Louis Armstrong House Museum

9 July 2010, 1:15 PM – Corona, Queens, NY

“Humble spaces are part of the story, even if they are not part of the official tour.”

This one I had inside information about – the insider being me – so I knew what it was. The Armstrongs’ basement is sort of a shadow of its former self – it’s by necessity for this historic house museum, retrofitting the basement into an area for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. It used to be more of a rec room for Louis and his fourth wife, Lucille, with a service kitchen and laundry room (the former has remained basically the same in terms of purpose, the latter is now the restroom). But one room in the basement does remain from its former self: the Armstrongs’ Powder Room – which had previously been on display.

For this site, the experience mattered more than what was behind, as I already knew what it was – but even still, there were a few surprises in store with that – a picture of Louis in the…um…altogether. That one I never, ever expected to see the light of day (and probably nor did Louis!).

The journey continued later that day at Eddie’s Sweet Shop, which you can read about here.


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