There weren’t as many 2010 chapters as I’d hoped for written in the Life and Times of this kitchen designer . But I can tell you, I lived this year to the fullest! Writing has been slow as my girls and I have adjusted into the hustle and bustle of my new New York life.
I work in the nicest neighborhoods, lucky to be welcomed and wanted in New York for something I do naturally with passion and an acquired knowledge. Lately I look at the yellow line on the subway platform as my personal Yellow Brick Road...how lucky am I?
Sometimes when I’m working, clients become abruptly demanding and border on rude, sometimes they cross that border, wanting 27 technical answers from me in an instant…and I think “am I a machine?” Then reality sets in, I try never to let them down, they have come to rely on and expect instantaneous expert advice from me, to them that is what I am, a creative machine, and my ability to provide this service and smile and never sweat, that keeps me in this position, where I want to be…so fire away I say!
Recently as the work began to pile high on my desk, I said to an architect, someone who brought me a wonderful project, Tom Hut of HS2 Architecture, “we have a lotta work to do here in a short time, let’s get the pleases, excuse me’s and the thank you’s out of the way up front, we know we mean them, but they are killing us ion time”…he agreed…and cutting to the chase has tidied up the relationship and gotten the job done. I'm on the edge of my seat to see the final product! ans at one time I thought architects only came to my showroom to steal my ideas. (Shh...I might have said it once or twice, I might have said it to you) How wrong I was, and thank you Steve Naphtali for holding my wine while I ate crow...
When I go home my kids tell me everything I don’t know…apparently the older they get the more I don’t know! It’s a great system they have to make sure my head never swells too much. This year one of my daughter’s changed her name. Imagine, the second thing I gave her, right after life, didn’t make the cut…she doesn't like the clothes I buy her either, but I know for a fact she is mine, she had too much hair to confuse with any of the other babies in the nursery.
Just then I passed a man as I walked from the Subway at Union Square headed towards my office. He was no more than 25 years old, quite good looking, and on his feet as "shoes" he wore paper bags, folded over many times and tied to his feet with twine. He was indescribably dirty, and on the brink of losing his toenails and I did mention how cold it was, in the 20’s? I stopped and swallowed hard, and though he wasn’t begging, I turned to go find him, but he was gone in the crowd. Where was his family, how did he end up like this, and was he given too much or not enough growing up, where was the love?
I used to only donate only to established charities, heeding the official warnings that people in the city will rob you if you give them money. After nearly a year here, I can say I have changed my thoughts on that. I am considerate of who I give money to, but I just can’t ignore daily the poverty and sadness that walks quietly among the wealthy and splendid of New York. There is suffering here, and I always think, how did this young person become this way, how can I help. There is a young man, who is often in the Columbus Circle or Lincoln Center Subway stations, he has no arms, he politely stands with a pack attached to his chest, and I cannot pass him without giving him a dollar or two if I have it. But there must be more I can do.
I’ve never felt like I had less after I volunteered time, money or food to someone in need… in fact it always makes me feel like I have way more…2011 should be a year of giving back. Last week, I went home to find my daughter has joined a community group of young volunteers who will help the elderly or those in need with household chores and snow removal etc., what a gift for me to receive, that my daughter will have the spirit of volunteering! It just goes to show you are never too old or too young to make a difference, to care about a stranger as you would for someone you love.
Be rich with the spirit of giving, no contribution is too small to make a difference. Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2011! Remember to Love thy neighbor as thyself.
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- Aston Smith
- I have 20+ years experience in Home Furnishings and Interior Design, specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design since '01. I work for Bilotta Kitchens in the A&D Building on East 58th Street in the Mid-town Manhattan. I have a passion for learning and love the opportunity to collaberate on projects of all sizes. My strengths in the field begin with my design background, use of color and texture to bring interest to a room, spatial relationships, organizational skills, innovation, decisiveness, and planning. I have had the thrilling experience of helping hundreds...?maybe thousands of people with their projects, and what I love is it never gets boring, and no two are ever the same. Thanks for reading.