National Geographic : 1918 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Paul Thompson NEWLY ARRIVED IMMIGRANTS AWAITING OFFICIAL APPROVAL: ELLIS ISLAND If every American whose father and mother were born in the United States were to leave New York City, it would still be the second largest city of the earth, almost as large as Paris and Berlin together. for "a place with a front," rents a room in an office building, fills it with all sorts of dainty and tasteful merchandise, and makes her little bid for business. The wise shoppers, who must count the cost, seek her tiny emporium and soon she has a comfortable trade. THE SHOCK OF NEW YORK'S COM MERCIAL LIFE The greatest shock Fifth avenue ever had was when Woolworth decided to put a ten-cent store in Fifth avenue near Forty-second, right in the heart of the aristocrats of shopdom. "Oh, no, it will never do," said those who take pride in the avenue's exclusive status. "Because the people who visit Fifth avenue to buy would never think of going into a ten cent store." Mr. Woolworth was a better analyst of human nature, however, and spent many thousands of dollars in ma hogany and walnut, outfitting his store as if he were going to carry the most expensive stock in the city. The result has been all he predicted. Women who do their shopping in imported cars and have chauffeurs and footmen seem to love bargains as well as their sisters, whose only conveyance is a street car and who must wash their own breakfast dishes be fore joining the buying throng. This store has enjoyed success from its open ing hour. From whatever angle it is viewed, whatever facet throws back the light .of *its activities to the beholder, New York challenges one's interest and stirs one's imagination. Of all cities, it is the inter national city. In size, in wealth, in finan cial operations, in manufacturing, in in ternational trade, in racial makeup, in a hundred ways it is the twentieth century Rome to which all roads lead-a city that does not belong to the New Yorker any more than Washington belongs to the Washingtonian. All nations have con tributed to its population, and all Amer ica contributes to its financial, industrial, and commercial greatness.