Nicole, of Contemporary Confections, have a wonderful interview with a New York couple (Glen & John) who for nearly twenty years have opened the door of their decked out Village apartment to locals providing an altar to which every guest can contribute in celebration of Dia de Muertos.
Here’s a snippet:
Glen: John and I are very concerned about the gentrification of Manhattan. We have both lived here since the seventies and know life in the city is all about changed. However, it seems like gentrification is all about making everything the same—neighborhoods and people. New York has always been special, because it offered so many different points of view. I hope we can hold on to that. The really funny thing in all of this is that Day of the Dead is not in any danger of being lost. When John and I started making our altars for Dia de Muertos there were very few Mexicans in New York so people here did not celebrate or even know about the holiday unlike cities in the West with lots of Mexicans. In the last 15 years, many Mexicans have moved to the East coast bringing the tradition of Dia de Muertos with them. Because of AIDS there is a greater awareness of our own mortality, especially in the gay community. Dia de Muertos is a beautiful ritual that reminds us of death while connecting us to those who have passed on. In reality Day of the Dead is a joyful celebration of life.