Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem. Since they renovated the museum a few years ago - sinking millions and millions into it - it's revolutionized the city of Salem. Lots of trendy shops, upscale restaurants, expensive condos have come. Even cruise ships occasionally stop here all helping the city's economy.
Anyway, I've been there before (even wrote about it) but I hadn't visited the Yin Yu Tang house which is an entire Chinese house reassembled at the museum. The house served the Huang family for over eight generations and was lived in till at least the 1980s, if not later. The museum did a fabulous job of reconstructing not only the old elements but even the newer - both of which really speak to the culture. For instance, in the 1960s the Chinese government mandated all homes be fitted with a radio in the home's main reception area that could not be turned down or off. The government used it to broadcast messages to the Chinese people. The speaker was bright pink and in some respects clashed against most of the 19th century architecture and furniture but it said a lot about the transitions the family went through.