Thursday, July 14, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part LXVIII

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

New York, 1966. La Buena Mesa was a popular restaurant with flamenco musicians and music with unbridled darkly romantic overtones.
The reaction of the customers was ... interesting ...
And after, a visit to Mike Malkan's on East 79th Street, a bar popular with Upper East Side preppies and trust fund kids. Just a few blocks from my apartment it was said to be the favorite hangout of The Beatles and had a very attractive clientele.
There were strange rumors about Mike Malkan himself: that he was gay ... that he was involved with the Mob ... and that he was murdered! I can't verify any of it, but at this point would believe anything!

In the meantime, there was Giselle, an old friend visiting from Paris.
And my friend Guillermo, who had the longest name of anyone I'd known. He was a member of the prominent Peruvian political family, Belaunde.
And there was Mara Lepmanis, my pal, girlfriend (sort'a) and partner in crime, who was a ballerina but always said that she started so late that she identified with Zelda Fitzgerald (who decided late in her life to become a dancer).

Mara was not yet in her twenties, but wise beyond her years. A very old soul.
She was reading "The Counterfeiters" by André Gide.
She was also working downtown at the new trendy shop, Paraphernalia, the boutique that launched Betsey Johnson.
She was an early proponent and wearer of the store's micro-mini dresses which were a little shorter than most of my shirts. With hair a sunny pale red she was not at all invisible in public. And was able to recount funny, fascinating but sometimes unfortunate subway experiences.

Here's Mara, ten years later. We still talk on the phone!
And here's Mara (on the left) 35 years later at her Jamaica High School Reunion Dinner in 2000!
(Sigh ...)

The Sixties.
Contact Bob here.
Click here for NYSD Contents