 00:21:48.030 Rob Snyder: Although both boobs maintain contact with relatives, friends, political movements on the other side of the Atlantic.

00:21:48.360 --> 00:21:56.610 Rob Snyder: At times, in particular, and noted for coming to America coming to New York, working for a while, with the goal of going back to Italy to make

00:21:57.570 --> 00:22:05.280 Rob Snyder: A home place there in Italy, and that created a kind of back and forth to their integration that was defining an unsettled some

00:22:05.550 --> 00:22:14.370 Rob Snyder: New Yorkers who thought of them as kind of sinister birds of passage. But we're perfectly happy to employ them excavating subways and buildings all over New York City.

00:22:15.120 --> 00:22:28.290 Jeff Goodman: And is that one of the reasons why eventually Irish people had people from Irish descent had more power politically in the city than Italian immigrants ended up having in the first decade or two after they started arriving here.

00:22:28.860 --> 00:22:39.240 Rob Snyder: The Irish learn the game of politics, partly because they brought something of the practice of politics with them from Ireland habits of cohesion, the habits of political combat.

00:22:39.570 --> 00:22:46.710 Rob Snyder: Habits of preserving their identity in the face of opposition ideas about structure that came from the Roman Catholic Church.

00:22:46.980 --> 00:22:55.140 Rob Snyder: But also informal resistance organizations that foot British policies in all sorts of ways they carry that into politics and

00:22:55.380 --> 00:23:01.110 Rob Snyder: There's a great book that makes the point that every immigrant group that comes to America in the 19th century.

00:23:01.380 --> 00:23:08.220 Rob Snyder: Down to the early 20th century has to come to grips with the Irish example, whether it emulate it what a challenge it.

00:23:08.610 --> 00:23:19.440 Rob Snyder: It's important because the Irish sort of set the template that other people react to in one way of another, and certainly many Italian Americans thought they were squeezed out of political power by Irish Americans.

00:23:20.040 --> 00:23:36.360 Jeff Goodman: Well, we had four big waves of immigration from the middle of the 19th century two around the First World War. We had Irish Germans, the Italians and Eastern European Jews, personally, actually I hail from three of the four, a little bit of Irish on my mother's Italian side.

00:23:37.530 --> 00:23:45.000 Jeff Goodman: It's funny because my Italian immigrant great grandparents, they lived in Little Italy my Eastern European

00:23:47.370 --> 00:23:52.530 Jeff Goodman: great grandparents lived on the Lower East Side. Well, it actually went in the second half of the show, we're going to talk to

00:23:53.910 --> 00:23:58.590 Jeff Goodman: Our second guest about an institution on the lower side, but I want to move to

00:23:59.130 --> 00:24:09.990 Jeff Goodman: War and the first and the second World War, what what to New York. See, in terms of immigration before and after the First World War, and also the second it was a very tumultuous not more than two tomatoes.

00:24:10.260 --> 00:24:18.930 Jeff Goodman: Was a horrible time in Europe within a generation, they had to horrible conflagrations what were the waves of immigration, like to New York City as a result of those wars.

00:24:19.170 --> 00:24:27.750 Rob Snyder: So, World War One really put a halt to integration across the Atlantic. So the immigrants who had been coming to New York City were suddenly frozen out

00:24:28.320 --> 00:24:38.310 Rob Snyder: During those wartime years and instead you got African Americans coming up from the south, looking for jobs in the growing war economy during the First World War.

00:24:38.820 --> 00:24:51.300 Rob Snyder: In the years right after World War One. There's a tremendous drive, which is painfully successful to limit immigration from southern and eastern Europe is a furious nativist reaction against Italian

00:24:51.600 --> 00:25:03.570 Rob Snyder: And Jewish immigrants and the result is the United States Congress sets up integration restrictions that will try to bring in only immigrants from Northern and Western Europe and freeze out the Italians and the Jews and

00:25:03.900 --> 00:25:11.130 Rob Snyder: That creates unintentionally a degree of stability in those Irish and Jewish communities they settle into the city.

00:25:11.400 --> 00:25:23.880 Rob Snyder: But at the same time, it puts Jewish immigrants in a terrible bind when the Nazis rise to power in the 1930s, because Jews can't get from Europe to America and New York City as the Vice titans in Europe.

00:25:24.750 --> 00:25:36.030 Rob Snyder: In many cases, African Americans and also a number of Puerto Ricans come to New York City in ever larger numbers in the interwar years and that accelerates even bigger after World War Two.

00:25:36.660 --> 00:25:43.200 Rob Snyder: In World War Two. The big thing to note is New York City becomes an enormous economic powerhouse.

00:25:43.590 --> 00:25:55.860 Rob Snyder: And that has to effects one address and more African Americans, even though they find the discrimination in New York City see life in New York is better than life in the Deep South, with violence in Jim Crow.

00:25:56.280 --> 00:26:07.170 Rob Snyder: At the same time that migration to New York City of African Americans that accelerates in world war two continues in the post war years, along with a migration of Puerto Ricans as well.

00:26:08.070 --> 00:26:18.840 Jeff Goodman: And I forgot the name of the Act that was passed in 1924. But that wasn't the first time that the Congress saw to limit immigration also on racial basis we have that horrible Chinese

00:26:18.840 --> 00:26:19.590 Rob Snyder: Exclusion isn't

00:26:19.890 --> 00:26:31.320 Jeff Goodman: Exactly 1881 I forgot the exact year 1882 but in 1965 congress passed The Immigration and Nationality Act, which, among other things, repealed the horrible.

00:26:32.220 --> 00:26:41.820 Jeff Goodman: Provisions of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and perhaps incredibly symbolically and especially especially fittingly get our time without naming any names of foreign people in office.

00:26:42.090 --> 00:26:49.500 Jeff Goodman: President Lyndon Johnson signed into law at the Statue of Liberty, you know, he's recognized for some good things and some not great things the Vietnam War.

00:26:49.740 --> 00:26:58.950 Jeff Goodman: But he doesn't get a lot of he's he's generally known for the Civil Rights Act and for the civil rights movement, but he's not really, I think, given credit for having supported that law.

00:26:59.250 --> 00:27:06.720 Jeff Goodman: And having signed it at the base of the statue of liberty was really, you know, very, very symbolic. How did that impact immigration into New York, Rob.

00:27:07.200 --> 00:27:13.860 Rob Snyder: That opened up immigration to a whole new slew of countries at the time, Johnson did see it as a great move.

00:27:14.130 --> 00:27:21.900 Rob Snyder: That would write a deep historic wrong in terms of immigration restriction in fact that the new law that he signed did create some restrictions.

00:27:22.170 --> 00:27:30.810 Rob Snyder: On immigrants from the western hemisphere who hadn't faced restrictions before, but the bottom line was it opened up immigration to a much more diverse

00:27:31.140 --> 00:27:40.470 Rob Snyder: Cast of characters from many more different countries, it took some time for the full impact of that lot TAKE PLACE THAT BY THE 70s and the 80s.

00:27:40.770 --> 00:27:52.020 Rob Snyder: You saw, for example in neighborhoods like Washington Heights. The arrival of Dominican immigrants in transforming numbers Dominicans the largest group of immigrants to immigrate to the United States, since the 1960s.

00:27:52.590 --> 00:28:03.720 Rob Snyder: Immigrant to New York City. I'm sorry to immigrate to New York City, since the 1960s and that created the preconditions for that very plural immigration that we see in New York City today.

00:28:05.040 --> 00:28:13.980 Jeff Goodman: Or our time together on this show is too short to talk about how each immigrant community individually impacted our culture, which is probably one of the biggest ways

00:28:14.460 --> 00:28:21.960 Jeff Goodman: That that immigrants have impacted us we can speak about the culture that dozens of different communities brought to the city, but in the short time we have left.

00:28:22.410 --> 00:28:37.380 Jeff Goodman: I'm going to speak more generally about politics, which is one of my favorite subjects. Anyway, how did immigration, not just individual immigrant communities. But how did immigration as as as something that very profoundly impacted me your candidate impact the politics of the city.

00:28:37.950 --> 00:28:42.720 Rob Snyder: I think it created a political system where it's accepted.

00:28:43.320 --> 00:28:52.020 Rob Snyder: As normal that every ethnic group is going to fight its way into the political system where ethnic factors are going to be used to appeal to people politically.

00:28:52.260 --> 00:29:07.710 Rob Snyder: And that there are going to be Ins and Outs based on the ethnic and racial alignment of the city and people accept a fairly contentious kind of politics and they see the need to create Coalition's and defeat rivals as a fundamental part of the way politics is done.

00:29:08.460 --> 00:29:15.750 Jeff Goodman: And Coalition's and rivals have also been built, not just by immigrant communities, but by migrant communities and we see that with

00:29:16.380 --> 00:29:25.530 Jeff Goodman: Politics of African Americans and also of Puerto Ricans who rose to prominence and very much not just impacted the system, but there are a lot of great things for New York

00:29:27.960 --> 00:29:35.400 Jeff Goodman: All right, well, Rob. We're at a time. Unfortunately, it's always good to have you on rediscovering New York. My first guest on this show about immigration.

00:29:35.700 --> 00:29:45.360 Jeff Goodman: Has been Dr. Robert Snyder Rob is the Manhattan Borough historian and he's also a co author of this great book which I have to say as a real page turner all the nations under heaven.

00:29:45.690 --> 00:29:52.950 Jeff Goodman: It's published by Columbia. The Columbia University Press, and you can get it on Amazon com and probably in some bookstores in the city. I'm guessing.

00:29:54.390 --> 00:29:55.680 Jeff Goodman: Rob. Thanks for being on the show.

00:29:56.010 --> 00:29:56.460 Rob Snyder: Thank you.

00:29:56.640 --> 00:30:01.740 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak with another Snyder actually

00:30:02.220 --> 00:30:15.690 Jeff Goodman: About the history of a very important social institution in New York that worked and helped immigrants and also talk about the history of one in particular on the Lower East Side. We'll be back in a moment.

00:32:40.410 --> 00:32:48.360 Jeff Goodman: We're back support for rediscovering New York comes from our sponsors the mark mind and team mortgage strategist at freedom mortgage

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00:33:09.690 --> 00:33:14.370 Jeff Goodman: Our show is about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and the Marissa textures of our amazing city.

00:33:15.030 --> 00:33:23.130 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague at Brown Harris Stevens.

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00:33:45.810 --> 00:33:50.280 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.

00:33:50.730 --> 00:33:56.970 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I'm indeed a real estate agent now amusing city where I help my clients buy, sell lease and rent property.

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00:34:10.320 --> 00:34:20.190 Jeff Goodman: Our second guest on this special show about immigration in New York is Ellen Snyder green. Yay. She's a national award winning curator and writer and principal of art UW and Co.

00:34:20.790 --> 00:34:26.610 Jeff Goodman: She directs research projects develops museum exhibitions and writes on urban history, with a focus on social justice.

00:34:27.120 --> 00:34:32.130 Jeff Goodman: The author of an award winning history of Brooklyn Snyder green. Yay. As a fellow of the New York Academy of history.

00:34:33.000 --> 00:34:42.180 Jeff Goodman: Ellen has authored the book, the House on Henry street the enduring life of Lower East Side settlement, which we're going to talk about tonight, published by NYU Press and it was just published this year.

00:34:43.350 --> 00:34:46.020 Jeff Goodman: Ellen, a very hearty welcome to rediscovering New York

00:34:46.650 --> 00:34:50.640 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Thank you. I'm just delighted to be here to be with you and my brother.

00:34:50.730 --> 00:35:02.670 Jeff Goodman: Yes, it's great to have a brother and sister team, but I gotta tell you. You're not the first siblings on the show. The first siblings. I had on my show were actually the below most sisters Titian Snooki who were the original band members and Blondie

00:35:03.930 --> 00:35:09.450 Jeff Goodman: They were on my show on punk, which, by the way, you can all hear on podcast. It's a it was a great show was about a year ago.

00:35:13.200 --> 00:35:20.790 Jeff Goodman: history, and the history of New York run in the family, Alan. How did you become interested in New York history. Did it take the same trajectory is as as your brother or

00:35:21.000 --> 00:35:26.100 Jeff Goodman: Did you have different paths that lead you to the same place, or did you just sort of play history games when you're growing up.

00:35:27.090 --> 00:35:33.540 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Um, well, I think what we we both shared and I think we really got from our parents is

00:35:34.920 --> 00:35:41.280 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: A love of history and a real curiosity about the past. And I think that they really

00:35:42.540 --> 00:35:56.670 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Helped me to see the magic in sort of walking back into other times and into trying to walk in the shoes of other people in the past and and to understand just how enlightening and inspiring that could be

00:35:57.990 --> 00:36:02.190 Jeff Goodman: When did you begin your work or your career as a curator.

00:36:03.030 --> 00:36:09.900 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Um, well, I tend to graduate school at the widget your program and American material culture. So I actually approached history from

00:36:09.900 --> 00:36:10.920 Jeff Goodman: Set in Delaware or

00:36:11.280 --> 00:36:14.610 Jeff Goodman: Delaware. Okay, I've actually been to which which are quite a, quite a place.

00:36:14.670 --> 00:36:19.290 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Lovely. Yeah well in way that really sort of gave me a

00:36:20.250 --> 00:36:37.980 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: You know, a different approach. I tend to really appreciate and look at and want to understand things that people make and what they say mean about the people who made or use them. So I'm that kind of love of material culture. And I also have real love of design and English and history.

00:36:39.240 --> 00:36:46.500 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Really was a perfect path for me to become a curator and specifically, I worked a lot on creating Museum submissions for

00:36:47.490 --> 00:36:59.070 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: history museums, historical sites cultural institutions and I think them, you know, my first job was at the Brooklyn Historical Society as I came out of graduate school.

00:36:59.820 --> 00:37:08.820 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: I had this amazing opportunity to work in the greatest city in the world and in the borough of Brooklyn, which I know is also near and dear to your heart.

00:37:09.150 --> 00:37:25.530 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And I was really fortunate to work for a director David Khan, who was really opening up the institution, making it much more inclusive and we did exhibitions on Brooklyn communities on the Latino communities Chinese community West Indian community.

00:37:26.130 --> 00:37:38.220 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: We did a project on the Community sadly created by AIDS. So we really created deep connections in the borough and I and that that to me really sort of set me on my course. It's kind of work. I wanted to do.

00:37:38.970 --> 00:37:42.360 Jeff Goodman: And continuing the work of the historical society, they just recently merged with the brook

00:37:42.390 --> 00:37:43.680 Jeff Goodman: The Brooklyn Public Library

00:37:43.890 --> 00:37:50.580 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, now they're either the Brooklyn Center for History of the Center for Brooklyn history. I should know we give the exact words for it, but

00:37:51.270 --> 00:37:53.280 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Yeah, an amazing institution.

00:37:54.630 --> 00:37:56.940 Jeff Goodman: When did you start already W and company.

00:37:57.720 --> 00:38:04.170 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Um, that's about 10 years ago I have worked in museums, I had worked in museums for for a long time.

00:38:04.620 --> 00:38:20.280 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And I'd also done some consulting and I realized that I really loved kind of meeting new people and getting to go into new worlds that I might not otherwise have a chance. And I decided to sort of take this leap and create ruined code to help

00:38:21.660 --> 00:38:33.270 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Help museums cultural institutions historic sites tell their stories in ways that would help people see the world in new ways. And it's been it's been an amazing ride.

00:38:33.840 --> 00:38:43.080 Jeff Goodman: It's a very creative business you frequently see curators and people who do what you do, who were employed by institutions full time but but you've developed that into

00:38:44.310 --> 00:38:49.920 Jeff Goodman: A company that actually helps a number of institutions do what you're not wedded to working with any one institution is an employee.

00:38:50.490 --> 00:39:10.200 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Right. And what my work has loved me to do is really, I have some terrific clients, I get to work with very creative designers and the work has taken me across the country to skagway Alaska to do an exhibition on the Klondike Gold Rush to Kitty Hawk hawk, North Carolina. He worked at the

00:39:11.370 --> 00:39:20.970 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: At the National Memorial. The National Park Service site on an exhibit about Wilbur and Orville Wright. I've been to, you know, near to Philadelphia to

00:39:22.020 --> 00:39:26.640 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Work with the William way LGBT community center about that reminder days early

00:39:28.110 --> 00:39:40.170 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Early activism, just before Stonewall, and to New York City. I've worked on projects on Governors Island in Brooklyn, and most recently on Henry street settlement on the lower side.

00:39:40.860 --> 00:39:52.170 Jeff Goodman: You know, I didn't know you work Kitty Hawk. I was there for the first time, about a year and a half ago, and although and although it's not a big exhibition that I have to say the way it's laid out in different parts and with

00:39:52.890 --> 00:39:57.150 Jeff Goodman: The, the center almost guiding you toward the field where those first flights.

00:39:57.150 --> 00:39:58.650 Jeff Goodman: Took off really

00:39:58.830 --> 00:40:05.430 Jeff Goodman: It's incredibly inspiring and for any of our listeners who haven't done it. It's absolutely worth 10 times the price of admission.

00:40:05.490 --> 00:40:06.180 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And you should do and

00:40:06.360 --> 00:40:08.820 Jeff Goodman: I can't believe I was in my late 50s, before I went to see it.

00:40:09.990 --> 00:40:20.370 Jeff Goodman: And that brings us to the settlement house. Um, what is the settlement house. Specifically, and how is it different from from other social service organizations.

00:40:20.790 --> 00:40:30.090 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Well, um, you know, Rob was talking about the rise massive rise of immigration in the late 1800s of newcomers coming to

00:40:30.870 --> 00:40:46.770 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: New York City and other large cities from from Eastern Europe and southern Europe and and seeking jobs in this rising industrial economy and along with that, you know, we have people coming and they have incredible cultural resources and

00:40:49.710 --> 00:41:01.020 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: But very few financial resources and often people end up in very impoverished neighborhoods. So settlement houses a rose in the late 1800s as part as as part of a progressive era quest to

00:41:01.980 --> 00:41:11.340 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: To help newcomers navigate their new world, and they're called settlement houses because their workers settled in neighborhoods and lived

00:41:11.640 --> 00:41:18.210 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Next to and with the people that they wanted to serve. And that was very different than earlier charity workers.

00:41:18.720 --> 00:41:32.220 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Who would go into an impoverished neighborhood and they would leave at the end of the day, but Settlement House workers believed they really needed to come to understand the people they live with it so that they could nimbly respond to their needs.

00:41:32.790 --> 00:41:36.330 Jeff Goodman: So they would need to live with them and not just visit and leave at the end of the workday.

00:41:36.480 --> 00:41:37.860 Jeff Goodman: As part of town.

00:41:38.100 --> 00:41:46.410 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Exactly. And the idea is you know you really to be immersed in the environment as as you as you know Progressive Era reformers believe that

00:41:46.890 --> 00:41:58.440 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: In what was really a switch from earlier generations, where people thought that people were many people thought that those who are in poverty were in poverty because of their own moral failings.

00:41:58.980 --> 00:42:04.230 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Progressive Era reformers believe that the environment was to blame that had grown too fast, it was

00:42:05.460 --> 00:42:20.760 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: income disparity was too huge that that it is, it was what claimed it and they blamed poverty on the environment. So it was a totally new way of thinking and looking thinking about and looking at Poverty and people who are in poverty.

00:42:21.150 --> 00:42:24.930 Jeff Goodman: Hmm. When was the first settlement house. And where was it

00:42:26.220 --> 00:42:36.480 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: So the first settlement house is founded in East London in 1884 by by the Barnett's and

00:42:37.740 --> 00:42:41.790 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: You know they're they're responding to what they're seeing the incredible poverty that they're seeing

00:42:42.030 --> 00:42:54.210 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And they believe that if if there's really to be long term change and how poverty is a dress. If we really were going to dress its root causes. It could not be piecemeal so they really wanted to

00:42:54.870 --> 00:43:01.020 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Be in the neighborhood and learn and and and determine how they could actually create change on a larger level.

00:43:02.040 --> 00:43:06.720 Jeff Goodman: When did settlement houses first become established across the Atlantic in the United States.

00:43:07.080 --> 00:43:21.270 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: So they come to the United States pretty quickly by 1891 there are six in the United States and by 1910 there are 400 in the United States. So they grow rapidly.

00:43:23.490 --> 00:43:26.550 Jeff Goodman: And that brings us to the famous Lillian Wald

00:43:27.600 --> 00:43:28.950 Jeff Goodman: Who was Lillian walled

00:43:29.940 --> 00:43:43.350 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: So in short, Lillian Walt was the public health nurse who founded Henry street settlement in 1893 on Manhattan's Lower East Side when she was only 26 years old, which I still cannot

00:43:43.980 --> 00:43:49.260 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Cannot get over, but I think she was really many things. She was a champion of immigrants.

00:43:49.890 --> 00:44:09.180 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: She was a social reformer. She was a visionary. She was a CEO of a vast visiting nurse service, which would one day become visiting nurse service of New York and she was a humanitarian she was someone who believed that in order to create a better world. We had to cross boundaries.

00:44:10.710 --> 00:44:25.350 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: You know, I was made up a little list of things that we can thank Lillian walls and Henry street settlement, for she spawned the visiting nurse service of New York, the school nurse special needs classes free school lunches.

00:44:26.250 --> 00:44:37.890 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Spawn, the first meanest police sponsored playground in New York City help from us Children's Bureau was a co founder of N double AC N double A CP. And I think really also

00:44:39.630 --> 00:44:46.200 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Moreover, she created lasting blueprint for social justice that that is still practice today attended St settlement.

00:44:48.090 --> 00:44:54.420 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Ellen Snyder grand. Yay.

00:44:54.720 --> 00:45:02.970 Jeff Goodman: The author of the House on Henry Street, and we're going to talk more about that particular settlement house when we come back on the other side of the break we'll be back in a minute.

00:47:19.320 --> 00:47:31.320 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and our episode of that immigration in New York. My second guests on this program is Ellen Steiner green gate. She's the author of the House on Henry Street it's a history about the Henry street settlement.

00:47:33.150 --> 00:47:37.620 Jeff Goodman: Ellen Lillian wall founded the Henry street settlement. Was there a particular

00:47:38.190 --> 00:47:51.510 Jeff Goodman: Event that inspired her to start a settlement house or was it a series of experiences that she had that that all of a sudden the light bulb went on and she said, I have to, I have to, I have to found this this this organization to serve people

00:47:52.530 --> 00:48:04.230 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Great question. So Lillian Walt comes to New York City to go to nursing school and then to start classes to become a doctor, which would have been extremely

00:48:04.890 --> 00:48:15.180 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Unusual in her day and as a favor to a friend. She is teaching a homemaking class to immigrant women on the Lower East Side. In March of 8093

00:48:15.960 --> 00:48:24.030 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And one day a little girl comes into the room and she grabs willing walls hand and she asked her to come with her.

00:48:24.540 --> 00:48:37.050 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And the to walk through the streets of the Lower East Side and living wall with leader described piles of garbage and dirt and sewage in the street and incredible crowding, and she gets to the

00:48:38.280 --> 00:48:46.410 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Little girls home. It's a tenement they climb up these McCabe stairs and the little girl turns out has brought Lillian wall to her home.

00:48:46.860 --> 00:48:57.420 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: To help her mother who's lying on the bed hemorrhaging F hemorrhaging after childbirth abandoned by her doctor because she couldn't pay this fee and she says,

00:48:58.200 --> 00:49:06.810 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: You know this light went off her head. She calls it her baptism of fire that walk through the squalid streets and then who arrival in this at this horrible scene.

00:49:07.380 --> 00:49:18.300 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: makes her realize that she has to do something so she's only 26 years old, but she decided she was going to quit medical school. She's I'm done with that I've done with the classroom. I'm coming to the Lower East Side.

00:49:18.660 --> 00:49:22.770 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: I'm going to make a difference. I'm going to create change here. I'm going to

00:49:24.000 --> 00:49:35.550 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: help address, not just the issues at hand like this woman who's in front of her. But what but the environment and and the issues that brought her to that, that, that, sorry state.

00:49:36.690 --> 00:49:49.440 Jeff Goodman: What was walls attitudes about immigrants. Did she have any difference of opinion about immigrants as opposed to people in general, anything about them any special circumstances that they may have have dealt with as in a new place a new home.

00:49:49.710 --> 00:50:00.150 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Yeah, so I'm William Wallace my hero. She, she herself was the child of immigrants, she was the child of German Jewish immigrants who would come as part of an earlier.

00:50:00.840 --> 00:50:10.140 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: wave of immigration and I actually, I, I wrote down a quote I wanted to share in 1915 because I think she really, she really

00:50:10.440 --> 00:50:18.480 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: captures what what was on the minds of many people. Unfortunately, she says scorn of the immigrant is not new to our generation.

00:50:18.870 --> 00:50:27.330 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Each nationality, as it becomes established in the new country has Kennard the has considered the next Congress of danger and she combated that

00:50:27.750 --> 00:50:40.050 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: She welcomed newcomers she saw the strength and the diversity and the hard work and creativity that immigrants brought to this country and she valued them and she really worked hard to shine a light.

00:50:40.410 --> 00:50:58.650 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: On the humanity of newcomers. And unlike some or many other settlements, she really well. She in the settlement helped newcomers navigate their new lives. They did not try to make them to Americanize them. In fact, she celebrated their cultures.

00:50:59.790 --> 00:51:16.770 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Henry street had the Neighborhood Playhouse where they mounted different programs somewhere in Hebrew, they were they were plays that would have had resonated with the immigrant community. So she really did everything she could to to embrace people and to and to think of the world.

00:51:17.790 --> 00:51:28.830 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: At large as sort of like one big family. In fact, the, the icon that she chose for the settlements logo was the Chinese character bow, which suggests

00:51:28.860 --> 00:51:32.310 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Brother, and that brotherhood and sisterhood. That's what she was all about.

00:51:32.850 --> 00:51:40.140 Jeff Goodman: Know, not to get into political discussion, but I just had a thought wouldn't it be great if there's a change in residency. On January 20 next year in the White House.

00:51:40.620 --> 00:51:47.430 Jeff Goodman: For them to put a portrait of Lillian wold somewhere prominently in the White House. It would be really would be really, really amazing to do that.

00:51:47.760 --> 00:51:48.450 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Right. Yes.

00:51:49.410 --> 00:51:51.540 Jeff Goodman: Speak the difference about how people hold

00:51:51.780 --> 00:51:53.610 Jeff Goodman: People who come to this country and what they bring

00:51:54.960 --> 00:52:00.750 Jeff Goodman: What services did the Henderson settlement first provide when it opened its doors in the 1890s.

00:52:01.890 --> 00:52:09.540 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Um, so initially from the very beginning when William wall came to the Lower East Side. It was about

00:52:09.930 --> 00:52:18.420 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Nursing Care. So they she and a colleague Mary Brewster, and Mary Brewster eventually soon after had to leave because she had with them for help.

00:52:18.810 --> 00:52:33.990 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: They if somebody had, you know, broken arm if somebody was having a baby. If somebody had gotten a scald or a burn if a baby was having issues they would, they would help them and for on a sliding scale of little or no cost.

00:52:35.130 --> 00:52:41.250 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: And but that wasn't just that wasn't all in many ways. They were like, social workers, so if somebody needed

00:52:42.360 --> 00:52:47.130 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: You know car fair to get up town for a job interview, they would help them with that if someone was

00:52:48.240 --> 00:52:59.700 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: The youth is a euphemism. They would say, you know, a young girl in trouble. She, she would they would help with that they might help people get food if they needed once they moved into the headquarters at eight.

00:53:00.750 --> 00:53:07.620 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: To 65 Henry street in 1895 they started doing classes and clubs and and

00:53:07.920 --> 00:53:18.450 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: arts programs because Lillian well believe that it wasn't just about having enough to eat or a good place to a safe place to live. It was about nourishing your soul and everything they did really

00:53:19.140 --> 00:53:27.930 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: All the clubs and the classes. It was a way to bring different people together around common concern, so they could learn about each other. And in doing so, break down.

00:53:28.320 --> 00:53:42.210 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Barriers that were so on useful to life in the city, and she really imagined a much more just society and and in a really a really had a really wonderful vision of what New York City could be

00:53:42.510 --> 00:53:42.930 Um,

00:53:44.490 --> 00:53:57.540 Jeff Goodman: The history of the Lower East Side on like most neighborhoods in the city is a history of evolving communities and immigrant communities have changed over the years, the lower east side has certainly been host to immigrant communities. And one thing that

00:53:58.560 --> 00:54:05.520 Jeff Goodman: Has been true about New York for at least 140 years. I remember I was at an open house once and there was a book on the tab is doing it for another

00:54:05.820 --> 00:54:14.340 Jeff Goodman: Another agent and there was a book on the table of a coffee table book about Carnegie Hall and what and what Manhattan was like an 8090

00:54:14.730 --> 00:54:19.440 Jeff Goodman: And something like 43 or 44% of people who lived in Manhattan.

00:54:20.070 --> 00:54:28.320 Jeff Goodman: Were not born in the United States and that has been adoringly true in New York City around 40% of the people who live in our great city were not even born in the United States.

00:54:29.280 --> 00:54:42.540 Jeff Goodman: How exact and that's been of course true in the Lower East Side and and and communities have changed. How has the Henry street settlement responded to its new neighbors and its new communities in the Lower East Side with with its programming.

00:54:43.530 --> 00:54:54.780 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Well, I mean, over the years. What has been so remarkable about Henry street settlement is its ability and desire to move with the times. And literally and Walt said from the very beginning, we will continue our work.

00:54:55.530 --> 00:55:00.270 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: But we will do it by moving with the times, not with a fixed program so that meant

00:55:00.930 --> 00:55:09.510 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Using this sort of blueprint for social justice that she had of think of seeing that everybody was holding worthy that poverty was a social issue.

00:55:10.140 --> 00:55:22.260 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: That neighbors really do matter so guided by that blueprint. It then became the obvious to work with newcomers as they came to the neighborhood and as earlier immigrants left and

00:55:22.950 --> 00:55:29.520 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: African Americans as, as Rob was talking about arrived from the south and Puerto Ricans arrived in New York City.

00:55:30.240 --> 00:55:44.550 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: These became their new neighbors and Henry street embrace them just as they had embraced earlier generations of newcomers, and in big and serious ways just for example in the 1960s.

00:55:46.350 --> 00:56:02.850 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: When Henry street celebrates well to do ways to good example 75th anniversary. They have a street fair and and the newsletter for Henry street says, Well, you know, we had a pageant like this in for the 20th anniversary. But now at our 75th anniversary

00:56:03.930 --> 00:56:18.540 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: The sounds are Spanish and not yet ish and we are, but we are we are proved that we can all be together and live together and work together and Henry street over time continues to respond to newcomers one Chinese immigrants.

00:56:19.590 --> 00:56:24.690 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Came into the neighborhood in the 1990s, then their programming reflected that and today.

00:56:25.440 --> 00:56:31.710 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Henry street continues to be a place of neighbors helping neighbors, especially in this time of incredible need that is

00:56:32.550 --> 00:56:42.660 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: I think the pandemic has really put a spotlight on and today they're responding to their, their neighbors needs, whether it's in health and education or what's especially critical now in

00:56:43.680 --> 00:56:53.850 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Food Insecurity they're supplying you 12,000 meals a week to people in the neighborhood. So it's just I really can't say I chemistry was just an incredibly

00:56:55.020 --> 00:57:03.030 Ellen Snyder-Grenier: Inspiring institution and it's it's a it's really a gift that there's continue to be a neighbor on the Lower East Side as

00:57:03.780 --> 00:57:08.310 Jeff Goodman: Well, even though times have changed some things about the world and our city of not

00:57:09.420 --> 00:57:21.540 Jeff Goodman: The overall vision of the industry settlements still embodies what Lillian Wald had when she started to Henry street settlement and it's still serving the communities of the neighborhood, maybe even in ways that that she didn't anticipate

00:57:23.550 --> 00:57:33.840 Jeff Goodman: Ellen Steiner grand. Yay. Thank you so much for being a guest on the program Ellen's book is the House on Henry Street, it's published by NYU Press, maybe a competitor to Columbia University.

00:57:33.840 --> 00:57:43.890 Jeff Goodman: Press which published that book of the first guest on the show the books were published a year apart, by the way. So this is a great brother and sister TV are competing universities presses.

00:57:44.970 --> 00:57:48.510 Jeff Goodman: Competing books but published about on the same subject.

00:57:50.370 --> 00:57:58.230 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York that NYC.

00:57:58.710 --> 00:58:05.880 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook. That's rediscovering York with Jeff Goodman and also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC.

00:58:06.390 --> 00:58:10.830 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors tonight the mark to market strategies that freedom mortgage

00:58:11.280 --> 00:58:16.050 Jeff Goodman: And the Law Offices of Tom Seattle focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.

00:58:16.740 --> 00:58:21.390 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent and brown Harris Stevens in New York City.

00:58:21.780 --> 00:58:27.600 Jeff Goodman: And whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting my team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate.

00:58:28.050 --> 00:58:45.180 Jeff Goodman: To help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producer Israel story or our engineer is the great Sam Leibowitz our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.


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