In between being born in Iran in the late 1970s and passing away in solitude in Ireland last spring, perhaps afflicted by mental illness, Marsha Mehran spent some fateful time in New York. From a lovely piece in The Independent by Cahal Milmo:
In the late 1990s, while living in New York, Marsha one night went to Ryan’s Irish Pub on Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue. She was 19 and was engaged in conversation by the bartender, Christopher Collins, who recalls that he had faced a choice of either having her thrown out for being underage or asking her out himself.
The object of his desire was at the time leading a rakish, if somewhat naive existence, having traveled from Australia, where she had been living with her recently-divorced mother. In a 2005 interview, Marsha explained: “I arrived in New York with only $200 in my pocket. I worked, initially, as a hostess in a restaurant owned by Russian mobsters. There were no customers there, which I thought a bit odd at first, until I realized that the restaurant was just a front for their other dealings.”
Mehran and Collins went on to marry. This is the first time he has spoken to the media about Mehran since the discovery of her body in Ireland April 30.
Mehran, denied permanent U.S .residency and divorced from Collins in 2008, alighted in Ireland’s County Mayo last January. Collins, still based in Brooklyn, where he owns a bar services company, shares some wonderfully warm memories of his late spouse, including this summation: “You could say I was along for the ride.” RIP.
[Jacket cover courtesy: Random House]