Travels with Grace: New York, 1919 Part 3

Welcome to our 2019 #TravelTuesday series: Travels with Grace, 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

November 13, 1919

Stopped at Macy’s this morning. Then rode over to Brooklyn, visiting the Navy Yard, Prospect Park, etc. On our return we went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and saw the big Collage of the City of New York. Tonight we saw the Greenwich Village Follies at the Norah Bayes Theater[1] and afterward we went to Churchill’s which however isn’t as gay as it used to be.

November 14, 1919

Left: Henry Miller’s Theater. Courtesy of the Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library digital collections. Right: Ruth Chatterton in the play Moonlight and Honeysuckle, on page 529 of the December 1919 Muncey’s Magazine. Via.

Took Marjorie and Billy with us on an all day automobile trip to West Point and Bear Mountain. The scenery was lovely. Went up on one side of the Hudson thru Hackensack, Tuxedo Park, passed the [Harriman] Estate, Interstate Park, and back on the other side thru Peeksill, Ossining, Tarreytown, Irvington, Ardsley, Hastings and Yonkers all beautiful residential towns. We went to Henry Miller’s theater[2] tonight where we saw Ruth Chatterton in “Moonlight and Honeysuckle.”

November 15, 1919

The New York Public Library, c.1910-1915. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Spent most of today in the New York Public Library, a most beautiful repository for one of the city’s greatest treasures. I was particularly impressed by the foreign languages department. This evening we saw the “Crimson Alibi” at the Broadhurst theater.

November 16, 1919

This afternoon we heard a lovely concert by the New York Symphony Orchestra led by Damrosh in Aeolian Hall. Dined at the Hotel Commodore and later went to Carnegie Hall to hear Newman’s illustrated lecture on Alsace and Lorraine.

November 17, 1919

The Capital Theatre, top: exterior, 1920; bottom: interior. Courtesy of (respectively) the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy and the Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library digital collections.  

The last day of our visit. The time has simply flown. Lunched today at the Ritz-Carlton and then went to the Capitol which is the newest and largest theater here. They showed a splendid high class vaudeville followed by Guy Empey in the picture he wrote called “The Undercurrent.”[3] Tonight we attended the opening performance of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House[4]. Caruso[5], Scotti and Farrar[6][7] sang “La Tosca”[8] and the audience itself was worth coming a long way to see.

Left: Metropolitan Opera House, 1914. Courtesy of the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library digital collections. Right: Errico Caruso, c.1910; Antonio Scotti, 1915; Geraldine Farrar in a 1919 film advertisement. Via 1, 2, 3.

This trip to New York was the only set of entries for 1919 in Grace’s travel diaries. It seems she and her family packed in quite a bit during this trip! Next week we’ll pick up with her next documented trip, in June of 1924. This one also starts in New York City but goes a bit farther afield – Grace is headed to the West Coast.

[1] Nora Bayes

[2] Cinema Treasure’s: Henry Miller’s Theatre

[3] Ad for The Undercurrent

[4] Metropolitan Opera

[5] Ovation for Caruso and Miss Farrar

[6] Miss Farrar Sings Tosca (1913, audio)

[7] Geraldine Farrar & Antonio Scotti performing together (1909, audio)

[8] Tosca


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