Meet Caraline Brown and Evelyn Frost, a dynamic duo hailing from the United Kingdom!
They voyaged across the pond to see the musician Morrissey perform, but when his US tour was cancelled, Caraline and Evelyn found musical solace in a somewhat unlikely place… The Tenement Museum! Morrissey’s loss is the Tenement Museum’s gain.
The pair, who had first visited the museum in 1998, strolled up to the Tour Tickets counter and actually sang to the Visitor Center staff an improvised operatic duet requesting printed tickets for the Irish Outsiders tour. Our Visitor Center staff melodiously informed them that their tickets were printing, and that they would meet their educator promptly at the time of their tickets, in the center of the room.
After their Irish Outsiders tour concluded, Caraline and Evelyn came back to the Visitor Center and shared their feedback and more of their story.
The Tenement Museum was a natural destination for the duo, who share a deeply rooted interest in housing for those who live below the poverty line. Evelyn works in housing in London, where she advocates for resident agency and helps set policy. Caraline participated in a remarkable “Street Retreat,” where she lived under the conditions of homelessness for four nights.
When asked why they took Irish Outsiders, Evelyn mentioned that the pair had been “taught by Irish nuns,” at convent school, where they became life-long best friends since age 12.
The duo was surprised by the fine details and carvings, and particularly shocked to see top hats on the tour. “My Irish family living in England had it worse,” Caraline muses after the tour. “In the 50s, they were still living like it was 30s.”
Musical souls who “learned to sing hymns in the church” as school girls, the two were particularly moved by the sound of keening heard on the Irish Outsiders tour.
If you are planning a visit to the Tenement Museum, consider our Irish Outsiders tour, especially if you are deeply moved by the power of music. And don’t be afraid to sing while your tickets are being printed!
– Post by Ben Wigler