Thursday, April 21, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part LVI

Jean-Louis Barrault at the Metropolitan Opera House, September 27, 1965.
Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

I met with Charles Columbo, a writer who I'd known while I was living in Paris. Charles invited me to accompany him and draw Jean-Louis Barrault as he interviewed him for an article. Barrault was in New York to direct a production of Faust at the Metropolitan Opera House. And because of Barrault's prominence as a film and theater star and the Director of the French National Theater, it was a very big event!
A few months later I met with Charles and his friend Aline Landais at the Bavarian Inn on East 86th Street in Yorkville, a few blocks from my apartment on 83rd Street.
Yorkville was very German at that time.
Some of the women looked like they could've been Hitler's secretary!
With my last name it was always easy for me to cash checks in those days before ATMs and late banking hours. Banks closed at 3:00 p.m. then — giving rise to the phrase "keeping banking hours."

One time when I was cashing a check, someone came from working in the kitchen to meet me and tell me how in Germany he'd worked in the Schulenbergs' stables! I didn't correct him. After all, I was cashing a check!
During this time there was the World's Fair and the city was full of visitors.
But there were still the locals to add color.
It was always more interesting to draw New York's residents than the visitors. People visiting seemed more relaxed if not overwhelmed by the city, but New Yorkers had more interesting faces whether it was from anguished frustration over some unfortunate recurring incident or the pressures of actual Manhattan survival!

New Yorkers seemed to be drawn together by a common concern: surviving and living well in the city.

One evening we were hanging out at Treva Silverman's apartment on the Upper West Side.
She was now a writer for Garry Moore's television show, "The Entertainers," which was Carole Burnett's first exposure to a national audience.

Paul Bartel was talking about the notoriety of Andy Warhol's bizarre films and how frustrating it was working at a company that made lackluster commercials and public service films. After his experiences making short movies as part of his film studies at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, he was aching to make some sort of film! If Warhol could do it, why couldn't he?
Warren Lyons' father was the syndicated "Nighttime-in-Manhattan" columnist, Leonard Lyons. His column, "The Lyons Den," was read by almost everyone in the city, and even nationally.

That only amplified Paul's frustration: so near and yet so far!
As for me, I was doing freelance drawings for Paul's aunt, Connie Bartel, who was the editor-in-chief of Hair Trends, a monthly that chronicled with instructional how-tos on all the latest and trendiest hair styles, the most elaborate since the eighteenth century!

I was getting known for drawing hair styles, and like Paul, was not very gratifying.

It did, however, pay the rent!
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