Park Street Cultural Tour
Write about what you saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched in the Park Street corridor this past Thursday and Friday.
What surprised you? What took your breath away?
What shapes, colors, and textures did you enjoy?
What smells and tastes were very strong?
What sounds do you remember?
What were you afraid of?
What was disgusting?
What was relaxing and peaceful?
Who was a great person to meet?
What was something you loved doing?
What do you want to learn how to do?
What place do you want to visit again? What person do you want to meet again?
Describe what was most vivid at one or more sites or in talking with one or more people.
When did you imagine being at home on Park Street?
What do you now understand about Park Street you didn’t know before? What new questions do you have?
How did this trip change you? How do you look at the world differently?
How did your parents experience the trip?
Big skirts swishing back and forth, men wearing tuxedos, laying guitars, singing, dancing, clapping hands, people swaying left-to-right, back-and-forth. This is Mexico Lindo…
The sound of the Mexico Lindo playing songs for us… Dancing to their music was fun to a lot of people…
I love the amazing colors of Mexico Lindo’s costumes and the wonderful shades of blue, indigo and turquoise used by Nancy Giffey in her mural entitled, “Bayview.”
As I walked into Tropical Fish World, the humid air hit my face as the camera lens fogged up and the smell of condense water vapor mixed with the smell of fish and hundreds of containers of fish food.
Beads of perspiration streaming down my face as I peer into the dark tank of the African Lung Fish at Tropical Fish World.
The shiver of delight I felt when Mr. LeBeck shone a flashlight on a big tank in the back of the room and I saw the silver-colored angelfish from the Amazon and the tiny, minuscule, just-hatched angelfish babies.
The sheer size of Tropical Fish World with all 600 tanks, thousands of fish, and the big truck for hauling fish to Milwaukee and Chicago, all managed by one man, really amazed me.
The micro-worms at Tropical Fish World crawling in the oatmeal mush making the shimmering effect on the surface of the gloop.
…[T]he little worms at the Tropical Fish World were kind of disgusting. Mainly because of the strong smell.
A peaceful thing was the [Bayview] mural. It just made me feel like I’m touching each culture in the world. It feels like I am connected to everything.
There are all kinds of shapes on the mural at the Bayview Center. It has squares all around, it had circles for moons, and all kinds of other shapes. I also liked the colors, but when I looked deep down for me the colors were sad, unhappy kinds of colors. So that’s why I liked it but I didn’t like it.
When we met with Tamaki at the Oriental Shop, she’s just so nice and it was a quite powerful experience… I want to go back to the Oriental Shop and talk with some of the volunteers and see why they volunteer. If it’s just because they’re nice or because of the owner [Tamaki] or what.
I would like Tamaki to teach me how to do origami. She was doing it without even looking at it!
And Tamaki, because she was so kind…
The synagogue, it smelled differenter than [differently from] all those other churches I went to. I would want to go and visit the synagogue again.
Rabbi Katz had a unique way of talking, had a lot to say, and could keep us focused for the whole time we were there.
The gasps when the curtains at the synagogue were pulled, revealing the ancient scrolls.
Another memory I have is walking by the village co-housing and thinking how much it reminded me of one of those fairy tale villages that only have a few houses in the middle of who knows where.
When I first got to Meriter Hospital I walked inside and saw lots of people hanging out and talking to each other in the lobby gift shop and other places. “This isn’t like a hospital,” I thought. “A hospital is where people go when they’re injured, or sick, ooorrr… having a baby! But was I wrong! A hospital has much, much more to it than that!
I think that the most relaxing thing was the holding the ice and breathing activity [at Meriter Hospital].
I remember relaxing and slipping away into another world when we did the breath exercises at Meriter.
The strength of the figure eight follow-through knot. The splintery feel of the rope. The waves sloshing against the boat. The toxic smell of the paint and chemicals in the place where they fix boats.
I remember the shouting and the squealing of the seagulls when there was a storm coming at Lake Mendota. I was a tiny bit afraid when the storm was coming and they put the red flag up. That was kind of freaky.
And then the Guadalupe Center when we ate dinner, that was so relaxing and peaceful.
The bocce balls were round and all kinds of colors. The ball was heavy and it felt hard and smooth. I enjoyed that bocce ball. I could hear the balls hitting each other and making a clicking sound.
The feel of the muddy bocce ball slipping from my fingertips.
“Clink!” 8 to 3! My ball hits the palino and I jump for joy as Alexandra and I exchange high-fives and grins.
I loved, just loved, looking for fishermen and just looking at the water and saying, “People fish in that?” Sometimes I think of the water as a glass pond.
The dazzling colors when first entering Lakeside Fibers.
One amazing thing was the voice of Eugene Parks. Another amazing thing was the colors and assortment of yarn at the Lake Side Fibers.
I loved meeting Eugene Parks, because he spoke his mind and he didn’t seem to care about what other people thought about what he said. He said things from his heart, not what people would think would be right for other people.
[Eugene Parks] was a great speaker. I loved his style of talking and he just seemed so friendly I felt like the moment I met him that I had known him for years.
I loved listening to Eugene Parks, the way he directed his talk at us, the way he engaged us in the “conversation,” even though we didn’t talk.
“Every neighborhood has its own special ways. That’s what makes every neighborhood special,” booms Eugene Parks in his strong confident voice. I feel content in this room. He is right.
I was able to rest down in my sleeping bag feeling a very strong sense of security in South Madison with the Park Street corridor surrounding where I was sleeping and the quiet humming of cars on the street itself.
6:30 I wake up, I look out the window and see a street where my backyard should have been. “This is Park Street,” I say to myself. I felt at home.
Now I understand how many cultures there are and how nice my neighbors are here in Park Street.
Before this trip, I had a very limited view of what the Park Street corridor is. Now my horizons have broadened, and I am ready to face challenges that some of the people we talked to have already encountered. I now realize that even close to home, there are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.
I would like to do the whole field trip all over again but without taking notes.
Now I see culture, discovery, and the chance to explore in everything.