La Brega in Levittown
Over at 99% Invisible, “a sound rich, narrative podcast hosted by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world,” they recently featured an episode of La Brega, a “seven-part podcast series that uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico.” This particular episode features a particularly interesting story that encompasses Puerto Rico’s conditions and how they’ve been brought upon by policies that often backfire.
Casanova-Burgess traces back the story of the boom and bust of Levittown, a massive suburb that was founded on the idea of bringing the American middle-class lifestyle to Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Casanova-Burgess (herself the granddaughter of an early Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream in Puerto Rico.
The episode is definitely worth a listen, as it tells the story of “Puerto Rico in a nutshell” through the Levittown experience.