Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

Wandering roots

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First, I apologize for being MIA. My best friend’s 30th birthday called for some serious Karaoke (Hello, Blondie), a trip to Ellis Island, and a fabulous day off preceding a day of ugly deadlines.


If you’ve never been to Ellis Island, it’s well worth the time. My ancestors from both Ireland and Hungary passed through Ellis Island so I’ve always wanted to see it. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to go through registration records, but a detour from the audio tour led me to see the best writing on the wall.


Audio tours seem silly in any other museum, especially art, but I wanted to hear the stories you couldn’t see. This audio tour, going upstairs, then down then up, doesn’t exactly follow an instinctual route. So I got a little lost and ended up going from room to room of pictures of immigrants, models of the ships, and original ship manifestoes.


I turned another dark corner and at eye level, just above a tear in one yellow document among hundreds, written in sweeping cursive – I stared at my grandmother’s name – Rose. It took a moment to register that this was the same name I’d heard all of my life, on the S.S. Teutonic from the county of Ballyhoo, Ireland.


What are the odds of finding a family name amongst the thousands scrolled on that exhibit wall? Coincidence is an easy word. At the very least, the experience serves as yet another reason to ditch to over-planning, ultra guided tours of places you’ve never been. To me, the best way to experience place is to wander. Historical places don’t keep their best secrets in digital.


And that’s how my latest story idea was born.


Running Update

ABRA MILES – 1 / 42 for March


Written by abragoes

March 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Posted in looking up, NYC

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