Roberta Flack, the Grammy-winning singer of “Killing Me Softly,” lived next door to Ms. Ono. In “Roberta,” a documentary about Ms. Flack, Sean Lennon said, “At first, you know, I didn’t even think of Roberta as this incredible artist and musician, she was just this really cool neighbor. We used to call her Aunt Roberta.”

“We are very close to each other and our kitchen is connected,” Ms. Ono said in the documentary.

Erika Belle heard the stories. So when Keith Haring, a friend of Ms. Belle’s, invited her to dinner at Ms. Ono’s apartment on a rainy Tuesday night in the 1980s, she let out a scream. “I was obsessed with that building, like many lifelong New Yorkers, for years,” Ms. Belle, who is in her 60s, said in an interview. “It had so much old, ’50s Hollywood grit.”

“Getting to that building and knowing I was meeting Yoko was like ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy birthday’ all rolled into one,” said Ms. Belle, who co-owned the Lucky Strike nightclub and is a model. Ms. Belle was also a backup dancer for Madonna, who she said came to the Dakota with her that evening.

After taking off her shoes to enter, the first thing Mrs. Belle noticed about Mrs. Ono’s apartment was “how high the ceilings were and how wide the corridors were. You could drive a car through those corridors.”

The dinner menu was simply take-out from a Chinese restaurant, but the highlight of the night was being given a place to stay by Ms. Ono. “She held my hand — even saying that now, I get goosebumps — and asked, ‘Do you want to see the apartment?'”

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