Photo Credits: http://www.iloveoldny.com
“I urge you to hold tight to the banister as you walk up the stairs, just like Louis did for almost 30 years. It’s the closest you’ll get to touching the legend.”
…So starts the tour of Louis Armstrong’s house in Corona, Queens. Unlike a lot of other museums in New York, this is the actual house where the jazz legend and his wife Lucille lived for most of their adult life, until he eventually passed away in his sleep in the upstairs bedroom. (Which, yes, you get to see.) Kept exactly as it was when he was living, this is truly a tribute house honoring his life and legacy.
The 40 minute guided tour takes you through the father of jazz’s home, giving fun anecdotes of his life and playing actual recordings of Louis talking to his wife, friends, and playing his trumpets. Such a special experience, I had goosebumps galore!
An obvious must-do if you’re a Louis fan already, but even if you’ve only ever heard his music at the cocktail portion of weddings, this is still an enjoyable and entertaining tour that can definitely be appreciated, if just from a design and history perspective. I mean, just look at their kitchen!
Despite the fact that Louis was a millionaire (in 1943!) and could have lived in any Park Avenue penthouse his little heart desired, he and his wife chose to live in the working class neighborhood in Queens, living a very simple and humble life. The neighborhood children adored him, and some still come back regularly to the house to pay homage to him today. Louis is quoted as saying, “I am here with the black people, the Puerto Rican people, the Italian people, the Hebrew cats, and there’s food in the Frigidaire. What else could I want?” Well said, Louis, well said.
Do you have a favorite Louis Armstrong song? Share below!WHERE: Louis Armstrong House 34-56 107th Street Queens, New York WHEN: Tours start every hour, on the hour. TICKETS: Adults $10, Students and Seniors $7