Sure, Cohen was a Montrealer through-and-through, a Jew-turned-atheist-turned-Buddhist-turned-peacenik, a bohemian ladies' man, a quiet man who loved his routine (including freshly-squeezed orange juice to start his walk around the Mile End area on Sunday mornings)...
But he was also a New Yorker through-and through, having lived at the Chelsea Hotel alongside Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin (the story of their night together told through Chelsea Hotel No. 2), a friend of Lou Reed's, who partied with Saturday Night Live cast members and its producer, Lorne Michaels.
And yet he was also at home in Europe, drinking wine, eating well, and courting beautiful women at all times of night and day, muses for eternal songs to come.
And he spent his last years in the perfect California weather, perhaps extending his life by doing so, as you want to battle cancer in the most perfect setting possible.
Many of his songs are now seen as prophetic - and not just those from You Want It Darker, the record he released just weeks prior to his passing. Now, the final words from one of his best-known songs, Tower Of Song, ring as true as ever:
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be backI don't know. As I sit here in tears writing this piece I find myself reflecting on my own life, most of it spent not just with no regard to my own future, but not even picturing myself in one; I've lived for the moment for so long - 20 of those years in the excesses of food and alcohol - that I never thought I'd outlive someone like Cohen.
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song
Today, I choose to feature the video for Closing Time, from his 1992 record The Future, directed by Curtis Wehrfritz, featuring back-up singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen:
If you like the look he has in his eye, it's because his flame at the time, actress Rebecca De Mornay - who also co-produced the record - felt he needed to show more passion than he had in previous takes and opted to perform a mock striptease off-camera to seduce him.
Ever the Old World Romantic, Cohen then bent down and put De Mornay's shoes back on for her, on his knees.
Lou Reed. Hunter S. Thompson. Leonard Cohen. Most of my influences and idols have now passed.
Someone make sure Tom Waits, Renaud Séchan, Eric Clapton, Jean Leloup and Eddie Vedder still have a pulse.