When Italian immigrants poured into U.S. port cities in the late 1800s, they brought seemingly unassuming bits of stick. These were fig trees, which took root in unexpected cities, where cold-weather climates seemed hostile to the plant. Yet the trees grew.
Today, you can still identify historically Italian neighborhoods by the presence of backyard fig trees, and the Italian Gardens Project, a living archive of Italian-American gardens and their keepers, is on a quest to create a living library of these backyard gardens.
When my great grandparents landed at the Castle Garden immigration depot at the tip of Manhattan in 1887, this is what New York City looked like, at least on one street. It must have been exciting, traveling from the far reaches of Germany in Eastern Europe, likely visiting the cities of Stettin, Berlin and Bremen along the way, and ending up in New York City after crossing the Atlantic before setting out for their final destination, South Dakota.
Since there are many varied people involved with this story, I am providing multilingual translations within the blog post, a first for me. I may do it more, since I think a blog in different languages is a cool idea.
I’ve settled on four translations of my original tweet: German, Polish, Turkish, and Arabic.
Poland refuses to take Muslim immigrants. Can you blame them?
Polska odmawia przyjęcia muzułmańskich imigrantów. Czy możesz ich winy?
Polonya, Müslüman göçmenleri almayı reddetti. Onları suçlayabilir misin?
Polen weigert sich, muslimische Einwanderer zu nehmen. Kannst du sie beschuldigen?
وترفض بولندا اتخاذ المهاجرين المسلمين. يمكنك إلقاء اللوم عليهم؟
watarfud bulanda aitikhadh almuhajirin almuslimina. yumkinuk ‘iilqa’ allawm ealayhim?
“Few of their children in the country learn English… The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages … Unless the stream of their importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”
…the language so vexing to him was the German spoken by new arrivals to Pennsylvania in the 1750s, a wave of immigrants whom Franklin viewed as the “most stupid of their nation.”
courtesy of Denise Bachman of the Observer-Reporter
“Another food of choice on Shrove Tuesday are fasnachts, a yeast-raised, fatty doughnut-like treat traditionally eaten in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Fasnachts are made from potato dough and are fried. They became popular in the southeastern part of the state when Pennsylvania Germans started to make them as a convenient and easy way to use up the fat and sugar in their pantries before Lent. Fasnacht is German for ‘fast night.’”
Kudos to my hardy, gutsy ancestors
This is just scandalous. Why are men and women who serve in the Armed Forces ever deported?! I can understand if a serious crime has been committed. But, man, any foreigners who serve should be fast-tracked for citizenship. Our government is so damn depressingly stupid. Whatever happened to common sense?