2020 Feed

One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 29 - 20 #homeimprovement, #panicbuying, #decision

Journal paint 1This is a blog post about direction. Last year at this time I was in the last phase of a home improvement project that had started the summer before - a massive re-painting of every room in our tiny upper west side apartment. You know, you don't really know how big a 300 square foot two bedroom apartment is until you have to paint it all - not just the walls, but the ceiling too. Mostly it's a matter of finding a place for the furniture to go and I have tons of books, that can be a bit of a challenge. 

This semi final phase was about painting the living room and after painting the bedroom a light blue and the middle room a light lavendar, I chose a sort of light green for the living room. However, once I started it, and had even purchased paint for it, I realized that it was not the direction to go in. 

So often, I think, we find ourselves somewhere in life - whether that be a job or a partner or well, whatever- and although it's not working for us, we continue because "we've already invested so much time in it". I understand that but it is a trap. If you have thoroughly examined something and it's just not working, better to ditch and start from scratch than continue to be miserable. Life is too short to stick with something that's making you miserable (I say this not to give anyone license to just quit something the moment it's not going perfectly, by the way, but as a way to give us all permission to make different choices when fixing it isn't working). 

So despite that I had painted nearly the entire living room wall, I decided to make a different decision even though I Journal paint 2had it in my head that I wanted to finish the project by my birthday which was, at this point, a week away. In fairly short order, I decided on a more neutral color and committed to it. I can safely say, a year later, that I am MUCH happier looking at the neutral color every day than I would have the green. I guess the working from home thing has been the true test of any household decision - if I can live with it day in and day out for a year, it was a good decision. 

Journal foodWe also started a sort of panic buying canned goods at this point. Now, we never got to the point where we were hauling and hoarding bags and bags and bags of food and toiletries, but we were mindful to buy a little bit extra every time we went to the store. But finding places to store the extra groceries has been one of the biggest challenges of a tiny apartment. We  eventually solved it by buying what we refer to as "covid boxes" - those long clear plastic boxes made for under the bed storage. At this writing, we have a bit of a panty stored up after we thought that the winter surge would be worse than last springs surge... we will be eating pasta for a long time to come! lol 


One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 28 - 20 #viewfromwork, #manhattan, #cubicle

Journal feb 28

It was a Friday and I didn't know it at the time, but the world would start falling apart the next Monday. We had already been given guideance to include hand sanitizer at in-office meetings and, although it seemed like a little too little, we were taking whatever precautions we could. But I remember a looming dread. 

I working on a meeting for mid-March that would include international travelers, and, at this point, I was concerned about that but since only a couple had cancelled, I thought that maybe the threat wasn't as bad as it seemed. Like many of us, I was in a partial denial about this. 

It was on this day that I think I took my last photo of the view from my desk. Here's why this is important. You see, I've been a freelance event planner for most of my career and my current job offered something I'd never really had before - a desk with a view and a pretty spectacular view it was. On days when I just couldn't give anymore, I'd look at that view, and that would seem to make it all OK.

As a side note, in the last perm role (that probably should be "perm" since it seems nothing is permanent anymore) I sat at a table facing a wall for the first year or so. The second year, we moved to a new floor and I had a cubicle. The view was 'over there' (I did not move fast enough to get a cubicle near a window! lol) but I felt triumphant that I had a cubicle. Now, I realize that for life long cubicle junkies, a cubicle is not a big deal. But it is to me. 

The other piece of this is that we have in my company a concept called "hoteling" where you sign up to sit in a desk. To make it 'yours' you have to have sat there for a certain percentage of the bulk of several months. I had spent the first 7 months working there doing everything I could to hold on to that desk! I worked in two offices so yes I admit it, there would be days when I'd go to THIS desk, check in, and turn around and go to the other office. That's how bad I needed some stability. 

But, finally, I was awarded the desk as "mine". This happened in Januaryish, I think. So I didn't end up having much time in "my" desk then and I suppose that in the future I will either not actually go back at all or will have 'lost' this desk and will wander around. Although, really, who knows what the new office layout will even look like.  I'm mostly more concerned with the elevators. Walking up 37 flights of stairs every day isn't really an option. 

Anyway, it was a great great cubicle while I sat there and I'm glad that I snagged a lot of pictures. Perhaps I should make this photo into a wall-sized photo and pretend I'm still there! :) 

One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 27 - 20 #hyatt, @hyattcentrictsq

Hello all, welcome to March 2021 - for those of you just joining me, I'm doing a little day by day lookback at my world a year ago in a series of journals. :) 

A year ago on 2/27/20, a colleague of mine invited me to join her for a site visit to the Hyatt Centric off of Times Square. Keeping up on the latest venues is part of an event planner's job, of course, and I'm always thrilled to see a 'new' (well, new to me) space especially those with great meeting spaces and cocktail lounges and the Hyatt Centric has no shortage of either. But, for me, the selling point is the view. True, on the day we went, it was kind of windy and as someone who is so not a fan of heights, going outside to snap this picture felt like a great challenge. lol But it was worth it. 

As the bar and meeting space is pretty tight (it is after all Times Square) I can't imagine being there now although knowing the awesome people at the Hyatt, I'm sure every consideration possible has been made to ensure safety. Defintely a hats off to all my hotel colleagues who have gone through the wringer this past year. 

I look back to those days- I, and maybe many of us, were sort of living in two worlds - part of us going about our day as usual, but the other part of us having a growing sense of Something Coming and preparing for it... without knowing, really, exactly what "it" was. 

But knowing that the biggest concern I had a year ago was my fear of heights, hah, sounds quaint now. :)

Journal hyatt

One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 25 - 20 #radiocitymusichall, #newyorkcity, #midtown

Journal radio cityA year ago Radio City Music Hall went dark for the evening - something I've never seen happen in all my years living in NYC and working in midtown. At the time, a friend suggested that it had gone dark due to a producer who had passed away, but that seems like something they'd dim the lights for, not turn off completely. It couldn't have been a power outage as you can clearly see that there are lights on in the floors above the marquee. 

As Radio City has always been a focal point to our cultural experience, so perhaps it knew better than the rest of us the dark times that were in our immediate future. 

One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 24 - 20 #apartmentliving, #thegoodplace

Journal paint chipsAs referenced in a couple of other posts, I was entering a final phase of refreshing during this time a year ago - and was feeling some measure of pressure to finish as my birthday was approaching and I kind of wanted it to be finished by then. We were also, of course, sensing what was coming and were starting to feel the tension and anxiety of it. 

The red wall had been a fixture of the apartment since I'd moved in in January 2004 - I sublet for a few months before taking over the lease so the landlord had not repainted. In fact, because there was not a refresh, I've ended up with crumbling cabinets that I could not replace (you would not believe how many times I've asked the landlord to replace and how many home stores I've called to order only to be told that I could not replace since I was renting) and have had to make most/all the repairs on my own. It's been like owning a home without actually owning it, you know? 

Anyway, I loved the red wall but in the refresh, it was time for it to go with a less bold color. I looked at this way - I lived with it and liked it but I didn't choose it. And the refresh was all about things that I chose rather than things that I was handed. I think that's an important life lesson- what's in your life because it's just there and what's in your life because you chose it? 

So after consulting with friends over teh internets, we thought we'd go with a light green variation to compliment the light blue in the bedroom and the lavendar in the middle room and the orange in the hallway. So, paint chips were hung and some of the painting commenced but I can't say that I was entirely happy with it. But that's a story for another day. 

Journal living roomBut the point is, I'm glad that I took the time to refresh before the panic settled in as I ended up spending a lot more time in my apartment over the last year than I expected to. 

Also on this date a year ago, we finished binge watching THE GOOD PLACE. I tried to watch it when it was first on but it just didn't grab me. Fast forward to 2020 and the Mister and I decided to give it a try. I thought I'd hate it but we loved it and powered all the way through four seasons in a couple weeks. So funny and so moving. I've been a tv-holic my entire life and have to say that I think THE GOOD PLACE is in my top 5 all time favorites. No big review, just expressing an appreciation for it and the work can speak for itself. This is one of those 'run, don't walk' type recommedations. ;)

One Year Later - a Journal of 2 - 23 - 20 #happybirthday, #covid, #littleitaly

Journal paesanos"Always carry a flagon of whisky in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake" -W C Fields

Yesterday we marked a half a million deaths from Covid - that is not something to cheer about nor does it make us great. If you still think it's a hoax or that this makes us great, I feel sorry for you.  The pandemic sure has shown us just who among us have cold hearts, hasn't it? And, as if to mark the occasion with typical cold hearted petulance, yesterday Meghan McCain threw a temper tantrum on national television demanding Fauci be replaced because she, as a not essential worker, not elderly person, hasn't gotten her shot yet. I believe a healthy "grow up, woman, it's not all about you" is appropriate here. 

On a cheerier note, I love celebrating my birthday (March 9) and a year ago today we had what I thought was going to be the first of many celebrations but, well, due to circumstances turned out to be the only one. We had lunch at Paesanos in Little Italy with a long time friend. We like Paesanos because it has great food but mostly we love it because there is a red wine there that, strangely, we can't find anywhere else. We had gone a few times prior with out of town friends and although cramped, a first rate experience. Thinking about this now, I wonder when (or even if) I'll ever feel comfortable to be in such close quarters again. 

Yesterday, a colleague remarked that we wouldn't be arranging live events until 2022 although I think people are kind of at that point where they think the vaccine is enough and will literally risk life and limb to do things again (that's already happening, of course, which is why we have a half a million deaths). The next big schism in this country will be between the people that demand in person dining, theater, sporting events, and people that adamantly refuse to engage in any of that not just due to lingering fears but to PTSD from this past year...and our society will have to adopt some sort of hybrid approach. Mark my words. 

Anyway, these are some thoughts on this 23rd day in February, 2021. 




One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 22 - 20 #janovic, #apartmentliving, #newyorkcity

Journal old living room wallSo, I'm doing a little 'look back' on a year ago - on Saturday, Feb 22, the Mister (my bf for those of you who are new to my blog) was already working in a local retirement home and I took the opportunity being at home alone on a weekend to paint the long hallway in our apartment. It had been orange, it was going to stay orange, but a lighter orange. But first all the art had to come down - and that was in and of itself a task. 

You see, during the most recent refresh, in 2013/15, I had decided that the long hallway would be a gallery of my collected art and of photos of friends and family. But, as we rethought what we wanted on the wall, we decieded to trim down the volume. That meant that the art had to find a place to live (hello, storage unit!) and we had to decide what we did/didn't want. 

So here's a 'before' pic - looking at it now a year later, I miss the color of it all. I also miss the hats. In around 2013, I realized I had collected all these hats and they were just in a box collecting dust. I had a contractor helping me on the apartment and he suggested hanging them. So I did. All 20 of them. But, after a few years, it was time to retire that as well. 

Journal hallwayAnd then there I was ... standing in a completely empty hallway waiting for the next phase. How like what we have gone through, huh? 

As a side note, please note the framed Wonka bar candy wrapper from a candy making kit I got as a kid. The box is a little beat up from traveling around the world for the past 48 years, but the wrappers and molds are in pristine condition. It was the Mister that recommended framing one of the wrappers... and so I did. It's super cool and although it ended up with 90% of the rest of the art, in a box in my storage unit, I think, having written this now, I might just go and pick it up and hang it up again. :) 

One Year Later - A Journal of 2 - 19 - 20 #theedge, #masks, #hudsonyards

Journal the edgeAs I approach my one year anniversary of working from home, I thought I'd look back a little into what was going on a year ago - I'm cheating, slightly, by going back to the 19th as I thought it funny that I had gone on a site visit to The Edge with work colleagues. We had to sign a waiver that we would not post pics from the visit until after March 1st but by the time March 1st rolled around, I had much bigger fish to fry than posting pics from a site visit. (more on that in another entry). 

The place is gorgeous and a friend of mine now works there and posts pics daily, but this is my favorite shot. 

As a side note, when I looked into the folder with pics from Feb 19, 2020, I noticed this other pic I took of a design I whipped up for a possible branded face mask for in-person events. Ah, in-person events. I do miss them but we probably won't be getting back to them until 2022.  I think it was something that I came up with on a dept call as we were starting in earnest to take notice of Covid and the fallout of it. So, actually 2/19/20 is a good place to start as I think it begins the not so gradual build up to those very very dark days in March. 

Hope that you can take this journey with me - I hope to continue posting these as a way to try to continue to make Journal masksense of it. As, maybe we all are.