Saturday Night’s Alright (For Walking)

November 7, 2018 |  Tagged , , | Comments Off on Saturday Night’s Alright (For Walking)

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 “What have I done?”

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 “Have I just doom myself to a lifetime of teaching children questionable, curriculum mandated American history?”

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 “Why didn’t I just go for computer science like the rest of my friends?”

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 “I love history, but what kind of idiot goes to school for something they love?”

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0  

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 21 years old and at the end of my undergraduate career, I found myself unable to rid my conscious of these questions. Every friend I had made in my history department was part of the dual degree History/Education program, which left me with no one to commiserate with over the horrible mistake I felt had made. It was too late for me to turn back, lest I risk spending another two years as an undergraduate. Burnt out, concerned for my future, and 30k in debt, I made my way home for Spring Break.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 My birthday always landed on Spring Break, and every year my mom would surprise me with an activity instead of a standard present. Tired from school and perpetually angst ridden over my educational decisions, I wanted the night to be over before it even began. What newly 22-year-old wants to spend the evening with her mother? Needless to say, I was less than enthused when we arrived at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building in Huntington Village. Dragging my heels, I slunk behind my mom as we entered the small building. I had visited before for lectures hosted by the Huntington Historical Society, and was usually the youngest in the room by about 30+ years. However, something was noticeably different this time. The crowd was much closer to my age than the normal 50+ year olds who frequent talks at the historical society. Upon entering, I was asked for my name and my ID. I queried “That’s weird, why do you guys need my ID? Too many folks trying to sneak into the talks?” and the volunteer responded “We just have to confirm you’re over 21 for the historic Huntington walking tour and pub crawl.”

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 My mom isn’t just a mom. She’s a cool mom.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Huntington Village is well known by young adults in my area as “the place to be” on Saturday nights. Most over 21 can walk from Finnegan’s, to Finley’s, to Little Vincent’s pizzeria with their eyes closed. I knew plenty of information about Huntington Village, having grown up in the area, but none of that history included the bars that I frequented on the weekends. To my surprise, some of the bars had a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. We discussed who exactly were the individuals in the mural on the side of Finnegan’s, which building on Main Street was the oldest (it’s the one with the J. Ogilvy), and gained entrance into the Paramount’s “Founder’s Room” which gave a nod to prohibition era speakeasies. The Founder’s Room would otherwise be inaccessible to me if it were not for this tour because the 4,000$ it costs to become a member is quite literally the entirety of one of my student loans. From these old speakeasies to fire houses and famous patrons, the Huntington Village bar scene turned out to be much more than a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 The whole experience was both enjoyable and totally shocking. I had become so cynical of academia that it had not only clouded my vision from how important local history is, but also how genuinely interesting and enjoyable history can be. This historical pub crawl, while gimmicky in nature, was a wake up call that academic journals and scholarly monographs were not the only way for a person to consume history. History is fun, exciting, and relatable, and the enjoyment that I felt that night is exactly what I want to give to others.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Though I ended up doing the dual degree MLS/MA in History program at Queens College with the intention of becoming an academic librarian, I am glad that I continued my history education. Through the breadth of my experiences and my education, I hope that I will be afforded the opportunity to create programming and exhibits for undergraduate students and the community to remind them just how engaging and relatable history can be.


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