A room of my own

Last week, I had a dilemma. Wait for the snow that would cripple my NYC adventure (planned departure on Monday am) or skeeve off a day early? Dan’s been away all this month, and I’ll confess I was really looking forward to a day off of mom duties in the Big Apple, as well as some cool meetings and a concert with the amazing Diane Birch.

Luckily for me, my mom said, “Why don’t you bring the kids to get snowed in over here? Remembering the awesome sledding hill in my folk’s back yard, and the fact that my mom has missed them when she was sick, I said heck yeah. And a mere two hours later, I was hurtling towards the train station, making a reservation as I went.

If there’s one thing I miss in my life as a mom, it’s spontaneity. You know, the good “whisked away” kind, not the “vomit on my shoes” kind. So it felt both remarkably derelict and awesome to just. go.

As my cab transported me from Penn Station to the gorgeous East Houston hotel on the Lower East Side, big flakes began to fall. The storm had begun. I got settled in to my wonderful room, then wandered over to a gem of a bistro called Lucien for steak frittes. There were only about 7 tables, but the conversation washed over me like there were hundreds of people. Bob Marley was wafting through the air, and the French waitress greeted me with a wide eyed smile and a hand squeeze that made me feel I was returning after time away.

The place for steak frittes on a snowy night

I returned to my peaceful room to watch the snow fall, read Harry Potter, and watch Big Love on HBO. Yeah, all at the same time. And NO ONE TALKED TO ME. I know you know the amazingness of that statement. Not a single request for water the whole evening.

The next morning, I woke up at 10 without an alarm. Had breakfast at Sugar, then finished off a few articles I’m working on. I was relieved to discover that the snow did hit home, so there was no school. I didn’t have a contingency plan involving lunches and backpacks.

Then I prepared for my afternoon meetings and the thing I’d been looking forward to- seeing Diane play live. She’s a young songwriter whose first record, Bible Belt, will be out in May. A Suzuki trained pianist, raised by missionaries, you could not find a more distinctive, unique, and talented voice. She has a retro- almost Carole King feel (which makes sense, since Steve Greenberg, who produced Joss Stone, produced this record).

Steve emailed me some of her songs after I met him at SocComm last month, and I fell in love with her range. And the amazing thing: she’s just as impressive, if not more so, live. Her band is tight, and she hops back and forth from her Wurlitzer to the piano, rocking them both. I’m really, really excited about her future. She plays 5 sets at SXSW next month, and then I suspect her trajectory will be onward and upward.

If you’re a blogger and will be in NYC anytime soon, call Tim, the wonderful East Houston manager. He’s giving the Roger Smith a run for their money with a $139 blogger rate for a Queen Room. It was awesome, especially the marble bathroom. Check it out.

My favorite part of the East Houston: The super cool lobby, just right for a chat. (I sat there for an hour with a friend like we owned the place.:) Remind me again: Why doesn’t my house look like this? Oh, right. I’ll blame the kids.

The Lobby

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Comments (10)

  1. Mary Jenkins Thursday - 05 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Very chic place. How long did it take you to get ready to "just go". It takes me 45 to make a spontaneous trip to a friends house a few streets down! Glad you had fun!
  2. ThatBrunette Thursday - 05 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Occasionally, Husband gives me a Mama-day-off. He takes the day off work and I take the day of from being me. I need them less now that Max is in school but, they are still treasured and enjoyed. He used one of his free Marriott nights to give me a night off, too. Alone does not equal loneliness, it's luxury. I think it has a lot to do with not being responsible for anyone but me. I don't have to be on duty. Even if Husband is in the house, I am still Mom. On my day off, I am random, faceless, anonymous lady. ThatBrunette’s last blog post..Low Salt Living - In the Good Old Summertime Fish
  3. JessicaAPISS Friday - 06 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Heaven, sounds like heaven. What a cool mom you have. Love it!! JessicaAPISS’s last blog post..OMG, My Sister is the Coolest Woman and The New Twilight Book Is Online
  4. Devilish Southern Belle Friday - 06 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Glad you got to have such a wonderful time! How awesome that your mom got to take the kids! And don't you love being into these musicians before they become popular or more famous? I really need to start listening to some of your favorites. Loved reading about your getaway!
  5. sarah pekkenen Friday - 06 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    What a fabulous mini-getaway! I want to go to that restaurant and read a yummy book and sleep in. I'm so happy you got to do it and described it so beautifully that it felt like a mini-break just reading this... xoxo
  6. Chef's Widow Saturday - 07 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Awww my old hood. Makes me miss it! We lived right off Houston prekids and haven't been back in a very long time. Think I may take up that blogger rate at the East Houston Hotel! Chef's Widow’s last blog post..The Times They are a-Changin’
  7. rockrollmama Saturday - 07 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Mary- Amazingly, an hour! I was REALLY trying to beat the snow. Now, I left my house looking like a tornado hit, LOL. TB- WOW that is a darn good man to get that you need that, and I'm glad you take him up on it. Jess- My mom amazes me every day. I am a lucky dog with the moms.:) DSB- Thank you! It was fun. Send me your email and addy again, I'll make you a mix! So fun. SP- Thanks, honey! Hopefully you'll have some good mini breaks on your BOOK TOUR! (swooning.:) CW- I can't rec. the East Houston more highly- the very best part? Their super friendly staff. Everyone who worked there seemed really happy to be doing so, and that makes a HUGE difference in the atmosphere of a place. And they totally straightened my room while I was out.:) Made me happy. Have fun!
  8. Deb on the Rocks Monday - 09 / 03 / 2009 Reply
    Awesome trip. I'm not sure how long I'm staying at SXSW yet, but I'll look for Diane Birch if I do stay for music.
  9. Cigarrest Monday - 20 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    This is a great blog post, I've learnt a lot. Keep up the good work! :)
  10. pacman vs margarito Monday - 13 / 09 / 2010 Reply
    The placer really looks great. I would love to have a place like that. Very relaxing. .-= pacman vs margarito´s last blog ..Unlucky 13 for Pacquiao-Mayweather =-.

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