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May 24, 1934 New York “You can get used to a lot of things.”

24 May
May 24, 1934 New York “You can get used to a lot of things.”


[Editor’s note: This letter was begun on 5/24/1934, written over several days and finished on May 26.]

5/24/34.
My beloved dear ones.

I am continuing my last letter now and try to tell things in order. Kurt Brand picked me up Sunday at 3:00 p.m. We went down Broadway and we met on the street his aunt we intended to visit. We walked together for a while and had nice conversation, then Kurt and I went to see a movie. That is the main entertainment here. All times of the day. Movies. Then we went on the top of a double decker bus, front seats, partly downtown. He showed me the new big railroad station and we went for an excellent dinner. He was very nice and even bought me some flowers. Of course we had a lot of fun talking about old memories.

Later we went to Heinsheimers because Rudy’s birthday was the next day. There were a few more young people and we had a very nice time until we went home at 11:30.

On Monday morning as I told you already, Ludwig went with me to the Bus Co., then to his place of business. I needed some things from my suitcase. He wanted to take me to the subway station but I begged him to let me go alone to see if I could find my way home alone. Well, I did but he called to make sure I got there o.k.

In the afternoon Gustl and I visited relatives for coffee. In the evening Kurt Dillenberg picked me up and we took the streetcar part of the way into downtown, so I had a chance to see it all with the lights on. The nicest is around Times Square with one movie house next to the other and each trying to outdo the other with light advertising.

TimeSquareatNight1940-1

Times Square at Night (a few years later)

We looked at the indoor swimming pool in the Park Central Hotel and walked around Central Park, which is unbelievable. Big tall rocks, a gigantic pool where one can rent a rowboat anytime and all around the park are illuminated skyscrapers. One really does not expect such a nature place in the middle of these large and many buildings.

We had a strawberry soda. That stuff is delicious. You go into any so called drugstore and sit on a barstool to be served. You can get used to a lot of things. It was really a pleasant evening again.

On Tuesday I met two of our 3rd or 4th cousins. We took the subway to Coney Island. Do you know where that is? Did you get my postal card from there? I will try to explain. Imagine a long beach along the ocean. On the one side you see only nice white soft sand and the water. On the other side of the boardwalk are bathhouses, children’s playgrounds, ping pong and tennis courts and restplaces for grownups, sports utensils, fenced in swimming pools etc. that goes on for miles. One can wear slacks all day which of course I like but it takes too long to get there without a car.

Coney Island at Night


Behind the buildings and pools etc. is a gigantic amusement park with different merry-go-rounds, several ferris wheels. Sadie and I went on one of the big, fast wild rides. All in all about 20x as big as what I have ever seen. Most of the places do not open until next Sunday and will close Sept. 15th. After walking along the boardwalk for about 1 hr. we stopped to eat and I wrote a few cards. Then we walked back again, stopped for ice cream and took the subway to Sadie’s home. The weather was really strange that day. Very hot in the morning. Turning very cold and in the evening thunderstorm and continued rain.

At dinner I met another one of those cousins. Before we left in the morning, Ernst Kahn visited me. He likes it very much here too but has not found work yet.

Yesterday morning we were on the Manhattan to see off friends who were going to Germany for a visit. One steward greeted me very nicely. He wanted to know if I was going back with them. All the others were too busy. I also met one of our passengers again.

I have taken a lot of photos already but do not like the way they develop and print them here. If they do no better in Chicago I will send the films to you in the future to have them processed.

From the boat we went shopping for my dress. This was very interesting. The company has two stores, an old one and a new one. We first went to the old one but did not find anything. The new store is just like a large store room. All clothes are on hangers all around sorted by sizes and you pick out what you think you might like, take 4 or 5 over your arm into a dressing room. What you don’t like you put aside right away. On the ones you might want to buy you have to keep an eye so nobody grabs it to try it on too. I wrote you already that the one I picked is very becoming.

This job took 1½ hrs. and we were glad when we got home finally. Then after doing a little alteration on the dress we went to buy the shoes.

The big distances here take a lot of time and it is not surprising that the Americans are always in a hurry. I doubt that I can get in touch with all the people here I had planned to call, actually I know that I will not have time enouugh here in N.Y.

Last night as I told you already I had dinner at Mrs. Brown–tonight at Kurt Brand. Tomorrow morning I have to get my trunk ready. Saturday nite my old table partner Rudy Heinzheimer wants to take me out very fancy. Sunday afternoon I have a date with Kurt Dillenberg. This morning I talked to my tablemate from the boat on the phone. We are trying to make some date for Sunday.

Tomorrow night I want to go to Temple Emanuel for Services. It is the biggest synagogue here and supposed to be very beautiful. Last night we had a ball trying on hats. I have inherited several already.

They are all so very nice to me. Gustl thinks I might even like it better in Chicago than in N.Y. But I can’t believe that.

Coney Island

Coney Island Post Card

Something is wrong with me today but I do not know what. I did get up at 8:30 but have no ambition to do anything. I would have so much time today to visit some people but just can’t make up my mind to do anything. It is already 12:30 p.m. and I am still sitting here in my housecoat and slippers at the desk next to my bed overlooking the River.

Love,
Trudel


Editor’s Note: As Trudel mentioned, she didn’t like the film processing here, which may explain why there were only the tiny thumbnails I posted with the previous letter[literally the size of the nail on my thumb] in her album. I have added a few period photos to these posts.]

Short link to this page: http://wp.me/p1yA95-Y

 

About Leonard Grossman

Writing about the online world since 1992: The ModemJunkie’s Portal
Taught school in the inner-city from 1967-78, Government lawyer from 1979-2010.
Married to the incredible Cindy Barnard. Proud father of Sarah and grandfather of Gavin.

 

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2 Responses to May 24, 1934 New York “You can get used to a lot of things.”

  1. Cynthia Barnard

    May 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    What a gorgeous, lyrical, spirited tale! This young woman’s voice is strong and beautiful and quirky and opinionated and funny. What a delight to read – and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

     
  2. Sarah Grossman Pelton

    May 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Dad, thanks so much for sharing these great letters from Omi, is so neat to be able to share in her journey!