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October 2001

Campuses Mobilize After Terrorist Attack

CUNY's "Success Express" Highlights Grads
Freshman Enrollment Rises at CUNY
First Festival Presented by Gotham Center
CUNY TV enhances recruiting outreach
U.S. Cheers Poet Laureate: Prof. Billy Collins
A Dream of Food On Washington Mall
Navy League Award to Hunter Physicist
Nine Leading Scholars Named Distinguished Professors
Haitian First Lady, CCNY Alumna, Feted
Baruch College Opens Vertical Campus
Historic Matters
Baruch Center Confronts Quality of Urban Life
Hunter College Historian Communes with the Saints
A Displaced Person Discovers His Place on Campus
CUNY Students Vault into Poll Work
Double Play for CUNY Broadcasters
 
A Dream of Food On Washington Mall

Learned panels on bagels, seminars on pierogies—these were among the events that took place on the Foodways stage held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of this summer’s 2001 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. As with every proper Smithsonian exhibition, curators were necessary, and the food curator for New York City’s contribution to this feast of culinary diversity was Dr. Annie Hauck-Lawson, Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College. The originator of the concept of “food voice” to describe the ways food is used as a channel of communication, Hauck-Lawson’s special area of interest is the relationship between food and culture.

Seen here is the “New York Brunch Classics” panel on the Foodways stage. The delectable combination of sliced smoked salmon and fresh cream cheese on a bagel is demonstrated and discussed by (right to left) Herman Vargas, store manager of Russ and Daughters, Steve Ross, owner of Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, Mark Federman, owner of Russ and Daughters, and Cara De Silva, food writer and moderator. This was one of more than eighty Foodways presentations made on the Mall from June 27 to July 8 in an annual festival that typically attracts more than one million visitors. Other preparations included Shanghai long life noodles from a Manhattan-based chef, roti from a Brooklyn food entrepreneur, Coney Island fudge by a New York food writer, West African kansiye (a chicken, peanut, and vegetable stew served with rice) by a NYC folklore educator, and New York Cheesecake by an MTA engineer.

food displaceSpeaking of her efforts as Foodways curator—tough work, but someone has to do it—Hauck-Lawson says, “I aimed to show slices of contemporary New York life through food, and was very pleased with the reflection of the dynamism of our special town. The stories that accompanied each of the food demonstrations brought New York to life. In ‘Pierogiology 101: Pierogi in Comparative Perspective,’ five individuals representing two extended families shared their techniques and lore about this little Polish dumpling as made and eaten in Brooklyn and Queens. Egg creams entranced visitors, and the bialy proved a major curiosity on the National Mall. It seemed that very few people knew what they were, and many people wanted to know and taste.”