refinedThe strains of an upstairs violinist punctuated the music of the morning- a hawker singing his cold crop, as his horse hauled a heaping green load of fresh vegetables. His music cropped the horse forward, and the hoofbeats on the cobblestone punctuated the Verdi arias. Every so often, a babushka-crowned head would poke out of a window, a pail would descend from a beneath the grimy pane, down to street level the polished bucket would descend, vegetables placed inside.

The bucket would be hauled up by hands at least thirty years more aged than the face, and money taken. The street was alive with music and voices.

Marguerite had no idea what compelled her to dress, to button the stiff clothes and step out onto the street without enquiring who her host was, or how she had arrived at that building. She made note of the address, painted on the glass door, and stepped out into the cool day.


“Music evokes a sense of sightlessness or loss — a loss for which it is both lament and compensation.”


The disappearing music of the early twentieth century does evoke a double sense of loss. So much wisdom in that little statement. So many more I stumbled across in this blog, http://quotily.wordpress.com/  The music is strange and interesting,

Meanwhile, my tastes in music run a little more common:

I swear I liked the song before I saw her face, so it’s not like you think.

Vegetables, money in the pocket, mouths to feed. We sell our wares, Make money online, http://justlats.com/how-i-make-money-online-the-easy-way/

aw sell



The day started at five o’clock AM. More dressing to do in 1911. More washing afterwards. Shirt collars are detached. How does that work? Collars are attached by two studs, one fore and one aft. Joe’s mother boiled his collars in a copper kettle that had come over. The steamer trunk was the first furniture of the immigrant family, serving as a cupboard for the more valuable pieces of tableware and crockery. Mama boiled the collar to clean the old starch, then added new starch and ironed the collars dry.

Meanwhile, Marguerite had donned her shirtwaist, the fashionable declaration of female independence. The shirtwaist was ready-to-wear, relatively cheap, and could be tucked into a skirt. Modeled on mens’ shirts, it allowed a woman to dress quickly in the morning. Ironically, most of the women who worked at her factory, which produced shirtwaists, did not wear this practical garment. Instead, they wore heavy single-piece dresses which they soaked and hung between the tenements on Sundays. The women had no time to socialize and dance, but high over Brooklyn, on any given day off, their dresses danced high in the air over Brooklyn, expressing in the fabric a longing for freedom that had billowed the sails of the clipper ships and had blown these women Westward.

Those same winds dry cloth, pull ships, and whets the appetites of smouldering fires in Manhattan.

6 thoughts on “Part Four- It’s a living

  1. The singer that you, does she look like a babushka? 😛
    Anyway, this way of washing clothes reminds me of the days where I used to live. I bet this doesn’t happen in Manhattan. Song is melodious.

  2. Pingback: Thank you Julianne Victoria | theseeker

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