Brooklyn Book Festival OnePage
Week of 11-May-2012
Manhattan between the wars was not made dull by death or dread: it sang. The pink-lipped living strode past fresh monuments mounted over the new mica-glitter sidewalks, exclaiming over the stars at their feet, bell ringing trolley conductors competed over actual stars from far off California, liners moaned from clear across town, exiting and entering the docks with abandon, and although iron shod hooves no longer rang, and only the occasional garrulous fruit vendor sang beside his horse or a carriage-driver cursed his plumed nag dodging the motorcars, the last harnessed for the park pleasures of rubes or Frenchies--there was so much song in the street that the pink-lipped living shrieked their gossip as they walked in twos and threes over the glittering sidewalks.
An odd couple shrieked down the street in tandem, not quite together, not quite incognito, one of them a deb. New York debs were covered by the press just like Grable, cited in columns and flashbulbed beyond blindness. With assets considerably less physical than fiscal, Dot had been debuted but not suitored. She directed the two of them south along the mica, south to where one could get a seat, more specifically, a seat on the stock market. A woman with a seat would be new. Toothpaste was new, most all of what stacked up beside a pharmacist's till was new. Father, owner of all the sugar in the world, would know what a stake in clean teeth was worth and that she could handle such a transaction, and handle it best with a seat.