Pre-war Manila was widely regarded as "the Pearl of the Orient." One of Asia's most beautiful and advanced cities, it boasted a fabulous seaside location with unparalleled sunsets, expansive parks, gorgeous neo-classical buildings (Post Office and Legislative), and trendy art-deco ones as well. In the busy fashion district (the Escolta) cars and trollies jockeyed for position with horse-drawn carts. Gracious bridges crossed the Pasig River, while fishermen sold their wares from cascos (flat-bottomed boats) below. In the book Leonore's Suite, Lee recalls parades on the Luneta, sunsets on Dewey Boulevard, dances at the Manila Hotel, and movies at the Metropolitan Theater, followed by ice cream at the nearby Rendezvous Cafe. Lee remembers buying Christmas presents for her cousins at Heacock's Department Store (where Clarence Beliel claimed to be a shoe salesman). The Isersons owned a Studebaker, from the Manila distributorship shown. When Lee and Paul escape for a day into Manila, they pass both the dreaded stronghold of Intramuros, and the stunning art-deco Jai Alai Stadium (with its Sky Room) transformed into Kempeitai Headquarters. Manila was a city to behold.