christmas 1920: our city is better than new york for christmas!

If these two stories were any indication, some writers (or at least headline writers) had it in for New York City during the 1920 holiday season.

Los Angeles Express, December 25, 1920.

Ms. Reed tried to portray the dichotomy between the rich and poor elements of Manhattan, but her views of the indigent and at least two ethnic communities come off like a visitor engaging in slum tourism ("The Ghetto" referred to here is the Lower East Side, then the centre of the city's Jewish population). Not that sunny California was immune to transient communities.

Reed was a Los Angeles-based actress and playwright whose works bore titles like Bitter Bread and The Devil's Tattoo

Toronto Star, December 22, 1920.

The reason the reader could guess that Montreal hotels could charge more than New York's was that Quebec loosened restrictions on alcohol after an April 1919 referendum, while the Prohibition era had just gotten underway in the USA. Why not spend the holidays in Montreal, where you could enjoy a legal glass of bubbly with Christmas dinner? Yet this article also hints at problems with poverty and unemployment in Montreal.


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