It’s the start of midterm season…

… and I have already managed to neglect my blog only a few weeks into the project.  For good reason though- I was writing a paper this weekend on top of doing all my other weekly reading (anywhere from 300-500 pages a week).  I expect that I will be slightly neglectful over the next few weeks as we begin writing and re-writing and conducting research to be presented in December.  On the bright side, I am halfway through the semester!

A few days ago, I met my nephew for lunch near my classes.  He is a college student at a university near by and he had a few hours free to come meet me and see the area I am in.  As I was waiting for him to arrive on the subway I decided to take a walk around Union Square Park.  I spend a great deal of time here, but usually on nice days or market days.  This day was neither.  It was rainy and without a market there was not much to direct my attention upward.  For the first time I truly noticed the brass tiles on the ground.  To be honest, I knew they were there, but I didn’t pay much attention to them.  When I did take the time to look down, I was pleasantly surprised.  The tiles contained the history of the park and surrounding area as well as the many meanings of the word “union.”

 

This tile was a more contemporary use of the word union- the unionizing of workers to gain rights and protections.  Depicted here are photographs of women garment workers striking for better working conditions along with popular musical review “Pins and Needles” that was produced by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in 1937.

One of the other uses of the word union- the union of states that makes the United States.  Another tile depicted the funeral carriage of Abraham Lincoln passing through the park.  A very interesting bit of history since he was the President that saved our union.

I learned on this rainy afternoon a little more about the city and also that sometimes we need to look down to see the most amazing things!

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