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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Once in awhile, one is exposed to wealth, the likes of which is never to be seen again.

Submitted: May 09, 2017

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Submitted: May 09, 2017



While living in Manhattan, I had made some very dear friends.

In particular, a married couple; Ruth and Gene.
Ruth was an artists model for fashion illustration. Gene was head of publicity for HELENA RUBENSTEIN COMPANY.
Their apartment building was  adjacent to neighbor  Arthur Miller, the great American playwright.

One evening, around 9:30, the telephone rang.
It was Gene.

Madame Rubenstein was in Japan with her entourage. She was attending the opening of her first Asian salon. He had the keys to her Park Avenue apartment, and no one else would be there. Would I like to come and see it ?

You betcha !!!

I was outside the building in ten minutes time, awaiting Gene.

I knew that I would never see luxury of that nature again. The paintings;
Modigliani, Seurat, Renoir, Picasso; they lined the walls, one after another in rooms that stretched out from a grand circular staircase.

One room housed  walls of built-in recessed glass cases, containing miniature replicas of furnished rooms from various fashionable decades. (A collectable hobby of Mme. Rubenstein)

The kitchen was immense, with a rolling type library ladder  accessing a series  of oak cabinets filled with selected bottles of rare wines.

We even had entry to Madame Rubenstein’s bedroom. A very strange room indeed. Huge head and footboard, fashioned from  luminous Lucite;
furniture in stucco and seashells, and not very comfortable looking, all designed by Salvador Dali, Gene told me.

Another room had painted walls, depicting Madame Rubenstein’s early life; a pictorial history as it were, starting with herb gathering in Poland with her mother, and marriage to  Prince Gourielli (making her a legitimate princess.)

NO…I didn’t take any souvenirs, nor shall I ever forget that place. It's stamped permanently in my mind.

© Copyright 2018 Lionel Walfish. All rights reserved.

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