Thursday, March 30, 2017

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part CV

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

While it was the "Summer of Love"
in San Francisco, 1967; in Manhattan it was a sort of "Summer of Crazy!"

Louis Abolafia, who lived on East 4th Street in the as yet unexploited Lower East Side, decided to run for President of the United States in 1968! He claimed to be an artist (although from the appearance of his promotional material, not much of a graphic designer!)
At that point his only known professional artistic accomplishment was to sneak his own oil painting into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and hang it next to the statue of Rodin's The Thinker!

The Museum did not appreciate his effort.

And it was another weekend to go again to Fire Island and hope for a weekend without rain.
No such luck — it started raining late Friday night and as it usually did ... cleared up on Sunday as we took the ferry back to the train to Manhattan.
The Museum of Modern Art had a showing of Czech films and it was the beginning of an awareness of Eastern European films. Until then, there were Hollywood movies, New Wave films from France, and English movies, but not much influence or even interest in films from anywhere else. The Czech films were a surprise.
After the MOMA screening I stopped at Yellowfinger's, the great Upper East Side gathering place on Third Avenue across from Bloomingdale's.
Across to 60th Street looking uptown from Yellowfinger's.
I went to ABC to see George Hoover and Jim Butler to see what TV show would be my next illustration assignment. George and Jim were becoming more than business acquaintances, they were social friends.
The Bridge on the River Kwai, the sort of bread & butter work I was doing for ABC.
Walking home up Third Avenue I passed P.J. Clarke's just as Bea Feitler, the art director of Harper's Bazaar, walked out of the bar. She smiled broadly and giving me a big exuberant hug, said "Come by the office and we can have lunch — or something."

So the next day, making my rounds I stopped in at the magazine.

I was ushered into Bea's office where she was on the telephone speaking with a European illustrator. She didn't acknowledge my presence so I sat down and waited.

And waited. And waited!

Finally after an uncomfortable long pause, she hung up the phone, turned and looked at me.

"Yes?"

I attempted a smile and said that I'd stopped by just to say hello.

"Hello."

And I asked if she'd like to do lunch.

"I don't do lunch."

So I said it was nice to see her and left.

Then I met George Hoover and his fiancée Julie Tarachow at Rugantino for a late lunch.
Julie was beautiful with a wonderful sense of humor. I photographed her for her New York Times engagement announcement portrait.
That evening I was invited to the apartment of Barbara Dromgool and Susan Craven. Barbara was working at being a writer but at that point hadn't had much professional luck.
Susan's mother was visiting and they'd decided to have a musical evening to entertain her.
Their friend Barbara Propp brought her guitar and played and sang songs she'd written.
After the party I took the bus to go home.
And it was the weekend again with the continuing optimistic hope that it might not rain.
It did. Rain.
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