On this week’s show we will celebrate New Yorkers whom you may not have heard of but who have played an important role in the City’s African American History.
My guests will be author and local historian Erik K. Washington, who will talk about his recent book Boss of the Grips, The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal; and Founder and Artistic Director of On Site Opera, who will speak about On Site’s upcoming production of The Road We Came, a project that explores the composers, musicians and places that define the rich African American history of the City.
On tonight's episode we’re going to take a walk through the past and talk about very influential people Eric K Washington as our first guest He’s the owner of tagging the past which reconnects forgot history to present landscapes. Through articles and talks and tours. Eric loves New York and sadly when he was three months old his parents moved to Staten Island, and when he was 16 he returned to New York to live in Harlem and New York has become the best for most of his life now. Eric is a writer who has won an award for his book called boss of the grips The life of James H Williams. It’s a heartwarming story about the determined nation and ambition. The inspiration for his book came from a mature tour through Grand Central Station that he created.
if you want to take a look at Eric’s tours for tagging the past you can go to ekwashington.com. James H Williams grew up in New York. He was a child of two former slaves in Virginia. He was born in 1878. His florist Charles Thoroughly played a major part in Williams's life because he helped him get the job at Grand Central Station he was the first African-American to work on Grand Central Station. Williams worked with Charles at the flower shop and it helped him really in the city. They were thinking of changing the system From all white red cab to all black red caps. and they thought William was the perfect candidate because he knew the city and had a good temperament and he was great with people. In six years he would move up to be one of the head guys working on Grand Central Station and also be an activist Working with NAACP And raising the most money.
Our second guest are the creators of an opera Celebrating Black New Yorkers. The opera company is called on-site opera and I produce operas in nontraditional venues. By staging operas in places traditional to the opera itself itself. amplifying the world of the opera and its audience. The creators of the latest creation which will be premiering in June called the Road we came. Eric Einhorn, is the artistic director of the company. Glimmerglass festival and the MET are just some of his achievements. Robert McKinney is another part of the company. He’s been called one of the finest singers of his generation and is celebrated by the opera news as a voice that drips with gold. With many things closed because of the pandemic Ryan adapted his love of opera to the film screen. At the beginning of the quarantine he found a keep the music going productions. He took live and recorded performances to raise money for The artist struggling during this time.
On-site opera takes place It’s centers around three Part of Manhattan and upper Manhattan Midtown tour. The places that this takes place this place is that you’ll No already. Carnegie Hall Lincoln Center just to name a few. It takes pleasure in places you know if you were in New Yorker but also places that you would walk by and think nothing of. They include a lot of historical figures like links to Hughes Shag burgers center. there’s a lot of sections about the underground, And information on Frederick Douglass. very influential people tor black history. You can be standing in such an influential place with so much history and you wouldn’t even be aware of it. That’s what Eric and Robert really try to show you through the power of opera.
00:00:40.260 --> 00:00:41.430 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone.
00:00:42.720 --> 00:00:51.030 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone, welcome to our listeners in the big apple from across the US and around the world i'm Jeff Goodman, and this is rediscovering New York.
00:00:51.750 --> 00:00:56.820 Jeff Goodman: professionally i'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens, but our show is not about real estate.
00:00:57.420 --> 00:01:12.600 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city, and we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists musicians and artists and the occasional elected official.
00:01:13.620 --> 00:01:22.050 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood we explore its history and its current energy what makes that particular New York neighborhood special.
00:01:22.860 --> 00:01:29.880 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight's we look at an interesting and vital color of the city and its history that's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:30.630 --> 00:01:39.240 Jeff Goodman: Prior episodes have covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in or had some interesting history here in the city, about half of them.
00:01:39.990 --> 00:01:43.440 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of women activists in the women's suffrage movement in the city.
00:01:44.250 --> 00:01:49.350 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of different immigrant communities, including people who were brought here in slaved.
00:01:49.830 --> 00:01:53.850 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement.
00:01:54.600 --> 00:02:01.290 Jeff Goodman: we've explored the history of bicycles and cycling, believe it or not, they've been part of our cities landscape, for more than two centuries.
00:02:02.100 --> 00:02:08.190 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of punk and opera in New York, they were separate shows, by the way, as much as I love both of them I didn't put them together.
00:02:09.390 --> 00:02:22.920 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at our public library systems we actually have three in New York, we have three public library systems, we visited the subway we've looked at public art, we visited some of our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges, just to name a few.
00:02:23.940 --> 00:02:34.890 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast you can catch us on apple spotify Amazon podcasts stitcher Google podcasts and some others i've not heard it before but they're out there.
00:02:35.520 --> 00:02:43.110 Jeff Goodman: Tonight, just one of those special programs, we are going to be celebrating black history month and, unlike the episodes from a couple of years past couple of years.
00:02:43.560 --> 00:02:57.300 Jeff Goodman: we're going to look at some individual people, people who most new Yorkers and most people may not have heard of but who were very influential in some element of the city's history, and also in our arts and call it our arts and culture.
00:02:58.320 --> 00:03:10.800 Jeff Goodman: My first guest is Eric K Washington, he is in New York City based independent historian and the owner of tagging the past which reconnects forgotten history to present landscapes through articles talks and tours.
00:03:11.790 --> 00:03:21.630 Jeff Goodman: eric's many accomplishments include being a Columbia University Community scholar at cuny Leon levy Center for biography fellow and fellow and residents of the Museum of fine arts in Houston.
00:03:22.590 --> 00:03:30.570 Jeff Goodman: eric's first book manhattanville manhattanville old heart of West Harlem inspired his interpretive signage and West Harlem peers park.
00:03:31.020 --> 00:03:36.600 Jeff Goodman: A design project, which was awarded the 2010 masterworks award from the municipal art society here in New York.
00:03:37.290 --> 00:03:44.970 Jeff Goodman: Eric also collaborator on the production of the musical work which we will be focusing on the second part of our show the road we came.
00:03:45.630 --> 00:03:53.790 Jeff Goodman: eric's latest book which we're going to spend most of our time talking about this evening is boss of the grips the life of James H Williams and the red caps of grand central terminal.
00:03:54.690 --> 00:04:05.310 Jeff Goodman: it's a biography of a once influential Harlem Renaissance era Labor figure the book was honored as winner of the Herbert H Lehman prize was cited among open letters reviews 10 best biographies of.
00:04:06.840 --> 00:04:11.010 Jeff Goodman: and included in the bowery boys podcast 10 favorite books of 2019.
00:04:11.730 --> 00:04:19.950 Jeff Goodman: And if that's not enough just last night Eric was awarded the guides association of New York city's annual apple Award for outstanding book writing for guess what.
00:04:20.460 --> 00:04:31.200 Jeff Goodman: boss of the grips talk about timing it can't get much better than that for a timely introduction to a radio program and it's my pleasure to welcome Eric a Washington to rediscovering New York Eric welcome to the show.
00:04:32.010 --> 00:04:34.260 Eric K. Washington: Thank you for inviting me it's a pleasure to be here.
00:04:35.280 --> 00:04:44.700 Jeff Goodman: Eric I like to ask most of my guests, especially professionals who have made the study in celebration of New York part of their work if they're from New York originally or if they've come here from someplace else.
00:04:45.150 --> 00:04:45.750 Both.
00:04:47.190 --> 00:04:49.380 Eric K. Washington: So I was born in Harlem on.
00:04:50.520 --> 00:04:56.760 Eric K. Washington: 110 street Cathedral parkway across the street from the park it's no longer a hospital it's now a condo.
00:04:58.260 --> 00:05:10.920 Eric K. Washington: But I was one of many of those families that they thought that it would be better to bring their kids to raise them in the suburbs, so we moved to Staten island when I was three weeks old kicking and screaming.
00:05:12.300 --> 00:05:15.900 Eric K. Washington: So my formative years were on Staten island, which is still part of New York City.
00:05:18.120 --> 00:05:27.090 Eric K. Washington: And I came back to Harlem and when I was 16 and had lived other places as well, but Harlem is, as has been my base for most of my life.
00:05:27.840 --> 00:05:36.060 Eric K. Washington: And even when we were living there, most of them yeah my grandparents, you know i'm third generation Harlem so you know the relatives we're all we're all here so.
00:05:36.570 --> 00:05:42.090 Jeff Goodman: Well that's great you beat me i've only lived in neighborhood for seven years, I live on 130 history but i'm glad to be here.
00:05:42.630 --> 00:05:51.720 Jeff Goodman: um I do want to spend most of our time together on their show speaking about your new book, but I did want to ask you briefly about your first book manhattanville the old heart of West Harlem.
00:05:52.470 --> 00:05:57.450 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you what inspired you to research and write it, I asked, because when most people think about Harlem.
00:05:57.900 --> 00:06:05.610 Jeff Goodman: The manhattanville section doesn't command nearly the same attention is other parts of Harlem like the central part of Harlem which most people think of is as Harlem.
00:06:06.480 --> 00:06:21.120 Jeff Goodman: Hamilton heights and sugar hill or even East Harlem for our listeners who aren't familiar manhattanville is the western part of Harlem in the southern part of Harlem it's between St Nicholas park in the River him about below 133rd street what inspired you to write a book about manhattanville.
00:06:21.570 --> 00:06:28.950 Eric K. Washington: Well it's interesting I was living in Manhattan ville at the time, and for me if anybody asked, I was on team in place it's this little street.
00:06:29.790 --> 00:06:44.970 Eric K. Washington: One block south of 120 fifth street between broadway in riverside drive and the landmarks preservation Commission was about to landmark what is the oldest institution there St mary's episcopal church.
00:06:46.590 --> 00:06:51.990 Eric K. Washington: And so I was approached to do the designation report so that involve doing the history, not just of.
00:06:52.230 --> 00:06:59.970 Eric K. Washington: The Church and putting it in context, but it was because I lived there, it was also my own neighborhood history, so I never thought of it as being manhattanville the live.
00:07:00.780 --> 00:07:10.170 Eric K. Washington: The Church has manhattanville written on the junior high school has manhattanville written in stone, the closest post office is called the Manhattan bill post office.
00:07:10.650 --> 00:07:18.630 Eric K. Washington: But I didn't make those connections and still I until I started doing the research on assignment, so they got their land marking and then I was hooked because.
00:07:19.320 --> 00:07:30.150 Eric K. Washington: For the most part of the 19th century, it was as prominent as Greenwich village or any other neighborhood and it was usually spoken of in the same breath as Harlem and what.
00:07:30.840 --> 00:07:37.800 Eric K. Washington: Harlem at the time when you thought of it in the night i've been into the into the 19th century was what we would call now.
00:07:38.280 --> 00:07:52.320 Eric K. Washington: El Barrio East Harlem so so the kernel of the village, the concentrated village was also a storefront on the east river and Manhattan though was founded on the Hudson river, so you had these two towns.
00:07:53.280 --> 00:08:05.610 Eric K. Washington: And they were you know when you spoke of both we're so far removed from the rest of the concentrated part of the city, so that you will usually spoken up as Holland manhattanville, but they were fairly distinct because the in between was kind of.
00:08:07.470 --> 00:08:20.460 Eric K. Washington: You know kind of spare not empty but but kind of spare and everything was concentrated around those those points so that's how I came to it was it was sort of just by accident of being offered in an assignment to to do the research and and i'm glad I did.
00:08:21.750 --> 00:08:35.070 Eric K. Washington: Because it opened up my eyes and a lot of I started doing tours as I was learning things with with my neighbors and saying you know guess who lived in your building and I guess it was, and so it just kind of grew from there into into the book.
00:08:36.390 --> 00:08:42.870 Jeff Goodman: Speaking of books boss of the grips your latest book it's a moving story of determination ambition.
00:08:43.470 --> 00:08:58.110 Jeff Goodman: And someone who ended up being a pioneer in a number of ways, and a leader, not only have a Community but also have an institution and certainly an unsung hero until your book was published what what inspired you to write boss of the grips.
00:08:58.740 --> 00:09:03.660 Eric K. Washington: Well it's interesting I was i'm a licensed New York City tour guide, so I was offered.
00:09:05.010 --> 00:09:07.650 Eric K. Washington: An opportunity to do tours of grand central.
00:09:09.420 --> 00:09:18.360 Eric K. Washington: As they were celebrating their centennial in 2013 and grand central I I know it's a great railroad station, but it wasn't my beaten I kind of bought.
00:09:20.190 --> 00:09:29.550 Eric K. Washington: But they were the municipal arts decided they'd gotten the contract to do daily tours and then what happened was hurricane sandy so the tourists tourists training.
00:09:30.150 --> 00:09:36.450 Eric K. Washington: kind of got sabotage, because a lot of the dose into we're going to be leading the tours weren't in Manhattan and they couldn't get in town.
00:09:36.930 --> 00:09:44.070 Eric K. Washington: And so they contacted some of us who are regular guides for the municipal art society, so I said yes, so I kind of boned up on grand central.
00:09:44.340 --> 00:09:50.220 Eric K. Washington: And I wanted to write, something I knew that there was a long history of African Americans in the railroad.
00:09:50.550 --> 00:09:59.670 Eric K. Washington: I didn't know precisely this I knew about the sleeping quarters, or the pullman porters as they were called I think i'd heard of red caps and just kind of thought that they were the same thing interchangeably used.
00:10:00.840 --> 00:10:04.590 Eric K. Washington: So I wrote an article I didn't want to write about the architecture, because everybody else would be doing that.
00:10:04.920 --> 00:10:11.130 Eric K. Washington: And I didn't realize that be getting paid or because when I learned about the red caps, the first black red CAP was at grand central.
00:10:11.670 --> 00:10:18.960 Eric K. Washington: And if you think of, say, central park in relation to america's great parks, everything is kind of inspired or copied off of.
00:10:19.410 --> 00:10:32.040 Eric K. Washington: That template of central park or grand central was that to American railroads whatever they were doing there everybody else started doing so, when they started their red CAP program in 1895 which was all white.
00:10:34.080 --> 00:10:41.730 Eric K. Washington: penn station started doing it, and all the other stages along the New York central's lines and then across the country it started.
00:10:42.060 --> 00:10:49.350 Eric K. Washington: Then in 1903 when my subject James Williams integrated it and it became all black within a year.
00:10:49.770 --> 00:11:04.140 Eric K. Washington: everybody else pretty much started doing that, with a few exceptions Chicago was was mixed for a little while if you see the movie North by Northwest in cary grant running away and it's like oh they're white red caps there, so that in Chicago that's still existed so.
00:11:05.370 --> 00:11:11.970 Eric K. Washington: The inspiration was really just to do something other than pointing out what was on the script of the tour.
00:11:13.410 --> 00:11:26.040 Eric K. Washington: And it was fascinating because I find this guy who has he's he's obscure now, but he was really well connected and everybody knew him and everybody knew him, for one reason because he knew everybody, and so it was really it was really.
00:11:27.300 --> 00:11:41.160 Eric K. Washington: was really great to meet somebody like this and then you're connecting with all these other people who are more familiar names today like like ropes and and Adam clayton Powell jr had who had done a little bit of time read capping you know to you know pay for their you know for school.
00:11:41.700 --> 00:11:42.990 Jeff Goodman: Thanks to Williams hiring them.
00:11:43.080 --> 00:11:44.220 Eric K. Washington: Also, yes, yes.
00:11:45.420 --> 00:11:54.960 Jeff Goodman: we're going to take a break in a minute, but I wanted to ask you, you know what you know we we we face discrimination in our society and there, and there is races in the United States, the.
00:11:55.950 --> 00:12:07.980 Jeff Goodman: The job opportunities available to African Americans, you know 120 years ago would have been you know must have been really limited what kind of jobs could African Americans expect to get around 1900.
00:12:08.610 --> 00:12:21.210 Eric K. Washington: Well, this was the thing, most of the jobs that you could expect to get were service jobs and around 1900 even this was changing because it was a great influx of European immigrants.
00:12:21.780 --> 00:12:28.560 Eric K. Washington: And because racism has been you know part of the American fabric, since since its beginning.
00:12:28.890 --> 00:12:45.540 Eric K. Washington: So a lot of people were more comfortable hiring whites where they would have had black servants and so blacks were losing those who's losing those jobs so being a if you were male sleeping cardboard or working for the railroad riding the rails or red capping became.
00:12:46.890 --> 00:12:55.590 Eric K. Washington: One of the very few opportunities, so this was why it was while it was grunt work, it was it was still coveted by a lot of young young black men.
00:12:56.430 --> 00:13:14.040 Eric K. Washington: Because, because the job opportunities were the options were so limited, but it was also a way for them to kind of get a toehold into the black middle class, because it was regular, it was a struggle, you were working basically only for tips not not a salary.
00:13:15.450 --> 00:13:21.480 Eric K. Washington: But it was a way to get by and it had a certain kind of prestige, because it was grand central terminal.
00:13:21.870 --> 00:13:28.290 Eric K. Washington: And you networked while you were working you knew where people were going, you know what people's tastes were so there was a whole sort of.
00:13:28.590 --> 00:13:36.450 Eric K. Washington: Inter cultural component that made it very, very attractive and that was one of the things that Williams have to orchestrate very, very well.
00:13:37.350 --> 00:13:46.200 Eric K. Washington: He was particularly well known and remembered for giving a lot of young black college students work, who would come on their breaks from.
00:13:47.190 --> 00:13:57.750 Eric K. Washington: You know all along the eastern seaboard from southern states from new england's schools and from local schools, and this was often the first time that a lot of these young black college students were meeting.
00:13:58.350 --> 00:14:08.370 Eric K. Washington: blacks from another area of the country and we're creating very, very strong social bonds there but not exclusively, there were some people who, who did the work you know, while they were.
00:14:10.080 --> 00:14:16.260 Eric K. Washington: Just That was the work they did and and they and they and they stayed on, but it was a particular thing that he was.
00:14:16.920 --> 00:14:30.000 Eric K. Washington: kind of bent on because it was it was kind of part of his activism was he knew where they what their goals were and that when they finished their schooling, let them stay in school get their degrees and then they can come back and be of service to the community.
00:14:31.020 --> 00:14:39.150 Eric K. Washington: And you had people from every discipline, you know your doctors, lawyers clerics artists broadway stars athletes, what have you.
00:14:40.500 --> 00:14:46.440 Jeff Goodman: we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with author and historian Eric a Washington.
00:14:47.610 --> 00:14:56.850 Jeff Goodman: Whose book boss of the grips the life of James Williams, has just won a prize from the guides association of New York City will be back in a moment.
00:14:58.890 --> 00:15:06.810 Eric K. Washington: To talk radio nyc at www talk radio dot nyc now broadcasting 24 hours a day.
00:17:52.590 --> 00:17:59.310 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone we're back this is rediscovering New York it's 100 third episode and tonight we're celebrating black history month in New York.
00:17:59.730 --> 00:18:07.500 Jeff Goodman: And we're doing it through looking at some folks that people may not have heard of before my first guest is Eric a Washington.
00:18:07.830 --> 00:18:19.230 Jeff Goodman: Who just wrote this great book called boss of the grips the life of James H Williams, who was the chief attendant, also known as the chief red CAP and grand central terminal before we get back to the book Eric I want to ask you briefly.
00:18:19.770 --> 00:18:24.780 Jeff Goodman: You want to talk about checking the past and what kind of offerings people can find with with.
00:18:25.200 --> 00:18:28.470 Eric K. Washington: tagging the path sort of by personal a corporation so.
00:18:29.700 --> 00:18:33.390 Eric K. Washington: it's it's a rubric I use for when I often give tours or.
00:18:34.980 --> 00:18:35.460 Eric K. Washington: Private.
00:18:36.660 --> 00:18:40.980 Eric K. Washington: Arrangements contract with school groups or other institutions or.
00:18:42.360 --> 00:18:45.000 Eric K. Washington: And talks tours presentations.
00:18:46.530 --> 00:18:54.900 Eric K. Washington: So it doesn't have like a schedule on my website, you can see a lot of things that you know i've offered over the years, so it's it's it's just that this kind of work.
00:18:56.670 --> 00:18:59.460 Jeff Goodman: And what's what's the website address is attacking the past.
00:18:59.760 --> 00:19:01.260 Eric K. Washington: No it's a part of.
00:19:02.370 --> 00:19:03.780 Eric K. Washington: Ek Washington COM.
00:19:05.010 --> 00:19:05.370 Jeff Goodman: Okay.
00:19:06.390 --> 00:19:08.550 Jeff Goodman: Great well getting back to to Williams.
00:19:09.660 --> 00:19:17.100 Jeff Goodman: What was his journey to becoming chief attended, how did he how did he managed to get the top job of the red caps at grand central.
00:19:17.490 --> 00:19:26.190 Eric K. Washington: what's interesting he grew up he was born in New York, is he was this child of two formerly enslaved parents from Virginia.
00:19:27.600 --> 00:19:31.320 Eric K. Washington: And he was born on 15th street the House the tenement is still there.
00:19:33.300 --> 00:19:39.810 Eric K. Washington: I know I know I couldn't afford to live in it now and what is now selfie and like.
00:19:40.080 --> 00:19:41.400 Jeff Goodman: I was a different place back then.
00:19:41.670 --> 00:19:53.940 Eric K. Washington: yeah one in 1878 like a lot of young people at the time he worked as a kid and one of the things it's not really clear who recommended him for the job we know.
00:19:55.320 --> 00:20:05.070 Eric K. Washington: That it must have been somebody of great influence because he's going to be the first African American who's going into this job so.
00:20:05.850 --> 00:20:15.180 Eric K. Washington: My speculation is that it was this person who we worked for for many years is florist Charles thoroughly, who was one of the eminent preeminent florists of the gilded age.
00:20:16.230 --> 00:20:29.400 Eric K. Washington: And he was a floral messenger as far as up until like 1900 for authority so it's you know it's not a glamorous job but he's getting this whole supplementary cultural education by working for thoroughly.
00:20:29.760 --> 00:20:36.870 Eric K. Washington: Because he's delivering flower, you know is you know it's like kind of what we do now, when you can wire flowers somewhere somebody orders flowers.
00:20:37.230 --> 00:20:45.360 Eric K. Washington: And he would bring them so it's, just like the pizza guy who comes to your door yo you open the door and he sees you know what you've got hanging on your walls.
00:20:45.960 --> 00:20:53.430 Eric K. Washington: He might you might chat with him for a little bit so he's learning, all of this stuff about you know people's tastes people's trends, he had only really to.
00:20:53.790 --> 00:21:01.770 Eric K. Washington: Look and thoroughly ledger to see what kind of flowers, people are ordering for what kind of occasion, who was this person, a diplomat.
00:21:02.640 --> 00:21:16.800 Eric K. Washington: Somebody courting someone so he's getting this whole really interesting cultural education and he's also learning the city because he's making deliveries constantly so he's got his groundwork so i'm thinking, I think this was really one of the things that.
00:21:17.880 --> 00:21:28.770 Eric K. Washington: By the time that grand central is deciding that they want to overhaul their system of all white red caps into all black red caps, which would really match the sleeping car quarters.
00:21:30.180 --> 00:21:37.770 Eric K. Washington: That he's a perfect candidate, he has a good temperament he has a sense of tact he's good with people he's used to talking to people and I.
00:21:38.340 --> 00:21:45.480 Eric K. Washington: know there might have been some other people, but my my best bet is that this florist Charles totally was would have been the one to recommend him there and.
00:21:47.670 --> 00:21:48.900 Eric K. Washington: He ends up you know.
00:21:50.190 --> 00:21:57.540 Eric K. Washington: Being a major figure in this job everybody knows him around the city, for you know the rest of his life until he died in 1948.
00:22:00.090 --> 00:22:07.290 Jeff Goodman: did well, you must face any racism, particularly from people in grand central who would have been.
00:22:08.670 --> 00:22:21.000 Jeff Goodman: Either above him in the hierarchy did he did he encounter difficulties in with racism and being able to do his job and do the work that that that he did in bringing on so many people to to be attendance.
00:22:21.240 --> 00:22:22.350 Eric K. Washington: Yes, I mean.
00:22:23.370 --> 00:22:32.310 Eric K. Washington: Yes, i'm much it was indirectly because he was management, but he's management of what is the lowest Echelon this department, the Red CAP.
00:22:33.180 --> 00:22:43.530 Eric K. Washington: In grand central and the racism was part of the you know the structure, because you there was the only job that you could have if you were black.
00:22:43.980 --> 00:22:55.290 Eric K. Washington: So you couldn't be promoted up into the system, so when the when the whites left they could be promoted into other departments, and this was not an option for the box, so the whole system was sort of you know, Jim crow.
00:22:57.480 --> 00:22:58.590 Eric K. Washington: sort of a trap.
00:23:00.360 --> 00:23:08.070 Eric K. Washington: Is what yeah and my objective wasn't really to celebrate the work, but what to celebrate the resilience and the innovation.
00:23:08.400 --> 00:23:21.690 Eric K. Washington: That he and was it was able to oversee and inspire and conduct for his men to get by you know, one of the things that that really started to get when I was trying to get a Bead on him was when he first is made.
00:23:22.470 --> 00:23:32.430 Eric K. Washington: The chief attendant he starts as a regular read Kevin in 1903 and in 1909 six years later he's made chief attendant and one of the first things he does.
00:23:34.770 --> 00:23:37.890 Eric K. Washington: Is he has the men come down to this church for this big beating.
00:23:39.060 --> 00:23:47.640 Eric K. Washington: There have been some accidents, particularly one guy has died he's got knocked off onto the train train tracks his own daughter is in the hospital and.
00:23:48.330 --> 00:23:54.000 Eric K. Washington: It becomes very clear, because they building grand central terminal what we know today over the old grand Central Station.
00:23:54.270 --> 00:24:02.160 Eric K. Washington: So you can imagine, you know you're going through, and you know being told Oh, you know I know you usually go this way we're going to go this way you know, because this is cut off.
00:24:02.610 --> 00:24:09.210 Eric K. Washington: So it becomes very apparent that they're very vulnerable they are expendable they don't have.
00:24:10.050 --> 00:24:20.190 Eric K. Washington: Insurance their kids are gonna get sick, some of them are going to die, and so he starts he establishes this attendance beneficial association it's like this mutual aid society.
00:24:21.120 --> 00:24:28.890 Eric K. Washington: It kind of operates almost like a membership club you put in money in this way if somebody gets sick or you know your wife is pregnant or.
00:24:29.580 --> 00:24:41.820 Eric K. Washington: you're laid off for a while, or you have to pay for a funeral there's money in the pot to help to sustain that, and this was my first taste of his of his leadership and he does this, you know very soon after he gets this position.
00:24:43.140 --> 00:24:44.970 Jeff Goodman: I can think of it as being an activist also.
00:24:45.480 --> 00:24:57.510 Eric K. Washington: Yes, and it is kind of activism because it's it's a it's a different it's a different take, I know, most of us are familiar with, say, a Phillip randolph who organized the pullman porters the steak and cardboard is in 1925.
00:24:59.790 --> 00:25:08.190 Eric K. Washington: he's sort of a generation before then, so the activism In this sense, was getting everybody's foot in the door and getting the jobs.
00:25:08.910 --> 00:25:16.500 Eric K. Washington: Because these were hard to come by and sort of owning the department, and you know at the time he could have he could have not done it he I.
00:25:17.130 --> 00:25:29.250 Eric K. Washington: Think his position would have been is nothing in writing to sit to say what he what he thought, what if he didn't record this, but I think the the attitude would have been we know what's being offered, we can take it or leave it.
00:25:30.420 --> 00:25:39.240 Eric K. Washington: let's take it and see what we can do and that's what he did, and, as I say, as soon as he was hired within months within a year, it was it was all black.
00:25:40.410 --> 00:25:43.380 Jeff Goodman: and well, you must moved up to Harlem when did you when did you move to Harlem.
00:25:43.860 --> 00:25:52.440 Eric K. Washington: Well, that was interesting he was a so 1903 he gets this this job and he appears to have moved up to Harlem right about then.
00:25:53.370 --> 00:26:04.800 Eric K. Washington: And he's a celebrity because he's you know the one black guy who's got this position he's in charge and he's in charge at various times from anywhere from a dozen to 500 men.
00:26:05.520 --> 00:26:14.820 Eric K. Washington: At grand central and he's worked for Charles thoroughly who's famous or everybody so he's somebody even though he's moved up there on his on a block where a lot of people don't know him.
00:26:15.180 --> 00:26:28.950 Eric K. Washington: They want to know him he's the guy, who was the grand central so he moves up there about that so he's part of that first discernible wave of African Americans who are moving up to Harlem before we start speaking of the great migration.
00:26:30.000 --> 00:26:41.100 Eric K. Washington: So he's part of that very first wave that starts moving in and and having all of these you know overbuilt you know the specter of building that was had been going on as a result of.
00:26:42.510 --> 00:26:50.880 Eric K. Washington: The railroad that was about the other, the i'm sorry the subway it was about to open in 1904 so that first group he's a part of.
00:26:52.440 --> 00:26:55.320 Eric K. Washington: And he's immediately tapped in another sense of activism.
00:26:56.460 --> 00:27:04.590 Eric K. Washington: which we know less about because the nature of it tends to be fairly secretive, but the the paternal paternal orders and Masonic.
00:27:05.370 --> 00:27:15.390 Eric K. Washington: orders so he's tapped for those because he's a person of influence he's sort of this middle man he works in this space in midtown.
00:27:16.380 --> 00:27:27.720 Eric K. Washington: But he's living uptown he has this ability to be able to get work for people and he knows people because everybody was traveling whether you're rich or poor black or white and going in this direction.
00:27:28.230 --> 00:27:37.590 Eric K. Washington: At grand central they are greeting him so he's meeting The other thing that he was famous for besides the students was making these connections with people like all the roosevelts.
00:27:39.420 --> 00:27:40.440 Eric K. Washington: opera singers.
00:27:42.420 --> 00:27:54.840 Eric K. Washington: senators, you know Congressman that sort of thing and cultivating these relationships that he's able able to, and then, and some of them are casual, but many of them are much more profound so he's able to.
00:27:55.380 --> 00:28:01.530 Eric K. Washington: rely on them when there are certain crises, I have in the book, you may have noticed this letter that he writes to Cardinal.
00:28:02.970 --> 00:28:16.740 Eric K. Washington: Cardinal Hayes in regards to his son Wesley was new manhattan's first black fireman and there was some pushback about is getting a promotion as lieutenant and.
00:28:18.150 --> 00:28:26.220 Eric K. Washington: that's when Williams his talents kind of go into play, and he contacted the people he knows and to great effect so you know it worked out.
00:28:27.360 --> 00:28:30.570 Jeff Goodman: We have about a minute left Eric i'm time goes so fast on this program.
00:28:30.720 --> 00:28:32.640 Jeff Goodman: may see how it goes so fast it goes when you're.
00:28:32.940 --> 00:28:46.080 Jeff Goodman: Talking about something really substantive especially someone who was such an important part of the world what other organizations outside of grand central was Williams part of, and you want to talk, you know for a minute about racial uplift.
00:28:46.950 --> 00:28:55.860 Eric K. Washington: Well, the racial uplift was the urgent theme of the of the time, and there was a sort of a great you know effort to create these.
00:28:56.670 --> 00:29:05.790 Eric K. Washington: sort of a protein world of these societies and organizations that mirror the organizations that lacks were kept out of so.
00:29:06.540 --> 00:29:17.670 Eric K. Washington: He was part of all of that he was very much involved with the naacp he organized an orchestra at grand central terminal that was actually sort of went on tour for the naacp.
00:29:19.200 --> 00:29:20.160 Eric K. Washington: For several months.
00:29:21.330 --> 00:29:31.500 Eric K. Washington: He was very, very active in the war effort during World War one and buying liberty bonds his department raise more money than any other department in grand central, and it was written about him going over the top.
00:29:31.860 --> 00:29:42.240 Eric K. Washington: and being able to do this, so he was really connected to a lot of these things in different areas, whether it was for the war or social things I mentioned the fraternal groups.
00:29:44.490 --> 00:30:01.380 Eric K. Washington: That will often about you know, having affairs that were benefits for an orphanage or or a school or that sort of thing, so he was very much connected to the Community fabric in Harlem as much as he was an administrator in his department at grand central.
00:30:02.790 --> 00:30:12.390 Jeff Goodman: Well, great Eric a Washington Thank you so much for being our guest on this first part of our celebration of black history month on this edition of rediscovering New York.
00:30:12.690 --> 00:30:24.180 Jeff Goodman: eric's book boss, to the grips the life of James H Williams is published by live right publishing, which is a division of w w Norton and company and for which he just won the.
00:30:25.110 --> 00:30:31.320 Jeff Goodman: Say best book award from the guide association in New York City, and that was just last night Eric thanks so much for being a guest on the Program.
00:30:31.470 --> 00:30:32.580 Eric K. Washington: Thank you for inviting me.
00:30:33.480 --> 00:30:44.430 Jeff Goodman: we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak with two people who are creating a very special project and celebration of African American new Yorkers will be back in a moment.
00:30:48.570 --> 00:30:52.110 Eric K. Washington: And my see unless educate and.
00:33:30.510 --> 00:33:38.550 Jeff Goodman: we're back support for rediscovering the your comes from our sponsors Christopher Pappas mortgage specialist at TD bank.
00:33:39.000 --> 00:33:49.170 Jeff Goodman: To find out how Chris can help you with all your residential home mortgage needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you please give him a call at 203-512-3918.
00:33:49.800 --> 00:33:56.370 Jeff Goodman: and support also comes from the law offices of Thomas sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:33:57.090 --> 00:34:08.160 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 you can like the show on Facebook and you can also follow me on instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman nyc.
00:34:08.790 --> 00:34:15.060 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York dot nyc.
00:34:15.930 --> 00:34:22.740 Jeff Goodman: Well, our second guest, so the creators of an opera celebrating black new Yorkers through opera.
00:34:23.430 --> 00:34:30.450 Jeff Goodman: The opera companies called onsite opera For those of you who don't know that it produces site specific operas and non traditional venues throughout the city.
00:34:31.170 --> 00:34:38.460 Jeff Goodman: By staging each opera in an environment specific to the piece on site opera surrounds the audience and artists and the music and drama of the story.
00:34:38.970 --> 00:34:42.690 Jeff Goodman: amplifying the connection between the world of the Opera and the reality of the audience.
00:34:43.170 --> 00:34:49.530 Jeff Goodman: To date, on site has produced opposite within a dozen unique venues and i'm proud to say i've been to some of the productions.
00:34:50.130 --> 00:35:01.800 Jeff Goodman: And we'll be speaking to the creators of the latest creation, which will be premiering in June it's called the road we can our two guests Eric einhorn Eric is the Co founding general and artistic director of the company.
00:35:02.850 --> 00:35:08.280 Jeff Goodman: eric's complete list of engagements and accomplishments in the wonderful world of opera, as I say, are too long to go through.
00:35:08.670 --> 00:35:22.320 Jeff Goodman: and still have considerable time to talk about his latest latest project that on site, but just to name a few he include the glimmerglass festival lyric opera Chicago and met here in New York, we he has served on the directing staff, since 2005.
00:35:23.340 --> 00:35:30.360 Jeff Goodman: Recent projects include his lyric opera Chicago debut staging hansel and gretel in a subsequent return to the company to direct a pure autonomy.
00:35:30.780 --> 00:35:35.400 Jeff Goodman: And the world premiere of the property it's a klezmer opera for which he was also adapter.
00:35:36.030 --> 00:35:44.520 Jeff Goodman: Eric has a past, winner of the national opera association scholarly paper competition and is a frequent contributor of book reviews to the national opera associations opera journal.
00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:50.550 Jeff Goodman: He holds a bachelor of music degree in opera directing invoice performance from the oberlin conservatory of music.
00:35:51.300 --> 00:36:04.500 Jeff Goodman: And our second guest from the company is Ryan mckinney Ryan, is a bass baritone he's been called, one of the finest singers of his generation and it's celebrated by opera news has a voice that drips with gold that's a direct quote, by the way.
00:36:05.580 --> 00:36:12.060 Jeff Goodman: Like eric's accomplishments ryan's a too long to detail and still have enough time to talk about the road we came because a very short list.
00:36:12.510 --> 00:36:23.640 Jeff Goodman: In the 2018 and 19 season Ryan made two important role debuts the title role and don Giovanni and Houston grand opera and vote on and does Ryan goal that open them on how to have my favorite operas, by the way.
00:36:24.600 --> 00:36:30.660 Jeff Goodman: last season Ryan made his role and how steep you with the lyric opera of chicago's new production of dead man walking.
00:36:31.560 --> 00:36:38.310 Jeff Goodman: With many of the world's opera and constant venues closed due to the global pandemic Ryan adapted the beauty of his art to the film screened.
00:36:39.030 --> 00:36:47.460 Jeff Goodman: At the beginning of quarantine He founded keep the music going productions, where he in a group of renowned artists shared videos both live and recorded to raise funds.
00:36:48.000 --> 00:36:53.070 Jeff Goodman: For the fantastic relief organizations that provide financial support to artists during this very challenging time.
00:36:53.880 --> 00:37:00.210 Jeff Goodman: Among ryan's works are a short film glimmerglass leader, where he showcase schubert leader against the stunning backdrop.
00:37:00.510 --> 00:37:10.800 Jeff Goodman: of US Diego county and the glimmerglass festival campus I love schubert, by the way, and i'll have to see that Eric and Ryan, a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York Hello.
00:37:11.400 --> 00:37:12.510 Ryan McKinny: Thanks so much for having us.
00:37:13.110 --> 00:37:20.550 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you both just a question before we talk about the road we came Eric at what point in your career, did you envision the creation of your own opera company.
00:37:23.880 --> 00:37:25.110 Eric Einhorn: that's a very good question.
00:37:26.100 --> 00:37:26.970 Jeff Goodman: I asked good questions.
00:37:27.750 --> 00:37:28.620 Eric Einhorn: You absolutely.
00:37:29.700 --> 00:37:41.430 Eric Einhorn: Being a director there's there's an inherent entrepreneurial side of it all, and the the idea for for starting on site.
00:37:42.000 --> 00:37:45.990 Eric Einhorn: came out of a point in my career, where I was looking for.
00:37:46.500 --> 00:37:57.570 Eric Einhorn: A different kind of creative outlet i've had great success and been very fortunate working at some incredible opera companies with wonderful colleagues, but there was something that I, as a director was still looking to to express and.
00:37:58.590 --> 00:38:07.620 Eric Einhorn: foolishly thought well starting an opera company is the easiest thing to do to to make that happen, and my colleagues and mentors why express that to at the time.
00:38:08.280 --> 00:38:21.180 Eric Einhorn: which we all the best and condolences for for the decision that was about to make sense, but it has been onsite celebrates its 10th anniversary next year and it's been the right of my life it's.
00:38:21.840 --> 00:38:28.290 Eric Einhorn: Incredibly lucky to work with amazing people you're after a year and just keep on keep on having fun.
00:38:29.640 --> 00:38:31.860 Jeff Goodman: Ryan, how did you first become involved with onsite.
00:38:33.420 --> 00:38:41.790 Ryan McKinny: Well, I had been, as you said, working on these sort of pivoted from being a singer to a filmmaker pretty quickly, which was an interesting experience and.
00:38:42.510 --> 00:38:49.710 Ryan McKinny: I am friends with Kenneth overton, who is the star of this show that we're working on called the road we came.
00:38:50.490 --> 00:38:56.160 Ryan McKinny: And Kenny, and I got together, I was sort of calling all of my friends, who I have all of these really amazing.
00:38:56.970 --> 00:39:01.710 Ryan McKinny: friends from being a singer and he's one of them, and I said hey should we do a thing together and I.
00:39:02.370 --> 00:39:10.800 Ryan McKinny: Had this idea that maybe we would do initially thinking of maybe some spirituals his Kenny, has a spiritual zabul mountain that's really amazing he's fantastic.
00:39:11.520 --> 00:39:25.080 Ryan McKinny: In in historically important places in New York City and I called a Chris staab who is Eric you have to help me out, I remember what his actual title is he does all of the things at onsite opera.
00:39:25.110 --> 00:39:26.550 Eric Einhorn: make all the things yeah he's.
00:39:27.180 --> 00:39:30.930 Eric Einhorn: yeah he's he's our amazing director of production and artistic operations.
00:39:31.140 --> 00:39:44.820 Ryan McKinny: yeah and he's a very good friend of mine and i've worked with him a lot and different opera companies and Eric I Nord and I had worked together to and I mentioned this to Chris this sort of idea, and he said I think that's something that that could be interesting.
00:39:45.900 --> 00:39:56.220 Ryan McKinny: And then so so Eric einhorn and I and and Kenny, and my wife tanya who also works on all of these things with me got together and put put our heads together and created this.
00:39:57.480 --> 00:40:07.950 Ryan McKinny: Pretty what's been a really interesting journey that sort of taken us through the last I don't know nine or 10 months so even just that has been really amazing and then, of course, bringing Eric a Washington on.
00:40:09.150 --> 00:40:11.970 Ryan McKinny: yeah it's been it's been really wonderful so that's kind of how it got started.
00:40:12.720 --> 00:40:16.320 Jeff Goodman: What is the road we came, what is it about what is the what is the.
00:40:16.500 --> 00:40:19.020 Jeff Goodman: What can yes SEC if they if they if.
00:40:19.020 --> 00:40:21.210 Jeff Goodman: They actually go on the go on the production.
00:40:22.110 --> 00:40:31.410 Ryan McKinny: I guess i'll take that one i'll do any of us could we were also immersed in this, it is a musical walking tour of black history in New York City.
00:40:31.830 --> 00:40:40.950 Ryan McKinny: And it stars, the amazing bass baritone Kenny overton and also is narrated by Eric a Washington and also.
00:40:41.460 --> 00:40:56.100 Ryan McKinny: curated the particular sites that it takes you along and the history behind that is has was all put together by Eric a Washington and so it's filmed so when you get to these places, you will watch Kenny sing.
00:40:57.180 --> 00:40:58.500 Ryan McKinny: Some amazing pieces.
00:40:59.580 --> 00:41:02.490 Ryan McKinny: Almost all of them, composers of color.
00:41:03.660 --> 00:41:10.290 Ryan McKinny: And it's i'm the one filming it my wife and I are filming it and it's.
00:41:10.890 --> 00:41:16.950 Ryan McKinny: yeah I think it would really be a treat for people, a lot of repertoire they probably didn't know about a lot of history, they didn't know about and.
00:41:17.250 --> 00:41:31.620 Ryan McKinny: you'll actually get to be in those places which, of course, in these times it's really special to have a interactive arts experience, because of course we can't be in the theater like we're all we all love to do and in the before times.
00:41:32.880 --> 00:41:34.170 Eric Einhorn: Did the major I will.
00:41:35.370 --> 00:41:36.030 Jeff Goodman: Go ahead sorry.
00:41:36.810 --> 00:41:49.650 Eric Einhorn: Sorry just just to add that the the experience is all through a mobile APP that audiences can use as they walk around, but the great thing about is that you don't have to be in New York to experience it, you can have the same.
00:41:50.160 --> 00:41:56.580 Eric Einhorn: Experience of going on a virtual tour, no matter where you live so it's available to audiences around the world.
00:41:57.360 --> 00:42:04.800 Jeff Goodman: And, of course, much better sound quality with headphones in a mobile device then let's watch it on a laptop yeah.
00:42:06.090 --> 00:42:14.670 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you guys did the idea of creating the road we can did it did it come did it start before the pandemic or was it something that was impacted by the pandemic.
00:42:16.290 --> 00:42:21.420 Ryan McKinny: It was actually definitely from the pandemic I had known Kenny before.
00:42:22.830 --> 00:42:29.490 Ryan McKinny: He was in a show that I was in in San Francisco called the girls, the golden West by john Adams and.
00:42:30.450 --> 00:42:36.870 Ryan McKinny: I called him, and we, you know we're trying to think of things we could do together, initially, I thought only filmed and then.
00:42:37.380 --> 00:42:50.040 Ryan McKinny: Actually wasn't until we really brought it to onsite opera that that Eric einhorn had the amazing idea to really make it a full walking tour with an APP and all of that so.
00:42:50.490 --> 00:42:58.320 Ryan McKinny: It was definitely with the pandemic in mind, although both Kenny, and I have been talking for years and have been working on different projects trying to highlight.
00:42:59.040 --> 00:43:12.810 Ryan McKinny: composers of color and and singers of color and and all of that, so in that sense it had been going on since before the pandemic started, but really in the the nuts and bolts of what it is, I think it was sort of tailor made for this time.
00:43:14.280 --> 00:43:18.030 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you a question before we take a take a short break.
00:43:18.420 --> 00:43:28.890 Jeff Goodman: um i've been to onsite productions and even when there haven't been a lot of people there's still you're still part of a community, there are still people around you know, given that the stage is on the street.
00:43:29.220 --> 00:43:40.590 Jeff Goodman: And you could be literally be physically distant from people I mean you could literally be six feet away and have 30 or 40 people around on a block or a street corner, what was the.
00:43:41.400 --> 00:43:49.020 Jeff Goodman: impetus behind doing a self guided tour instead of the usual bringing people together even doing it physically distant that onsite usually does.
00:43:50.460 --> 00:43:58.560 Eric Einhorn: It it was was not an easy decision I can, I can tell you that that that we had on site, and I know.
00:43:59.610 --> 00:44:05.640 Eric Einhorn: Somebody the artists, we work with an audience's we all thrive in this environment where we can be together and have that sense of community.
00:44:06.030 --> 00:44:13.740 Eric Einhorn: And I think that's what we are missing greatly right now in the pandemic, but when we started talking about this nine or 10 months ago.
00:44:14.700 --> 00:44:22.710 Eric Einhorn: There was something that I, I kept on bringing up which I eventually have let go of sadly because of the current realities which is.
00:44:23.520 --> 00:44:39.150 Eric Einhorn: I was hoping by summer of 2021 we would be in a position to do live performances and recreate this project as a promenading walking tour with a live guide with live performance but given where we are given.
00:44:40.710 --> 00:44:49.560 Eric Einhorn: patron anxiety understandably so about returning to group performances New York city's on regulations about congregating and performance and.
00:44:51.150 --> 00:44:51.960 Eric Einhorn: The.
00:44:53.490 --> 00:45:08.550 Eric Einhorn: The the data that is still sort of a moving target around singing and transmission of Kobe it just for for the planning process and for for creating something that we could really produce at the highest quality.
00:45:09.630 --> 00:45:18.780 Eric Einhorn: We stuck to this film version, because of the work that Ryan and tanya do is is so incredible and being a singer Ryan.
00:45:20.340 --> 00:45:29.040 Eric Einhorn: uses all of that toolbox in his film work to in a way that a non singing filmmaker just just can't even touch.
00:45:29.370 --> 00:45:36.030 Jeff Goodman: Well, not just a singer but a bass baritone we're going to take a short break and when we come on partial the base baritones obviously.
00:45:36.270 --> 00:45:38.580 Jeff Goodman: we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're.
00:45:38.580 --> 00:45:46.770 Jeff Goodman: going to continue our conversation with Eric einhorn Ryan mckinney and Eric a Washington who's also here in the studio we will be back in a moment.
00:45:49.980 --> 00:45:50.550 Radio.
00:48:01.980 --> 00:48:12.240 Jeff Goodman: we're back on the special edition of rediscovering New York my guests, on the second part of the show celebrating black history month or Eric einhorn in mind mckinney of onsite opera.
00:48:13.470 --> 00:48:23.610 Jeff Goodman: guys, I want to ask you what are some of the places where the work takes place where can people expect to actually walk when they when they participate in this program.
00:48:26.550 --> 00:48:40.830 Ryan McKinny: So this is a yes, Sir i'm so it's it's it centers around three parts of Manhattan so there's a an upper Manhattan tour mid midtown tour and a lower Manhattan store.
00:48:42.180 --> 00:48:42.840 Ryan McKinny: and
00:48:43.920 --> 00:48:54.000 Ryan McKinny: The the places that you'll you'll go are both places that you know already like Carnegie Hall, for example, or Lincoln Center.
00:48:54.630 --> 00:49:07.560 Ryan McKinny: places, you probably know, if you're a new yorker like the schaumburg but then there's there's places that you, you will know, the people involved in them like langston Hughes his house, for example.
00:49:09.030 --> 00:49:16.140 Ryan McKinny: But you probably have walked by it, if you if you live in that neighborhood and never noticed it there's a little plaque on the wall, but besides that.
00:49:18.270 --> 00:49:30.360 Ryan McKinny: You could walk right by it so it's really a mix of thing all places that feel very New York and then learning of what happened in those places really makes it take on a whole new life.
00:49:32.520 --> 00:49:37.950 Jeff Goodman: Who was some of the other historical figures day you you include langston Hughes, obviously.
00:49:39.660 --> 00:49:40.710 Ryan McKinny: Yes, so.
00:49:40.860 --> 00:49:44.310 Jeff Goodman: Is schaumburg also one of the people who are Jewish number is.
00:49:45.030 --> 00:49:55.080 Ryan McKinny: Well, we have a whole because of the the schaumburg Center being such an amazing place for black history, one of our that's just one of one of the sites.
00:49:56.610 --> 00:49:57.300 Ryan McKinny: and
00:49:58.980 --> 00:50:10.530 Ryan McKinny: yeah so I mean we have a lot of sections about the underground railroad, for example, so there's some interesting information on Frederick douglass and.
00:50:12.030 --> 00:50:12.780 Ryan McKinny: there's.
00:50:14.760 --> 00:50:22.380 Ryan McKinny: gosh I feel i'm staring at Eric a Washington right now thinking, I should just let this guy rip because he's if you ever get him going on these topics it's.
00:50:22.980 --> 00:50:24.060 Ryan McKinny: Quite a sight to behold.
00:50:24.240 --> 00:50:24.570 i'll go.
00:50:29.370 --> 00:50:36.030 Jeff Goodman: Well let's let's talk about the music for a second what are some of the them it's sort of a two part question what are some of the musical works that are included.
00:50:36.360 --> 00:50:48.930 Jeff Goodman: And also want to ask you, in keeping with on sites tradition, I should say exemplary tradition is i've been lucky enough to actually see and hear some of the music, did you, Commission any of the music, that is in the production.
00:50:50.430 --> 00:51:02.610 Eric Einhorn: We did not, they there was a lot of discussion in this very robust and great collaborative process over the last 10 months about what repertoire do we include.
00:51:03.780 --> 00:51:07.020 Eric Einhorn: Whether wanting to focus on.
00:51:08.220 --> 00:51:16.980 Eric Einhorn: African American composers and poets, we, I think we, we have achieved that with the exception of Vincent humans as the one.
00:51:18.330 --> 00:51:36.900 Eric Einhorn: What composer but otherwise it's all it's all pre existing material, because there is so much that needs amplification need to spotlight shown on it, and this this seemed like the great opportunity to do that, at the same time, we wanted to try and.
00:51:38.010 --> 00:51:44.940 Eric Einhorn: to serve both things and bring some new music into the world, and so we.
00:51:46.230 --> 00:52:06.300 Eric Einhorn: we've commissioned two new arrangements of some pieces one is by Damien jeter and one arrangement is by James Davis, so their new versions of old pieces, so we do a little bit of both.
00:52:07.770 --> 00:52:08.880 Jeff Goodman: When it's also when.
00:52:08.970 --> 00:52:10.350 Ryan McKinny: Sorry just going to jump into.
00:52:10.740 --> 00:52:22.860 Ryan McKinny: It sure, I guess, one of the amazing things is that the the scope in terms of history of the black composers included, you know is is pretty incredible when you look at like Florence price and.
00:52:23.490 --> 00:52:31.560 Ryan McKinny: Margaret bonds, all the way through lots of living, composers, actually, even though there's not a lot of new music, you know there's.
00:52:32.280 --> 00:52:49.890 Ryan McKinny: lori hicks and Roland Carter and just a lot of really even within the Community of black composers there's an incredible diversity of musical styles and areas, and so I think that's really one of the amazing things about the music choices.
00:52:51.330 --> 00:52:53.970 Jeff Goodman: How do you filming hasn't started yet it's going to.
00:52:54.540 --> 00:53:05.580 Jeff Goodman: Start relatively soon um, how do you think that ryan's approach to filming is going to impact the production and I know i'm sort of asking God setting a big expectations about this, but.
00:53:06.090 --> 00:53:16.440 Jeff Goodman: I think it's a really important question when talking about this production, which is going to be monumental but it's also going to be something very, very, very new and that people haven't seen before.
00:53:18.300 --> 00:53:21.720 Eric Einhorn: yeah I think what's what's really exciting for us and onsite.
00:53:22.920 --> 00:53:28.500 Eric Einhorn: Is is the potential for what these films can be that, while there is.
00:53:29.730 --> 00:53:34.350 Eric Einhorn: Typically, at an onsite production or any opera company you're dealing with an opera that has a single story.
00:53:34.620 --> 00:53:45.210 Eric Einhorn: That you're following through the course of your experience, but the story, we are telling us that of black history in New York and certainly with with what Eric Washington is brought into this.
00:53:45.810 --> 00:53:57.450 Eric Einhorn: it's there are touch points well outside of New York so you're connected to this greater network of history and I, and I think in our discussions, what what i'm excited about is seeing how Ryan, is going to.
00:53:58.920 --> 00:54:11.700 Eric Einhorn: weave that thread through the through the filming which are three different tours three different neighborhoods five to six different stops per neighborhood so you're looking at a lot of.
00:54:12.840 --> 00:54:24.150 Eric Einhorn: A lot of film and finding ways to to think micro with about the actual place where you are and the incredible details of New York architecture, but then.
00:54:24.660 --> 00:54:41.580 Eric Einhorn: literally and figuratively zooming out to the greater picture of the African American experience around the songs are on the poetry around the where we are in history of at various points so it's a lot it'll be these jam packed filmic moments that are really exciting.
00:54:42.480 --> 00:54:48.570 Ryan McKinny: I think, also it can be sometimes when you say you know walking tour people can have a sense that it's a little bit.
00:54:49.350 --> 00:54:54.930 Ryan McKinny: intellectual, but you know with this music, that is involved really tells the emotional story first.
00:54:55.320 --> 00:55:05.070 Ryan McKinny: And so that's kind of my whole interest as a filmmaker being a singer too is like to bring that across that part of Kenny, that is.
00:55:05.370 --> 00:55:15.720 Ryan McKinny: Taking that emotion that's inside him and putting in his voice and trying to get that through the screen and through the headphones of the person listening to it is really my primary interest.
00:55:16.710 --> 00:55:22.890 Jeff Goodman: Well guys, this has been a fascinating conversation, but as not as untypical when we really delve into things we're at a time.
00:55:23.400 --> 00:55:32.370 Jeff Goodman: One more question How can people find out about this production How can people actually order it and get excited about about going to see it and participate in.
00:55:33.300 --> 00:55:44.910 Eric Einhorn: They can go to the setup or website, which is wwe dot O s opera.org and right on the homepage as a banner link to the production page tours are on sale now and.
00:55:45.930 --> 00:55:57.030 Eric Einhorn: The they go live via the APP on may 1 and anyone who purchases will receive an email automatically on may 1 giving them access and tours are live on till July 31.
00:55:58.230 --> 00:56:05.850 Jeff Goodman: Well, I haven't seen it yet and I holy endorsement i'm a big fan of onsite operate and i'm really excited to participate in this new Program.
00:56:06.270 --> 00:56:13.980 Jeff Goodman: Thank you, gentlemen, my guests, on the second part of the special for black history month or Eric einhorn and Ryan mckinney of onsite opera.
00:56:14.280 --> 00:56:21.990 Jeff Goodman: joined by Eric a Washington who collaborated on this amazing project and who's the author of the award winning boss of the grips.
00:56:22.740 --> 00:56:34.260 Jeff Goodman: Thank you guys for being on the show well we've just finished the show, if you have questions or comments about our episode if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York that nyc.
00:56:34.740 --> 00:56:43.290 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook and you can also follow me on instagram and Twitter once again i'd like to thank our sponsors Chris Pappas mortgage banker TD bank.
00:56:43.710 --> 00:56:48.630 Jeff Goodman: And the law offices of Tom sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:56:49.200 --> 00:56:55.890 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 and whether you're selling buying leasing or renting.
00:56:56.280 --> 00:57:14.130 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City real estate to help you, with your real estate needs, you can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producer is Ralph story or or engineer this evening is the amazing Sam leibowitz our production assistant is Leah.
00:57:15.030 --> 00:57:18.090 Jeff Goodman: Our special consultant for the show is David Griffin of landmark branding.
00:57:18.660 --> 00:57:20.640 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for listening we'll see you next time.