Saturday, November 3, 2012

Will we get back to... "normal"?

So, on Friday, the scheduled date of our Speakeasy Shop the Garment District Tour, I went into Manhattan, to wander the garment district...  I have had power at home throughout this ordeal, and the subway takes me right to the garment district from my starting point... incredibly slowly... but it will still get me there.  A trip that would normally take 45 minutes took 2 really long hours on Friday.

Note: This experience is NOT at all a challenge, compared to what so many New Yorkers are going through.  I wouldn't want to minimize their experience AT ALL by whining about a fabric shopping trip.  Trust me, I am keeping it all in perspective.  I was looking for an escape.  And I didn't find it.

I was having a miserable case of cabin fever, and wanted a sense of normalcy, and was kinda hoping that just maybe... someone who had signed up for the tour (I haven't heard from many of them) might feel like shopping anyway? But no...

Many stores were open, and some were closed.  The ones who were open, looked completely ready to do business, but the streets were pretty empty, and there were no walk-in customers to be had, it seemed.

The mood was somber, and the feeling of approaching winter was in the air.  Looking down 7th Avenue, there were police guiding traffic past 23rd Street, after which there was no electricity.  It was awfully quiet, and there was very, very little street (vehicles) traffic.

I wanted to write a journalistic post about my experience yesterday, but the trip kinda left me in a low mood.  I couldn't find an "angle" to make it hopeful, uplifting, or anything.  It seemed that we were all kinda down, and, frankly, traumatized by the whole experience.  People who were at work, standing in front of their buildings talking to each other or on cell phones, seemed to be having the same conversation.  "I'm here, but what am I supposed to do?"  Everything, it seemed, had come to a standstill.  One of my friend's offices (at an EXTREMELY high-end luxury company) "generously" offered the employees the option of bringing their children (for whom school is closed until Monday) to work.  Another friend, with a child in private school, was happy that her child's school was still open, but, with no gas available for the car, and having to choose between school and work, she couldn't take her.

But today... power has come back to many places in NYC, and the mood seems to be lifting a bit!  I'm seeing celebratory Facebook postings, and some garment district stores have happily posted that power was restored, so maybe my little excursion was just one day too early!

Let's hope...

And, remember, there are alternative dates for any of you who missed November 2, or simply wish to come along in the future!

You can find the choices here.


  1. Mimi,
    I wondered about your tour, and whether people would be able to get there.

    So sorry you had a "down" day, especially because you had planned such a nice event!

    1. Thank you, but, frankly, I had a hard time sobering up to the fact that what I had planned for the day just wasn't possible. Keeping it in perspective, though!

  2. I'm sure those who are open welcomed people coming in. So sorry it was such a down day for you but really appreciate the update. Sounds like things are picking up with electricity being restored. I hope things really get moving again by Monday as much as possible.

  3. It's all so awful and difficult to fathom. Where I lived last summer in the Financial District is completely uninhabitable for now. I am so sorry for all the suffering and hope things get better, but I know it's just going to take a while. But it will get better. Hang in there.

    1. Yeah, it's pretty awful. Every day, I wake up with a start, and try to remember if this is real, or if I might have dreamt it all. The office bldg where you were (and my husband is) is still trying to get the heat working again, now that temperatures have dropped, and we don't know if power will be restored for tomorrow. Lots of people have layers of storm-related issues. It is just exhausting.

    2. I meant "heat restored", not power. They've got power.

  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing, I've been wondering. Prayers to all and their families.

  5. Sadly, the NYC area had a crippling disaster, and it's going to take time for things to feel "normal" again. Even then, there will be scars and painful memories. I've been through the traumas of both flood & fire (fortunately, without any loss of life involved). I know how events like that can haunt for a long time. You have to pick up the pieces and go on a new way, accepting that you now have experiences you didn't have before, and profound empathy for others who face the same things.

    Yes, life around you will feel surreal for the first days - weeks - months after. It sounds as if you ran into that on Friday. But getting back to established routines is important, so keep going to those streets you enjoy so much and those people you know so well. It will help, in many ways.

    I hope the nor'easter predicted for this week doesn't do any more damage. I fear that it will remind many of Sandy, and bring the pain right back while the wounds are still open...

  6. Well, yeah, only this summer was I able to go down to the Sept 11th memorial with a feeling of optimism, instead of sad memories. let's hope this doesn't take a decade, too!

  7. Yesterday afternoon I decided to take a stroll over to Madison Avenue. Now that the crane on 57th Stret has been secured the streets of midtown are open again and the crush of pedestrians has eased considerably. I walked across Central Park South to Madison Avenue and the streets had some activity but not anything like the normal crush of humanity that is the norm for a sunny Monday afternoon. There were the prerequisite shoppers with their shopping bags in tow but the mood was still very somber. All the stores are open and the streets are clear of debris but there aren't many shoppers yet. I swung around to Park Avenue on my way home and walked back down to 57th Street. Walking past The Regency Hotel, Scully and Scully(they were busily redecorating their windows)then turning onto 57th Street and heading west. As I approached 5th Avenue I decided to make a stop in Bergdorf Goodman. (Yes mom I did go before I left but I was not going to make it home without using the ladies room.) Riding the escalator to the 7th floor, the selling floors were nearly deserted. The 7th floor is home to the children's department and the restaurant (in addition to the ladies room and home dec dept). I could hear plenty of activity in the restaurant despite the very few shoppers on the selling floors. As I was making my way back to the escalator I was caught breathless at the sight of Bergdorf's Christmas Shop. Nestled in between the little girls' party dresses and assorted chotchkies was this sparkling island of exquisite beauty, and for a few happy moments it was all mine! There are two enormous Christmas trees reaching nearly to the ceiling,covered in gorgeous ornaments . Around the trees are tables and cubbies filled with more ornaments and decorations. Along the back wall are shelves brimming with figurines, stuffed creatures and the most amazing bejeweled miniature trees. It was defititely the antidote to the blues that I had been seeking. My walk home was lightened considerably by the vision of that oasis of beauty.
    So life is slowly getting back to normal for those of us here in Manhattan, at least. Amid so much devastation it is encouraging to see a return to "business as usual". I leave you all with a wish for a speedy recovery and come into Manhattan when you can for a dose of eye candy.


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