Esther Cohen

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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lightning
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lightning » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:27 pm

Does anybody know anything about Esther other than she was Victor's wife and Leonard's sister? Education? Career? Travel? Interests? Talents? Creations? The picture we are getting so far is only of her kind and vivacious personality. Surely there was more to her than that.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:54 pm

I look forward to reading more of her here, lightning. She may have been very successful in keeping her private life private. Dick and Linda surely know more, but if or what they want to share may be another matter altogether.
Thank you for that beautiful footage of the unveiling of Leonard's plaque and for the origin of her name.
Since I've been aware of her, she has always been a glamourous woman, and in her even later years, a kind of glamour that hearkened to old Hollywood. With her smile and eyes, her hairstyle, her clothing and her jewelry, and her countenance and interactions with others, she was sophisticated and glamourous, and at the same time, very humble and accessible, and as you've noted, not at all competitive with her brother, Leonard... but just celebrating in his success and our love of him. She always appeared to be blissed to be with all of us.

Beautiful and true words that you've said of her dear friendship with Dick and Linda, Dar.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lightning
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lightning » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:24 pm

It seems she was not merely a fashion figure, or "among the idle rich." Dick Straub is going to flesh out his description of her with some details about career and education.
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:09 pm

Thanks to Dick for doing that for us. I won't be surprised to learn many good things about Esther.

Oh, dear, I'm hoping that my words didn't give the false impression of what I meant, as it wasn't at all to imply fashion figure or idle rich. My comments related to what seemed to be her effortless style, beauty, and grace, which fortunately don't require either of those statuses. The truth is that Esther cared about how she looked and it showed. The same as Leonard, Esther had class. Repeatedly, one would hear "You look so BEAUTIFUL, Esther!"

The one thing I caught about her by pure happenstance came through a conversation she was having with one of Leonard's fans [whose name I'll happily edit this to provide if she reads it and lets me know] in the back part of the New York restaurant. The woman lived fairly near to where Esther did in New York and they were talking about air conditioning. The woman preferred fresh air and would open her windows. Esther loved her air conditioning and kept them closed. Afterward, Esther offered for the woman to share a cab with her to go home.

Esther also always changed the atmosphere of a room... and it was always with the same enthusiasm that people would exclaim "Look! ESTHER'S here!!!" When she easily could have kept her distance [and have had that fact be understood and accepted], she chose, instead, to actively engage with us. As people looked for the opportunity to speak with her, she never rushed from one to the next... and, in fact, was so busy genuinely asking people about themselves and their lives that it's little wonder we knew so little about her.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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edlosi
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby edlosi » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:59 am

Heartfelt Condolences to Leonard and his family.
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby Florian » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:15 pm

My Condolencens to Leonard and the Cohen Family
and to all who knew and loved Esther.
Requiescat in Pace
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andrea
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby andrea » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:32 pm

Our heartfelt condolences to Leonard, family and her friends.
Thank you Dick and Linda for informing us with through this thread.
We know you were good friends and we are sure you will miss her.
We have never met Esther, but we really were touched by this sad news. We heard a lot about her from all your reports and fotos , and we know she was a very special lady.
Love,
Andrea & Marco
1976 june Zürich (both evenings)
2008 july london - july loerrach - july lucca - october berlin - october milan - november london
2009 july koeln - august venice - september barcelona
2010: july salzburg - september florence- - december las vegas
2012: august ghent - september berlin - verona
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dick
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby dick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Thelma promised a little background information on Esther from me.

We did in fact come quite close to her, and considered her our "best New York friend." We thoroughly enjoyed her company at Broadway shows, museums, music shows, lunch and dinners as well as Cohen fan events. We never went into the city without checking her availability, and loved that she would often agree to join us in whatever we were doing.

Esther was sharp as a tack, vivacious, and always smiling. She was a McGill graduate, and worked as a librarian and researcher for Collier's encyclopedia. She and her late husband traveled the world -- she was still using her points for her trips back and forth to Florida. Her energy and independence were boundless. Although she never got a drivers license, she was an expert on bus and subway transportation and generally only used taxis late at night. As someone noted at her memorial service, her idea of "assisted living" was an upper west side apartment in a doorman building. We spoke on the phone a few times a month, and listening to her schedule used to exhaust me.

I've gained some unwanted weight this summer and was worried that my clothes don't fit as well as they should. I worried what the always impeccably attired Esther would say when she saw me. And, part of her charm was that she would not shy away from politely commenting!

A wonderful spirit has left us, but thoughts of her will always bring a smile.

Dick and Linda
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:17 pm

Thank you so much for these privately provided details and insight about Esther, Dick and Linda. Thanks to Thelma for asking you.
I'm not at all surprised about Esther's education, and as she researched for volumes, I've no doubt that she knew volumes, as well. Her days as a librarian would have preceded all the technology that now dominates that profession. From my conversations with librarians, she was there during the best of times.
Love the humour about her that was shared at her memorial service... and can so easily imagine her laughing along with everyone else at it.
Love how she became her own, independent aficionado of transportation. The flexibility that I accounted to possibly yoga may easily have been the result of much walking and many, many steps handled with her same characteristic grace.
Your friendship with Esther was richly textured and real... and clearly comfortable :) . Your memories must be many.

Thank you so much for bringing this to us, Dick... remembering Esther. As you said, a wonderful spirit.
Wishing you and Linda many smiles of memory.


Love,
Tish
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lightning
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby lightning » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:26 pm

Thanks Dick and Lizzytysh for helping us to know and appreciate Esther even more than we did. What a blessing and at times a burden it must have been to be the nearest relative to a giant like Leonard Cohen, and how graciously she played this supporting role.
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Re: Esther Cohen

Postby karen » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:46 am

Dear Leonard and family,

My deepest condolences and sympathy go out to you upon the passing of your beloved sister and aunt, Esther, of blessed memory.  I can only imagine the void her loss has left in all of your lives. 

I first met your sister and aunt in 1998, when she came to hear her cherished nephew, Adam, in concert in New York.  Esther shared a table with us and we were all excited to hear Adam in concert. Esther touched all of us with her warmth towards us, her love of life and her great enthusiasm at seeing her nephew in concert.

Esther, of blessed memory, was loving and a true "life force." Her energy was boundless.

At the 2000 event, Esther expressed her love and appreciation for those who came to honor her brother.
She talked about her brother, with great love and enthusiasm and happily gave us a tour of her brother's home.

Every subsequent time that I shared with Esther was always special. She lit up every room she walked into.

Her love of life was infectious and I feel blessed that I was able to spend time with her.

May G-d send comfort to you and your family as you mourn the loss of your beloved sister and aunt, Esther, of blessed memory.

Sincerely,
Karen
    1975: Washington, D.C., The Cellar Door/1985: New York, Carnegie Hall/1993: New York, The Paramount/2009: New York: Beacon/Radio City/Madison Square Garden/2012: New York: Madison Square Garden/2013: New York: Radio City
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    Re: Esther Cohen

    Postby anny » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:28 am

    my deepest condolences to Leonard and family
    rest in peace Esther
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    lightning
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    Re: Esther Cohen

    Postby lightning » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:22 pm

    Here's a beautiful picture Leonard Cohen (or whoever does his Facebook page) posted on Facebook.
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    jarkko
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    Re: Esther Cohen

    Postby jarkko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:43 pm

    Image
    ...and here is an earlier family photo photo from the Montreal home
    (posted with Esther's permission on the Montreal 2000 pages, http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/eventreport1.html )
    1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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    Patrycja
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    Re: Esther Cohen

    Postby Patrycja » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:30 am

    Very sad news. I wish I had the words to make the pain go away, but in lieu of that here is simply another expression of sincere condolences in the hope that our collective voices in some small way help those who are grieving Esther Cohen's loss.

    My thoughts and prayers to Leonard and his family as well as to Esther's friends and loved ones. It is clear she touched many lives in unique and beautiful ways. May she rest in peace.
    Will... If It Be Your Will

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