by Langston Hughes
Fine living . . . a la carte?
Come to the Waldorf-Astoria!
LISTEN HUNGRY ONES!
Look! See what Vanity Fair says about the
"All the luxuries of private home. . . ."
Now, won't that be charming when the last flop-house
has turned you down this winter?
"It is far beyond anything hitherto attempted in the hotel
world. . . ." It cost twenty-eight million dollars. The fa-
mous Oscar Tschirky is in charge of banqueting.
Alexandre Gastaud is chef. It will be a distinguished
background for society.
So when you've no place else to go, homeless and hungry
ones, choose the Waldorf as a background for your rags-
(Or do you still consider the subway after midnight good
Take a room at the new Waldorf, you down-and-outers-
sleepers in charity's flop-houses where God pulls a
long face, and you have to pray to get a bed.
They serve swell board at the Waldorf-Astoria. Look at the menu, will
CRABMEAT IN CASSOLETTE
BOILED BRISKET OF BEEF
SMALL ONIONS IN CREAM
Have luncheon there this afternoon, all you jobless.
Dine with some of the men and women who got rich off of
your labor, who clip coupons with clean white fingers
because your hands dug coal, drilled stone, sewed gar-
ments, poured steel to let other people draw dividends
and live easy.
(Or haven't you had enough yet of the soup-lines and the bit-
ter bread of charity?)
Walk through Peacock Alley tonight before dinner, and get
warm, anyway. You've got nothing else to do.
All you families put out in the street:
Apartments in the towers are only $10,000 a year.
(Three rooms and two baths.) Move in there until
times get good, and you can do better. $10,000 and $1.00
are about the same to you, aren't they?
Who cares about money with a wife and kids homeless, and
nobody in the family working? Wouldn't a duplex
high above the street be grand, with a view of the rich-
est city in the world at your nose?
"A lease, if you prefer, or an arrangement terminable at will."
Oh, Lawd. I done forgot Harlem!
Say, you colored folks, hungry a long time in 135th Street--
they got swell music at the Waldorf-Astoria. It sure is a
mighty nice place to shake hips in, too. There's dancing
after supper in a big warm room. It's cold as hell
on Lenox Avenue. All you've had all day is a cup of
coffee. Your pawnshop overcoat's a ragged banner on
your hungry frame. You know, downtown folks are just
crazy about Paul RObeson! Maybe they'll like you, too,
black mob from Harlme. Drop in at the Waldorf this
afternoon for tea. Stay to dinner. Give Park Avenue a
lot of darkie color--free for nothing! Ask the Junior
Leaguers to sing a spiritual for you. They probably
know 'em better than you do--and their lips won't be
so chapped with cold after they step out of their closed
cars in the undercover driveways.
Hallelujah! Undercover driveways!
Ma soul's a witness for de Waldorf-Astoria!
(A thousand nigger section-hands keep the roadbeds smooth,
so investments in railroads pay ladies with diamond
necklaces staring at Sert murals.)
Thank God A-mighty!
(And a million niggers bend their backs on rubber planta-
tions, for rich behinds to ride on thick tires to the
Theatre Guild tonight.)
Ma soul's a witness!
(And here we stand, shivering in the cold, in Harlem.)
Glory be to God--
De Waldorf-Astoria's open!
So get proud and rare back; everybody! The new Waldorf-Astoria's
(Special siding for private cars from the railroad yards.)
You ain't been there yet?
(A thousand miles of carpet and a million bathrooms.)
Whats the matter?
You haven't seen the ads in the papers? Didn't you get a card?
Don't you know they specialize in American cooking?
Ankle on down to 49th Street at Park Avenue. Get up
off that subway bench tonight with the evening POST
for cover! Come on out o' that flop-house! Stop shivering
your guts out all day on street corners under the El.
Jesus, ain't you tired yet?
Hail Mary, Mother of God!
the new Christ child of the Revolution's about to be
(Kick hard, red baby, in the bitter womb of the mob.)
Somebody, put an ad in Vanity Fair quick!
Call Oscar of the Waldorf--for Christ's sake!!
It's almost Christmas, and that little girl--turned whore
because her belly was too hungry to stand it anymore--
wants a nice clean bed for the Immaculate Conception.
Listen, Mary, Mother of God, wrap your new born babe in
the red flag of Revolution: the Waldorf-Astoria's the
best manger we've got. For reservations: Telephone EL.
Last updated January 14, 2019