MANHATTAN´S FIFTH AVENUE MAGNIFICENT SHOPS. ITS FAMOUS CLUBS. ITS BOUYANT THRONGS. OLD TIME MEMORIES.
A person lately from London, now stopping at 27 Little Dock Street, has a composition for sale that will destroy the very troublesome vermin commonly called Bugs.—Ibid.
A variety of Muffs, Tippets, and Fur trimmings, among which are a few black Fox Muffs for gentlemen, may be had on reasonable terms at No. 89 in William Street.—Ibid.
The side streets, just off the avenue and crossing it at near angles, are as much a part of the avenue as if they were actually on the main line. Countless exquisite "Shoppees" dot these cross streets, all catering to what is known as "specialty" trade. If madam objects to the throngs in the greater stores, madam may coi e here, receive personal attention and enjoy an air of exclusiveness not possible in the Larger establishments. These little shops arc patterned after their prototypes in Bond Street, London, and the Avenue de l' Opera, Paris.
SHOES. Double soles, though introduced, are quite the exception, and as for leather footwear, no lady of condition would dream of putting on any-thing so coarse. They are quite Gothic, and appropriate to none but the lower orders.—Fashions note 1300.
Bird-of-Paradise yellow is a favorite color for satin gowns a L'Empire.
The colors most in estimation are ponceau rose, cachcou-nut brown, American green, willow-green, and ethereal blue.
Bonnets are of a becoming shape and size—many of black or violet velvet, though those of white or tinted satin are rather; more in favor with the higher classes. A drapery of black net is often added to the edge of these bonnets. Bonnets are worn rather more forward than they have been for some time past.
Girard's masterpiece of Psyche has brought pallor into fashion. It is so much the rage to look ethereal and delicate that a pot of rough can now be purchased for half a crown, and lotions, instead, are used to promote the interesting shade of the lily, which has of late subdued the rose.
Physicians and doctors of divinity have declared that the scanty clothing prescribed by fashion is indelicate as well as unhealthful, but do they not speak of deaf ears? What doctor, be he D. D. or M. D., could outweigh a fashion-book? The arbiters of taste' never seem to care to invent anything to protect women from cold and damp, and even when common sense forces one to put on heavy, warm clothing, its wearer is deemed either insane or a hopeless invalid.
I don't know why I enjoy writing about stores unless it be that my folks always come home exhausted from shopping. "The long waits are so fatiguing," they ex-plain. When I venture to remark that I am never kept waiting, I am met with a glance of withering scorn and the remark, "Of course not; you're a man." To the feminine mind this belated discovery is all sufficient. No further explanation is ever vouchsafed.
The stores are so close together and the stocks so vast that I should think it would be an ideal place for this great American pastime. But apparently I am not qualified to judge, so perhaps I better stop and write about clubs, for the Avenue and its side streets are the homes of clubdom. All these with social aspirations are engaged in making the world safe for democracy.
The Knickerbocker, for instance, limits its membership to descendants of Dutch settlers in New York. To get a clear idea of what this means read Knickerbocker's History of New York. The Union, at 51st Street, is similarly limited to the pre-Revolutionary English settlers. My woid ! The St. Nicholas, at West 44th Street, is limited to the descendants of old New York families—English, Scotch, Dutch, French, Spanish, and all that polyglot population, from whence came the eighteen different tongues which the English acquired when they finally took possession in 1664, and which they have been at pains to increase ever since.
The Brook Club, just around the corner on 40th Street, is said to be a social club, so let it go at that. Its list of members includes all the young bloods in town. The architect who designed the New York Yacht Club is still at large. None of these clubs are open to visitors, so we may as well look at something else.
Fashionable photographers, dealers in old silver, rare items for collectors, oriental rugs, diamonds, jewelry, pearls, bric-a-brac and other purveyors to the ultra-wealthy make up the remainder of the list. It is said that articles of higher values can be had on Fifth Avenue than in any other city in the world and it is a matter of record that sales aggregating more than a million dollars have been consummated by a well known art dealer at one short interview. It is certainly a marvelous street. The rents are enormous. A whole building costs a king's ransom.
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