A Hungarian pianist was hailed as a boy, played for royalty and later took New York by storm. But moving to L.A. proved, in many ways, to be his undoing, and he lived for decades in flophouse rooms.
He was a forlorn-looking figure, dressed in a rumpled gray raincoat that was shiny with dirt, like a mechanic's apron. The woman sitting with him, at the Original Pantry restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, ate silently. The man appeared to be in his late 70s, his appearance hinting at homelessness, or something close to it.
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