I first remember meeting him at a dark, crowded Parsons party somewhere in NYC in the fall of 1983. I was talking with a girlfriend, he came up and tried to butt in (nicely, I’m sure) and I told him “Go away!”

Next time I met him was at a smaller, brighter party in the West Village. He chatted me up all evening and told really corny jokes, which I didn’t much like. I left the party because I was gonna go meet someone else, but once I got out on the street I thought “hmm, no, go back there, that guy was nicer.” So I went back, yelled for them to let me back in (there was no doorbell), and on the second round I let Jan give me a backrub. Ok, so I’m easy…

I was living at the Salvation Army home for women on Gramercy Park, a place my dad had found for me after the Parsons dorm year was up and I was no longer qualified to live there (you only get one year). After walking me home that night, Jan and I sat on the stoop until dawn, talking. Men weren’t allowed in past the ground floor lounge, so we took a taxi up to his dad’s place on the Upper West Side, and I ended up staying there for something like three months until we got the apartment on St. Mark’s Place, the one with the bathtub in the kitchen.

We shared a passion for design, and later food. Jan and his dad taught me how to cook: Chinese at first, then I branched out to Indian and more. I think it was 1985 when Jan and I moved to Bleecker and Broadway. We got married in ’87 and I left in ’89. We didn’t have any contact after that until very recently, when I asked for a small piece of his dad’s artwork and he sent it to me in Charleroi, Belgium, where I now live. Living with Jan was a great education: he marked my life for sure. And his dad was directly responsible for helping save my life, many years later, but that’s another story.

Jan was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in September 2015 and died peacefully at home in the morning of March 10, 2016 with his friend Robert Ripps by his side.

If anyone wants to contact me, write to shivita@mac.com or contact me on facebook. I have more pics than I have time to scan and post right now, but will add to this page over time. I’m doing it on this unlisted page instead of on facebook because I’d rather share these pics with people who know and care than with the entire world — for now, anyway.

Jan Uretsky 1983

Jan and Dave Christenberry (plus me at the bottom) — contact sheet developed in Karlin’s lab at Elisabeth Irwin High School circa 1986

Jan, Dave, Christy

In 2000 I started going by Little Shiva, but back when I was still a kitten I used my normal name, Christy Trotter. Here’s me and Jan in the early days.

Christy and Jan

Jan and Christy

Paul Messier came to visit one evening.

Christy, Jan, Paul Messier


old-skool Jan Uretsky

Jan Uretsky

Here’s me and Jan at Parsons, in Cipe Pineles‘ editorial design class. Jan and I lived together and worked together, but didn’t always agree on design and weren’t afraid to say so. It was funny to see the looks on people’s faces when we went at it. Cipe loved it, of course.Cipe Pineles editorial design class, Parsons

Jan Uretsky

January 20 1960 — March 10 2016
pics from our life together (NYC 1983 — 1989)
Christy Trotter a.k.a. Little Shiva

Click on the arrows to view the slideshow, or on the pics to see ’em bigger.

Jan Uretsky

Jan Audun Uretsky January 20 1960 — March 10 2016
pics from our life together (NYC 1983 — 1989)
Christy Trotter a.k.a. Little Shiva

Kuppy, Jan, Martha

Bleecker Street family dinner
Jan's dad Karl ("Kuppy"), Jan, and Karl's lady, Martha Braden
75 Bleecker Street, 13 February 1988

Jan and Perry Beekman

Jan and Perry
Perry Beekman lived nearby and we all became friends.
75 Bleecker Street, 10 May 1988

Lance, Jan, Neila

Lance, Jan and Neila
Lance Wyman had been one of our teachers at Parsons, then our mentor on the New School signage project we were commissioned to do starting in 1984 (I think). Here he is with his boot on our dining room table after a Bleecker Street dinner, and his wife Neila doing the same with her cast. Fun people, and fellow foodies. 

Boy Marc, Christy, Jan

Boy Marc
Another Bleecker Street evening with our friend Marc Berg.
March 2 1987

Sam, Ricky, Jan, Christy
Parsons friends
Sam Gunn, Ricky De Seabra, Jan Uretsky, Christy Trotter
Kuppy and fam

Karl and family
That's Jan's dad Karl sticking his tongue out, and I forget who the guy next to him is but I think he's a relative of Jan's. I think the occasion was a cruise around the harbor as part of someone in the extended family's wedding celebration.

friends from Paris

friends from Paris
That's Sandrine Saulnier-Jousset on the left, and I forget her name on the right.

Jan and an illustrator friend

with an illustrator friend
The guy on the left was an illustrator friend of ours whose name escapes me right now...
8 March 1988

Trotter & Uretsky by Ed Stern

Trotter & Uretsky
We were so formal, wow.
photo by Ed Stern, 1989

For more pics, check out Simos Saltiel’s Jan archive here.

The cremation service obituary is here.

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