The director of El Museo del Barrio, Julian Zugazagoitia, interviewed his son Alexandre, for the 2008 spring issue of NYCkidsARTS. See Alexandre’s fun list of cultural organizations around the city for other kids, parents and teachers to enjoy.
Julian Zugazagoitia: Alexandre, I know you enjoy doing “cultural” things in the City, could you tell us what do you like doing and why.
Alexandre Zugazagoitia: I like building houses at the Center for Architecture because it’s fun and you get to pick your own materials. I also like playing at El Museo del Barrio. Last time we made clay and I built a boat and a tomb for day of the dead. It was like a hotel for skeletons that come back from the dead. I like making things out of wood and I usually do that with my grandma or else I only did this once at El Museo, and I made an Bat mobile.
JZ : What other museums do you like going in New York?
AZ: The Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Met, the Empire State building, Lincoln Center, the aquarium, Moma , the zoo, …
JZ: Why do you like those places?
AZ: Because they are interesting and you learn facts. In the zoo you learn animal facts, in the Metropolitan you usually learn facts about knights and paintings, the Met is the same thing as the Metropolitan. In the Empire State building you usually just see the view. In the Natural History Museum is simple, you just learn about the natural history. You learn about the big whale and fish. You usually learn about dinosaurs. I like also the Guggenheim, I like the shape of it. I think there are circles and zig zags and wavy and straight lines.
JZ: Can you tell us of other experiences where you do art or cultural thing?
AZ: Oh yea, I did “Garden in Transit” twice and we painted small little taxis and then we colored big stickers that go on real taxis. I liked it for a few reasons: first, it helps children that are sick and they can also do it, it’s ok if they make the paint go out of the line because they put the black lines afterwards. And second because they already made a zeppelin, an airplane, a tug boat, and they are thinking about the subway.
JZ: You also like going to the Botanical Gardens, no?
AZ: Yes, I like it because me and my dad love old trains and it has trains, trains, trains. It is really nice because you wish you were inside one of those trains. JZ: What are those glass houses for?
AZ: Usually plants and when there are no trains they call it the greenhouse instead of the glasshouse. Also I like going to Chelsea piers and hitting golf balls. After we go to see art galleries and I like it because we see all these weird things. And I really liked this one art piece that had HO & N trains every five minutes. I saw a football player that had a rocket engine in his backpack. You could take off on it. There was a video proyecting a $20 bill that a little guy was erasing. I found this other painting. It was really cool. It is sort of like a pier… it’s really neat because you have to imagine you are on top of a skyscraper in front of a pier. My dad said we couldn’t buy it. I saw a couple of other ones by the same artist.
JZ: In NY besides museums what do you like doing?
AZ: In this interview can I say which is my favorite book and things like that?
AZ: I like running and playing Sui. I love reading Magic Tree House books. I figured out that there are tapestries in the Metropolitan by reading “Blizzard of the Blue Moon”, number 36 in the series, it is about the Unicorn Tapestry. My favorite book is Tin-Tin. My favorite animal is a shark; my favorite vehicles are trains, airplanes, fighter jets. My favorite food is sushi; my favorite game is the Wii. My favorite park, Central park, my favorite beach is Normandy beach, my favorite pet animal is a chameleon; my favorite sport is tag , another one is fencing with swords where you try to get the other person first. I love the fountain of Lincoln Center and running around it. And I am can’t wait to go ice-skating again at Rockefeller Center.