A fourth-generation Californian, he is originally from a well-to-do enclave in Oakland, where his writer-aunt Harriet Levy introduced Gertrude Stein to Alice B. Toklas. His mother's letters home from her year (1912) in Paris meeting Picasso, Matisse, among others, were published as Just a Very Pretty Girl from the Country, the title a phrase Stein dismissively used about her.
He's lived in the same building on Morton Street in the West Village for 60 years & was honored last year on his 90th birthday. An article in a local paper about the fête included this:
At his party, Albert noted that he has had many careers in his long life: he served on Okinawa during World War II, he graduated from Yale School of Drama and acted in numerous stage performances; he was on the editorial staffs of the American Heritage Dictionary and Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia. But the most satisfying of all, he said, was his career as a Preservationist.
New York is so full of interesting people and opportunities to hear memorable stories. This blog is one way I react to that.