My heart and prayers go out to those who have lost so much after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
I wonder if the power of friendships was more emboldened by the recent crisis. I know mine were.
The meaningful Beatles song reminds me that we get along “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Those powerful words have had a great influence in my life, starting with my daughter Lara, who suffered brain damage at birth, but never more than during the days following Sandy.
Even today it’s hard to believe how the tragic winds and rains left so much devastation in their wake, and it’s already a week ago. My house and my daughter and grandchildren are still without power and the thermometer in my home registers 50 degrees. With my husband Stu in delicate health, I had to find an alternative place to live.
Fortunately, I have a friend at the beautiful North Shore Towers and Country Club (NST). The building complex on the eastern border of Queens has had its own generators for years and never lost electricity. They produce their own power, being fully independent of any power company.
The extraordinary staff and management adds to this being a one of a kind place to live.
For years I have reported on the people and the lifestyle offered by NST. For the last eight years we have published a monthly newsmagazine for the complex, The North Shore Towers Courier, so I have met many wonderful people living and working there.
The three towers have their own golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym and a shopping mall, along with a dry cleaner, two grocery stores, a movie theater, a bank and even a restaurant and catering hall. NST offers a world-class spa and hair salon that has been run for decades by the internationally-recognized Pouran, who also runs a clothing and accessories boutique for men and women.
The Towers even have their own zip code with a city bus and express bus making it accessible to the “outside” world.
Fortunatly, Stu and I were able to escape the freezing conditions of our home by moving into a friend’s apartment. It’s allowing us to wait out the storm’s devastation.
We were not the only people to take advantage of the “power” of the Towers. The perception as an over-50 community changed dramatically this past week.
The arcade and Towers restaurant, where I had delicious meals, was filled with laughing children and young couples, bringing an energy that was welcomed by the permanent residents. There were hundreds of others staying at the co-op with friends and family.
I think anyone who experiences what the NST life is can’t help but be impressed.
During my visit we had dinner several times at the restaurant. It has a multiple-page menu similar to a great diner, and even offers an old-fashioned, delicious ice cream soda.
My favorite dish, which I ordered two nights in a row, is grilled salmon. It came prepared perfectly and included a huge mixed salad and fresh vegetables. The portions are huge! Oh yes, the Towers restaurant is open to the public. It doesn’t get better than this because it’s right in the comoplex, only steps from my temporary home.
So until my lights and heat return I have found a haven, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
I must take a moment to compliment my own staff, who braved the storm and brought you, our readers, the heart-wrenching stories of Sandy as they happened, on line and in print, and who will continue to be there as we recover.