Tag Archives: cafeteria

August 14, 1934 “You spread it with salt and butter and eat it right off the cob like a rabbit.”

August 14, 1934  “You spread it with salt and butter and eat it right off the cob like a rabbit.”


My dear goldchildren:

If I remember correctly I promised you to write to you every 2 weeks but I do not want you to have to pay extra postage for my long letters. That’s why I have been writing practically every week.

Well, the pins finally arrived but unfortunately are not the same as I had asked for. These we can get here and much cheaper. But I am sure Henny can sell them anyhow. She can and does sell everything.

After the letter to you last Saturday I wrote 2 more in English. Mr. Hollander, from the boat, answered already and says my English has improved a lot.

The enclosed photo was taken at Weil’s where I was for dinner again on Sunday. Don’t I look real American now?

Eugenie is an excellent cook. Which one of you has ever eaten “corn on the cob?” Well, I have now. This is a very common food here. We only fed the pigs with it. But this is much finer. You throw it into boiling water until the nice yellow kernels are tender, then you spread it with salt and butter and eat it right off the cob like a rabbit. It tastes very good.

Dinner With the Weils 1936

The Weils at Dinner

Another very popular natural food is the puffed rice, or pop corn, I will have to get used to these things I guess. In most bars it is standing on the counter to help yourself as much as you like. Of course it makes one thirsty because they put a lot of salt on it and that makes people drink more.

Much better than this I think is the fact that in every decent restaurant you get a glass of ice water and bread and butter on the table before you even order your meal — Only all the butter is salted.

Another thing I have to get used to. In the evenings I eat my dinner usually in a decent restaurant for 40-50¢ and in for lunch mostly at a cafeteria, where you serve yourself. Not an automat. They have a very long buffet. You start by taking a tray, napkin, fork, knife and spoon and push the tray along a one-way street, along the counter where everything is on individual plates or little bowl and you take whatever looks inviting to you. They are in order by prices. At the end of the counter is bread, rolls and butter and jam and also drinks. You can have a sandwich made too. Then a girl adds up on an adding machine what you have on your tray and you sit down, enjoy your meal, can get more water or add a desert and pay as you leave.

Woolworth's Lunch Counter

A Woolworth's Lunch Counter

Can’t you just see some of our friends? How they would juggle the trays looking for a table. Most people eat lunch between 12-1 and of course it is always very busy at that time. I usually go right in the building on street level in a Woolworth cafeteria. They have individual tables. I do not like the long bar-like tables with high seats. I assure you the dinner at Weil’s was much better than in any restaurant.

Doddo, could you find the recipe for your delicious chocolate cake? Eugenie is always looking for new recipes. She looks it, too.

Papa dear do you remember a brother of Aunt Jenny called Max? A son and a daughter of his live near Chicago and Aunt Jenny has visited them at a few times. I believe neither of them is Jewish any more. The Klees apparently have one son and three daughters here and their business is still going.

I think dear Adolfshe, you would find a lot of old friends here. Not only are there very many Germans here but a lot of them are from Ffm [Frankfurt am Main]. Either born in Ffm or gone to school or worked there. Gus Bing’s sister, her other brother, movie actor Herman Bing and her daughter left again for California today after a 4 week visit. We were there last evening.

The man I work for was there too of course with his future 2nd wife who is the main designer and boss of the workroom. We are a very orthodox company! Could you imagine Stephan Demuth [a “boss” in Germany] taking off his shirt and put on a fresh one in front of all the employees that is nothing unusual here. Also, Gus sits across from his future wife [the employees did not know this yet] and puts his feet on he table.

Mr. Budwig, also is divorced and altho his former wife gave him the money to start this business, he married another woman. I liked Marie, who will hopefully marry Gus, right from the beginning.

Dear Ernale, I have been looking around about leather here but they are using mostly junk. No reptile at all.*

Can you believe that after only one week I already missed going to the fair?

Monday I went for a change to a movie again. “The Thin Man.” And Tuesday again to the fair to my Vienna friends. I really enjoy all the commotion and goings on there.

thin man poster

Poster for "The Thin Man" with William Powell and Myrna Loy

They have three new rides at the park. One of them has seats that look like airplanes for one person. One gets tied on very securely and then it goes around, up and down back and forth, across and back, so one gets into every possible and impossible position imaginable between heaven and earth. Then there is an electric swing like boats and the one I like best is as follows. One sits inside a small camper of course tied on and goes up as high as a Ferris wheel and from there it goes slowly round and about the middle post down. It reminds me of a winding staircase. I have not tried either one of them so far but the fair will be here a few more weeks, and it costs only 7¢ by streetcar to get there.
midway rides at night

Midway Rides at the World's Fair

That is another great thing. For 3 hrs one can ride for 7¢ changing and going everywhere one wants. Of course I usually use the I.C. train which goes much faster and of course costs more.

So far I have taken the elevated train only twice. At one station you can go right into the needlework dept. of Marshall Fields. Everywhere are pigeons flying around. People feed them right in the middle of the main streets. They are very tame. There are loads of them always in the park across from my window at work. This is how I imagine the Marcus Place in Venice.

Elevated Tracks

You can get anywhere on the El.

Sunday I listened on the radio to the Rheingold from Bayreuth. I enjoyed it very much. The weather was not very good and the transmission was not too clear. In the evening I heard a man talk from England as clearly as if he was next to me.

On Monday at the movie I saw pictures of Hindenburg. The funeral was broadcast here too. Papa dear I would very much like some information from you. What caused the death of our grandfather Theodore Stern? I have a reason why I want to know.

How do you like the city map? Can you figure it out? For instance look for East 76th Street. That means 76 streets going south and the east end of that street. That’s where I often sit with Rose at the beach in the evening. Instead of going to the Synagogue tomorrow morning she and I are planning to go there swimming.

From Weils it took me 1 hr to get home also the trains make less stops in the evening. That is about as long as it takes from the theatre in Ffm to Hamburg!

There is also a so-called river going thru Chicago. If a larger boat wants to go thru, one bridge after the other has to open. Since the Chicago River goes thru the middle of the city there are a lot of bridges–on every street one. It looks beautiful especially at night.

Chicago River Bridges

Chicago River Bridges

Please send me a book by Stolze.

I tell everybody the riddle you sent me about the Junebug, but hardly anybody understands it. But I guess you will understand if I say I have now nothing to write anymore. Did you receive the book with pictures from the fair? Doddo apparently helped Poppers addressing thank you cards.

For this week I send you all good wishes and kisses and loads of love.

As always, give my regards to everybody and especially Liss.



*Trudel’s sister, Erna, sometimes referred to as Ernale (er-na-leh), was working in the leather business.

Shortlink to this post:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,