Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Streit's Matzo's back in a funkier era. And soon it will join the ranks of the "used - to - be's".
When I was at P.S. 145 on the upper west side back in the late '60's, a forward thinking teacher took us on a tour of the Streit's Matzo factory. Yes, they really gave tours of this place. Although they probably had tried it before and did not realize it, half the kids didn't know what a matzo was but all where intrigued and moved by this tour. Why? The very simple theme of immigration. It was the theme about immigrants, coming here from wherever, and putting down roots. They were able to do this, build a life, because of the steady employment offered to the newly arrived. One group after another, and not just in matzo factories but this was the one field trip that hit home with so many of my classmates, in a great many cases the first English speakers in a household. They saw themselves, their parents, on this tour. The tour spoke volumes to them, more history that could ever be gotten out of a book - because they felt it. This is a loss on so many levels, the educational value alone is worth more than what ever glass and steal box will net a developer. Not to mention how many of us grew up with a box of this on the table at Passover and Rosh Hashanah? When will this city learn? Maybe never but I still love this dirty town.
Click here for more of the story, a trailer for a documentary and more pictures.