With the famous "East Side" thus disposed of, let us retrace our steps to the City Hall, pass over to Chatham Square and walk uptown a few short blocks, to Dover and Pell Streets. This is the celebrated Chinese Quarter, and presents quite an Oriental aspect with its curious architecture, glaring colors and huge laundry tickets for signs.
The iniquity of Chinatown is simulated solely for the credulous tourist on the sight seeing buses. The old feuds between the rival Tongs are a thing of the past. Chinatown of today is no longer the hot-bed of opium dens, vice and crime of former times, and is only mildly interesting to the visitor.
So much however has been written concerning its wickedness that it seems a pity to describe it as a perfectly harmless locality depending upon legitimate patronage for its daily existence. The Joss House and the Theatre are still there and the discordant orchestra still continues to compete with the elevated. But in other respects it is a perfectly respectable neighborhood compared with its former reputation. It is worth the visit.
And "Hell's Kitchen," another gang rendezvous, has likewise lost interest in crime.
We have now seen two of the most talked of sections in the city. We will now proceed to another and perhaps the most famous of them all—the Bowery. In a short time we have come from the most opulent part of town to the most sordid. And that is typical of New York and sometimes of its citizens—one day rich, the next day poor.
In going through the wealthy sections, one of the sights which must have puzzled the stranger—it is some-thing of a problem to the home folks as well—is the almost vanishing toilettes affected by the young business women in the great office buildings.
Undoubtedly the furnishings and appointments in the average office in our newest buildings are neat, clean and very attractive; there is little to suggest the old time cubby hole with its dingy windows, Baltimore heater, water pitcher, basin and bare, wooden floors carpeted only with velvety layers of dust. And perhaps the agreeable conditions interiorly are reflected in the beauty of the display exteriorly.
Shimmery silks, fluffy laces, white kid boots with French heels of the most altitudenous height, silk stockings, low cut waists, short sleeves, shorter skirts, manicured nails and marcelled hair with occasional elbow length gloves and picture hats complete the costume of many a secretary or stenographer I have encountered in my myriad journeying up and down the elevators of the great financial buildings.
The faint odor of some delicious perfume is seldom lacking and one is sometimes at a loss to know whether he is on business bent or has accidentally stumbled into an afternoon tea or an evening reception.
Personally I am glad of this cheerful change. I am utterly indifferent as to whether it is good taste or bad.
Delmonico's Restaurant was the first business place to employ a woman in New York. The "lady cashier" excited comment for many a long day.
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