Tag Archives: new york

What Street Compares with Mott Street in July?

Here’s another classic song about summertime in New York. Click on the place names in the lyrics to learn more:

Written by Rodgers and Hart
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald

Summer journeys to Niagara
And to other places aggra-
Vate all our cares.
We’ll save our fares.
I’ve a cozy little flat in
What is known as old Manhattan.
We’ll settle down
Right here in town.

We’ll have Manhattan,
The Bronx and Staten
Island too.
It’s lovely going through
The zoo.

It’s very fancy
On old Delancey
Street, you know.
The subway charms us so
When balmy breezes blow
To and fro.

And tell me what street
Compares with Mott Street
In July?
Sweet pushcarts gently gli-
Ding by.

The great big city’s a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We’ll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

We’ll go to Yonkers
Where true love conquers
In the whiles
And starve together, dear,
In Chiles.

We’ll go to Coney
And eat baloney
On a roll.
In Central Park we’ll stroll,
Where our first kiss we stole,
Soul to soul.

And My Fair Lady is a terrific show, they say.
We both may see it close

The city’s glamour can never spoil
The dreams of a boy and goil.
We’ll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

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Meet Class 0P

Like Class 0A, Class 0P put together a collection of their autobiographies. This class was very diverse, with students from China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Myanmar, Thailand, and El Salvador. Here’s one student’s story:



To read the rest of the book, click here.


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Literacy Review Volume 12

The Writing Program at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study has just published the twelfth volume of The Literacy Review, which is a collection of excellent writing by adult education students in New York City. University Settlement’s own Tammie Tai has a story in it called “Bone Soup.” Here it is – you can click on the pages for a larger view:

48-49_Tammie-Tai_Bone-Soup_Page_1 48-49_Tammie-Tai_Bone-Soup.jpg2_Page_2

Professor June Foley, Director of the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study’s Writing Program, teaches an advanced writing class right here at University Settlement on Fridays. To learn more about NYU Gallatin’s Writing Program, click here.

To download a copy of Volume 12, click on the image below:


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The Immigrant Experience: San San


Living in New York: Then and Now

San San, Class 4.5

I immigrated to the United States from Myanmar in February 2008. I came to New York with my family. We met my sister-in-law at JFK airport. After that we went to my sister-in-law’s house. On the way I saw many tall buildings, a lot of gorgeous billboards, and subway trains. I was very surprised because we didn’t have a subway system in my country.

The next day we had to go shopping. We arrived here in the winter, so I felt very cold. We bought down jackets and some housewares.

Then I had to learn how to take the subway. One day I took the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The subway operator announced that the train was changing routes, but I didn’t understand what he said. When I saw the next station, I was so worried because the station was strange to me. I was in a hurry to get off the train. Then I looked at a subway map and asked the subway custodian for directions. It was my first experience in New York. I’ll never forget it.

When I went to shop for food, the food looked very nice, so I bought it. When I got home, I opened the can, and I had to throw it away. The food inside the can was terrible. Shopping for food was confusing for me in the United States.

Therefore I decided to study English. I am able to read and write now. I can read the nutrition labels and ingredients. I understand what I am buying. I am able to take the train where I want to go. I think that I am more confident speaking English than before. I also got a Home Health Aide certificate. I was very happy. My children got a good education and jobs.

Living in the United States provides more challenges and opportunities than in Myanmar. I like that. But I am still not used to the weather in the United States because the weather is very dry and cold, making my eyes very dry. I don’t like the weather.


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Eleanor Roosevelt & US

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt taught dance with us nearly 100 years ago? Before she was the first lady or a United Nations delegate, her then-boyfriend – none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt – picked her up at 184 Eldridge for a date.

Check out this excerpt from our history, documented in Legacy of Light:

As the Settlement came of age, it was able to draw increasing support from its own ranks, and many of its alumni have left their mark on the life of the city and the nation. Among them are former New York Mayor Abraham Beame, Senator Jacob Javits, and state Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz; the sculptor Jacob Epstein; basketball greats Barney Sedran and Nat Holman. Actors and dramatists such as Elmer Rice, Edward G. Robinson, and Walter Matthau, and composer-lyricist Irving Caesar drew inspiration in their early years from theatrical performances at the Settlement. George Gershwin played on the Settlement’s piano. Eleanor Roosevelt taught dance. Later, she would recall:

I remember, before we were married, I was working at University Settlement in New York and Franklin called for me there late one afternoon. I wasn’t ready because there was a sick child and I had to see that she was taken home. Franklin said he would go with me.

We took the child to an area not far away and Franklin went with me up the three flights to the tenement rooms in which the family lived. It was not a pleasant place and Franklin looked around in surprise and horror. It was the first time, I think, that he had ever really seen a slum and when he got back to the street he drew a deep breath of fresh air. “My God,” he whispered, “I didn’t know people lived like that!

During his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt would describe University Settlement as “a landmark in the social history of the nation.”

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The Immigrant Experience: Charlie


Living in the United States: Then and Now

Charlie, Class 4.5

I’ll never forget the first day that I came to New York. I came to this city on October 6, 2008. It was a lovely fall day. The sun was shining, the weather was warm. My friends drove me here from Boston.

I looked out the window of the car on the way. Almost all the leaves on the trees had changed color. They were red, green, yellow, purple, and so on. It seemed a variety of colors was painted across the land. Everywhere looked like a huge beautiful picture. I loved this environment, I loved this landscape, and I loved this country.

When I arrived in New York, the first stop was in Flushing, Queens. Because the Chinese who came from North China like to live in Flushing, my friend sent me there.

When I got to the Main Street of Flushing, I was shocked by the condition. Is this New York? Is this America? No, I thought. It seemed like I had gone back to China. I thought I had gone back to Taidong, a famous business place in my hometown. I saw almost everyone had an Asian face, I heard nearly everybody speaking Chinese, and there were a lot of stores, restaurants, banks, and supermarkets with Chinese names. Only one thing was different from China: that was everyone was using American dollars instead of Chinese yuan. Only that let me know that I was in America rather than China.

There was too much noise, too much dirt, and too many crowds all over the city. I thought maybe this was New York. So in fact I didn’t like it here the first day.

Now, I have been living in New York for more than 5 years. I have moved many times, and I have visited many different places. I have already changed my idea about New York. I more and more love this city because I find that living here is much more convenient than other places in America.

Here I can get any food that I like. Here I can do everything without English. Here I can get a perfect education so I can improve my life, and there are many opportunities to find a job here.

So I have decided to live here until I retire.


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