New York Day by Day

O.O. McIntyre

Palladium-Item (Richmond, IN)/October 2, 1926

NEW YORK. Oct. 2. Diary of a modern Pepys: Aroused by an air letter from Marshall Nellan, the cinema director, amusing enough to compensate for being awakened. So to breakfast and sat next to a fellow who put salt and pepper in his coffee. Walked along the Park Avenue mall and sat on a bench and a man I took to be Will Hays strolled by and I inquired: “Is this how you run Hollywood?” and it was a stranger who eyed me curiously and stopped at the corner to talk to a policeman, pointing back at me.

Home and made short shrift of my labor, and to dinner and saw C. D. Williams, the illustrator, with two lovely ladies. Then to stroll along the brilliantly lighted Rialto with my wife and to bed.

Perhaps no writer in America has a more devoted following than Abraham Cahan, editor of the Yiddish daily “The Forward.” More than a quarter of million workers erupting from factories, lofts and sweatshops at dusk snatch this curiously printed journal to read on the homeward journey.

He is the oracle of thousands who live in the dark tenements of the East Side. At 22 he was driven out of Russia by the czar and his sympathy for the oppressed is keen. The majority of his readers are humble and uneducated workers.

Cahan is of the intelligentsia but, despite several brilliant novels, has cast his lot with the submerged. He is not a thunderer although his ideas are radical. He is nearly 70 years old.

The chronic drug addict invariably has a sort of lusterless oyster white pallor. In this way he is often spotted by the law and caught with dope. Consequently many through artificial tanning are now appearing the brown of an autumn leaf. One on Broadway gives a hilarious touch to what is otherwise tragedy by wearing a yachting cap to accompany his heavy tan. And pianissimo it is related a deceptive type of hypodermic syringe has been made to look like a -fountain pen.

The opium smoker is the most listless of all addicts after a debauch. His skin is onion colored, dry and febrile. He cannot eat and is consumed by burning thirst. A year or so ago narcotic statistics placed the number of “hop heads” in New York’s Tenderloin at more than a thousand.

There used to be a little cafe hard by Times Square that was their rendezvous and often they would be seen sitting at tables ghostly pale, silent, and shaky, gulping table water by the quart. Many made no secrets of their habit and related their experiences with candor.

Fame flits. There is the yarn of a matron entering “Pop” Ederle’s butcher shop shop on Amsterdam Avenue the other day. The walls held several pictures of the famous “Trudy.” The patron looked them over. “My daughter,” said the butcher. “That so. What did she do?” asked the patron.

A new racket of side street panhandlers. They approach a victim with a telegram which reads: “Report at Long Island studio in the morning. Glad you have sobered up,” and the name of a director is signed. They pose as motion picture small part players winding up a spree and need enough to rent a room and have breakfast in the morning. The scheme usually clicks and as a result they can afford to send themselves telegrams daily.

A New York business man has caused the dismissal of three taxi drivers because they were discourteous. One attempted to block his path when he had the right of way across the street and the other two applied insulting epithets because the victim secured witnesses, the number of the taxi, and discharge resulted.

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