As is typical in NYC, it often takes a random occurrence or accident for you to actually meet your neighbors. In this case, it was Sandy. While I could say that I knew “of” my neighbors on the 36th floor (and Questlove is apparently the reason for our locked down floor, but I’ve never seen him…), I really couldn’t say I “knew” them. That is, until the lights went out during Hurricane Sandy. Nothing brings people together like a hurricane, a back-up generator, and hallway lights!
Chris and I watched the storm brew from our windows, and also watched the green glow of the transformers blowing across the river in Jersey, and then that fateful burst on the East River, followed by our own flicker and then extinguishing of lights and power. Then we lit the candles, brought out the lantern and flashlight, and, of course, poured the wine. And then we got curious..
I poked my head out into the hallway, and sure enough, at that same moment, multiple heads popped out of doors, glasses of wine in hand, and the introductions began. Before we knew it, we were about 16-strong in the hallway, introducing one another and our pets (there were 6 dogs in the hallway) and then moving to candle-lit apartment tours! Go figure it takes a hurricane to break down social barriers so much that people give impromptu tours of all the apartments on the floor. Thank god Chris cleaned “for Armageddon,” as he called it. As the building has apartments facing every direction, it was actually pretty amazing — frightening at that height — but really amazing. And by the end of it? We knew each other’s names, apartment numbers, spouses, and yes, even figured out that the new face in the hall was actually a “hurricane hook-up” in progress at 36D. LOL! Hey, why waste candlelight, right? But that 36 floor walk of shame must have been a killer!