A Twenty-five-dollar Exposition Trip from New York

Leslie's Illustrated Weekly May 11, 1901

BUFFALO, May 1st, 1901.-The feeling of the multitudes who poured through the gates of the Pan-American Exposition on this the opening day may be best described as that of mingled wonder and happy disappointment. If the entire board of directors, managers, superintendents, and their subordinates had been geared on to the giant dynamos at Niagara they could hardly have shown more untiring activity or more propulsive power than they have shown up to these opening hours. So the great fair is in a far more advanced stage of preparedness than might reasonably have been expected. In this respect, as in others, the ratio of achievement has exceeded anything seen or known before in expositions at home or abroad. Buffalo has covered herself with glory as with a mantle, and her fame as an exposition city is already assured.

One salient fact which has worked largely to the advantage of Buffalo as a site for this Pan-American enterprise is that within the sweep of a radial line of less than five hundred miles from the city may be found a population of not less than 40,000,000 souls, or over one-half of the entire population of the United States, and this not including the people of Canada brought within the same range. The practical value of this strategic point will doubtless appear in the figures of attendance as the season goes on. The fact that the exposition grounds are within half a day's journey of five of the largest cities on the American continent means millions of sight-seers. But Buffalo and the Pan-American people are prepared to welcome and care for them all. Let them come !

For reasons just named, and others, no exposition has ever been held before which can be seen at such small expense by so many people as this. Taking New York as a point of departure, let us see what the expense account may be for a visit of three full days on the exposition grounds, a period sufficient for a wide-awake person who follows an intelligent plan to gain a satisfactory knowledge of all the exhibits. The items may be set down as follows:

Round-trip fare (five-day excursion ticket)


Sleeping-car berth (going and coming)


Lodgings at Buffalo (two nights)


Six regular meals


Five luncheons


Five admissions to the grounds






This expense list obviously touches neither the minimum of comfort nor the maximum of luxury. The figures represent practical experience, and not mere guess-work. Of course it is easy to add or to subtract from nearly all of these items. If one has only $18 to spare for this indulgence, and will have it for that, he can omit the amount for sleeping-car berths and satisfy himself with less expensive dinners and luncheons. As good meals can be had here now for twenty-five cents as in any other city, and everything else in proportion. Generally speaking, the rates of living for transient visitors are normal, in spite of all the usual rumors about greed and extortion. The exercise of ordinary wit and common sense is all that is necessary to avoid the sharks and other creatures of prey who have naturally drifted hither in search of the verdant and the gullible. The local government and the exposition officials have gone to the utmost limit of their powers and capacities in insuring the safety, comfort, and satisfaction of visitors. No one could do more.

As to a plan of action for a three-days' visit, a few suggestions may be useful. The first half-day may well be spent in making a round of the exposition grounds, getting general views, ideas, and impressions. You will be sure of these, then, if something should happen to prevent your doing any more, and it will be easier for you to map out the remaining time to advantage. As the grounds are only one mile long by half-a-mile wide, it is not difficult to get a good grasp of the salient and external features of the show in a few hours of rapid observation. This tour will afford a view of such beautiful and marvelous creations as the Court of the Fountains: the magnificent stretch of the Esplanade, with its surrounding chain of lakes, fountains, bridges, and arches; the plaza by the Sunken Gardens, and the electric fountain at North Bay.

After this you may begin to specialize according to your tastes. To the average visitor no building will be found to contain so many wonders and novel attractions as that devoted to electricity, and the second half-day may be spent here with pleasure and profit. One day might well be divided up in an inspection of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts building, the Horticulture building, and the Machinery and Transportation building. A brief visit to the building of one's own State should not be omitted for various reasons. A full half-day should be included in the programme for the enjoyments of sports in the Stadium and the thousand fascinating scenes and hitherto unheard of things to be witnessed in the gorgeous Midway.

Happy and fortunate is the man who can spend three days at this exposition. If he spends his time rightly it will be worth to him a year at college for the attainment of useful knowledge. If be has three weeks to give, so much the better. He can fill every mornent of it with delight and satisfaction.

L. A. M.

Back to Visiting the Exposition