Harlem tour

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MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hi,

Would you please tell if gospel churches of Harlem tour means this tour consists of visiting gospel churches, as tourist sights?

"Here he was, on his way home{to India}, without name or knowledge of the American president, without the name of the river on whose bank he had lingered, without even hearing about of tourist sights- no Statue of Liberty, Macy's,............, no gospel churches of Harlem tour."


http://books.google.com/books?id=Ki...sult&resnum=1#v=snippet&q=Harlem tour&f=false

Many thanks.
It's part of Inheritance of Loss.
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    It seems like our hero, just prior to leaving, is reviewing the host of US experiences that (for some reason) he failed to have [or maybe he's emptying his mind of all the experiences that he did have] - either way, the list reads like a tourist's guide book: things to do when in New York, hence 'a tour of Harlem gospel churches' or 'gospel churches of the Harlem tour' - had he (was it Siju?) been on a tour of Harlem churches?

    I should point out that I am merely speculating. The thing makes little sense to me, as it stands. :)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think you understand it correctly, MaryamSeresht; it's a tour of the gospel churches of Harlem.

    The phrase "gospel churches of Harlem" acts as a adjective, modifying 'tour. It might be more easily understood with hyphens: no gospel-churches-of-Harlem tour. However, it is not our custom to use hyphens here.

    Cross-posted with Beryl. I am not sure why she thinks it should be 'the Harlem'. We don't use a definite article with Harlem, the neighborhood in New York that is well-known as a center of Black culture.
     
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    MaryamSeresht

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thank you, friends. In fact, Biju had worked there illegally, so he couldn't walk everywhere he wished. Besides, he had no money to visit such places. During all those years, that he lived in NY, he had just worked in kitchens, Restaurants as a worker. So he had no chance to join the tours, or visit touristic places.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    It hadn't occurred to me that the whole of 'gospel churches of Harlem' would have been used as an adjective - I see it now. [by adding 'the' I was trying to render 'Harlem' as an adjective as in 'the Harlem Globetrotters]
    Thanks for the resume Maryam.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It's true that the use of 'gospel churches of Harlem' as an adjective is a slightly humorous or mocking use. It implies that the tour is hackneyed or conventional.

    I am not certain I am explaining it well, but I mean that stringing the words together as an adjective is not standard American English. The conventional way to say this would be "a tour of the gospel churches of Harlem."
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    And an easier-on-the-reader version might be "... a Gospel Churches of Harlem tour," especially since that would probably be the way you'd see it on the tour brochure.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    He definitely means Harlem churches. They are not tourist sights by themselves, meant as attractions, but tourist groups have a tendency to visit them, when they take the tour of Harlem. I agree with Copyright. Nobody in New York would call them Gospel Churches. It is a generalization used by the travel industry. They are just regular historical churches where people sing gospels; some might be modern, in fact.

    #6. People can walk everywhere they wish to in New York, no matter what their status is, except the places not accessible to the public. His lack of money could not have been the reason either, for not visiting the churches of Harlem: this is a wrong interpretation of the book. What he means is lack of time, I think, caused by the long hours he worked. Some tours of Harlem are absolutely free.
     
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