Dinner last night given by the Dutch Treat Club at Kean's Chop House. Over 100. Wallace Irwin gave a good skit on "How to live in New York on 48 hours a day." In a few words I said I would thank him in print.
I walked down 34th St. to Waterside offices of Italian lines, saw Duca degli Abruzzi half ready to go. A lot of people on board and a line of 3rd class passengers waiting outside shed for admittance. Nothing but Italian spoken all around me. This swift transition from 5th Avenue is very picturesque.
Declension of streets sets in immediately after Broadway. 6th Avenue is atrociously paved. After 7th the declension is frank. 10th and 11th are appalling, atrocious, and some of the sidewalks staggering - unworthy of the suburbs of a small provincial town. Trains allowed to shunt over 10th and 11th Avenues. Extraordinary.
This was election day. I saw the sinister but genial fellows bearing openly the insignia of Tammany. Don't please think that Tammany is a disease that happens to have attacked N.Y. It is as much an expression of N.Y. character as the barber's (remember my shave this morning at the Waldorf), the pavements, the fineness, the interest in education etc. etc.
Thorough badness of barbers.
Dinner at Sherrys. R. H. Davis, Franklin Adams, Doran and I.
Davis told how he interviewed Li Hung Chang for W. R. Hearst. Davis entered Chang's suite at the Waldorf "with my shoes in my hand". He interviewed him through an interpreter. At the end Davis said: "I asked his excellency if he spoke English, he answered in English 'No'. Asked if he was rich, he said "600,000,000 dollars today; nothing tomorrow. All I have is at the mercy of the State." He was very curious about rich men in America. Later he sent for Davis as a private man and spoke to him in English. He asked if Davis was married and Davis said he wasn't because he couldn't afford to be. He then said: "Get money. Get a wife. Get a home. Get children."