Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

While I was at "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment," an exhibit created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, I overheard plenty of discussions that pointed to the necessity of such an exhibit.

One visitor asked aloud, "Tina Turner, she was in Dreamgirls, right?" (Um...no.)

Much more poignant, was the conversation between some adults and kids. As they all marveled at the size of a boom box behind the museum glass, the adults told the kids that boom boxes were a precursor to the iPod. "We used to carry those things around."

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: Apollo Theater Exhibit at the Smithsonian

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


While I laughed a while back when I read that some kids don't really know where chicken nuggets come from, the other day I thought about how separated we all are from the origins of things, me included.

For example, I went to the National Museum of the American Indian where they had a table set up to make leis (the one I made is on the right). I've seen so many leis made with plastic flowers that I marveled for a second at the thought that originally leis were made with real flowers...real flowers that smell really good.

Then I got to thinking...if the original purpose of nosegays and perhaps even bridal bouquets was to ward off the unpleasant smells that come with infrequent bathing, perhaps leis served the same purpose.

From what I've read leis can be made of things other than flowers and they really are supposed to symbolize affection.