The week began very highbrow. One of my lovely clients gave me 2 tickets to see Joshua Bell, a sort of rock star of the violin world, at Carnegie Hall Monday evening. Naturally I asked my girlfriend who took me to see Hugh Jackman to join me.
We went to the Redeye Grill first for a glass of wine and some crazy guacamole and then headed in to see Mr. Bell’s lovely violin playing. The performance was really something, just a really beautiful treat on an otherwise ordinary Monday night. Plus we had fourth row seats on the aisle, so the way the piano and music-stand were positioned, both Joshua Bell and his pianist were facing us as if they were performing just for us. Plus the row in front of us had been removed to accommodate a wheel chair, so we could stretch our legs out in a palatial amount of space. It was like watching Joshua Bell from your sofa.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Mr. Bell had descended into the audience to come kneel at my feet and play the violin into my eyes like Hugh Jackman did to us the week before. Alas…the classier art forms don’t roll that way I guess.
This was Joshua Bell’s thirtieth performance at Carnegie Hall and also the Hall’s 120th anniversary. This prompted me to do a little research. Andrew Carnegie was part of the Gilded Age (not the Gilded Age again!) and a HUGE philanthropist. He didn’t really spend his time climbing social ladders. In fact, he is quoted as saying,
‘The amassing of wealth is one of the worse species of idolatry. No idol more debasing than the worship of money.’
So he didn’t throw any huge parties at Marble House where a chimpanzee dressed in a tux was the guest of honor (true story).
He spent the first half of his life making a ridiculous fortune and the second half giving it away. By the time he died, he had donated $350,695,654 for various causes. That is a lot of money. Do people give away that much money anymore? It seems like they go on Bravo now instead. That’s him above.
Below is the ‘Andrew Carnegie Dictum’
- To spend the first third of one’s life getting all the education one can.
- To spend the next third making all the money one can.
- To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.
And while he did not have a mansion in Newport, he did build the Skibo Castle in Scotland and lived in it. Because why not?
Leaving Scotland and heading back to Harlem, on Monday I received the keys to our new, temporary place via Fed-Ex. They were not on a key ring, but loose with what looked like a plastic key chain. I went to go put the keys on my key ring and realized…wow…I haven’t had a home in so long…I don’t have a key ring anymore. So I put the loose keys and key chain in my wallet for safe keeping.
After Joshua Bell I jumped onto the 1 train that was just about to leave the station…who knew when the next one would show up, right? Just as I jump in I hear a ‘ping-ping’ sound…the sound of your change falling out of your wallet and as I turn to look, the subway door closes and I see one of the keys on the floor inside the train and I think…’OH NO! Did I lose one of the other keys?’ There were three all together. I look in my wallet and see I have the other two keys…but the key chain is gone. ‘Whew,’ I think. ‘That’s no big deal. I’ll get another one.’
Well dear Reader, it was a big deal because that wasn’t just a dumb key chain, but a key FOB…meaning it had supernatural, electronic powers and you couldn’t get into the building without it. So guess who packed up all of her belongings and her baby and went to the Beacon Hotel Tuesday night? I did.
And while it was frustrating and while it was not in the budget it was nice to be back in the old neighborhood.
It was also fun to have Ellen Albertini Dow, the rapping grandma in Wedding Singer fawn all over the baby in the lobby and ask him why he had to have 2 stuffed animals. As I left her and walked to my room…I thought…she was J. Peterman’s dying Momma on Seinfeld! Bosco.
So why was the baby holding onto 2 stuffed animals in the lobby of the Beacon Hotel? He knew we were moving, that’s why, and he was heartbreaking to watch. What made it even more heartbreaking was the advice from the Early Childhood Education guru on tour with Michael. He spoke to her about the baby not speaking 12-18 words yet. She said not to worry. It’s very common for kids to regress when they move. (!!!) This, naturally, made me burst into tears. At the rate we’ve been moving he’s going to regress into a fetus. I’m having fun with our adventure, I am, but it takes the wind out of my sails to think of him regressing…and then as we left Jacques’…he wouldn’t let go of his blue dog or his blue bear.
I had to wait for another fob to come in the mail via fed-ex. All I’ll say is I had to get all of our belongings into this new, temporary apartment before 4. That was the one rule I had to follow. The fob would arrive (at our friend’s on 70th) sometime before 3. I’ll spare you the details, but after a day that might as well have been a Three’s Company episode I got everything into the new, temporary apartment by 3:15.
Once we were in, it was worth it. It’s a great studio (it’s great, but it’s tricky with a baby, I couldn’t do it permanently). Technically we’re still on the Upper West Side up here on 110th, but it’s very different from the Upper West Side of the 70th block. It’s Seinfeld’s New York City up here. You have your deli, your bagel shop, your diner. I saw three girls having a girl’s night in sweatpants with no makeup. Definitely not Carrie Bradshaw’s New York. We love it, though. It’s very residential and right by Riverside Park which the baby LOVES.
So when are we moving into our new place you ask? Ah…well…perhaps you can all help keep me from having a nervous breakdown…we all know one’s been brewing don’t we? So, on Thursday they told Michael the following…Friday (as in yesterday) the city came to do the final lead test. They will mail the certificate in 3 to 5 days. So, already that means we’ll be at the temporary place at least until the 28th. 3 business days means
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and then, of course, Thursday is Thanksgiving. So let’s just say, they get the paper on Monday the 28th. Then the management company runs a credit check and gives us a lease, if we are indeed the people they want to give the apartment to.
I’ll be honest and tell you I am pretty stressed out over here. This is how my brain works…and I’m not sure I can do much about it until the lease is signed and we’re in. Wish us luck please. I just want to get the little man settled now. I can do 2 more weeks of this. But I think that might be all I have in me.