On the day of Irene, as the winds calmed down, I stood in the front yard talking with neighbors – a couple who lives mostly in New York City except on some weekends. We were comparing damage notes. Then, two other neighbors drove by to check in. I said, “We’re okay. Just need to get back to bailing out the basement” – which was a fight against waters rising high enough to short out our new furnace (which we had bought two years ago when our house burned). These neighbors didn’t blink. “We’ll be back in a few minutes, buckets in hand.” And they were.
For another two hours, they helped haul buckets of water up our rickety basement steps, across the house, and to the back door to flush the water toward the pond. And then one of the neighbors searched among other neighbors for a portable generator. And found one. Within 90 minutes, our basement was cleared of the several inches that was quickly building.
Today I’m writing this piece thanks largely to the vision of Scott Tillett and Jason & Amara Stern. A few years ago, Scott had the good sense to turn a warehouse space in Beacon, NY and one in Kingston, NY into co-working spaces. For a nominal monthly fee, I get a desk and cool company. It’s called the BEAHIVE, and it’s situated directly below Jason and Amara’s publishing company Luminary Publishing.
Yesterday evening, a guy who writes music for Hollywood popped in for an all-nighter to finish some music for an upcoming independent film called Take a Chance with God. When I came in this morning, the guy was still working and then raised his arms in victory. I wouldn’t have had that experience if I stayed in my home studio and study. I also wouldn’t have experienced Jason’s generosity in letting me use his company’s conference rooms for the next few days for phone interviews and in-person client meetings.
Today I walked around the block in uptown Kingston and bumped into three friends, two of whom are creating the next 0+ Festival that brings together health care providers and artists and musicians. Is that cool or what? Suddenly, uptown Kingston feels like an extended neighborhood.
Do you have the experience of being among real neighbors? Do you live where people check in on you just because…? We can create digital neighborhoods, which are valuable, but a tangible, unique neighborhood where people care and create is priceless.
Regardless, I’d love for you to share your day’s three highlights – and let us know where you’re writing from.
See you in the woods (or in the ‘hood),
The Three Highlights Guy