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01 July 2018

Dai Vernon in Atlas Obscura

From the June 25th article "An Insider’s Tour of New York’s Disappearing Magic History," by Sarah Laskow in Atlas Obscura:
With his sharp mustache and debonair smile, Dai Vernon always looked like he knew more than he was revealing, and as his stature in the magic community grew, his life became legend. When he came to New York from Ottawa, Canada, in 1915, the vaudeville circuit was still feeding magicians steady income and fame, though Pastor’s heyday was long over. A kid obsessed with magic and card tricks, Vernon gravitated to the city’s magic shops. Martinka’s had already become legendary, though from the outside, one reporter wrote in 1916, it looked like “a little dingy shop … with one window full of dusty paraphernalia,” in the shadow of Sixth Avenue’s elevated train. Whatever wonders the shop had to offer were in the back room, off-limits to newcomers like Vernon.


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