“After 3 A.M.” (E9)

  • Originally printed: The New Yorker, July 17, 1926
  • First reprinted in: Never Reprinted
  • Original Byline: Robert Benchley


A rather slight half-page piece mocking a municipal law proposed by the Walker administration. The ordinance did in fact make it onto the books for 1927 (see below Times clipping), so Benchley’s screwball itinerary for New Yorkers who have no intention of going home until the office buildings open may very well have come in handy. For nocturnal New Yorkers bent on making their own pre-auroral fun, there was always the Columbia Storage Warehouse, the Weather Bureau station overlooking the Battery, the Eleventh Avenue steam train, and the Aquarium. Only dullards and out of towners turn in at three, in spite of Jimmy Walker’s machinations!

Favourite moment:
“Here [the weather station] there is fun indeed for all! The charts, the indicators, the thermometers and barometers, all conspire to keep guests in a fever of excitement until the little hand on the chronometer indicates that dawn is approaching.”

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