Living downtown is an adventure. It is not for the faint of heart. You gotta go with the flow, be a little nuts (okay, maybe a lot nuts) and put your mind in the space of "hmmm, let's see, what's going to happen today?"
But, honestly, on that weekday morning, I was thinking of nothing but the fact that I was running late. My normal routine is this: get up, post on The Spirited Woman blog, take a shower, get dressed, and then start the day on the phone talking with clients.
This morning, however - and the only time I have done this since I have lived in my loft (I swear) - I did not make it out of my bath robe and I just started working - yakking away - with Susan in Connecticut, about creative out-of-the-box marketing ideas.
Big mistake. HUGE mistake.
Half-way through our call, the fire alarms in our building started howling. "Uh, Susan, could you hold on just a sec," I said, as I waddled to the door in my pink socks (that matched my pick robe). I opened the door, and saw the hallway doors shutting and closing, heard even more wails of the fire alarm, and saw my neighbors running down the stairs, leaving the building.
"Susan, there could be a fire in the building, if I make it out, I will call you immediately from downstairs," I said. "What do you mean if you make it out," she yelled from Connecticut. "I've got to go."
And with that dramatic exit line, I grabbed my laptop, kept my phone in my hand, and ran down four flights of stairs. Forgetting all the while that I was still wearing my robe. My neighbors however didn't.
As about 20 of us stood in front of the building, Lee with his pet dog Chili, Don with his pet cat Cat, Bobbie and Susie with their pillows (people do crazy things in the midst of a potential fire), Lee yelled out for all to hear, "Hey, Nancy, you're looking pretty good there. Quite the fashion statement."
Oh-my-god. I was standing on Broadway in my pink bathrobe and pink socks. And while others mainly brought down live things, my priority was my laptop and phone!
Turns out - as so much does down here - that it was a false alarm. The fireman came pretty quickly (well, at least within 15 minutes), and we were all let back into the building.
But, before we were let back in, I thought about my predicament. A woman on Broadway in a pink robe. Did I cause a reaction? Did I elicit a few stares from strangers? Did anyone care?
And it was at that moment, that I realized downtown had a life of its own, and I pretty much fit in.
"Hello, Susan, it's Nancy. Boy, do I have a story to tell you."