Thursday, July 13, 2017

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part CXVIII

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

The Kis Little was a tiny Hungarian restaurant right around the corner
from my apartment. Overseen by a heavyset Hungarian autocrat it was right on Second Avenue at 83rd Street and was remarkably inexpensive!

When my mother visited New York I'd taken her there and when she ordered an à la carte salad as a side dish, the Hungarian loudly said, "NO! You can't have that!"  Evidently it was not intended to accompany her entree!
Gary Van Kirk and I stopped in to visit Jay Weiss at his apartment.  He was an artist and lived near me on the Upper East Side.
At that time, the neighborhood was inexpensive. And once you passed Lexington Avenue there were many old tenement buildings that had been upgraded (somewhat) for the younger generation — gradually replacing the Yorkville Hungarians who had replaced the Yorkville Germans! All around East 86th Street East on Lexington Avenue there were still shops selling German and Hungarian specialties.
Shopping was a culinary adventure!
Paul Bartel had been in Los Angeles and upon his return, he and I went to la Brochetteria for dinner.
He told me about his trip and seeing movie people who might've been interested in our movie, The Secret Cinema!    
There was no definitive news — at least, nothing very helpful.
The next night, TV-time!  I was excited to see Shanghai Express and have another chance to study Joseph von Sternberg's beautiful lighting and the magically flattering way he presented Marlene Dietrich.  She claimed always that she learned all the tricks of charismatic presentation from him!

So did I!
And it was the first cold day — finally that so-called Summer of Love was over.  Along with all the music and hallucinogenic craziness, there seemed to be nonstop anti-Vietnam War protests!

Less than a month earlier, 100,000 anti-war protesters demonstrated in Washington at the Pentagon after Dr. Benjamin Spock spoke at the Lincoln Memorial calling President Lyndon B. Johnson "the enemy!" Many prominent people, among them novelist Norman Mailer, were arrested!
My brother Richard was still in New York and impressed with all the political activity so visible in the city!  In Los Angeles, the vastness of the city made it possible to avoid visible evidence of conflict.  For another aspect of Manhattan I suggested The Rainbow Room for drinks — and he had a major expense account!
Afterwards we went to the Cafe Chauveron for dinner.
Then, to show him my typical evening's activities ... we ended the evening at Elaine's!
I introduced him to Elaine and I'd been unaware that Elaine's longtime bartender (and more than a friend) Jack Allen had called Elaine to say that Richard was coming to New York and if she met him to give him special treatment!

Jack had purchased the old Four Oaks Restaurant in Bel Air's Beverly Glen Canyon.  It had been built as a country roadhouse in 1909 and was a speakeasy during Prohibition; and Jack had turned it into an elegant restaurant popular with celebrities. It was also rumored to be haunted!
My brother, his wife, and one-year-old baby daughter lived directly across the street and he, being a lawyer, had been very generous with legal advice for Jack who lived above the restaurant.

That night at Elaine's Richard didn't use his expense account.
He even got to meet David Patrick Columbia!
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