Instead of starting at the beginning (summer of 2010, really), I'm going to tell this tale backwards, starting with our New York Summer. When we learned that they would treat T at Beth Israel in NYC, we were faced with some logistical dilemmas. While we could have stayed at a wonderful hotel called Hope Lodge (run by the American Cancer Society, free to cancer patients), there were some issues. Eight weeks in a hotel suite that allowed no food or beverages in the room....there was a shared kitchen on each floor....sounded like something that neither one of us could have tolerated longer than a week, no matter how gorgeous (decorated by Nate Birkus) or fun. (The real issue, according to my husband was that I couldn't have my wine spritzer at the hotel. Well, duh.) When a dear friend offered his luxurious Manhattan apartment, hubby was at first reluctant to take advantage, but two arguments won him over: it made our friend feel "joy" (his words) that he could help, and it enabled someone not so fortunate to have that suite at Hope Lodge. The photo above shows the building soaring up in the middle. The one with the balconies. Ours was the one next to the top, on the 33rd floor. Yeah.
This is the view we had from the "conversation pit" (interiors in another post) or from the balcony. That is the view up Central Park, and yes, that is the Metropolitan Museum of Art up there in the right corner of the Park. Sadly, we never got there. Priorities. We never tired of the view, even the day they got over 6" of rain in Central Park. I must say, we whimped out and went home for the hurricane, but otherwise, we had this blessing every day of our six-week stay in this magical place.
Here is another view, off to the west. I loved the roof gardens on that white building down the block from us. Other neighbors? How about the Park Lane and Plaza across the street? It was a half-block walk to Fifth Avenue, but I'm sorry to say I never got to spend any time there except as a passenger on the M2 Limited bus down to Union Square. Damn. In fact, my only shopping expedition, soon after we moved in (when I still felt comfortable leaving T alone) was over E 58th to Williams-Sonoma for some kitchen odds and ends. But, that's not what we were there for!
We cannot ever thank our friend enough for this gift.