After having traveled in Europe I was meeting a number of Europeans traveling in America, particularly in New York. One of my friends in New York was very experienced with the international jet set group and I use to stay at his apartment attending parties and helping him sort out the hectic night life in New York. He lived adjacent to the United Nations and there were a great many of the international types in the neighborhood. We would always talk about getting away from it all and going to Nantucket. Still I began to feel somewhat depressed that I was not working and I did not find my social existence meaningful or intellectually stimulating. I never seemed to have any time to read between trips back and forth to New York and I was only vaguely aware of the Watergate fiasco that had preoccupied the national conscience. At one of the discotheques one of the young gentleman I would meet was an eighteen year old gymnast from Syracuse that said his grandfather had a house next to Richard Nixon's in Florida and he was E. Howard Hunt's god son. None of this really much mattered to me since I did not particularly care for politics and knew very little about it. However, my friend from Syracuse was a particularly charming individual and we would be friends on and off in our various travels over the years. He too would always talk about getting away from it all and going to Nantucket.
However, I would spend a lot of time between the suburbs, uptown and down town in the village. Most of the young people in the city seemed to spend most of their time living in around the Village, particularly those in the arts and communications. Moreover, my international friends never seemed to realize the difference between Greenwich, Connecticut and Greenwich Village.
I would frequent a number of the bars of the village talking with old friends and making new friends and then going to mid-town to go dancing in the discotheques. I never drank very much and a few times I smoked marijuana which was currently in fashion, but most of the time I was going on natural energy.
That winter was particularly severe and the oil crisis was on, so running back and forth to New York would be more difficult. I would spend more time in each place for longer periods staying with different friends for a week or two in the City.
George would come down from Buffalo to visit a couple of times that winter. He was pursuing a career in horse racing. I would miss having a close friend near by. One of my friends was involved in modeling and decorating. He knew all of the good looking young people in the fashion business and could never quit talking about the social register, Billy Baldwin, and the old guard. Still his parties were fun although he was rather superficial and unintellectual, but having a friend on the social scene for many years was quite helpful and helped me avoid the dreadful social entanglements that so many young people can find themselves involved in. I enjoyed talking with his godmother that had raised him and she constantly worried about his social naivete despite his many years of experience. She knew all to well that the suburban establishment was slow to accept the follies of an ever changing urban scene. I had fun visiting the Long Island suburbs with my friend's god mother, but I could never accept his international jet set outlook. I knew my father was more worldly traveled than most people, and he never chose to bring the international group through our family home. The myopia of the suburbs was a sanctuary in and of itself.
Later that winter George's parents would come down to New York and take me out to dinner with his cousin. They were worried about him spending so much time around the horses and general indifference to people.
About that same time I would move in with two Yalies across from the Anglican seminary in Chelsea and continue my night life of discotheques and bars in Manhattan.
Although I would meet a lot of people, I would make no lasting friends and no headway on the job front. There was so much to pursue in New York. All one's energies seemed to be consumed in the progress of going through an unending maze. The apartment in Chelsea was down the street from a leather bar, so I took to going there and studying the bizarre people. They seemed like something out of the avant garde, but most of them were professional people who liked dressing up in denim and leather in their non working hours.
There were a lot of Texans and Californians at the bar. They all seemed to be indifferent to preppies from Connecticut. However, the bar was safe since a lot of off duty policeman and military frequented the place.
I was not as mobile at this time since I had sold my Volvo because I had damaged it in a skid in a snow storm. I would spend one day a week going out to Connecticut on the train and getting groceries from home and bringing them back to the city. Still I was living in the city and having more fun that I ever did in Connecticut.
However, when June came I would return to living in Connecticut since I could not afford to live in the city. I started playing golf again and spent a lot of time gardening around my mother's house. Everyone in the neighborhood among the young adults were at least five years younger than I was, so there were friends to spend times with.
Occasionally I would drive my mother's car into the city during the late evening and visit friends and return in the late morning hours. Most of my friends in the city were struggling to get by and they enjoyed a breath of fresh air out in the suburbs. I could never accept the fast paced life of Manhattan, but I enjoyed seeing vignettes of it. The W.A.S.P. establishment had mostly moved out of New York City twenty years before and John Lindsey was no longer mayor. However, I was still interested in the city since my youngest sister was living there with her husband. Later that year she would be transferred down to Atlanta and my interest would decline in the city.
Through that fall of 1974, I would make occasional trips into the city to visit with friends of my decorator friend and to look for jobs. It was expensive to commute back and forth into the city every day, so I would generally stay several days and return for a long weekend. I had a few friends that ran galleries and was always invited to various openings to see an assortment of the art community. I would enjoy spending most of my free time in the day time going to museums and walking around the mid town area and upper east side. I would explore some of the design centers with my decorator friend, but compared to what I had seen in Europe I was not very impressed. I toyed with the idea of becoming a decorator, but I had very little experience and preferred to rely upon my economics and fine arts degrees from college for my pursuits. I did not really care for the flashy world of decorating and design and fashion, but having studied the fine arts and having been a professional photographer I had a curiosity as to what was current.
Ford was President and Rockefeller was vice president. What I did not know was one of our neighbor's sons in Greenwich was the head of the C.I.A.. My decorator friend's parties seemed to revolve more around republican politics which are really a minority group in New York. There was always something happening around the United Nations neighborhood, and I once saw the President coming out of the Waldorf Astoria from the Gridiron dinner. My decorator friend showed up on television with William Westmoreland at some international debutante ball. There were a lot of parties going on, but I preferred to ignore them since they were all mostly older people's affairs. However, I saw Yassir Arafat around the United Nations and the Archbishop of Cyprus coming out of the Carlyle.
One evening early that winter I ran into my father and a business associate walking around the upper east side in Scottish tartan pants which looked very out of place in the black suit world of Manhattan. I hardly ever saw him and he asked me how my mother was and if I had a job yet.
About that time friends of my friend from Syracuse were trying to get me involved in opening a night club at a failing restaurant owned by a friend of my mother's. I had had so much of New York night life that I did not want to get involved in a night club. The restaurant later reopened as a club called the Russian Bear for a short time.
In February I visited George who was staying briefly at his cousin's apartment. I was suppose to go to some party at some place called the Victorian society, but I did not have white tie and tails and on my way out to Greenwich I got arrested for not having money for the train ticket.
In court the next day the judge chewed out the conductor for having bothered me, especially since the railroad was applying for a billion dollar loan from the government that same day, and the loan was in all the papers.
My mother and younger sister would show up at home from Atlanta the following day to attend a fund raising party for a gallery at which I was suppose to be one of the hosts. I had very little to do with the preparation of the party and did not know what to expect. They had cablevision there and a naked model and a lot of young people looking at aquariums with older black tie individuals who seemed to be from business and politics and a few diplomats.
What struck me as odd was there were about a hundred New York policeman for security and Mitch Miller was there without his chorus. My decorator friend's godmother kept talking about how the snowstorm outside was not as bad as the blizzard of 1888. Anyway no profit was made on the party and I was happy to be out of New York and back in Greenwich.