WestView Letter April 2015: Joys of the Automat

Joys of the Automat

Dear Mr. Capsis,

As one of those rarest of birds, a life-long New Yorker, I want to thank you for your charming piece about the glories of the Automat, glories that have not faded from my memory, in the least, despite the many meals and many years that have passed. I still have dreams about the baked macaroni and a dessert called bee cake!

My family history is entwined with that of H&H. My aunt was Mr. Hardart’s personal secretary for many years and we were lucky to celebrate many a special occasion at the Automat. I’ll never forget a rodeo themed birthday cake created just for me in the kitchen at the old Westside factory and served up at tables set aside just for me and my little friends at one of the restaurants.

It’s sad that today’s youngsters will never know the height of joy, plugging simple nickels into a simple slot and magically receiving in return an amazing meal of their choice. Thank you again for the shared memory. My mouth is watering as I write.


Ann Marie Todes

Leave a Reply