Playwright Robert Heide first met Koutoukas around 1959, when both young men followed bohemian paths that had been blazed by the Beats. “I met up with Harry several times on MacDougal Street, in the coffee shops,” Heide said, “where he would be carrying a copy of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, and I would as well. So we began talking existentialism.” When he first crossed paths with Koutoukas, Heide thought he was a lesbian with a 1950s-style DA haircut. They’d congregate at Lenny’s Hideaway, a Greenwich Village cellar gay bar that was an important node in the downtown’s overlapping social networks.
From Chapter 1 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore