week wrap-up of #sandy

Nytimes
What a week!  Both Fred and I cleared our calendars, work-wise to deal with life in general.  An incredibly productive week considering not one of the things that we got done were on our "to-do" list Monday morning.  I think this headline sums up this post and the week. 

We won't be back into our apartment more than likely until Xmas.  The electrical panels in our basement, where all of the systems are housed for the building, are toast.  We literally put together a SWAT team, spoke to the insurance company, the people who manage our building (although we have taken matters into our own hands), our super who is doing an amazing job in crisis mode, all the people who live in our building, etc.  Conference calls, trips downtown, drilling down on who needs to do what, etc. 

We have been fortunate to be living at our friends home on the Upper West Side.  Being displaced is not fun but at least we have a roof over our head and plenty of food in the refrigerator.  Not as many people who were affected by the flood have been as fortunate as us in that regard.

I found 3 places to live.  We will be moving into an apartment in Soho for a few weeks starting today and then moving into a hotel for two weeks and then another hotel for a month.  The woman who is the head of sales at the Soho/Tribeca Grand was my savior.  So was the head of the NY office for One Fine Stay.  Highly recommend using their services if you are looking for a long term apartment in either NYC or London.  They were both fantastic. 

My sister was displaced too and living on the UWS with her business partner.  Last night we got together for dinner while Josh and Fred enjoyed the Knicks at MSG.  I had gone to see Argo which if you get a chance is totally worth seeing.  Really well done movie.  So glad I saw it.  Afteward we wandered through the UWS to find a restaurant.  Not easy because most people had reservations or they were refugees like us and so the restaurants were packed.  We ended up at 'Cesca. 

The bar was teeming with people and they said it would easily be an hour and a half to get a table.  We put our names in and got a drink at the bar.  They failed to mention that the tables around the bar were first come first serve.  We were with our friend and she figured it out.  She eventually scored a table for two so we could sit down.  We wondered if they could get us a third chair?  Immediate answer was no. 

I figured that perhaps the manager would be so kind to help us out.  After all, it has been a stressful week.  I found him and asked him if perhaps he could get us another chair.  There were a few tables that had extra chairs in the dining room and they were using them for their coats.  His answer was, if you want to ask them go ahead but I won't.  Seriously?  And so, I did.  I went over to a couple who was sitting in a back table with their coats draped over one of the chairs.  I asked them if I could have their chair explaining my situation in the front.  The woman basically pointed to the table behind them that was set for a party of 6 and said I should take one of their chairs because they wanted their chair for their coats.  I mentioned that there was a coat room.  She wanted nothing to do with the coat check.  I said that I was a refugee from downtown, I wandered into this restaurant for a bite to eat, all I wanted was a seat, a drink and some food and I'd appreciate it if they could give me their chair.  Begrudgingly, the husband took their stuff off the chair.  The whole transaction was seriously amazing.  I took the chair and picked it up, hauled it through the entire restaurant and the bar until I got to our tiny table in the corner.  My friend and sister couldn't believe it.  What I couldn't believe is that at one of the nicer restaurants on the UWS that people were so rude, the manager didn't give a shit and as a customer I had to find my own way to sit down. 

The icing on the cake was when I got up to go to the bathroom later on, I made my way through the crowd saying excuse me, excuse me.  Some woman turns around and says "excuse me would be nice".  I said, I did say excuse me.  She says, no you didn't.  I had to pee so bad I ignored her and moved on.  When I came back I truly thought about taking her out but luckily she was gone.  What a total bitch. 

I am going back downtown this afternoon.  My friends have been a life line so needed.  The week has been upsetting, disconnecting and all and all not the height of my year.  It is unfortunate in a town of resilient and warm people which has truly been my experience for most of the week including all of my years in NYC that I had the experience that I did last night.  I am pretty damn sure the people who I dealt with last night were not displaced and even if they were, shame on them.