May 16, 1928
Lately I am getting so busy and accomplishing nothing that I feel as though New York life is transforming me. Just imagine, I resolved to answer your letters promptly and look at the results! That’s the big reason I hate N.Y.C. Ninety percent of one’s time is consumed by work and travel; ten percent is left to do all the things one likes to do best.
At my last lesson I was introduced to one of Mr. Eisenberg’s star pupils. We arranged to play some duetts to-gether. If this proves beneficial I will have some good diversion, which I used to enjoy with Dave Harris. I haven’t seen him (D.H.) since the Hummel concert at Town Hall. Margee and he came back stage to congratulate the boys. The performance was creditable as far as technic and precision was concerned. But the human factor was conspicuous by its absence. A goodly crowd was there. The critic of the N.Y. Times claimed that the audience was liberal in its applause. Stanley the pianist was the favorite.
Last Sunday morning I was up to pay the Diamonds my usual visit. Mrs. Diamond went to visit some of her relations so Lillian, Dela and I went over to see Sadie Thompson who by the way is not a relative, but a pretty good picture. Did you see it? If not don’t miss it. It’s unique! Pretty soon the stadium concerts will begin and I have all the intentions of attending them every week —- if nothing hinders my plans. The Philharmonic Symphony should be a rare treat if it has the merits of both symphonies combined.
I understand there’s an excursion this comeing Sunday. How are the chances of your comeing down. If not this excursion it surely ought to be the next. My chances of going to Troy are very slim because I spend the major portion of my money on necessities and lessons. Then my job is pretty shakey on account of business is so frightfully bad. I overheard my boss say if conditions continue like it has for the next few months he will go under. Of course it is inevitable but I happen to be concerned so it really does matter in this case. Two of my pupils were affected with the grippe which prevented them from takeing lessons for two weeks. So now you can see just how I stand about a trip north. It’s out of the question for the present. Therefor you must come and save a fellow from starveing from the want of seeing you.
Hopeing everyone of your family and friends are enjoying abundance of health. I’ll close with a vigorous embrace.
P.S. You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be led —– Me. Ha! Ha!
Editor’s Notes: I think Izzy hits the nail on the head when describing life in NYC. People are drawn there because there is so much to do and see but end up not having time to actually enjoy the city. That is many times more true when one is strapped for cash, as Izzy is. Music is Izzy’s diversion, his pasttime when he has time. With the absence of his friend Dave Harris, Izzy hopes he has found a duet partner in another of his teacher’s students. Following up on the last letter we see that Izzy did attend the Hummel concert at Town Hall but had reservations about the lack of the “human factor”, which by perhaps he means passion or “heart”.
The New York Philharmonic and the New York Symphony merged (mentioned in April 9, 1928 letter) and Izzy has changed his opinion from worried about the new sound to excited for the collaboration.
The film “Sadie Thompson” was based on a short story by Somerset Maugham titled “Miss Thompson” or “Rain”. Sadie Thompson starred Gloria Swanson but in 1932 another iteration of the story, a film titled “Rain” starred Joan Crawford in the same plot. You can find both movies on YouTube.
As we all know from having been through it, the stock market will crash soon and everyone’s money woes will only get worse. His boss is feeling the strain and is mentally preparing to go under. This is a foreshadowing of what is to come, though Izzy does not know this.