Schulenberg’s Page: New York, Part CLXXV

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Annie Rieger introduced me to a new friend of hers, Jessica Robinson (pictured above). Jessica was a writer and a few years later appeared carrying a gun on the cover of New York Magazine, an article on women carrying guns for self protection. Jessica enjoyed teasing and creating situations so when the article appeared I said to a friend, “If I teased people like she did I think I’d carry a gun, too.”

Annie took us to visit Carole Castagnoli and her new baby.

The next evening I took the bus downtown with Paul Bartel and we went to the Truck and Warehouse Theater.

Tony Perkins was appearing in a new play Steambath and it was generating a lot of publicity. It was a somewhat ambiguous plot being played in an urban steambath, an even more ambiguous locale.

Was it purgatory?

And it was the first time we became aware of Hector Elizondo who played the attendant. But just like the ambiguous setting, was he simply an attendant in a steambath or was he something more?

Something profound?

The theater was not a large one and the audience appeared to appreciate the performance.

Tony Perkins! In person!

Snce we were downtown, after the play we went to dinner at the Luna Ristorante where Paul exercised his Italian from his time at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia while living in Rome.

Taking the subway home I couldn’t help but notice a man with occasional violent tics — rather like a physical Tourette’s Syndrome but oddly different. Something again to widen the urban experience.

The next day Paul introduced me to his friend, Sheldon Rich. Sheldon was married to the concert pianist Alicia Schacter and they lived in a very large apartment on Central Park West.

They would subsequently become good friends of mine, too.

After, going home to the East Side on the crosstown bus, I saw another apparition to widen my urban experience!

A few days later I learned that a friend of mine from Paris was in town and I met him for lunch midtown.

He was Pierre Didier and I’d met him through my friend, Bernard Sabatier.

The Didier family were publishers in Paris and Bernard’s and Pierre’s families had been friends since Bernard’s childhood.

After having lunch I took Pierre uptown to meet Paul in his apartment.

Life went on uninterrupted. But then I met with another Parisian friend, Pierre Sisser, also a friend of Pierre Didier. So I took the two Pierres to Central Park and lunch at the Bethesda Fountain Restaurant.

That would certainly widen their New York urban experience … if anything would!

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