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May. 17 2010 - 8:16 am | 315 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

New York’s submerged memories: A video interview with Keith Godard

A multitude of subway murals throughout New York City serve the role of subconscious memory. A moment or person — more precisely the image — hovers in shimmering tile as thousands pass by each day. Some mind the art, many don’t, but an invitation persists to resurface the memory.

I am most intrigued by the mural ‘Memories of 23rd St.‘ (2002), located in the R and W station on 23rd and Broadway. I sought out its creator, Keith Godard, a London-born designer and teacher, who has lived in New York City since the 1960s. He chose to view a period of 23rd Street’s history (roughly 1880 to 1930) through hats worn by famous denizens.


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    About Me

    About 10 years ago, this lady in her 80s told me a childhood story about the day her mom tied her to a post on the porch. It was punishment for riding her tricycle past the curb at the end of their block. In the middle of the story she said to me, 'Wait, mom didn't tie me to the porch, she tied the tricycle to the porch. I just remembered that.' I've been fascinated by memory ever since.


    To make a living during those 10 years, I wrote about religion, politics and people for The Kansas City Star and National Catholic Reporter. I also delved deep into memory by teaching over 2,000 retired Midwesterners how to write their life stories. Now I am putting those two things together -- I'm reporting on memory from science, social and personal perspectives. I am also earning my MA in Journalism at NYU.

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    Contributor Since: January 2010
    Location:New York, NY

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