rochester fam, i am coming back to roc for a week! from sept 25 – oct 2. will be shooting b roll with the great Rajesh Barnabas, but let me know if u want to go for a walk or something and we will work around our filming schedule, inshallah. will be staying near park ave. can’t wait:)
this afternoon we drove along ocean drive and stopped along the way to take pictures. first we considered the breakers – one of the most over-the-top bellevue mansions. it was $78 for three people to visit. aitezaz and i had already seen it. so i showed a picture to my daughter and asked her if she wanted to visit a fake american version of versailles. she looked at the picture, turned and walked away, saying softly (as if it were the most sensible thing in the world): ‘eat the rich.’ lol. this is my child. . #newport #rhodeisland #oceandrive #newportmansions
i woke up at 5am so decided to go for a long explore. walked along bellevue towards casino terrace and then back to the hotel and in the other direction on touro street. everywhere an abundance of flowers, lovely fragrances and birdsong. . newport #rhodeisland
after relaxing at the wonderful hydrangea house, right in the middle of downtown newport on bellevue ave, we decided to do the famous cliff walk. the harsh daylight was beginning to soften. the sun was about to set. such gorgeous views. . #newport#rhodeisland#sunset#cliffwalknewport
left on the ferry from port jeff to bridgeport, CT, and then rhode island at 9am this morning. now ready for lunch at cru cafe in newport. love this town. we used to visit often from CT. back after many many years:)
so i had hired a local business to move us from rochester to long island on april 8th. then cv-19 hit and our movers backed out of driving to nyc, right in the eye of the pandemic. the owner is a small businessman, with young children. he said he didn’t want to take chances. i understood. so the movers came by and loaded our trucks yesterday. yes, we ended up renting two trucks instead of one – my bounteous artwork, packed in some 20-30 large boxes, is partly to blame:) this morning we traveled as a caravan – my husband driving a 26 foot truck, my son managing a 20 foot truck, my daughter in our sedan, and yours truly forging ahead in an suv. all i can say is, it’s good to have grown-up kids:)
navigation was easy all the way – empty highways, not more than 2-3 cars in service areas, a few people scurrying around wearing masks, no toll tickets, no delays on approaching nyc. the george washington bridge seemed haunted. just two cars in front of me. in my 27 years of living around and traveling frequently to nyc, i’ve never seen anything like it. it felt disturbingly quiet, unnatural, somber. throughout the trip signs on highways urging people to stay at home, limit travel, stop the spread, #flattenthecurve.
my brother called to find out how we were doing. the car picked up his phone call. he told me his ex-neighbor in NJ, the guy they lived next to for a whole decade and who saw his kids grow up, just died of corona. he had an allergic reaction to something, went to the ER, got infected, died within a few days. in his early 50s. i am not one to panic but this piece of news shook me.
so between these misgivings (could we have delayed the closing on our house?), the thrill of living next to a city i love, the waves of emotion as i realized i was gradually moving away from the people i love, the profusion of texts, emails, and phone calls from family and friends all holding me warmly in their prayers and good wishes, the bone-tiredness from packing up a commodious house filled with 17 years of life and film and art-making, and finally the news that bernie sanders had just ended his presidential run, i couldn’t quite focus on any one feeling.
yet there is a connection – a complete sense of disconnection. being uprooted with milestones and memories packed precariously in cardboard boxes, the fear of losing people we love, the undignified randomness of loss, the arbitrariness of what we mark as ours in time and space, the irrationality of viruses and politics, the fragility of life and human-made systems, the strength of love and relationships that bind us to a center – some multifaceted, metaphysical core that saves us from disintegrating into meaningless fragments.
we are home, in this new home. it’s a gorgeous apartment. small but perhaps that’s all we need for our small family. everyone is asleep. goodnight fam and pls stay safe.