The New Social Order

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Shelter from the Storm

Editor’s Note

From dusk through dawn, Halloween frivolity and luxury ending in utter blackout, then 6 Columbus respite. 

Will keep this short. Last Saturday night, not believing that Sandy would do much at all—having been through the real “much” in New Orleans many times before—my wife Maddy and I went to our annual pre-Halloween destination bash at the lovely Allison Sarofim’s brownstone in the West Village. The theme was “Picasso”; I went as a “hell-aquin,” a harlequin from hell (pictured). Great party, incredible costumes, cocktails, food, spectacle, as always…lost my debit card.

Next day, eventually lost our electricity, and all communication above 34th Street and everywhere else in the world. Eventually cell phone died, then laptop. Buying ice, eating carrots. Rushing around on my bicycle for “hot zones” and electrical re-charging outlets. After more than 48 hours and two nights in utter blackness, we finally threw in the towel and lucked into a room at midtown Manhattan’s 6 Columbus, a Thompson Hotel

I only write this because once we saw on the flat-screen the breadth of devastation—and heard about the deaths—we considered ourselves ridiculously fortunate to not have been hurt, to have had great friends to hang with through the candlelit nights on our little King Street—the Sesame Street of downtown Manhattan—and to have found a hotel that was so stupid-accommodating, our inside-standing, not seeming to have mattered. Everybody was treated equally.

High above the traffic jam of 57th Street, looking out on the Time-Warner Building monster and honking horns and screeching sirens, I looked out off my balcony—pictured here—peeking in at my wife, finally wrapped in luxury and a bathrobe. The warmth of the lighting in our intimate glass box—and blast of hot water—made us so fully appreciate the creature comforts that we take for granted. My god, how embarrassing to have missed the comfort of television alone! It’s hokey, I know. But we won’t forget. Nor will we forget the easy-going staff there.

Good luck to all in getting things somewhat back to normal. At this moment, we’re packing our bags and looking for a cab back to SoHo. One more night without electricity—we hear—but we have a cold kitty cat, and we know he’s beginning to feel lonely.

–Steve Garbarino, Editor, Room 100