From the American Scene: Pawnbroker on Eighth Avenue
Irving Berg, who lives in Great Neck, Long Island, drives his son and daughter to school each weekday morning, and then continues on to the railroad plaza, where he parks his car, buys the Times, and takes the 8:47 to New York. He usually finds an empty seat, and for the next thirty-five minutes, as the suburban train starts and stops on its way to the city, scans his newspaper or chats with an acquaintance. At Pennsylvania Station he hurries up the steps and through the crowds to the street.
Then he takes a bus to Eighth Avenue and 55th Street, a shabby neighborhood of small bars, narrow tenements, crowded garages, and littered streets, where his pawnshop is located. He crosses the street, enters the store which one of his two employees has already opened, and goes to his old roll-top desk in the rear of the shop. At his desk, he talks briefly with Murray, his manager, finishes his newspaper, checks his cash-on-hand, and reads his mail: letters and interest payments, advertising circulars and police notices. A short while later, after the first troubled, distracted patrons have appeared and departed, he goes next door to a luncheonette for a breakfast of cereal, toast, and tea.
About the Author