Friday, March 02, 2007

A New Yorker Catch-All


Certain subjects keep popping up in 1927's New Yorker magazines. Rather than write about them all, here's the general gist:
  1. The Synder-Gray murder case, and the new trend of having literary stars report on the proceedings.
  2. Bobbed hair, waved hair, bobbed and waved hair.
  3. Pearlescent fingernail polish.
  4. The Stickley Ridgeless Guest Davenport ("No ridge down the center! -- it must be a Stickley")
  5. Innumerable puns involving "wets" and "drys".
  6. New movie theaters that are huge and ostentatious.
  7. The French debt after the conclusion of WWI (and jokes therein).
  8. The convenience of living in an "apartment hotel" or "residential hotel" (as opposed to in your own apartment or -- get this -- at the club.)
  9. The joys of slumming at Coney Island.
  10. Radio sucks and is hard to hear.
  11. Only wear stockings which make your ankles appear slim. And in the spring, wear special "stocking guards" to protect you from splashing taxi cabs.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Radio sucks": In "This Happy Breed," David Lean's movie about the life of a British family between the wars, the father is given a crystal radio set that he fiddles with endlessly, shushing everyone when he finally locates a signal. H. L. Mencken also mentions the difficulty of listening to a radio, before excoriating what he hears.

"At the club": Over the summer I did an article about an author who died in the early 1960s, scalded to death when he fell asleep in his bathtub at the club. So they were around for some time--mentioned only in the novels of John O'Hara, if I remember correctly.

e

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I assume that these "clubs" I keep hearing about were "men's clubs," where men of leisure would go to lounge about in chairs and be away from the masses (and women). And I assume some of them were more specialized, or maybe I'm just getting that from "Around the World in 80 Days," where (I think) what's-his-name was part of an adventurers club?

The New Yorker between '25 and '27 complains that it's VERY difficult to tune the radio, and when you do the fare is uninspired and poorly mic'd. In more charitable moments they admit that their beloved opera tenors are probably not suited for that sort of pickup and amplification. They say similar things about their 78s.

Anonymous said...

Clubs--Right. I see I neglected to mention that the author died at his New York men's club. They were formed in imitation of the British men's club, many of which, as you say, were centered on a profession or hobby--the Garrick, for men connected with the theater, or Phileas Fogg's club.

Using Google to check my too-often rusty memory (I couldn't remember the name for a cuspidor?), I see the Garrick Club has a website with a Members Entrance and a Public Entrance. 'Scuze me, gov, I'll use the Servants entrance meself.

e

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Oh, the irony! That's perfect. Too bad they can't check your gender before they let you in.