In the late 50s I was living in Brooklyn Heights, on Clinton Street. The Heights was and is somewhat an exclusive area, located overlooking the mouth of the East River and lower Manhattan. The residents were both Wall Street types and artists.
It was mid spring and I had just left my apartment, when I ran into someone from work who was a architect. We started talking, and he asked what I was up to besides work, and I said I was studying painting at the Art Students League. He then mentioned there was a painter who lived in the area, a couple of blocks away on Joralemen Street. He didn't know his name or address.
I had time to kill, so I walked over there. As I was walking up the street looking around, this tall lanky guy crossed the street and asked if he could help me. I said I was looking for an artist who lived on the block. He proceeded to say he was the man I was looking for.
He then starts asking questions about me. I tell him I'm studying with Robert Brackman. His retort was, "Oh, you don't want to study with that bum, come study with me!" His name was Shelly Fink.