We just returned to our apartment in Western Soho after what I am calling a “surreal mini-vacation” on the Upper West Side in a hotel. Would you believe that our hotel, On the Ave, on 77th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, charged us over $500 a night for a room that is normally $169? We faced the interior of the hotel, looking into ugly brick walls and other rooms. Our television did not work until yesterday. When we tried to use their Fitness Room we found two old treadmills, neither of which worked, but we made due with two rickety elliptical machines. This, after we had to stay in our dark apartment with no heat, electricity, or running water until Wednesday, as the city had NO hotel rooms available, and forget one that would accommodate a dog. On the Ave had a three night minimum, to add insult to injury. Nothing like taking advantage of people who have lost their homes… I am so tempted to call “Shame On You”.
On the flip side, it was sort of fun to live in another neighborhood for a while. I worked out at Physique 57 twice, and my husband and I took advantage of a free yoga class at Lululemon on Broadway this morning. We hung out with my in-laws, took our dog to get groomed, got our nails done, ate in restaurants that we usually don’t go to.
I saw two movies; one with my son and one with my husband. Reviews later. I finished a book and started another.
The worst thing that we suffered was our storage bin flooding. We lost almost all of my children’s keepsakes during 9/11, and the little that was left of theirs was stored in the bottom of my bin here. Now I have nothing to show them later in life, to remind them how precious they have been to me every single day since they were born. I am going to write them each a letter, explaining. I will NOT put those letters in a basement storage room.
My son has not had school all week, but it was hardly what one would call a vacation. We just found out that his school, which is located down on Broad Street in the Financial District, had serious damage and he will not have school until Wednesday, at which time he is being relocated to another location, much farther from where we live. Looks like I will be a school chauffeur once again. My son has been such a sweetheart though that it is my pleasure.
I am grateful for a lot. I am grateful that:
our home was not ruined,
my daughter was upstate and experienced no power losses or inconveniences,
our friends and family are all okay,
we were able to find a place to stay where we could shower and flush the toilet and dress in light, rather than by dim candlelight,
I was with my husband and son and our dog Grandpa.
I am grateful to be home today.
I am happy to be alive.
I am also reporting that I have not had a drink in twenty-three days. I know that this will come to a shock to my friends, family and readers. In the past I had posted about taking a hiatus from drinking, which never lasted longer than two days. Now, even with the stress of Hurricane Sandy, I feel healthy and alert and happy. I am not moody or anxious most of the time. My new drink is Pellegrino with lime. My son (who gave up soda over two months ago) has developed a taste for it too (sans lime). He is my new drinking buddy.
My love goes out to everybody who endured this awful storm with us. My heart goes out to those who really suffered losses… of life, of loved ones, of their homes and cars, and to those who remain without power.
Our “surreal mini-vacation” has come to a close. We are off to buy food and drinks now, along with the rest of lower Manhattan. See you at Whole Foods.