Thursday, December 8, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part LXXXIX

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

New York, Spring, 1967.
I spent Easter at the home of my cousin Adrienne Albert and her husband John McClure, who had a large apartment on Central Park West. During our stay, Carol and Hal Holbrook were also house guests. Carol was the daughter of the movie writer/director Robert Rossen. A family legend is that Adrienne's mother had given birth to Adrienne and when they left the hospital, Carol's mother was admitted to the same room and Carol was born! Or maybe Carol was first, then Adrienne.
Robert Rossen with his wife Susan and daughter Carol in 1963.
In any case, they've been friends their whole lives.

Among many films her father had directed was the screen version of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the King's Men, in 1949. It was patterned on the colorful life of Louisiana's Huey Long and was the story of a brash and charismatic man who wins an election, but due to his crookedness and arrogant narcissism is ultimately deposed.

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three, one for its star, Broderick Crawford.
Many years later, I was in a cabaret where Hal's then-wife Dixie Carter was singing when Hal walked by my table and seeing me, stopped and said, "I know you! Easter, CPW!"

I was stunned as it had been 20 years earlier and we'd only been together for a few hours!

When I told Carol, she only said, "Hal has a great memory."

I walked home to the East Side through the park where there was a Be-In, one of the early Pacifist/Love demonstrations that were becoming regular events. I'd have stayed longer but I was meeting Amy Vane at Beggi's, one of the popular funky bars on the East Side.
We talked some more about Paul's progress and lack of success finding a distributor for our movie.
The next evening I had dinner with Janet Hautau and we talked some more about the transformative abilities of photography to create and positively persuade someone with a questioning self image that they were more than presentable!
It had worked a few years earlier in 1961 with Barbra.
Barbra in 1961, ©Craig Simpson
And I wanted to do it with Janet!

The next day I went out to JFK Airport where my grandfather had arrived from Los Angeles; we went immediately to Long Island where he was going to stay with his niece and her husband.
On Friday I had lunch with an art director at La Petite Marmite and then I met with Paul for coffee at the Ninth Circle in Greenwich Village.
Then we went back uptown on the West Side.
And I took the bus through the park to the East Side.
April 2nd, 1967 was a Sunday and I met Cynthia Conroy at the Tavern on the Green. She was also from Los Angeles where she'd known Igor Stravinsky and his wife Vera, and I'd met her through my cousin Adrienne, who'd been a soloist on a Stravinsky recording.
My cousin Adrienne Albert with Igor Stravinsky.
Cynthia told me that Vera Stravinsky had a knack for making day-old bread very fresh; she'd sprinkle it with water, place it in a towel and put it into a heated oven for a short time! It would come out of the oven as fresh as if it had just been baked! I've never forgotten that and have even tried it on stale bread!

Even in a toaster without a towel, it always works!
Carole and I went to Blum's for banana splits and reminisced about ice cream in Los Angeles!

And I went to see Phillip Carlson, who was "Dick" in The Secret Cinema.
Paul and I visited Bobb Goldsteinn at his 'Lightworks' loft on Christopher Street. Then we ended the evening at Tortilla Flat.
Abe Dulberg was a partner at the Reiter-Dulberg Photo Lab. Pattie Ferrier had recommended it as her favorite lab for processing the photos she was taking. We'd become friends after he admired my photography; he'd thought I was rephotographing old photographs and was very complimentary when I explained.
He was a friend of the Pop artist Robert Indiana, who'd given him the Yield Brother graphic.
Abe invited me to dinner to meet his wife Renee and daughter Joan.
Around the corner from me and down the block on Second Avenue was a favorite neighborhood hangout of mine, L&H, a German bakery/restaurant. Everything was freshly made and like most things in Yorkville then, very inexpensive. The neighborhood was largely Hungarian and German with marvelous specialty shops that were not preciously chic or self consciously ethnic and many of the customers didn't speak English!

Later, I visited David and Sheila ("Shelagh") Columbia in their new apartment.
And Joe's on Third Avenue. It was very much "a neighborhood!"

There was an older woman who lived near me and who some days worked at the cleaners on Third Avenue. She wore her white hair in a style that had last been seen in the early 1940s — little pin curls around the forehead and finger waves everywhere else. If Jean Harlow had lived and moved from Hollywood, I wondered if she might have resembled this woman in some way ...

One day while I was walking to my apartment, she was sweeping the 83rd Street sidewalk as many of the older European women did.

She saw me and said, "don't forget! You have some pants to be picked up at the cleaners!"
It was that kind of neighborhood!

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