Overslept. Got up at 7:15am instead of 6:30. Too hurried for pics to illustrate my morning routine; an egg, toast, two clementines and coffee for breakfast and I’m out the door.
Snow! First one in season; luckily I don’t have to go back up for umbrella, happen to have it in the bag. Boots, however, are not made for snow, what with the thin leather sole and “kitten” heels… Slipping, running, hopping – somehow got to the subway, all under cutting wind and white stuff slapping me in the face.
Few blocks till concierge is opening the bronze door to the lobby; it’s decorated with bows, garlands, tinsel and fir tree branches, all golden and crimson and jolly – but I have to go behind the scenes to a jobsite: a medical office renovation where some measurements have to be confirmed and a short meeting with GC is arranged.
No glamor there – yet. Wait till we finish; as my grandma said – “fools should not be shown half a job!” [There will be wallcovering with embroidery above the wainscott, mirror tile backsplashes, white lacquer cabinetry, walnut furniture and glowing copperish cove in the ceiling – but shshsh, you didn’t hear it from me!]
One thing after another, three hrs later I am once more enjoying quick visions of Central Park on my way to the subway – and in 35min walking straight to the office.
This is Brooklyn, its trendy and most dynamically growing neighborhood of Williamsburg. It is first time in 17 years of professional practice that my workplace is not in Manhattan. I pass quirky restaurants, tiny boutiques with novelty merchandise, couple of street Christmas tree bazaars; I open the door with my keys and step into the elevator.
Reinforced with quick lunch and coffee#2 (I am down from 3!), I am now at my workstation, checking the drawings against newly taken measurements, calculating wallcoverings for order, getting simultaneous drafting done on 2 other projects and corresponding to flooring and upholstery vendors. A colleague, an Israeli architect, comes over to tell me about his trip to S.Petersburg. He is terrified for his mother who lives there: alone, next to a pushy neighbor who threatens her, she is depressed and rarely leaves her small apartment. “People have withdrawn, gloomy expressions; on the street are only slavic faces – no diversity even compared with 2 yrs ago and everyone is on edge, full of tension and ready for altercation. Supermarkets are full of stuff, but everything is very expensive, much more than here – and their salaries are 5 times smaller on average. Aggression is the name of the game. When I finally exited the plane at JFK I felt like a load fell off my back – I am home!”
5:30pm. I am rushing out of the office and into the subway again: I am going back to midtown to a seminar on ADA code compliance for hotels. It’ ll be provided in a beautiful new showroom courtesy of door hardware manufacturer; they even suppled wine, cheese, crackers, nuts and dry fruit for the occasion. Presentation lasts an hour. I hang out for another 30-40 minutes chatting with fellow attendees, then it’s time to finally leave.
I walk along the perimeter of Bryant Park , with its seasonal decorations, shopping booths and skating rink. I am tired, tomorrow is another day – and I still have an hour before I get home: to my tea, blogs, 30 min of TV, bath and…finally…the happiness of all-to-myself bed, smooth sheets, warm plaid over a duvet, a book. And sleep, sleep, sl….