“The metropolis has never lost its thrill for me”

Geography Sometimes it's difficult for some of us to comprehend just how an ordinary citizen had sense of what the unvarnished city looked like before the moving image, before the web, before blogging, before even all of this new fangled social networking malarky, especially between unsurmountable distances. For a period, Odd McIntyre was as the Smithsonian suggests, "the man who taught America about new York":
McIntyre’s most devoted audience was small-town America, where readers saw him as a local boy turned foreign correspondent, reporting from an exotic, faraway place. He referred to his daily column as “the letter,” and its tone often resembled a note to the folks back home. “[T]he metropolis has never lost its thrill for me,” he once wrote. “Things the ordinary New Yorker accepts casually are my dish—the telescope man on the curb, the Bowery lodging houses and drifters, chorus girls, gunmen,” as well as “speakeasies on side streets, fake jewelry auction sales, cafeterias, chop houses, antique shops, $5 hair bobbing parlors—in short all the things we didn’t have in our town.”
Alistair Cooke would later, of course, be the man who taught the rest of us.

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