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SKU: AM00280 Category:


Description: “If I live to be one hundred, I’ll never forget my first trip to NY . . .” is how the anonymous writer ends her delightfully illustrated, thirteen typed page upbeat diary. In the margins, nineteen well-executed, color-tinted miniature illustrations enhance her lively descriptions. In October 1919, she travels to NYC for a long weekend with Marion Potter and Elizabeth Laible, her co-workers from the Conservation Commission in Albany. They are well-received at their head office in the Times building, where the men eagerly offer to show them around the city. The diarist is most fascinated by the subways, the electric lights, the buses, and the Hippodrome. She is amazed that they could buy a ticket for a nickel and jump from train to train all day if they wanted to and that the bus rides cost only10 cents. She ponders, “if they can [have such a system in NY], why not in Albany?” She finds Chinatown “dirty” and “awful,” remarking “Why [Chinatown, not] Jew town.” She sees it as a tourist trap and is happy to be back on Broadway away from the poor parts of the City.

During the weekend, they excitedly explore Long Beach, lower Manhattan, and the Battery, eat at various restaurants, and love the dancing at The Churchill, not returning to their rooms until 2 am. She loves scenic effects at the Hippodrome, the Winter Garden show, and the beautiful orchestras at the movies at The Strand and Rivoli. She reminds the reader that they were are all churchgoers that didn’t skip a single Sunday, but skipping one was alright in NYC. They are shocked “to see women smoke nonchalantly as [they] were eating”; and men smoking in “especially in a high-class theater,” such as the Winter Garden. All the same, she is satisfied that “what would be very much out of place in Rennselaer, did not seem so in New York.” She decides that NYC was a place to stay awake, so the next time she wouldn’t “bother to hire a room.”

The thirteen pages are typed, double-spaced on 8”x11” ivory paper and stapled together along the left margins. The pen and ink illustrations are drawn along the right margins. Item #AM00280

Condition: Lacks front wrap, a couple of tears and fraying along the edges of the pink-colored rear wrap. Some light soil and toning. All illustrations and text are clear and legible. Generally good condition.