Life On The Top Floor

Carla Dee Ellis
Carla Dee Ellis
Tom Wolf and Ted Schroder
Tom Wolf and Ted Schroder
Carolyn Harmon
Carolyn Harmon
Janet Tate and Mike Shannon
Janet Tate and Mike Shannon
Mike shaving
Mike shaving
Carla and Gloria Shannon
Carla and Gloria Shannon
Diane Olbright
Diane Olbright
California Friends: Lee, Heidi, Nathan and Jeff
California Friends: Lee, Heidi, Nathan and Jeff
Billy Collins
Billy Collins
Trevor Brown
Trevor Brown
Paul Tschinkel
Paul Tschinkel
Carla and Mike
Carla and Mike
Dinner Time: Carla, Tom Wolf and Mike
Dinner Time: Carla, Tom Wolf and Mike
Cheryl Meinken
Cheryl Meinken
Perpetual
Perpetual
Tomayo Sasaki
Tomayo Sasaki
Paper Mache Sculpture by Tomayo
Paper Mache Sculpture by Tomayo
Ernest Gusella
Ernest Gusella
Colette wearing a t-shirt by Carla
Colette wearing a t-shirt by Carla
Eve Sonneman with Philip Glass album
Eve Sonneman with Philip Glass album
Carla
Carla
Lee
Lee
Arnold Ross
Arnold Ross
Trevor Brown
Trevor Brown
Marc H. Miller (Nixon mask) and Sam Miller
Marc H. Miller (Nixon mask) and Sam Miller

For Carla and me, newly arrived from the wide-open spaces of California, the 2,000 sq. ft. loft at 98 Bowery did not seem large. There was space for Carla to paint and for my own fledgling art efforts, but mostly there was room for parties and for visitors to stay overnight or for long and short periods. Many of our friends from those early years -- Mike Shannon, Billy Collins, Shelley Bennett, Mike Malloy and Alan Moore -- were fellow expatriates from the University of California at Riverside. There were also our new neighbors, the other residents at 98 Bowery. Artists Ernest Gusella and Tomayo Sasaki were the first tenants on the fourth floor; they were followed by two School of Visual Arts students, Cheryl Meinken and Janet Tate; and then by painter Curt Hoppe. Video artist Paul Tschinkel had a studio on the third floor; when he moved to Soho, photographer Eve Sonneman and painter Bob Yucikus took over that loft. Other top floor regulars included art historian and painter Tom Wolf, whom I met at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts; and Trevor Brown, a photographer whom Carla met when she began working as a fashion model. Trevor introduced us to our neighbors at 96 Bowery: trumpet player Randy Brecker and the singer Denise Delapena, a cast member of Hair. During those early years the loft was filled with hundreds of other talented friends each in his own way adding to the fun and high spirits.