Every inch of the apartment is covered with amply padded and a very high quality tightly woven  off white wall-to-wall shag rug. The kitchen is well equipped and is efficiently placed along the wall and there is just enough room for maximum two people to squeeze in to cook. Rest of the space is covered with an enormous custom made round dining table with the diameter of 6 feet or more, which rests on heavy cast iron stainless steel pedestal. Around the table are very comfy  white dining chairs. Next to the kitchen is the living room. Lushly furnished with soft cushioned couches and arm chairs, also in white. Appropriately placed is the cocktail table and state of the art sound system.

You get a feeling of being placed in a deep cave. The entire place is about 60 feet long and twelve feet wide (approx. 18.3 meters x 3.7 meters). In between there are no walls and/or doors. The rooms are visually divided by the passages designed in the image of the most curvaceous female torso. Recessed lighting illuminates the place.

It is created to play. Every nook and cranny of it screams of now & here. The dining table, the couches, the rugs are all as inviting as the playground size bed, which at some point must feel like too far of a walk when you’re in the mood.

The apartment belongs to Ricardo’s childhood friend, Antonio – a very rich industrialist, whose main residence is outside Mexico City. Probably a hacienda. He has built this man cave in the heart of Mexico City as his pied-à-terre for his extracurricular activities. From what I understand from Ricardo is, at the time, Antonio is going through a particularly dry phase in his life and therefore the apartment remains more or less unused. Not something you can advertise and rent to just anybody. Now to rent it to someone like me, a Playboy executive and a business partner of his childhood friend is another story. I agree to the monthly rent of US$ 500.- as suggested by Ricardo. Lot of money in Mexico and at that time also in the States. I pay less than half that much for my much bigger place in Santa Barbara, California. But then, mere four nights at the Camino Real would cost me more than that.

I couldn’t be happier. Patricia loves it. My young friend Ignacio (Barrientos) adores it. Even Manuel (Peñafiel) with his own super bachelor pad nods his approval. Several months later when things have changed in my life, Carolyn comes to Mexico to spend a few days and thanks to the cozy and intimate Berna 14, she barely gets to see much of the city! It is indeed the most unique place I have ever lived in and is undeniably forms an important part of my Mexico memories.

During my extensive travels and absences, I would let my friends use my apartments, be it in Chicago, Munich or Santa Barbara. I like the idea of someone being there enjoying the place, while also taking care of it, watering the plants, picking up the mail. But I would always be careful who I give my keys to. A couple of colleagues at Editorial Caballero alluded of their interest, but one lesson I had learned from my Lake Shore apartment in Chicago, never to give keys to your married friends for their rendezvous, especially when you also know their wives. A friend’s wife at Time Inc. is still pissed at me because of his clandestine frolicking in my apartment. But the young editor Ignacio is single and we are becoming to be close friends. He probably has as many or more memories of Berna than I do. And I was happy that someone would water my houseplants that I had put in the bedroom to make the place more mine and  homier.

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