Mark Ilsemann

I didn’t know Chandra well. Our paths crossed briefly in the early 2000s – the first time I saw her, she was walking into Princeton’s Firestone Library, like some kind of apparition. She was so… THERE, if you know what I mean. We had common friends, and I came to frequent the house she was living in at the time, in Brooklyn. I remember sitting in the kitchen, leafing through a book about NY while she was preparing one of her fabulous dinners. I remember having drinks at… was it Jacques Brasserie, off Third Ave? I think it was. Memories are fickle things. She had her own mythology – the way she talked about strangers on the subway… it was hilarious. No, we certainly weren’t friends; I suspect she didn’t like me very much. I’m shaken by her death, I truly am. Maybe it’s a selfish thing, I don’t know – maybe it’s just my own nostalgia, since those were good times. But even so, are there “good” and “bad” reasons to think of someone? I’m thinking of her, and I’m sad. I know she was there, and she had an impact on my life, no matter how small. Now she’s gone, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

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