>Triple Threat: Times Square, Memphis, Gulf Coast

>Rarely is my family impacted so directly by diverse world events the way it is today:

Flooding in Tennessee
: We left Memphis on Friday, and Saturday tornadoes, winds and rain threatened the state and our city, with resulting flooding, loss of life and homes. Thankfully our home in midtown is safe, as are most of our friends’ homes. I almost felt guilty arriving in New York City to beautiful, sunny weather. Safe and sound here, right? And then…

: Last night as we were walking to dinner with another couple, we walked just a couple of blocks past the spot where the car bomb had just been discovered on Times Square. We didn’t know what was happening as we enjoyed dinner at Nougatine in one of Donald Trump’s buildings, on Central Park. We assumed the crowds we saw, and even the flashing blue lights, were just business (and entertainment) as usual. Back in our hotel room around 10:30 we saw the news and drew breaths of relief and said prayers of thanksgiving that the bomb didn’t completely detonate and we were safe. We were also thankful that we weren’t staying in a hotel on Times Square this year, since the guests were evacuated for 10 hours while we slept comfortably in our room a few blocks away. But I wonder how far-reaching the damage from that bomb would have reached? In the meanwhile, I had been looking forward to our beach vacation (in 13 days) when the next event happened:

: Yes, we’ve had a beach house rented for months at Seagrove Beach, where we plan to celebrate our daughter’s graduation (Master’s) from the UT College of Architecture. We’ve been excited to have our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter fly down from Denver for the event, as well as our future son-in-law, and Beth’s two best friends from college. And now we wonder how the oil leak will impact our vacation. Will the water be icky? Will there still be fresh seafood available? And then I feel almost selfish even having these thoughts, since the tragedy will impact the lives of fishermen, shrimpers, and the hospitality industry (and beyond) all over the coast. We don’t plan to cancel our plans, not only because the refund is non-refundable, but because we want to support the hospitality industry there. We’re just hoping for some clear water and fresh fish, and mainly a great time together with our family.

So, today, I’ve spent the morning in my hotel room, reading, watching the news, and posting on Facebook… slower to get back “out there” after these events. I had a great afternoon Friday… riding a rental bike through Central Park for two hours (yes!)… and yesterday, I took the subway to Washington Square and enjoyed walking, brunching, and shopping in the Village and Soho before catching the subway back to our hotel around 5 p.m. Today I’m wanting to stay closer to the hotel, where my husband is speaking at the 25th Annual Scientific Meetings of the American Society of Hypertension. But it’s hard to be here and not get “out there.” Hmmm… maybe I’ll go for a walk up Madison Avenue and check out the latest fashions. Or just find a sidewalk cafe where I can read and write and watch the people. Whatever I do, I’ll be thinking about and praying for friends and family impacted by the floods in Tennessee and the oil leak in the gulf… and the near miss of the car bomb a few blocks away here in New York City.

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