Relationship: Child of im/migrant

Union Street 

As a child I would stick my head in our 19th century dumbwaiter and sing Mariah Carey's "Always be My Baby" at the top of my lungs so that my voice would echo. The dumbwaiter was my personal stage and microphone. Aside from it's multipurpose use, there were these two simple drawings that seemed to bring me peace every time I stared at them. A green plant and a carrot. I never asked about them and as time passed my fondness for them began to wear off----they were just a part of the house. It wasn't until my experience at the Shop Life tour that I began to revisit the feelings I had for my dumbwaiter. I felt inspired to explore and unravel the stories that lived in my home. I also felt a bit disappointed in myself for taking the beauty of the unknown for granted.  

William and Violet Yee purchased the two family brownstone on Union Street in 1976. They were from China. William was a carpenter and Violet was a florist. After renting for so long the Yees finally purchased their first home in the U.S. Their goal was to settle in so that they could arrange for Violet's mother to leave China and live with them. Violet was very close to her mother and shared the same passion for gardening. Some of her fondest memories as a child in China were gardening with her mother. Shortly after they settled in Violet's mother passed away. In memory of her mother and their garden in china she drew a little green plant and carrot in the dumbwaiter.  

Place(s): China

– Jamila J. Brown

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant