Welcome to this cyberplace, set up as a space for news and reviews of A Gentleman of Pleasure and occasional jottings about John Glassco. Five years have now passed since publication, and I've moved on to other projects, but I'm leaving this up with the thought that those drawn to Glassco's writing will find something of interest.

03 September 2011

Postcards of Traymore Cafeteria, Montreal

Three postcards of Montreal's Traymore Cafeteria, corner St. Catherine and Peel, c. 1925. The eatery isn't mentioned in Memoirs of Montparnasse, but does feature in Glassco's 1929 "Extract from an Autobiography". The teenaged memoirist writes that it was there he managed to convince Graeme Taylor ("George") that they should relocate to Paris:
After a great deal of argument and pleading I persuaded George to leave the hated offices of the Sun Life, and agree to come with me to Paris, where we could both live more cheaply than anywhere else. Before he had finally agreed, we had sat many evenings in the Traymore Cafeteria, I urging, he remaining silent and thinking of my financial good.
“But George, you know that I cannot go to Paris without you. I can go nowhere without you. To think of you living alone here, without me whom you love so much, sweating in the policy vaults of that organization down the next street, and coming in here by yourself in the evening, looking around – do you think I could enjoy myself in Paris, had I ten women in my bed every night?” I delivered this earnestly.
George sunk himself a little further in his chair, his mouth puffing out, and his eyebrows drew together with concern for my physical well-being abroad.
“But this is so ridiculous. Where will we get to eventually by doing this? You know I would love it, but remember that you have a future ahead of you – there is no reason why you should not succeed in writing something good, and you can certainly do that without me along, to persuade you that your work is better than it is.” He beamed at me, adding, “And you confess that you would like to be a celebrated ‘man of letters.’”
It was a long time before he came around, and I had to make out little plans and charts at the table, showing how we could both live on the money. When he finally consented I immediately fetched a newspaper and turned to the shipping page in great excitement.
The Drummond Building, which was once home to the cafeteria, still stands. The spot is currently occupied by a Guess store.

The third of thirty posts focussing on images not found in A Gentleman of Pleasure.
The entire series can be found here.

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