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"The ship’s orchestra was playing as we slowly approached the port of New York City in the morning. In the distance we could see the outlines of skyscrapers drowning in a silver haze then, as we came closer, rising and standing, etched against the shimmering background of the rising sun. A shiver went up and down my spine as we entered the huge harbour whose backdrop of slim buildings was interspersed with the rising smoke from factories. We could easily hear the noise and smell the fumes from deck.
We passed the customs inspection which, although performed smoothly, took two hours, not because of the customs employees, but because of the thousands of travellers and their many languages. Everything was disciplined and efficient. Porters and customs employees were nicely dressed in dark blue and the ship’s Captain and senior crew looked like they should be in a parade".
"I had been wandering the deck and gazing out on Columbus’ land since 7 o’clock in the morning. By the time I found myself in my room at the Hotel Pennsylvania, I was considerably fatigued. After a short rest and some afternoon tea, I left and began to explore the streets
I believe that In order to learn about a city one has to walk its streets and avenues to observe life, just as I had done in Paris. New York captivated me at once; it is truly a fast-paced miraculous city. I was electrified!"
Detroit - The City of Ford
"Finally, after many years, I went to see my elder brother and his large family in Detroit, the city of the automobile business where Ford's products were seen everywhere. My brother welcomed me with open arms, showed warm hospitability the several days I stayed there. With my brother's help I studied not only the entire city of Detroit, but I also had the opportunity to see inside several automobile factories and specifically in Ford's factory, where my brother worked for a number of years. I got a good sense of Detroit, which grew into a city in nearly 15 years, perhaps mainly thanks to Ford and several other car factories which moved and were developed here.
There are navigable canals on Lake Erie, which provided the cheap transportation of coal, iron and other goods from Canada as well as exportation of ready products from the city. In addition, the dense network of railway and wide, excellently built roads stretched from the city center to the suburbs.
When Ford settled here and successfully founded his impressively sized Motor Company, other car manufacturers started to relocate here thus turning it into a city exclusively for automobiles.
They say, whatever Ford's hand touches turns into gold".
"I was amazed when I walked into the great marble hall at the Union Trust Co. and found a beautifully arranged exhibition of my paintings loaned from Mr Rose. I was greeted by lots of important people who were genuinely interested in me personally as well as my art. I was introduced to more than a hundred people, including many artists, and the director of Cleveland Institute of Fine Arts, Mr. Bailey, who was also Professor of the Cleveland School of the Arts.
The biggest surprise, which really excited me, was an invitation to a meeting and lunch organized in my honor by the Advertising Club at the Cleveland Hotel. I suddenly felt uneasy when I was asked to make a speech. It was such a big deal to make any kind of speech, whether it is in English, French or Czech. I felt a little embarrassed being the centre of attention and tried to avoid saying anything foolish.
However, I had the pleasure of addressing about six or seven hundred guests who were artists, representatives from different clubs, and people from the City of Cleveland, none of whom I knew personally. I felt happy when my seemingly difficult public speech turned out to be much better than expected. People were heard commenting enthusiastically after the meeting and the newspaper report confirmed this the next day".
The Van Sweringen brothers (known as The Vans) were a fixture in Cleveland history for the influence they had in selling land and developing the city of Cleveland. The brothers are also remembered for their close relationship to one another. Devoted to work and both incredibly shy, the two never married and were rarely seen apart, rumoured to sleep in twin beds in the same room.
Although he didn't name them in the book, T.F Simon met the brothers during his time in Cleveland.
"Before I left Cleveland, I had an opportunity to visit another millionaires house owned by two brothers, which was just the opposite of the traditional home of noble people. The brothers are self made men. They started by selling newspapers at a young age and they were now millionaires. The estate lay surrounded by the Cleveland woods and was built in the old colonial style by a modern architect. The comfortable residence occupied a hundred acres of beautiful countryside and was built with good taste. Inside, the cozy dining room was tastefully arranged. There was a magnificent sports hall, and large Roman swimming pool tiled with mosaic splendour. Despite the beauty of the house and attention of hosts and servants this was not a home of cultured men. You could see that everything can be bought with money, except noble thinking".
I sat in the beautiful modern Imperial Hotel and tried to write down my first impressions experienced in the moments of arrival.
On the car journey from Yokohama to Tokyo (which is about 22 km) I saw many interesting things as we passed through the cities and suburbs where I could still see traces of the last terrible earthquake and fires. Outside of the city, there were small gardens and houses with windows made of bamboo and paper opening onto views of the bay full of fishing boats. The people, colours, mood, and smells made a strong impression on me and enhanced my impressions of this land of the rising sun.
Everything was very different; from the rickshaw coolies who sped through the streets as if in a race, to the construction of buildings, and the clothes people wore. Even the way people moved was different, and at first incomprehensible. While as humans we have things in common; a head, two arms and two legs, they walked with rather small steps with no bounce and sway, differing so fundamentally from our world. Only then did I realise that I was in the other hemisphere of the planet, on an island of another nation whose historical development, culture and civilization drew on their knowledge of life, laws, religion and art from completely different sources than western nations and, as a result, their lives and souls are shaped differently which fascinates us Westerners".