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Traveling with Grace: Atlanta to Asheville!

Posted on November 19th, 2019 by

This week, our #TravelTuesday series, Traveling with Grace, takes us from New Orleans into Atlanta, GA and Asheville, NC! To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.


Interior of Bankhead Tunnel Under Mobile River, Alabama, c.1930-40s. Via.

Mon. Aug. 12th. Sorry to leave this nice place but must be on our way again. The road follows the gulf a good part of the way. We had intended visiting the Bellingrath gardens out of Mobile but found it would take too long and it was not worth the price at this time of the year. In Mobile we saw some lovely old Southern mansions, a few of them turned into boarding houses and went thru the Bankhead Tunnel under the Mobile river which cuts off some of the distance (its exactly like the Holland Tunnel in N.Y. only smaller). At Bay Minette we stopped for lunch and Mrs. Parks put the tray of dishes on the front seat but after we finished eating it was accidently knocked over and all the dishes broke so I wanted to pay for the damage and all the lunch room operator would take was 10 cents. About 6 we arrived at the Jefferson Davis in Montgomery which seems to be a very pretty city. After dinner we walked for several blocks along the main street window shopping and saw the capitol flood lighted up on the hill.


Atlanta Biltmore Hotel, Georgia. Via.

Tues. Aug. 13th. Before leaving Montgomery I looked up my old friend Carrie Loeb. We had a little trouble finding her as she had moved several times but we finally tracked her down and she seemed very glad to see us. We rode around Capitol hill and the bldgs. Looked even prettier than they did last night, one of the most attractive state capitols I have seen. There is also a lovely residential section and we passed one pretty synagogue. Left Montgomery about 11 but lost an hour setting watches back to E.S.T. Stopped in West Point for milk and sandwiches. Passed thru a string of little towns en route to Atlanta the approach to which is dirty compared to the other towns we had been in. Got in the Atlanta Biltmore at 6, called Carolyn immediately and she insisted that we come to her house for dinner. She had invited about 8 of her friends to meet me and we had a lovely evening.


Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Monument in progress 1940. Photo by Edgar Orr, via.

Wed. Aug. 14th. Carolyn and Elizabeth want out with us and showed us Atlanta and vicinity. Some college campuses a number of suburbs, Decatur where Elizabeth treated us to lunch in the hotel, several parks, country clubs, Stone Mt. with its half-finished carvings of Lee, Jeff Davis, etc. started by Borglum and Lukeman and never completed, the Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta, Bobby Jones house, and golf course named for him. On a lake in the park we saw the cutest boats propelled like tricycles. Tonight Perrine, Elizabeth and Carolyn had dinner with us on the terrace. (I had ordered a special dinner from the maître – d’hotel) and we chatted and watched the dancing until nearly 11. It was delightfully cool here.


Techwood Homes, Atlanta, GA, late 1930s, an early public housing project in the United States. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Thurs. Aug. 15. Carolyn invited us all for lunch at her house. Then she and her mother went out with us and showed us some more of the city including the Negro University, housing projects, better Negro residential district (all for Milton’s benefit) and then some really magnificent estates (one a miniature Fontainebleau) and many of these beautiful houses are owned by the Coca Cola magnates. Tonight we had dinner in the Coffee Shop.


Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina, 1940s. Via.

Fri. Aug. 16th. Called for Carolyn about 10 o’clock and started up to Asheville by way of Highlands, Cashiers, Waynesville and Sylva a beautiful ride thru the mts. delightfully cool. Arrived at the Grove Park Inn (after stopping for lunch at a nice little restaurant in Dillard, Ga.) about 5 o’clock. Tonight I met Ella and Milton Nathan, Mr. and Mrs. Tobreiner and Mrs. Charles Rubinstein at the hotel.


East entrance, Grove Park Inn. Via.

Sat. Aug. 17th. Enjoyed the lovely terrace and took a walk in the garden this afternoon. Met Mrs. Bertha Bauer and Mildred and Joe Siegel. Tonight we played bridge on the porch.


 Seely’s castle exterior from “Overloook,” Asheville, North Carolina. Courtesy of the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC at Asheville.

Sun. Aug. 18th. Took a beautiful ride this afternoon up Sunset Mt., passed the old castle built by the late Mr. Seely who was a big publisher here and built half of Asheville, past the Asheville water shed and reservoir and on up to the Pisgah National Forest reservation with magnificent views along the way. Tonight we heard a very pretty concert at the hotel.


Asheville Auditorium. Via.

Mon. Aug. 19th. Went to the AAA this morning to arrange reservations for the remainder of the trip and for Carolyn’s plane trip home. Returned to the hotel for lunch and this afternoon visited the Antique Show at the Asheville Auditorium. Among the items on exhibit were china, bronzes, ivories, lamps, jewelry, dolls, doll furniture, samplers, buttons, paper weights, quilts, tapestries, hat pins, furniture, candelabra, miniatures, prints, and various oddments. Tonight we played bridge again.


Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Traveling with Grace, heads into New Orleans!

Posted on November 12th, 2019 by

This week’s entry for our 2019 #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace, heads into New Orleans! To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.


Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, c. 1940s. Via.

Mon. Aug 5. Left Galveston at 9 and had to wait 40 min for the ferry. Stopped at Lake Charles (a very pretty city with handsome old residences around the lake) and had lunch at a Walgreen drugstore. Mrs. Allers was sick all the way and had to stop several times. At a place called Kinder we had trouble with a tire and lost more time. We went thru part of Baton Rouge and saw the capitol from a distance. The highway to New Orleans is very pretty and goes right into Canal St. We passed a number of very large hospitals all in a row. Arrived at the St. Charles Hotel (very old fashioned) at 6:15 our time (here it is 2 hours later) after traveling 357 miles.

St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana, at night, c. 1940s. Via.

Tues. Aug. 6. Slept late. Fasted today, the 9th of Av. Went to the Chamber of Commerce to see about a guide, then to a Chrysler place to see about repairs to the car then back to the hotel to sit on the 2nd floor porch overlooking St. Charles Ave. until dinner time. Ate at Kolb’s restaurant across the street much nicer than hotel dining room, which is punk. Took a walk on Canal St. after dinner. Best lighted street I have seen outside of N.Y. and shops very pretty.

French quarter. New Orleans, Louisiana, August 1940. Photo by Brown, courtesy of the the Library of Congress.

Wed. Aug. 7. Had a very charming guide, Mrs. Reynick, take us on a tour of the city today. We started out in the French quarter or Vieux Carré. Some of the interesting sights were: The Place d’Armes with its beautiful flowering trees and unusual statue of Andrew Jackson, the dignified St. Louis Cathedral with beautiful murals and ceiling painted by Canova, brother of the famous Italian sculptor, the Cabildo with its museum of French colonial objects and household furnishings, Pirate’s Alley made famous by Jean Lafitte who was always being incarcerated by the authorities and liberated by the townspeople who profited from his looting, the old mint, old capitol bldg. many lovely antique shops (I have never seen such a profusion of lovely old jewelry, porcelains and bric-a-brak fit for a palace), homes of the aristocracy in many of which Mrs. Reynick claims to have been entertained. She pointed out the home of Dorothy Wix, one occupied formerly by Maude [Cedans??], Robert Edson, and other famous personages. She showed us the different types of architecture, French, Spanish and Louisiana stressing the characteristic of each. Most of the old houses are tremendous, with huge porches are galleries framed in handsome iron grillwork with its beautiful lacy patterns, then there are garçonnières or bachelor’s quarters in a separate wing and servants quarters in another with a big coach house besides and lovely tropical gardens with bamboo, banana, oleander, clematis, palms, hibiscus, magnolias, crepe myrtles, etc. We saw the house of Dr. Autommarchi, private physician to Napoleon I who made his death mask of Louisiana clay, now in the Cabildo, the red brick Pontalba bldgs., first apt. houses in American built by the Baroness to house families of emigres, the old Ursuline Convent, statue of Robt. E. Lee (facing the N. some say it should have faced S. which he loved, but then he could afford to turn his back to the S. without fear), Audubon Park with statue of the naturalist looking up into the trees with sketch book in hand to draw pictures of birds. We had a delicious luncheon at the French restaurant Galatoire’s where we saw some of the elite of N. Orleans elegantly costumed, then started out on more sightseeing. Visited some of the famous cemeteries (they bury the dead above the ground and their tombs are really beautiful especially in the fashionable Metairie cemetery (formerly a Jockey Club) with 14 miles of driveway). Mrs. R. took us into one of the swanky country clubs, saw Tulane University Campus and Newcombe College, the famous Sugar Bowl stadium, the City Park with its pretty Art Museum (not as large as ours) and its famous dueling ground, out to Lake Pontchartrain and thru some of the fashionable new suburbs. We saw 2 very pretty synagogues, the house where Julius Rosenwald’s daughter (Mrs. Stern) lives, the house where the author of “Green Pastures” lives, the house where Jefferson Davis died. We went into the Casa Hové where they make perfumes. Mrs. Reynick knows Mrs. Hové and she offered to show us the house, a very good example of early Spanish architecture (built in 1797) and for a wonder we were not asked to buy anything. Unlike any guide in my previous varied experience Mrs. Reynick doesn’t accept commissions and doesn’t allow shopping on her tours. We saw the home of the family of Cardinal Gibbons (he once lived here and some of his relatives still occupy the house), the home of Etienne de Bore discoverer of granulated sugar, the home of John McDonogh and some of the 30 odd public schools he founded here, and the famous French market originally built in 1791. The coffee stands here are favorite rendezvous for refreshments after the shows in the wee hours. We again dined at Kolb’s this evening.

Thurs. Aug 8th. Mrs. R. called to inquire for our health this morning. We breakfasted at a lovely air-conditioned cafeteria across the street where they have waiters to carry your trays. The restaurants are very clean and all the people I have met here are extremely courteous. This afternoon at 2:30 we took a boat ride up and down the harbor. I have never seen such a big boat (5 decks) for such a short trip – but I later heard it sometimes goes as far as St. Paul, Minn. The Capt. Himself took me on the elevator up to the 4th deck where we found comfortable chairs within earshot of the loudspeaker and a lecturer explained the sights as we went along. We were served ice cream during the afternoon and really enjoyed the breeze. New Orleans seems to be a very large port (they claim it is 2nd in the country) and we saw lots of large freighters, on the wharves were coffee, bananas, barrels of molasses, cotton sulphur and salt. Returned at 5, went to Haring’s for the car and then strain to Antoine’s for dinner. They have used the same menu for over 100 yrs. Even tho some of the things printed on it are no longer procurable. It was lucky we got here early because it filled up quickly and when we left there was a queue a block long waiting to get in. The food was very good (I had pompano en papillotte, soufflé potatoes, French rolls, coffee and baked pear in brandy). Met Mr. and Mrs. Milton Fleisher who are en route to Mexico and they stopped for a chat and to get some pointers. I was disappointed in the appearance of the clientele here, anything but elegant with a few exceptions. Afterward we took a ride out as far as Ponchartrain Beach, a large amusement park, just to cool off.

The Buena Vista Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi circa 1940. Via.

Fri. Aug. 9th. After breakfast at Kolb’s we left for Biloxi a very pretty drive along the gulf shore passing Pass Christian and Gulfpost. The road is lined with beautiful homes each with its little pier extending out into the water with a round pavilion at the end and usually there are a number of pelicans perched on the pilings. There are also a great many hotels, restaurants and tourist camps along the route. We reached the Buena Vista in time for lunch at 1:30 and enjoyed its tree-shaded verandah and cool breezes in the afternoon and evening with full moon above.

Buena Vista Hotel, water view. Via.

Sat. Aug. 10th and Sun. Aug 11th. Stayed at the hotel where we are most comfortable. From the porch we can watch the bathers, the watercraft and an endless stream of traffic up and down the highway. It is such a relief after the heat, etc. in New Orleans.


Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Travels with Grace: The Bullfight

Posted on September 10th, 2019 by

This week’s entry for our 2019 #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace, continues her trip through Mexico. Today’s post requires a content warning – below Grace describes the bullfight she attended and some readers may be disturbed by the imagery and discussion. To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.


Sun. July 14th. This morning at 10 we went to Xochimilcho (Land of Flowers). It was a beautiful ride and on the way we got a clear view of Papo and the sleeping Lady crowned with snow. They weave a fanciful Romeo and Juliette sort of legend around them. We see several of the leading moving picture studios of Mexico and several beautiful monuments including that to the Commoner President Obregón. At one place we saw a number of charros on horseback with wonderful tooled leather saddles, fancy bridles and embroidered felt sombreros. Also, a woman in a gorgeous sequin studded skirt who was queen[?] of something or other. Sunday is the day for weddings here and we passed several churches elaborately decorated with flowers. Outside the churches are side-walk markets where we saw food, dresses, underwear, pottery, linens and of course the usual baskets and bouquets. At Xochimilcho is another and much larger market of everything imaginable. (Here on Sunday women are washing in a public through.)

We boarded a little boat, a cross between a gondola and a skiff each with its own name picked out in flowers on the canopy and we sat on little rush bottomed chairs for the trip up the lagoon, one of the most unusual things I have ever seen. The boats are pushed with a pole by the boatman who stands in the back and there are large and small ones, some holding as many as 20 people. Some still larger were power driven. The smaller ones could be rented by the hour or day and families bring their lunches and have long tables on board. There are boats with cameras to take your pictures, boats with soft drinks on ice, boats with all manner of edibles, boats full of musicians who serenade with native instruments and everywhere boats of flower venders with lovely corsages of orchids, gardenias, roses, pansies, sweet peas, carnations and many others filling the air with fragrances, others selling postcards and souvenirs. At the head of the lagoon on an island is a large and attractive looking restaurant for those preferring to eat on terra firma. There are little canals opening from the big lagoon where the boats turn in to park a while if they so desire. Altogether it is a most beguiling scene which I am sorry to leave.

We return to the Maria Cristina for a very good Sunday dinner and at 3:30 six of us, excluding a young man from Jacksonville with whom we got acquainted and who bought one of the block of tickets I had to get for a box, started out for the bull fight. The crowds of automobiles and pedestrians leading from all directions to the stadium reminded me of Preakness day at Pimlico only more so. The stands seat 50,000 and the arena is 160 ft. below street level. A band was playing as we entered (it was quite a feat to push me thru the gate) and the stands were about half filled. The crowds and multi-colored costumes look like a vast tapestry in perspective. At 4 promptly a black garbed man on a black horse comes out of a door and rides across the arena to the judges stand, sweeps off his hat, bows, then backs his horse in reverse across the arena. This is the signal for the show to begin.

Toreo de la Condesa. Via.

Three matadors in lovely gold and silver brocaded costumes, 2 picadors on padded mounts, and a variety of bandellerios, toreadors, etc. come out and parade around. They go in and when the arena is empty the bull comes out. The first 5 bulls were coal black, the 6th almost white. The toreadors wave pink capes, the cape work is one of the highlights, and make passes at the animal, then the picadors come up with their long spears and each is allowed to stick the bull 3 times. Then the bandellerios stick 2 bandelleros each into his neck and then the matador starts to work with his sword wrapped in a bright red scarf. It is very interesting to watch their foot work, quick and graceful. Sometimes they change swords several times and when they stick it in the wrong place which happens often the toreadors pull it out by catching the hilt in their capes.

Several times we saw the picadors unseated and the horses roll over when the bull charges them. The first matador was thrown and injured slightly. They put a patch over his eye. But he got up and continued thru 2 rounds. The third one was the best and the crowd cheered him wildly. He received many bouquets and cloaks which he threw back and handkerchiefs waved madly, a sign of high approval, but being a [noise???] the judges would not allow him an ear. At the end however he was borne out on the shoulders of a wildly cheering crowd. When the bull finally drops to his knees foaming at the mouth and covered with blood one of the toreadors gives him the coup de grace and then 3 mules, a gray between 2 blacks are brought out by boys in red suits who hook the carcass to the drag and the mules run like mad. Sometimes they are so frightened that they run around several times before the boys can get the gook on the bull. Before the last bull was speared many from the audience ran out into the arena and crowded around the matador and the others but did not seem to embarrass them.

Fortunately, although the skies were threatening all afternoon, it did not start to rain until after the 6th bull fight started, and we stuck it out till the last. Everybody started to throw their rented cushions into the arena, and it was a free-for-all. When I returned to the hotel one of the bellhops asked me how I liked the spectacle and on being told I enjoyed it very much he was overjoyed and said I was the first American he ever heard say this.


Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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