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(Gothamist)   How to act when in New York City ... in the 1920s   (gothamist.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, New York City  
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10122 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jan 2014 at 8:15 PM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-24 08:16:53 PM
Dont be irish?
 
2014-01-24 08:23:26 PM
"Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes.  They are harmless and respectable."

That's good advice anywhere.
 
2014-01-24 08:27:03 PM
They were still having multi-street gun battles between cops and criminals at that time.
 
2014-01-24 08:28:22 PM
cinema.sky.it

Don't owe this man money.
 
2014-01-24 08:28:38 PM
Remember that "Where Jesus Would Go In New York City" pamphlet Nelson Van Alden's  wife brought with her on a visit? It had a listing of all the brothels and other unsavory joints in town. LOL
 
2014-01-24 08:29:47 PM

I Browse: [cinema.sky.it image 738x462]

Don't owe this man money.


You only had to hold out till 1928 when he ate a bullet.
 
2014-01-24 08:32:50 PM
Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.
 
2014-01-24 08:33:23 PM

InterruptingQuirk: I Browse: [cinema.sky.it image 738x462]

Don't owe this man money.

You only had to hold out till 1928 when he ate a bullet.


Which, as timing turned out, was the same year Kelly MacDonald's five years of free rent (for giving Mister Rothstein insider info) would expire.
 
2014-01-24 08:34:42 PM

tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.


You're assuming that every pedestrian is a New Yorker...
 
2014-01-24 08:34:54 PM

TomD9938: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes.  They are harmless and respectable."

That's good advice anywhere.


you left out the best part! They are "smart." Expected a firm smack on the ass to be an acceptable tip.
 
2014-01-24 08:36:02 PM

gideon: tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.

You're assuming that every pedestrian is a New Yorker...


They were assuming you would end up stopping somebody fresh off the boat?
 
2014-01-24 08:37:06 PM

InterruptingQuirk: They were still having multi-street gun battles between cops and criminals at that time.


The Past always seemed to be a really stressful time to live.
 
2014-01-24 08:41:44 PM
So basically nothing has changed
 
2014-01-24 08:43:56 PM
Sounds like not much has changed - so here's the advice they should have given that still stands.

Do whatever the fark you want and don't worry about what 'New Yorkers' think.  A lot of them are trendy, self-important, insufferable douche bags, especially the young white ones who grew up in the suburbs.

Have fun!
 
2014-01-24 08:47:12 PM
"Don't judge a man's importance by the number of time's he's "paged""

How far that status symbol has sunk..
//yeah, yeah. Well aware it's a different type. What are ya, a square?
 
2014-01-24 08:50:32 PM

gideon: tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.

You're assuming that every pedestrian is a New Yorker...


I would assume NYC is probably similar to London in terms of tourists! I had to asked like 5 different folks before I got to a 'local' or someone who could converse in intelligible English. Funny thing was he looked the least local. (He looked Indian or Pakistani).
 
2014-01-24 08:56:33 PM
The tone reminds me of Robert Benchley. Particularly the gag about traveling with someone else's child if you couldn't bring one of your own.
 
2014-01-24 09:02:19 PM
And how  not to act.
4.bp.blogspot.com
/avoid the oranges
 
2014-01-24 09:08:26 PM
PG Wodehouse makes better reading.
 
2014-01-24 09:09:24 PM
Great book. I love this old jocular guides to great cities stuff. I'm off to get the ebook at the Internet Archives.

https://archive.org/details/valentinescityof00browa

 Are you hep?

Are you fry or are you fly?

Many of my ancestors came from New York; Monmouth County, New Jersey; Westchester County, or the vicinity, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island. It is one of my favourite cities to visit in verse or prose. I love Will Cuppy, Robert Benchley, S.J. Perlmann and their ilk.

This should be fun.
 
2014-01-24 09:14:41 PM
Marshmallow Jones:

I'm a trendy, self-important, insufferable douche bags, especially the young old white ones who grew up in the suburbs.

/having fun
 
2014-01-24 09:23:15 PM

tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.


New York is a city of neighborhoods or was until it became too expensive for people to live in Manhattan or for small household services and goods businesses to stay in business. It is now a city of McDonalds, Starbucks and even, God forbid, malls.

Most natives are not good people to ask directions of. They don't know dick beyond their own tiny little worlds. Nobody is more parochial than a Big City Dweller. In a small town or rural community, you have to shop all over a County or two. You get to know people for miles around. My family know lots of people a couple of hundred miles away in the various small cities, villages and communities for varous reasons. Heck, my Father knows politicians, professionals and business people all over the province and beyond, just from normal day-to-day living and business.

But in a place like New York, where cars are virtually impossible to park and parking spaces can sell for more than houses elsewhere, people only know their own little urban village. They may not know anything further than the next McDonalds in every direction (they are spaced ten minutes apart even here).

They really don't. I live in a walkable city but I''m not much help with the streets in my own little world either.

Everything west of Bronson is wilderness as far as I am concerned. And it's only a ten or fifteen minute walk to the Bronson McDo. I walk thirty to forty minutes to work and back each way. That's my world. I don't know all of the streets within that distance. There are dozens or scores of them I have never seen. I seldom go further East than the Rideau Centre, a downtown mall with several hundred stores plus or minus the Byward Market.

I have been further out by taxi or bus but these are excursions for a purpose, not day-to-day living. A suburbanite knows far less than a downtown walker like me.
 
2014-01-24 09:24:38 PM
Also, never ask passerby's where the Susquehanna Hat Company is located.
 
2014-01-24 09:25:49 PM

brantgoose: Great book. I love this old jocular guides to great cities stuff. I'm off to get the ebook at the Internet Archives.


Then I'll recommend to you: Monmouth County New Jersey by Randall Gabrielan from the Postcard History Series. Published by Arcadia.

I have it as a coffee table book along with other local history books from the area.

/lives in Monmouth County
 
2014-01-24 09:28:14 PM
Have you seen the well-to-do, up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air
High hats and Arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime, for a wonderful time
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.
Different types who wear a daycoat, pants with stripes
And cut away coat, perfect fits,
Puttin' on the ritz.
Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
Or umbrellas in their mitts
Puttin' on the Ritz

Tips his hat just like an english chappie
To a lady with a wealthy pappy (very snappy)
You'll declare it's simply topping to be there
And hear them swapping smart titbits
Puttin' on the ritz!
 
2014-01-24 09:31:52 PM

Great_Milenko: Also, never ask passerby's where the Susquehanna Hat Company is located.


You do know that place is a better place to work than in a bakery "loafing"
 
2014-01-24 09:32:06 PM
Cue John Mulaney, "How can you be Lost in New York. The streets are numbers!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uD-akXggZA
 
2014-01-24 09:32:44 PM

tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.


Whenever I visit San Francisco I am constantly pestered for directions.  I suspect it's because I am a man with long hair; they assume I'm a native and probably gay.  I usually don't know, and they usually get irritated because they think I'm lying.

The best one was this super hot Asian girl who for some reason physically blocked my way rather than just saying "excuse me" like most Americans.  I felt like I was in a Mentos commercial and blushed when I couldn't answer her.
 
2014-01-24 09:39:52 PM

gideon: tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.

You're assuming that every pedestrian is a New Yorker...


Um, did you read the article? I didn't feel like quoting it verbatim, but I guess I will now. When referring to the pedestrian in question it says, "No New Yorker knows anything about New York. Consult this guide."

So I'm making no assumptions. I'm just reading the guide which explicitly states that New Yorkers don't know New York. This Guide knows New York.
 
2014-01-24 09:41:31 PM

aerojockey: tylerdurden217: Dufuq did I just read?? Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is because even if they are polite enough to answer you, they won't know what they are talking about... because New Yorkers don't know anything about New York. Got it.

Whenever I visit San Francisco I am constantly pestered for directions.  I suspect it's because I am a man with long hair; they assume I'm a native and probably gay.  I usually don't know, and they usually get irritated because they think I'm lying.

The best one was this super hot Asian girl who for some reason physically blocked my way rather than just saying "excuse me" like most Americans.  I felt like I was in a Mentos commercial and blushed when I couldn't answer her.


We went to Paris in the 90s. Preparations included the odd advice to not wear jeans. No Frenchman wears jeans, we were told. Which was ridiculous. But  I wore the standard plain sport coat and wash slacks so I looked in my mind like a Frenchman. Which is what acting is all about, I guess. So, one day on the trip, I was able to break off from the group and wander around by myself. I went to see St. Sulpice and stood there admiring it.  As I was standing there an American woman came up to me and asked me in pidgin French where something was. I gave her my best Gallic shrug as if to say, "Go away you silly woman." (Actually, I told her I didn't know, but it makes a better story the other way. My memory isn't the best. Maybe she asked me where St. Sulpice  was.)
 
2014-01-24 09:43:26 PM
Don't hand your baggage to a porter outside Grand Central unless he wears a red hat.

So if I want free luggage, all I have to do is wear a red hat?
 
2014-01-24 09:45:07 PM

teenage mutant ninja rapist: Dont be irish?


This is the 1920s, not the 1840s.  The Irish were running the city.

Here, by the way, is what NY's mayor had to say in 1922.

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the  Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.
They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.
These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.
 
2014-01-24 09:45:20 PM
Why did telephoning "used to be quicker" but then suddenly wasn't?
 
2014-01-24 09:45:54 PM
I love antique guide books. They allow you to visit a place before it was spoiled by people like you.
 
2014-01-24 09:47:52 PM

aerojockey: Whenever I visit San Francisco I am constantly pestered for directions. I suspect it's because I am a man with long hair; they assume I'm a native and probably gay. I usually don't know, and they usually get irritated because they think I'm lying.


One or the other, but not likely both; gay men generally don't have long hair.  And I speak from experience here.

And I've got you beat: I spent a semester studying in Rome and had Italians asking me for direction, because I didn't look like and American or a tourist.

/The secret?
//don't wear shorts
///and get a decent haircut.
 
2014-01-24 09:53:35 PM

keypusher: The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.


So... the mayor in 1922 owned a tin-foil hat?

/Banking interests were the problem, not Standard Oil
//in 1922 the Morgan Bank was still running things, headed by Jack Morgan, JP's son.
 
2014-01-24 10:01:58 PM

Dwight_Yeast: keypusher: The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

So... the mayor in 1922 owned a tin-foil hat?

/Banking interests were the problem, not Standard Oil
//in 1922 the Morgan Bank was still running things, headed by Jack Morgan, JP's son.


At the peak of his wealth, John D. owned around 9% of all the wealth in the country. Bill Gates would have to have well over a trillion dollars to be comparable. John D. was easily the most powerful man in the world.
 
2014-01-24 10:04:52 PM
Reminded me of this, even though it takes place 40 years earlier than the guide in the link.

img.fark.net
 
2014-01-24 10:09:51 PM
"Plausible Strangers" is a not-horrible band name.

Not great either, I guess.
 
2014-01-24 10:14:37 PM

brantgoose: I love antique guide books. They allow you to visit a place before it was spoiled by people like you.


That's the problem with tourists, they like every place they visit to be like every other place they visit.

\One of these days I'm going to find out who thinks all commercial developments need to be stucco over chicken wire, painted in earthy reds and browns and kick them in the balls.
 
2014-01-24 10:17:56 PM
www.thejimbolist.com
 
2014-01-24 10:27:45 PM

yakmans_dad: At the peak of his wealth, John D. owned around 9% of all the wealth in the country. Bill Gates would have to have well over a trillion dollars to be comparable. John D. was easily the most powerful man in the world.


Its hard to compare John D Rockefeller to the Morgan empire... while his personal wealth may have been greater (its hard to say, the Morgans didnt exactly go around revealing their net worth, and they had the ability to hide it), the Morgans certainly  controlled more assets.  JP Morgan personally organized the bail out of the bankrupt United States government, which solidified his power over government.  JP Morgan also bought out Carnegie Steel, making Carnegie the richest man in the world at the time... even richer than Rockefeller.  Under JP Morgan, Carnegie Steel was renamed US Steel, and while the US government eventually busted up Standard Oil due to anti-competitive practices (monopoly), they never laid a finger on US Steel due to Morgan family power and influence... which royally pissed of Rockefeller.

Rockefeller also had gripes with the Morgans due to them organizing both Edison Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric (Tesla's technology) into General Electric, which was directly replacing the need for Rockefeller's oil.... and damn near put him out of business until they figured out they could use oil to run automobiles.

In the end, Rockefeller had the last laugh though by simply outliving everyone else, which was the primary factor in allowing him to eventually become the (presumably) richest by % of GDP.

/They were  all assholes... lol.  America has some fascinating history though...
 
2014-01-24 10:32:15 PM
I came, I saw, what manner of beast is this
New York, you talk a little bit left of centre
A scream, a shout, New York is throwing its weight about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQr6FYFEjI8
 
2014-01-24 10:33:33 PM
...sorry kind of went off on a random rant there.  In summary though, my point was that while Rockefeller may have been the richest, he wasnt really more  powerful than the Morgans, in my personal opinion.
 
2014-01-24 10:35:47 PM

Alonjar: yakmans_dad: At the peak of his wealth, John D. owned around 9% of all the wealth in the country. Bill Gates would have to have well over a trillion dollars to be comparable. John D. was easily the most powerful man in the world.

Its hard to compare John D Rockefeller to the Morgan empire... while his personal wealth may have been greater (its hard to say, the Morgans didnt exactly go around revealing their net worth, and they had the ability to hide it), the Morgans certainly  controlled more assets.  JP Morgan personally organized the bail out of the bankrupt United States government, which solidified his power over government.  JP Morgan also bought out Carnegie Steel, making Carnegie the richest man in the world at the time... even richer than Rockefeller.  Under JP Morgan, Carnegie Steel was renamed US Steel, and while the US government eventually busted up Standard Oil due to anti-competitive practices (monopoly), they never laid a finger on US Steel due to Morgan family power and influence... which royally pissed of Rockefeller.

Rockefeller also had gripes with the Morgans due to them organizing both Edison Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric (Tesla's technology) into General Electric, which was directly replacing the need for Rockefeller's oil.... and damn near put him out of business until they figured out they could use oil to run automobiles.

In the end, Rockefeller had the last laugh though by simply outliving everyone else, which was the primary factor in allowing him to eventually become the (presumably) richest by % of GDP.

/They were  all assholes... lol.  America has some fascinating history though...


I could have sworn I bolded the part about the bankers.

Here's a great pic of JP Morgan menacing some plebe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:J._P._Morgan_beating_a_photographe r_ with_his_stick.jpg
 
2014-01-24 10:46:30 PM
If a mook tries to pull the wool, you give him what's coming', see, a knuckle sandwich and hold the mustard! That palooka don't deserve nothin' but bad breaks and crooked dames.
 
2014-01-24 10:48:54 PM

yakmans_dad: Dwight_Yeast: keypusher: The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

So... the mayor in 1922 owned a tin-foil hat?

/Banking interests were the problem, not Standard Oil
//in 1922 the Morgan Bank was still running things, headed by Jack Morgan, JP's son.

At the peak of his wealth, John D. owned around 9% of all the wealth in the country. Bill Gates would have to have well over a trillion dollars to be comparable. John D. was easily the most powerful man in the world.


He was the richest, but he certainly wasn't the most powerful.  And by 1922, JDR, Sr had had a breakdown, lost all his hair, and was starting to turn his stock over to JDR, Jr, who spent most of the rest of his life giving money away, which became a full-time job, as the Standard Oil companies made money fast than he could get rid of it.  He also built Rockefeller Center.

No, Jack Morgan, who was head of Morgan & Co. (Latter Drexel, Morgan) had far more power, even though he didn't have as much money.  Why? Because he controlled an investment pool bigger than any individual fortune.  He made vast sums of money during WWI by being invested not only in DuPont (black powder), Winchester and Colt, but also in Krupps, who were supplying the guns for the Germans.  The Morgans had no allegiances and no qualms about playing every side against the others to their own ends.

The only reason I have respect for JP Morgan is that he played the game so well, he was completely honest about it: if you asked, he'd explain exactly how he was going to screw you over, as there was nothing you could do about it.
 
2014-01-24 10:49:46 PM
Johnny T's NYC Tourist Tips  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmPBPWHJu4
 
2014-01-24 10:51:04 PM

awfulperson: If a mook tries to pull the wool, you give him what's coming', see, a knuckle sandwich and hold the mustard! That palooka don't deserve nothin' but bad breaks and crooked dames.


You're gonna get it, see? We gots to spring Lefty from Sing Sing, see? Those clowns are gonna get a little chin music if they don't get smart real quicklike.
 
2014-01-24 10:58:49 PM

Dwight_Yeast: aerojockey: Whenever I visit San Francisco I am constantly pestered for directions. I suspect it's because I am a man with long hair; they assume I'm a native and probably gay. I usually don't know, and they usually get irritated because they think I'm lying.

One or the other, but not likely both; gay men generally don't have long hair.  And I speak from experience here.


I know.  But a lot of people who are tourists in San Francisco probably don't know that.  They just think anyone who does something atypical for their gender is gay.  So they're probably like, "Ooh, ooh, look, there's a native gay person!  I bet he knows where Stuart Street is."
 
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