Thursday, August 27, 2015

Continuing down memory lane …1958

My husband had lived in New York City most of his life so he was adept at finding bargains there. It was a good thing because we were definitely living on a shoe string and had little, or no, extra money to throw around. One of our favorite eating spots was the Horn & Hardart Automat on 42nd Street. 
 
As you can see from the picture of the front entrance the ambience was Art Deco. It was a fun place and although the prices had increased it was still a great bargain in 1958 and most entrees were under a dollar. Nickels were the only coins accepted and the clientele was eclectic. The “haves” and the “have-nots” all assembled to partake of the excellent food...prepared fresh every day.

We would often meet our friends there and it’s nostalgic to realize that we will probably never again see a time when a handful of nickels and the twist of a wrist is all that was needed to buy a good square meal.

Another favorite of ours was the Staten Island Ferry.
The subway that we took to get there actually cost more than the ferry ride… 10 cents for the subway and just 5 cents for the ferry. It took about a half hour for the steam generated ferry to reach the destination and we had plenty of time to enjoy spectacular views of Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty on the way. We would often take that trip and spend a few hours touring the town and visiting the local zoo before returning.

That nickel fee for the Staten Island Ferry lasted for many years but it increased slowly until it hit a high of 50 cents per ride in the ‘90‘s. Then, in 1997, the city of New York decided to suspend all charges. The same trip that I had enjoyed for 5 cents is now FREE … amazingly making it an even greater bargain than it was 40 years earlier !

One bargain gone, one remaining …but, of course there is always the age old FREEBY…just plain people watching, which, in New York City, can be priceless !

10 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's amazing to look back at prices before so much inflation.

4:06 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I never went to an automat but the photographs of them fascinate me. All those rotating doors. Looks like it would have been so much fun.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What great fun to go and select a meal behind those glass doors and for a nickel too! I think that my parents may have taken me to an H&H but unfortunately can't recall. Never ridden the Stated Island Ferry, but should include on my bucket list -- freebies always good!

10:22 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

As a senior in high school 1959 version I remember the automats from our class trip to New York. My classmates all went to Coney Island and I took my date to Broadway to see the World of Suzie Wong starring William Shatner. He look about two or three years older than me then.....:)

7:31 AM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Those were the days. I was living in NC in 1958, and NYC was a dream I only knew about via TV. How fortunate you were to know it then!

8:19 AM  
OpenID Big John said...

I loved New York in the 1970's, when as an Englishman I wasn't so much 'watched' as listened to .. "Hey ! Yooz sound just like Michael Caine" ... I also enjoyed the 'delis' and the "cawfee".

7:05 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

Loved reading this, Ginnie. I have never been to New York in my life. What a great memory for you.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Thank you, Ginnie. I remember going as a child to New York to visit relatives. It was exciting for me.

8:41 AM  
Blogger possum said...

OMG! H&H! I had really forgotten all about them. Did not get to eat in one too many times, but it was always considered a serious TREAT!

10:47 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I ate in that automat in 1960; I remember having lemon meringue pie - it was 15 cents, I believe.

I have also ridden the ferry several times. we didn't do that last week when we were there; we toured the new WTC and the High Line and did the double-decker bus tour.

6:41 AM  

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