An odd aggregation of tray wrestlers

O. O. McIntyre // The interior decorating and outside flubdubbery used to floss up old buildings are an interesting phenomena in a swiftly changing city. Several blocks from my hotel is a scabrous building long an eyesore to the neighborhood and filled with jinkle-jumble merchants.

The ground floor was an ordinary sized room partitioned off into a quick shoe repair shop, a fly-specked stationary store, and in the rear a cheap labor agency. The cellar was one of those Joe and Mike kindling and coal depots.

It was suddenly vacated three weeks ago.

Yesterday I passed the spot and a smart and intimate little French café a French name stood there. The front was spic and span, the tasty window was abloom with flowers, and tubbed trees graced either side of the entrance. Inside, there was a glow of soft pink lights and obsequious waiters in Tuxedoed attendance.

The quick change seemed like an optical illusion.

A certain chain of restaurants after eight in the evening had the most scholarly looking crew of waiters to be found the world over. They are handpicked students from Columbia and several technical and theological schools who are working their way through colleges. It is an odd aggregation of tray wrestlers—aesthetic looking boys with Harold Lloyd glasses, tall foreheads and intellectual expressions.

My experience as a waiter during school days was somewhat like that of Chic Sale. Chic was fired for serving a patron water in a teacup in Indianapolis. I was bounced at the Manhattan café in Cincinnati for handing a gentleman a roll with my fingers instead of passing the basket in which they were held.

Syndicated column, July 26, 1928

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