By now, you all know that I am a pathological New Yorker. I love how I can imbibe at the Lenox Lounge where Billie Holiday once crooned her soulful stylings. I can sit in the same café where García Lorca’s ink flowed freely, or have a Dorothy Parker style soirée at The Algonquian. There is always a place to revisit or rediscover, and although it is always reinventing itself, more than being defined by the new, The City’s energy is undeniably fueled by its history. To call New York captivating is an absolute understatement. Which reminds me…I was finally able to make it to Delmonico’s just in time for Restaurant Week. An Art Nouveau lover’s paradise, I was able to catch a glimpse of the Mark Twain room, which is currently undergoing restoration. It was awe-inspiring to stand in the same room the laureate author once dined.
This brings me to the topic of historical legacy on the Island. On the eve of August 16th, the date that marks La Restauración de la República, the questions pertaining historical preservation loom. As the summer comes to an end, my York friends who are planning to travel to the Island contacted me in hopes that I can direct them to some the historical landmarks that reaffirm our identity as dominicanos. I gladly acquiesced, but when I suggested the places I already know, more questions about the common places that tell a story about the people emerge. For the first time, I am speechless perplexed. Aside from La Casa de Las Hermanas Mirabal in Salcedo, I honestly couldn’t produce a list of the everyday places or artifacts that speak to the pulse of a given historical moment.  As I quietly sipped my rusty nail, I am reminded of the depressing eso ta’ quedao ethos of the Island, where that café that you absolutely love today, is gone tomorrow because it is no longer en boga.
It is why I wish to elicit some answers from of my fellow brethren Islanders:
- Is there a restaurant or tavern where Duarte met with the Trinitarios (and perhaps over a casual beer) plotted the independence of the Dominican Republic?
- In whose living room did María Trinidad Sánchez and Concepción Bona sew el Pabellón Tricolor
- Where is the house where members of el Movimiento 14 de Junio first met?
- Where is the original copy of Emilio Prud’homme’s and José Reyes’ musical composition of el Himno Nacional?
- What happened to Trujillo’s Casa de Caoba?
- What place marked the first slave revolt on the Island?
- Where is Núñez de Cáceres’ house?
- Who has the costumes used in La Feria de la Paz?
- Where are Juan Bosch’s short story handwritten drafts?
- Who is in possession of Balaguer’s library?
- Is there a hand-drafted constitution written by the forefathers?
- Where can one find the original manuscripts of Pedro Henríquez Ureña?
- Does Salomé Ureña’s original school still exist?
- Does anyone have a collection of turn of the century garments?
- Who has a comprehensive photo and film library the captures the Islands historical vitality?
- Is there a person or a group who is starting a movimiento de conservación histórica nacional?
The historical fabric of a city is contingent upon the drive its inhabitants have to preserve it. Happy Día de la Restauración dominicana!
 Most of the historical documentation pertaining to the colonization is in Casa de las Indias in Seville and access to these documents is granted to scholars.