New York, New York!

Tuesday noon

September 1 – 1942

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Dear Folks,

Well I went to New York City this last Saturday and Sunday.  I didn’t like it too well but it wasn’t so bad either.  Haring and I went up Saturday evening and stayed until Sunday evening.  After getting out of the station we started walking toward the central part of town which is 7th Avenue and 42nd Street.  We had walked up to Fifth Avenue when it started to rain.  We stopped in a doorway for about fifteen minutes while it really rained.

Haring was disappointed with the city already and was about ready to go home but I wanted to visit The Stage Door Canteen so we started hunting for it.  After inquiring about a half-dozen times we finally found it down in a basement.  That part wasn’t so bad as a great deal of New York is underground.  As we entered we were given a ticket for a lunch.  The floor was crowded with the service men and girls, a few of whom were dancing.  We didn’t think much of the place so left without getting any lunch.

We ate a lunch in a small restaurant then started walking again, just going with the crowds.  I have seen crowds before but nothing like that one and that was a regular occurrence.  We were waiting for the light to change and talking about which way we should go to get back to the train when a girl who was standing in front of us heard us talking and said to “come this way.”  She was from Indiana and was staying in New York to visit her husband who is in the army.  She claimed that she enjoyed the crowds so we walked around together for awhile then went to a show.

Haring and I decided to get a room for the night then go out to Coney Island on Sunday.  We went out to Coney Island about noon and stayed until about five.  It takes forty five minutes on the subway from the main part of town to Coney Island.  I don’t like the subways because you can’t see anything but they are fast and cost only a nickel to ride.  That was my first ride on the subway.

Mom, I tried to find a rock for you but there just weren’t any.  The beach is of fine white sand but no rocks.  Coney Island is just one enormous carnival with every kind of ride and concession stand imaginable.  They had a parachute drop where people were pulled to the top of a high tower then released and lowered by a chute.  They were stopped just before they reached the ground and boy did they bounce!

We didn’t go on any of the rides as neither of us wanted to spend very much money.  We spent most of the day on the boardwalk just watching the people on the beach.  We didn’t have our swimming suits so couldn’t go on the beach.  We walked out on the pier where lots of people were fishing but we didn’t see anyone catch anything.  The waves make quite a bit of noise when they come in.  The boardwalk is a wide wooden walk about ten feet above the beach.  There were many boats and several ships on the ocean that day.

It wasn’t a great deal of fun just watching others play so we got on the subway and came back to Times Square.  While we were in the station waiting for our train we were talking and wondering where to find it when a couple of ladies stopped and the older one asked if she could help us.  We told her that we were trying to find the Philadelphia train.  The younger lady said that she was going to Philadelphia also and invited us to ride with her.  She was very nice.  She is a subject of Canada but lives in Philly.  She is married and has four children.

She invited us out to her home for dinner any time we wanted to come.  We told her that we would accept the invitation the next time we have week-end liberty.  We hadn’t had supper so when we got back to Philly we went to an Automat to eat.  An Automat is a restaurant where you put your money in a slot in the wall and a little door opens so you can get your food.  They are all right but no better than an ordinary café.

Last night I had to go to a football game at the stadium which is close to the station.  A thousand of us had to go so the duty section was drafted.  I didn’t care much about the game as I didn’t know either team.

I got a letter from Frances today but suppose she is home again by now.  I’ll try to write to her tonight if I can but think I shall write to Mr. Stewart next.  How is everyone getting along?  Just about time for school to start, isn’t it?  Paul, I was surprised when I was home at how well you could read.  You must keep on studying good this year too.  I am to have charge of the refrigerating system on board ship so I have to study too.  I’m going to write letters all evening if I don’t get too tired.  I have a lot of them to write.

Love to all

Lester

 

 

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