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May 21, 1934 New York, New York

May 21, 1934 New York, New York

[Editor’s Note: This letter was begun on May 21, 1934, written over several days and finished May 24, 1934. ]

May 21, 1934 315 W. 106th St., N.Y. Noon.

My dear Goldchildren:

Don’t be too happy that I am writing so much now, in the beginning but I am experiencing and see so much now that I like to keep a record of it before I forget some of it.

Thursday evening I went with both girls for a walk on Broadway. We very shortly visited that man from the ship and were pretty early back home. Broadway at night looks exactly like you see in the movies and on pictures. When we came home some michpocha, who send their regards, were there.

Friday I woke up at 9:00. I did not hear the girls leave. At 11:00 Mrs. Heinsheimer and Margot picked Gustl and me up and took us to the enormously large Radio City Music Hall, pretty new holding 5-6000 people. The whole show lasted from 11:30 to 3:00 p.m.

First a movie, to which I have to get used to. They are so different from what they show in Germany, but the photography is wonderful. Next the ballet. You can’t imagine. About 100 girls all about the same nice figure, same color hair, not one wrong step. Excellent. And then a shortened version of Madame Butterfly all with beautiful scenery.

The admission in the morning is not too much and the house is always full. You really got your money’s worth.

Radio City post card

Radio City Circa 1934

The whole building is really beautiful. A very big foyer. On every floor restrooms for women and men. Big restrooms with everywhere running hot and cold water as much as you want all the time plus soap and paper towels. And the newest thing — an electric blower to dry your hands. And all that for free.

After we had nourished our ears and eyes we went to eat in an automatic restaurant. For little money you get the best food there. Everything is very clean, orderly and appetizing. We then went by subway to their business to get a few things out of my trunk which I am storing there while in N.Y. Mr. H. showed me the place before we went home.

At 5:30 Rudy picked me up with his car. He drove by the oldest Jewish cemetery here, through some of Chinatown which is very interesting. After diner I dressed up and Bertl pinned some white flowers, a pearl necklace, on my red dress.

Women are wearing a lot of flowers even real ones. The styles here are very different. Much more elegant and chic. You all, especially Liss, should see how much I have Americanized already with powder and lipstick. The ladies have beautiful hairstyles — too fancy for me. A little longer over the ears and a roll away from the head and curls in the back. Also they use bright red nail polish. I will have to learn that too.

window shopping

Saks Style

That reminds me that it would be a great idea for Doddo [one of Trudel’s sisters] to learn beauty make-up and hairstyling. It is used so very much here. Also , it would be a good idea to learn to make good chocolate candies. Here they are lousy. But much better here is the ice cream.

Maybe you could earn some money with the dessert we had at the gala dinner on the boat: good vanilla ice cream in an oblong square about 1 inch high. 2 inches wide and 3 inches long, covered with a very thin layer of chocolate and put on a wooden stick and wrapped in cellophane to eat out of the hand. It is called a Good Humor.

I am enjoying the food here very much but would like a real salad like I am used to sometime since somehow it is very different here.

Friday night we had lots of company, all young people here. Saturday we all slept late since the girls did not have school. After breakfast Bernice went with me to the harbor to mail the previous letter on the Aquitania and waited ‘til the ship left. That boat ran into a fireboat when it came in and wrecked it. We walked far around that.

We went again in an automatic restaurant for lunch. There we met Marion the other Hamburg girl. Then the three of us went to the most elegant shopping area 5th Ave. We went into the two finest stores, Macy’s and Sax 5th Ave. You cannot imagine such elegant beautiful stores.

Just image the best and biggest store in Frankfurt, one department is that size but much more beautiful. The windows are decorated fantastic. Then we went to Woolworth where I bought this pad of writing paper. The then big public library. We took a little rest at the gorgeous hotel Waldorf Astoria. That you cannot compare with anything in Germany. The size of the decorations’ everything.

And everywhere free restroom toilets and washrooms — separate, men’s and women’s. Since the women use so much makeup they really need those places to refresh and repaint themselves.

Then we looked at the Rockefeller Ctr. That is a big plaza with beautiful flowers and a gold statue and the big building. On the other side is the Empire State Building. The tallest building in the world. If it does not cost too much I hope to go to the top one day. We went through Radio City home and arrived very tired with sore feet about 6:00 p.m.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

After dinner Bernice and I went to visit an old friend from Germany around the corner from here. His room is on the 15th floor. We had a very nice visit and he walked us almost home but it started to rain and he ran home. We stopped at 9:30 at night to buy some hosiery.

Before retiring I wrote a few very important postal cards and just as I went to bed a real big thunderstorm came up the Hudson. I have a great view of the river from my bed which stands right by the window. I always liked to watch thunderstorms but this was the biggest most beautiful I have ever seen and of course I thought of my sister Doddo which I do anyhow often.

While I am writing now Bernice is playing the piano for me. This 5-room apartment with 3 bathrooms and a big kitchen is very comfortable and nice.

That evening I had a letter from Aunt Henny. She thought I would only stay a few days in N.Y. and get through her son a free pass for the bus for me only good until today. That is impossible. So Ludwig went with me to the bus company. That pass is good until June 1st. On May 30 is a big holiday here and I do not want to be in the road that day. The 31st is too late, so I will leave here on Monday the 28th at 9:00 a.m. and will arrive in Chicago on Tuesday the 29th at 4:00 p.m. The trip takes 32 hours and costs only $4 including my baggage.

I am so lucky with everything. I am really glad if I can relax when I get to Chicago. Sure hope everything keeps going o.k. Today it is very hot here but they say this is nothing. How is the weather there? Have you found a new apartment yet? Please show this letter to anyone interested, I can write it all once only. Did Liss get her birthday present. Now I have to think of every birthday two weeks in advance.

Yesterday morning we went to services at the oldest synagogue here. 108 years old and very beautiful with wood carvings and beautiful painting. The girls all looked like birds. All white long dresses with short sleeves very elegant. All the same flower bouquet in their hands. The service was very good but it was very hard for me to understand much of it. I was introduced to the very much liked and very good nice Rabbi and we talked a little together. You can imagine how I felt.

Continued May 22nd at Noon.

Ernst Cahn just said to me now it is 5:00 p.m. in Frankfurt and Lotte is probably yawning and anxious to get home. Right?

In the meantime had some more things happen to me. I got an invitation for dinner and will buy an American style dress tomorrow. I really need it.

May 24th, 1934 10:00 a.m.

Finally I get back to this letter.

We went shopping yesterday morning and I bought a very pretty dress for only $3.50 and a pair of dressy white shoes for $3.98. More than the dress which is red with some little colored trim, short sleeves and 3/4 sleeves. It looks very good on me and makes me appear more like a U.S.A. girl.

Last night I was for dinner at a very nice lady. Her sister and husband were there too. They all were real nice to me. They urged me to go to Chicago now and if I do not like it and cannot find work come back to N.Y. at any time. If the traveling costs are so little, I may be able to do that. After excellent dinner and pleasant conversation I went home at 10:30.

What did you do on Shavuos? [Pentecost]. Nothing is noticed here. How were the confirmations on Shavuos?
Did Alex get safely to Munich and back? Please send me the address of Adele. Is she still in the hospital? I really should write her once.

I am closing this letter now so it won’t get too heavy and start a new one. Everybody here sends best regards. Greetings and kisses, yours …..


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July 26, 1934 “One night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket.”

July 26, 1934 “One night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket.”

July 26, 1934

My very dear ones.

Well, the main thing is that everything has finally arrived and I hope Doddo and Liss liked them.

Today I mailed you a book from the Fair and today I am enclosing 4 snapshots. On one of them I am wearing the yellow knit suit I bought at Hans K.

The others will give you a little idea what a nice workplace I have, altho I am sitting at home again since a few days since there was no work at all. Gus Bing, Uncle’s nephew, promised to call me as soon as they get some orders. He sends regards to Alex.

I received already my first paycheck of $12.85. All work is paid by check. Since I work so slowly the check was not very big. I think I told you that this is a factory of very elegant hats but piecework. I hope I learn to work faster so I can earn more money. Gus thinks I will but should continue to work as well as I do.

Actually this is a beautiful light clean large workroom. On arrival and leaving we punch a time clock. No work on Sat. or Sun.

RCA Radio

RCA Radio - Introduced in 1934

In the afternoon they turn on the radio. At first I could not imagine from where the hollow voice was coming. Frequently we hear concerts.

We are interrupted by people who come in to sell sewing needles or to sharpen scissors. Every afternoon comes a man to sell ice cream, which was very welcome in that miserable heat we had until today.

Actually one can all over on street corners drink water from a fountain just like hoses. Actually they have faucets where the water goes up instead of running down. You cannot picture it. You bend down over it and the water goes right into your mouth. We even have one of these fountains with ice cold water in our workroom. It sure comes handy in that heat. I will try and take a photo once when somebody is drinking.

I cannot tell you how much ice cream and cold drinks I put into me this last week. Now I can understand how people can get a heat stroke.

On Sunday I had to go again to a German picnic. We had to wait for 1 hr for a bus and we almost fainted. It was 95 degrees in the shade. In this heat I cannot eat much and not sleep hardly at all.

1 night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket. It was great up there and I slept well for 1½ hrs. Then I wanted to turn around and the chair collapsed under me. So I had to go back downstairs.

Most nights I would get up every so often and sit by the open window where there was at a least a little breeze once in a while. Last night I moved my bed so my head is right by the window.

Longest Bar

Subway Cafe - "The longest Bar in the World"

One evening last week we went bumming. After work I went to the Fair where at 9:00 p.m. Opa and a niece picked me up. Then we met a friend of the niece who drove us with his car to the greatest bar in the world. That bar counter is so long you cannot see the end of it. And behind it a lot of mirrors to make it look even bigger. Just like in the movie Wonder Bar with Al Jolson. Hope you can see that when it comes to you. Of course we did not sit at the bar but at a little table. It was again a nice evening and I did not get home until 2 a.m.

On Monday night Opa and I had dinner at that friend’s [restaurant] One of the nicest restaurants here on the south side. Then we went to see the movie The House of Rothschild. Excellent. On the way home we passed that friend’s restaurant again and his father called us in and the mother asked me to come to visit once in a while. Opa went home and I visited with them for about 3 more hours. I would not have been able to sleep anyhow it was so very hot. It was so comfortable to sit in their air conditioned restaurant.

Air contitioned theater

Keeping Cool

All theatres and restaurants are air conditioned otherwise nobody would go there. After a little drive along the lake the son then drove me home. Lately some restaurants are putting tables and chairs on the sidewalks. I have been in 2 of those so called bier gardens. This is something very new here this year and if there is not a sign in front that it is people just do not know. All they drink here is: beer, soda, lemonade, whiskey, highballs etc.

Harry Ehrlich promised to get me a glass of wine at our next date in a week. He also wants to teach me to drive a car. In spite of the many cars on the street you hear much less horn blowing than at home.

A couple of days ago our young people’s group met and again I was driven home by 2 men and 3 girls. It is getting much easier for me to have a conversation now. Of course when 2 people talk together I cannot follow because they always talk too fast and when 3 ask me something at the same time I have no idea what they want.

Last Saturday I intended to spent some time alone at the Fair, but of course I ran into people I knew. First Opa with his whole big family 3 sons, 1 daughter, 1 son in law and 2 daughters in law only I was missing. So of course I joined them. I knew them all already except for the 2 daughters in law. Hans delivered me at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

I was home alone and Joe Hamburger, Uncle Alfred’s son came by to ask if I wanted to go swimming with him which I did of course. I had just cut out the back of my old bathing suit and wore it right away.

Sears Ad 1934

Sears Dresses on Sale 1934

Yesterday Aunt Henny took a day off. She is really working much too hard.
We went downtown in the afternoon and I bought myself another dress for 59¢. Nothing in front, nothing in back but still too much for this heat.

We then went to the concert at the Fair. My travel companions from Vienna I see every time I go there. The wife and friend work now in an exhibit called “Black Forest”. But since it costs admission I only sneaked in once with my pass. It is one of the busiest exhibits they show fancy ice skating. Very beautiful to watch especially when it is so hot outside.

Black Forest Village at Worlds Fair

Black Forest Village with Ice Skating Show.

I do not know if I can get a pass again for the month of August, so this pleasure will come to an end soon probably. 50¢ is too much to spend for

By the way in 1 of the exhibits is a statue of a big white dog, advertising of the “Voice of his Master”, he says something which I do not understand and moves his mechanical mouth. I recognized it from far away. Doddo, do you remember where we saw one like it? Was it at the big music show?

Yesterday we saw something terrific. 6 mechanical figures of American Presidents. They get up to make speeches into microphones and then sit down again. Fascinating how they work. That is about all I can tell you today.

Animated Presidents

Talking Presidents

What is the matter with our cousin Alice Wolff that she is in the hospital? Ilsa Liederman wrote a funny description of Lore Levy’s engagement.

It seems that some of my cards from the boat never arrived. So now I will go to the drugstore here in the building to eat my lunch being a cantaloupe a la mode, ½ of a melon like fruit with ice cream on top.

So until next time.
Love and Kisses,



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