Archive for May, 2014

Mary Pickford and cat, 1916

America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, was just one of many silent movie stars who appeared on the silver screen with silver tabbies and other ordinary “movie cats” in the early 1900s.

A century before there was Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Street Cat Bob, and all the countless felines inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, there were the “movie cats” that rose to stardom during the silent film era.

I’m not talking about Felix the Cat, the cartoon cat that made his first appearance in 1919 in a short silent film called Feline Follies.

Nor am I referring to Krazy Cat, another cartoon cat that first appeared in 1913 in the New York Evening Journal and later in several short silent films produced by William Randolph Hearst and others beginning in 1916.

The “movie cats” of the early twentieth century were ordinary cats that had a knack for performing with minimal or no theatrical training. They usually made only cameo walk-on appearances, but still, they shared the screen with silent film stars like Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, and Rudolph Valentino.

Pepper the movie cat

The famous Pepper the cat of Keystone Studios appeared in her first film in 1913. Pepper was often paired with Teddy the dog, Charlie Chaplin, and the Keystone Cops.

A few of these cats, like the famous Pepper of Keystone Studios, appeared in close to 17 credited movie roles. Many other feline stars never received screen credit, although a few did earn wages for their owners.

Two movie cats that were certainly entitled to a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card were Queen Hatto and Baby Silverette of Richmond Hill, Queens. The two silver tabbies were the pride of Miss Elizabeth Kingston, who ran a cattery called “Kingston Kattery” at 1812 Lambert Street (now 122nd St.) She rented the cats to film studios whenever they needed a cat to play a prominent or important part in the movie.

As the New York Sun reported in 1916:
“These cats have been in more motion picture shows than most of the actors, and their acting reaps a nice harvest for their owner. They don’t get rattled when the camera man begins to grind, and seem to enjoy posing.” According to Miss Kingston, her tabbies “registered very well” (showed well on the screen), the photographed beautifully when it came to close-ups, and “they never turn a hair in the most thrilling of scenes and stunts.”

Miss Kingston was no stranger to the stage herself, having served as the financial secretary and then as manager of the Actors’ Child League of New York City. This organization, which was located at 773 East 180th Street in the Bronx (near today’s Mapes ball field and pool), cared for and provided temporary housing for children whose actor parents were away on national tours. Miss Kingston no doubt used this connection to learn about upcoming cat roles in the silent films.

The First Feline of Silent Film

In all fairness, Queen Hatto and Baby Silverette were not the first real cats to appear on film. That honor goes to the “Falling Cat,” which was filmed on one take by Etienne-Jules Marey in 1894 as an experiment to show if cats really do always land on all four feet at the same time. Marey used a chronophotographic gun that was capable of taking 12 consecutive frames a second — and all the frames were recorded on the same picture.

The Movie Cats Go to Grand Central Palace

In December 1916, Miss Kingston’s “movie cats” made their debut at the Empire Cat Club Show at the Grand Central Palace, an exhibition hall on Lexington Avenue at 46th Street. The news that Queen Hatto and Baby Silverette were going to compete at the show caused quite a stir among cat fanciers, as it was feared the screen stars would steal the scene from the more commonplace $400 and $500 prize cats that, up to then, had been the monarchs of the feline society.

Grand Central Palace

The 13-story Grand Central Palace was built in 1911, and occupied the air rights over the railroad tracks leading into Grand Central Terminal. The Palace was New York’s main exposition hall until it closed in 1953. It was demolished in 1964 to make way for the 48-story office building at 245 Park Ave.

Despite all the hullabaloo, it doesn’t appear that the movie cats walked away with any prizes at the show that year. Most of the big prizes went to Mrs. I.J. Ketchen of New Rochelle, who also earned the position of president of the Empire Cat Club that year.

A Catastrophe at the Kattery

In 1919, Miss Kingston purchased a large house and grounds in Brentwood, Long Island, in order to expand her cattery business and increase her feline stock. She ran a standing classified ad in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which brought in customers from all over the country.

Smoke Persian cats

Miss Kingston bred Angoras and Smoke Persians, like those shown here, at her Brentwood cattery.

Tragedy struck the cattery on January 9, 1921, when a careless attendant made an adjustment to an oil stove that caused fumes and smoke. All 24 of her prize-winning Persian cats suffocated and died, including several female cats that were pregnant with kittens already on order for Easter.

Miss Kingston did not let the tragic incident let her down. Sometime that same year, she married Alfred N. List, a jeweler from Manhattan. According to the 1930 Census, the couple resided in an apartment at 143 West 4th Street in Manhattan.

Oscar Hammerstein I

Oscar Hammerstein, the grandfather of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, built several theaters in New York, including the Harlem Opera House on 125th St. and the Olympia on Broadway.

The Theatre Republic

Oscar Hammerstein built the Theatre Republic on land that he leased from Mrs. Anna F. Davidson of New York City. In 1901 he leased the theater to David Belasco and constructed a roof garden that featured vaudeville acts and a replica of a Dutch farm.

Oscar Hammerstein had a farm (EIEIO). And on this farm he had a watermill, a windmill, a pond with a bridge and two boats, a few stone houses, a vegetable garden, a donkey, a turkey, a rooster, four hens, a near-sighted monkey, three peanut monkeys, several sheep, 1 duck and 4 ducklings. The main attraction was a Holstein cow with her very own scantily clad (for the Victorian era) Swiss milkmaid who offered fresh milk in tiny glasses to visitors. The farm was on the roof of Hammerstein’s Theatre Republic on West 42nd Street.

Oscar Hammerstein

In 1904, the Victoria Theatre was relaunched as Hammerstein’s Victoria “Theatre of Varieties,” with live acts featuring countless celebrities of the stage at the time. Noted performers included Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, and Houdini. That same year, Longacre Square was renamed Times Square.

The Venetian Terrace Garden at the Victoria Theatre

Before there was air conditioning (and Prohibition), many New York City theaters and hotels featured elaborate roof gardens where Gilded-age guests could dance and dine or enjoy a summer theater performance under strings of electric lights while enjoying the cool river breezes. Oscar Hammerstein’s Paradise Gardens atop the Theatre Republic (aka Belasco’s) and Victoria Theatre was one of the more novel roof gardens of the era, to say the least.

New York roof gardens

Roof gardens bathed in new electric light were in vogue in the early 1900s before air conditioning and Prohibition. A scene from Hammerstein’s is depicted in the circle.

In 1898, Oscar Hammerstein built the Victoria Theatre on the northwest corner of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, which was then in an area of Manhattan known as Longacre Square. This remote neighborhood — previously occupied by large family farms and manure dumping grounds — was populated by carriage makers and stables, and was named for the famed district of London where royal carriages were designed and constructed. Today, this area is the heart of Times Square and New York’s Theater District.

Longacre Square map

The site Hammerstein chose for his Victoria Theatre was occupied by Gilley Moore’s Market Stables, seen at bottom left in this 1857 map. To the left is McGory’s Dance Hall, which was replaced by the Theatre Republic. Most of the neighborhood is still undeveloped. New York Public Library

Due to budgetary constraints, Hammerstein had to be quite resourceful when constructing the Victoria Theatre. Somehow he convinced the Market Livery Company to lease their land to him for 20 years with no money down. He then used bricks and wood from the demolished stables to construct the theater. The Victoria’s floors were covered with old carpeting from an ocean liner, the seats were purchased second hand, and the hayloft from the stables was used to construct the back stage.

Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre

Hammerstein’s Victoria Theatre on the corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street. The Theatre Republic is next door, to the left in this image.

Atop the Victoria was a large roof garden that was initially called the Venetian Terrace Garden. The space featured a three-tiered grand promenade and was decorated with greenery and 2,000 electric lights. There was also a small theater-in-the-round, which was later expanded to seat 1,000 patrons.

To comply with the city’s building code, Hammerstein added eight exits and two elevators that took patrons directly from the street to the roof garden. The roof garden also had a glass-enclosed auditorium allowing for an open-air feeling with windows open on nice evenings, and protection from the elements on rainy nights.

Paradise Roof Garden theater

The seating area of the Paradise Roof Garden theater, on top of Hammerstein’s Victoria Theatre, 1901. Museum of the City of New York

The Victoria Theatre opened March 3, 1899, with the Rogers Brothers’ Reign of Error. The Venetian Terrace Garden opened on June 26 of that year.

In 1900, Hammerstein built the Theatre Republic adjacent to the Victoria on 42nd Street. He also enlarged the rooftop theater to seat 1,000 patrons and connected it to the roof of the Theatre Republic. The combined roof garden was renamed the Paradise Roof Garden.

Paradise Roof Garden

Another section of the Paradise Roof Garden theater in 1901, with the Dutch farm in the background. Museum of the City of New York

While the main theater remained atop the Victoria, the Theatre Republic’s roof garden featured a much smaller stage that Hammerstein and his son, William, dedicated for Wednesday and Sunday matinees. These afternoon shows featured vaudeville and European novelty acts such as Augusta Rohoff’s Flea Circus from Germany, swimming exhibitions at the pond, jugglers, magicians, and various freak shows.

Newspaper ads show that animal acts were also very popular. Riccabona’s horses, Gillette’s trained monkey and dogs, Rosina Caselli’s midget dogs, a boxing kangaroo, Delita Delfora’s six performing cows, Goolman’s cat and dog circus, a talking dog named Don, and Robert’s trained cats and rats all made appearances in the first decade of the twentieth century. Although these acts were no doubt a hit with the public, the main attraction of the Republic’s roof garden was the Dutch farm and its live barnyard animals.

Don the talking dog

Don the talking dog was just one of many animal acts that performed atop the Theatre Republic in the early 1900s.

The Milch Cow and the Milkmaid

By 1908, the combined roof gardens were known simply as Hammerstein’s or “The Corner.” That year, a want ad in several New York papers advertised for a milkmaid to milk the cow in the “sylvan glade” at Hammerstein’s. The ad stated “no homely applicants need apply.” (An article in The New York Times regarding the ad noted that “no homely milkmaid was ever in a sylvan glade, so it is desired that the applicants consider themselves honestly in the mirror before spending carfare.”) The ad also said the salary would be $40 a month “with board thrown in” (Where? At the little Dutch house on the roof?).

According to the Times, the milkmaid would wear “short skirts and pink” and be required to milk “the thoroughly tame cow” in the presence of spectators. The milkmaid would be able to keep some of the milk, and would not be required to attend to the ducks, goats, or any other animals. A boy in uniform would assist by roping off the crowd. About a week after the ads appeared, “a buxom and rosy-cheeked Harlem milkmaid” was reportedly hired. The cow was milked by hand during intermission. (In 1910, an electric milking machine was acquired.)

The Suffragette Farmers

The “Suffragette farmers” at Hammerstein’s Dutch farm

The “Suffragette farmers” in their overalls at Hammerstein’s Dutch farm. Variety, 1911

In June 1911, several New York newspapers reported on the “Suffragette farmers” at Hammerstein’s Dutch farm. According to the New York Herald, the farm’s milkmaid wore high-heeled slippers and silk stockings and another milkmaid in overalls served tiny cups of milk.

Two other suffragette shepherds in overalls were clipping the sheep with an electric clipper at “the baa-baa shop” while other women in overalls encouraged people to try their luck catching a real fish in the trout stream behind the barn. Over the bridge and past the calf pasture near the windmill was the blacksmith shop, where two “matronly smithies toiled at the forge.”

In the farmhouse, two women farmers smoked cigarettes and read newspapers while a man washed clothes and rocked a cradle with his foot. And scattered about the rest of the farm were women trimming hedges and painting roofs.

Paradise Roof Garden

Arabian acrobats pose on the bridge in front of the windmill and blacksmith shop at Hammerstein’s Paradise Roof Garden. Museum of the City of New York

The End of Paradise and the Roof Garden Era

In the summer of 1908, Mr. Felix Isman, a real estate tycoon from Philadelphia who was slowly but steadily buying theaters in New York, said he had obtained an option on the Victoria and Belasco Theatre sites. According to Isman, the ground leases contained a clause that said Hammerstein could not keep wild animals on the property. In response, Hammerstein admitted he had farm animals on the property, but none of these were considered “wild.”

He told the Times, “I have notified Mr. Isman that in deference to his desire for evacuation, I will begin to dispossess the monkeys from their cage and allow him to occupy it at once.” Hammerstein continued to hold onto the property and Isman set his sights on other theaters.

The Rialto movie theater

S. L. Rothapfel gutted the Victoria in 1915 to make way for the Rialto movie theater. The theater opened in April 16 with “The Good Bad Man” by Douglas Fairbanks.

By the early 1920s, advancements in air-conditioning were rendering New York’s roof garden theatres obsolete and silent movies were luring patrons out of vaudeville theatres. Hammerstein jumped on this bandwagon early, selling the Victoria Theatre in May 1915 to S. L. “Roxy” Rothapfel, who eventually gutted the building to make way for 42nd Street’s first movie theater, the Rialto. This theater changed hands a few times over the years, and was torn down in 2000 to make way for an office building.

The Republic, which had been taken over by David Belasco in 1902, became home to Billy Minsky’s burlesque shows in 1932. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia banned burlesque in 1942, and the Republic was converted into a movie theater, the Victory.

Billy Minsky's burlesque

Billy Minsky’s was a very popular burlesque joint, especially with the police, who often raided the place.

The Victory was a hot bed, so to speak, for porno movies in the 1970s, but it was restored as a legitimate theater in 1995. Today it is a performing arts center for children and families called the New Victory Theater.

Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Pinky Panky Poo

Mrs. Patrick Campbell was born Beatrice Rose Stella Tanner in 1865 in Kensington, London. She reportedly received Pinky Panky Poo in 1890 from Leopold II, the King of the Belgians, who reigned from December 1865 to December 1909.

Shortly after the Plaza Hotel opened in New York City in October 1907, afternoon tea at the iconic hotel became a popular way for the women of high society to idle away the hours. The tea room – later called the Palm Court – was patterned after the informal rooms at the Ritz in Paris and the Carlton in London, and had a very relaxing atmosphere. It was so informal, in fact, that the ladies assumed their canine companions would also be quite welcome there.

At first, management turned a blind eye and allowed the little dogs to accompany their mistresses to tea. But when the barks and growls and cooing of pet names began interrupting Nahan Franko and his orchestra, managing director Frederic Sterry had to put his foot down. As The New York Times noted, “informal tea is all very well, but the dogs were too aggressively Bohemian.”

Before I continue this story, I must explain why the women assumed their dogs would be welcome at tea in the first place – and why the Plaza Hotel still has an open door policy for small pets today.

According to Curtis Gathje, author of “At the Plaza: An Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Hotel,” our furry friends owe their gratitude to British actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell and her beastly little dog called Pinky Panky Poo.

Martha Stuart and her dog, Ghenghis Khan, at afternoon tea at the Plaza.

In 2012, Martha Stuart treated her dog, Ghenghis Khan, to afternoon tea at the Plaza. The queen of domesticity would not have gotten away with this in 1907, when pampered pooches were relegated to the Plaza’s doggie check room.

The following is their story – it’s one from the file I like to call “You can’t make this stuff up.”

A Monkey Griffon Named Pinky Panky Poo

In 1907, Mrs. Patrick Campbell traveled from Liverpool to New York to embark on her second American theater tour. Her schedule included lead roles in several plays, including “The Second Mrs. Tanqueray,” “The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith,” and “Hedda Gabler.”

Mrs. Pat, as her fans called her, arrived in New York City on November 9 with her daughter, Miss Stella Patrick Campbell, her son, Mr. Alan Urquahart Campbell, and her tiny monkey griffon, Pinky Panky Poo. (Mrs. Pat was a widow; her husband had died in the Boer War in 1900.)

As Mrs. Pat had previously performed in New York in 1902, the press was already quite familiar with the flamboyant actress and her inseparable canine companion. In fact, on her first American tour, the little dog took center stage in almost every major news article about the visiting actress. The New York Dramatic Mirror had described the dog as having “bright, black, beady eyes; hair that in a less distinguished dog would be called weedy, and paws like overgrown spiders’ legs.” One New York State newspaper even wrote an ode to Pinky, calling him a “high-bred puplet” and “sniffy little beast from kennels of a king.”

So when Mrs. Pat arrived in 1907, the New York Herald reported that even though the little dog was clad in a coat of Astrakhan fur, “he seemed but a shadow of his former self.” At 17 years old, Pinky weighed less than a pound and was nearly blind – apparently from several cat fights. He was also missing all his teeth. Still, Mrs. Pat treated the senior dog as if he were a prince.

Pinky and Pandora’s Box

For her second U.S. tour, Mrs. Patrick Campbell had made arrangements to stay at the brand-new Plaza Hotel. But when the family arrived there that afternoon (with several servants and about 100 trunks in tow), they were shocked to discover that the hotel did not allow dogs. Oh, the horror!

Fred Sterry realized that rejecting Pinky Panky Poo would cause a public relations nightmare for the Plaza Hotel, so he decided right on the spot to allow small pets in the hotel. Mrs. Pat had to sign an agreement making her responsible for the dog’s good conduct. Poor Pinky was also relegated to either the maids’ or baggage elevators. But on that day in 1907, Pandora’s Box was opened, and every woman in Manhattan felt entitled to treat her own pup to an afternoon or longer stay at the Plaza Hotel.

Mrs. Patrick Campbell performs at the Theatre Republic

Mrs. Pat performed at the Theatre Republic on 42nd Street during her New York tour in 1902. This theater, which was built in 1900 by Oscar Hammerstein, was completely renovated in the 1990s (it was an X-rated movie theater in the 1970s). It is still in operation as a performing arts theater for kids and families called the New Victory Theater.

A. Toxen Worm and Mrs. Pat’s American Theater Tours

The newspaper men and press agents had a field day with Pinky Panky Poo whenever he and his mistress visited New York. One theatrical press agent in particular, a man known as A. Toxen Worm, had a great deal of fun reporting on Pinky, and often used the dog in wacky stunts to generate more publicity for Mrs. Pat.

One published report suggested that it was Worm who gave the dog his ridiculous name — newspaper editors and the American public just loved it, so it stuck. If this is true, he no doubt got the idea from “Pinky Panky Poo; Chinese Love Song,” which was featured in “The Defender” at New York’s Herald Square Theater in the summer of 1902.

(And speaking of silly names, Worm’s actual name was Conrad Henrik Aage Toxen Worm.)

Pinky Panky Poo A Chinese Love Song

Pinky Panky Poo featured in “The Defender,” which appeared at the Herald Square Theater from July to August 1902 – just three months before Mrs. Pat arrived in New York. Click here to hear an instrumental version of the song.

In the fall of 1902, Mrs. Pat arrived in New York aboard the Oceanic from Liverpool. According to several news reports, Pinky Panky Poo was cordially disliked by many passengers due to a disturbance he created one night when a bagpiper was playing.

Mrs. Pat had disrupted the performance by calling to her secretary to attend to the dog because she thought he must be frightened. Several passengers reportedly plotted to send Pinky overboard, but they obviously never carried out the act.

During her 1902 tour, Mrs. Pat and Pinky Panky Poo stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. One day while bathing Pinky in imported cologne, she applied a little much, which made him quite ill. She got a call from the hotel while she was rehearsing for the play “Aunt Jeannie” at the Garden Theater, and immediately put the rehearsal on hold.

Fifth Avenue Hotel, 1860

The Fifth Avenue Hotel (c. 1860) was a luxury hotel located at 200 Fifth Avenue from 1859 to 1908. Mrs. Pat and Pinky stayed there in 1902.

Mrs. Pat thought for sure the little dog had been poisoned by a flea repellant, but when she told the “host of medical experts” who were summoned to the hotel about the dog’s routine cologne bath, they were able to find a remedy to cure him (probably a bath in soapy water).

Another time, when Mrs. Pat and Pinky were staying at the Hotel Seville, the tiny dog swallowed a grape seed. The renowned Dr. Martin J. Potter of the Ben-Hur Stables was summoned to the hotel to perform minor surgery on the dog. Dr. Potter obviously had a good sense of humor (or was mean-spirited, depending on your point of view), because he told Mrs. Pat:

“I was called upon in a similar case only a few days ago. I operated on one of the elephants at Luna Park, and found that the pain was caused by overindulging in peanuts. The operation was successful from a scientific point of view, but the elephant died next day.”

This proclamation sent Mrs. Pat into hysterics, but Dr. Potter quickly assured her that the elephant would have survived had it followed the advice of the attending nurse. Pinky Panky Poo spent his recovery time on a silken couch in a special suite at the hotel with a trained nurse in constant attendance. Dr. Potter said it would not do him well to get excited, and thus, banished Mrs. Pat from the room until the dog had completely recovered.

Hotel Seville

The Hotel Seville at Madison Avenue and 29th Street – now known as The Carlton. Mrs. Pat and Pinky were two of the hotel’s earliest guests when it opened in 1904. Museum of the City of New York

The Doggie Check Room: A Modern Exigency

So if it weren’t for Pinky Panky Poo, the tiny Poms and Yorkshire Terriers and other canine guests who accompanied the high-society ladies at afternoon tea may not have been welcome at all. But as it was, Fred Sterry had let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and thus had to find a quick solution to the delicate situation. Thus, a check room for dogs was established at the hotel.

According to The New York Times, the doggie check room was located in the main corridor of the hotel. A young man named Sammy who worked in the Plaza’s livery was put in charge as canine custodian. Even though Sammy was quite young, he was “so careful with the dogs…that no owner need fear Fifi is exchanged for Fido or that her ruby spaniel has been mixed with a bat-eared bulldog from Paris. He knew when to separate the bull dogs from the Pomeranians, and he knew that an actress’s King Charles spaniel had to be held aloof from the patrician Yorkshire of the society leader.”

Tea Room at Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel “tea room,” later, the Palm Court, was modeled after the Winter Garden of the Hotel Carlton in London. The leaded glass dome was removed around World War II, reportedly to prevent it from being a beacon during air raids. Museum of the City of New York

The plan for making the check room work was as follows:

A richly gowned woman, ladled with sables and holding a small dog under her arms, starts for the tea room. The Secret Service recognizes that the furry mass is a dog, and not part of her attire. A courteous bellboy approaches the woman with a bow. “I shall check the dog for you,” he says. “Where?” the lady demands. “We have a check room on this floor for the dogs. They will be safe and comfortable.” The woman usually goes along to make sure her pet is going to be comfortable. When she sees the smile on Sammy’s face, she is put at ease.

“It was necessary to provide a place for the transient dogs,” Mr. Sterry told the Times. “We simply couldn’t have them running about, and how we realize how deeply attached their mistresses are to them, we have opened a check room. The boy is careful, and the dogs have bits of carpet on which to lie down. It is so much the fashion for smart women to take their dogs to tea that we have been obliged to make the afternoon comfortable for them. It is simply a case of meeting a modern exigency.”

Pinky Two and Woosh-Woosh

Sometime around 1909 or 1910, Pinky Panky Poo died, reportedly after consuming some flea powder. In October 1911, the Brooklyn Daily Star reported that Mrs. Pat had a new dog named Pinky Panky Poo Two.

Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Pinky Panky Poo

Mrs. Pat and Pinky

Mrs. Pat returned to New York in the fall of 1931, this time to perform as Countess Polaki in Edouard Bourdet’s comedy “The Sex Fable” at Henry Miller’s Theater. On this visit, she was accompanied by a rare Pekingese known as the Chinese chinchilla breed. The dog was called – I’m not making this up — Wung-Wung Wah-Wah Woosh-Woosh Wish-Wish Bang (he was known more affectionately as Woosh Woosh Wishwoosh). The dog had been left to her in the will of Mrs. Benjamin S. Guinness, a popular New York hostess and intimate friend of Mrs. John Jacob Astor.

Mrs. Pat described the dog:
“She’s pure Chinese. She has feathers on her toes and the most marvelous lingerie. There’s nobody like her in the world. She’s almost as nice as Pinky Panky Poo, my famous griffon.”

Mrs. Pat was finally reunited with her beloved Pinky Panky Poo when she passed away on April 9, 1940 in Pau, France, at the age of 75.

An Aside

In her memoir, My Life and Some Letters, Mrs. Pat speaks of her impressions of New York: “As everyone knows, New York is built upon a rock. During this visit of mine they were constructing the subway, and every inch of the tunnel had to blasted with dynamite. The din of New York—the rush, the tall buildings, and the strange-coloured people; Italians, Russians, Chinese–all sorts everywhere–the noise of the elevators, the nasal twang–black boys, bell boys, and the noise of the street cars–I do not want to be unkind, but to me it was demoniacal.”