I Heart NY

July 11, 2016

Albert on the roof of Village Care in the West Village
Johnny's roommate at rehab was 90-year-old Albert Bennett, who had all his hair & hearing, so it was hard to believe he was 90. He also had wonderful, attentive friends—I could see why, given that I fell in love with him right away.

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.


  1. July 13, 2016 12:01 PM EDT
    great post!
    - magic D