I love when I find connections. I swear I have the serendipity gene and I never tire of it.
Or maybe I read too much into things.
At any rate, a year ago, we were doing research for our first full-length work, The Columbus Project, an exploration of the myth and the man, Christopher Columbus. (This piece was inspired by a ten-minute play about potatoes).
So I find it quite reassuring that these riots were born out of a boycott on (initially) potatoes. But perhaps even more of a sign that I am on the right track is the following quote from Elizabeth Ewen's fabulous and meticulously written history of immigrant women in America, Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars. Here, Leonard Covello, who grew up on the LES in the early 1900's recalls his mother's kitchen table, which was "covered by an oilcloth with a picture of Columbus setting foot on American soil. More than once my father glared at this oilcloth and poured a malediction on Columbus and his great discovery."
Only one more week until rehearsals begin for Phase 1 of this project's development and I have committed myself to reading only materials related to NYC in the early 1900's until then (other than the daily news). I just want to immerse myself in all the details, a good soaking to flavor the writing....wish me luck!