This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
"Another Flora here, of bolder hues And richer sweets".
CONTINUING our notes as they present themselves for extract, the reader will find them to partake of the rambling character of our visit, daring which, every opportunity which health permitted, was employed in examining the novelties presented in every direction. We could but think that Europe has become somewhat stale to travellers who have frequently seen it. Like a dutiful son, the American's first visits have been paid to the ancestral roofs; that accomplished, and all which could be taught him there having been scanned, he may now turn his wings to another point of the compass, and converse with the land of the sun, so long in the exclusive possession of the unappreciative Spaniard. Mrs. Almy's Hotel (where Dr. Kane expired) forms one of the illustrations of this number. The windows are grated with iron, and having no glass whatever, and only a curtain, they are protected from the entrance of robbers in this manner. Nearly all the houses are thus secured, and the rooms may be left without fastening.
Being mostly of one story, air is thus freely admitted during the night to the sleepers.
In the picture, the street scene represents the volante, erroneous in two particulars: the shafts are quite too short, and the central young lady usually sits the most forward of the party when three ride together, which is usual. The horse is rarely so fat as represented, but the figure of the calisero is excellent; his hat, perfect; even the best dressed liveried coachman! has his legs, as high up as above the knee, encased in jack-boots, and the heel is ornamented with a silver spur; he exhibits at the junction of the shoe and the boot leg, very much what would look at a distance like a silk stocking, but is really black skin. The most fashionable drive two horses to the volante, when the calisero rides the second outside the shaft, and this horse is fastened near the step; he is only for ornament, and for the postilion to display himself on, with his awkward jog-trot. Mrs. Almy's was on the bay, and Wolcott's (a two-storied house) on the opposite corner. Both could be known in the dark by the number of orange-skins thrown out by eager American boarders.
The door at the corner was the entrance to a cigar shop; the wall at the opposite end was the inclosure of the miserable, small, old opera-house, unroofed by a hurricane, and superseded by the more superb Tacon Theatre outside the walls.
The names of streets are sometimes significant and striking to strangers; this house is at the corner of the Street of Light, Caille de Lutz, and the official street, Cailte des Officios, in which the Post-Office and Custom House are, and appear to have been immemorially. Other streets are Caille del Sol (Street of the Sun), de la Habana, Havana Street, etc.