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Coming Into Town

March 2023
1min read

Stop in at the U.S. Assay office…and exchange your gold in any form valued at not less than $100, for money.

There is no safer city in the world than New York. Newspaper headlines to the contrary are largely sensationalism, playing up crimes and accidents of the day generally out of all proportion to their number or real importance. Women alone, or accompanied by young children, may be assured of safety and comfort in New York.…

In small towns like “Gopher Prairie,” the visitor is spotted at once, either by speech or dress or manner, or by mere “newness,” as he steps from the train, as he treads the quiet streets.…In New York the most unfamiliar type is the New Yorker —that almost unknown, practically nonexistent specimen, the native born Manhattanite. It is he, rather than the visitor, who is curious; yet he, poor dear, claims no special distinction, moves in no separate aura, nor ventures criticism of the hordes of aliens which possess his city — looks askance at none, accepts all.

— How to Enjoy New York, Official Membership Publication of the New York Visitors’ Association Inc., 1925

New York may not be America but it is New York. And New York stands outside comparison. It is without doubt one of the most remarkable places existent now, and one of the most remarkable in history. It is a portent of this and the coming time, the towering apex of a growing pyramid of civilisation. At the same time it is not natural. In some respects it is grander than Nature, for there is more to marvel at in a skyscraper than in a mountain, and there is the illusion of more light flashing off its dynamos than from the revolving sun itself. It is a monument of human artifice.…

New York stands outside comparison. It is a portent of this and the coming time, the towering apex of a growing civilisation. At the same time it is not natural.

I walked the streets of New York a long while before I found poetry. There was majestic and glittering prose, but no glamour, no softness, no tenderness, no emotional relief even in the secret aftermidnight hours, sanctified by the sleeping, by the invincible stars and the quietude of the rivers.

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