One of the many surprises that I found as I’ve been going through the boxes of collected stuff is an empty envelope from my Harrisburg days with the return address of 246 East 49th Street, NYC.
Now who could that be?
It took me a moment but of course the answer came to me.
It was funny, back in 2004 I took a trip to NYC with my sister and nephew, and I dragged them back and forth in the east 40s because I remembered he lived at two forty something in the upper 40s. I knew it was Turtle Bay, next to the house where Katharine Hepburn used to live, and I had even seen the actual address one time when someone posted it on the Sondheim email list, though I had lost that email because I changed email providers several times.
Little did I realize that the letter that Stephen Sondheim had sent me back in 1979 had come from his home, not his office. I had the letter framed and hanging in my living room, but I don’t think I had ever really examined the envelope. Silly me.
Which raises two questions.
One: Why did I want to find his house? I most certainly didn’t want to invade his privacy. Perhaps I just wanted to be able to say that I had walked on the street where he lived. Maybe I was hoping to catch a glimpse of him. I don’t really know.
I can say this. While there are many celebrities that I’d enjoy meeting, whether they be actors or politicians or musicians or whatever, the only two people in my lifetime that I’ve felt so strongly about were Isaac Asimov and Stephen Sondheim. Make of that what you will.
Two: Why am I publishing his address now? Because it’s not a secret any more, if it ever has been. In the recent video On the Steps of the Shubert, Kurt Peterson mentions it and shows a photo of the residence.