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LaurenAdministratorJanuary 18, 2022 at 1:42 pm
Hi @mary-o , I’d be happy to share…but our restaurant was not in NYC, it was in the town (about an hour upstate) where we bought our “weekend home” that accidentally-on purpose turned into our full-time home. And yes, it was all timed with my awakening. Soon after Leon & I came together in this life (I was 25 at the time) I had a spontaneous kundalini awakening that was violent enuf that I had to be hospitalized. Afterwhich, my body & psychic/perceptual reality started shifting so radically that I could no longer handle the toxicity of the city…both on an energetic and pollution level…and so we bought an old car to start searching upstate for a weekend home to buy so that I could decompress from the overwhelm + overstimulation of the city, as needed.
Much to my surprise, the very first house we saw in the very first village we scouted was THE house, and shockingly, everything lined up within a couple of months to make that purchase a fast reality. We took ownership July of 2001…horrifyingly, 3 months later was 911. Because our city apt is in the lower east side, we soon realized that we were being protected/guided to set ourselves up outside of the city just prior to the devastation. Afterwhich, we made the choice to rent our apartment and stay upstate until the dust settled…literally & figuratively…but during that time a commercial space opened on Main street in the (idyllic, riverfront, historic) village where we bought our home and we felt it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
We both always worked in restaurants…before, during, and after college (my father also owned two growing up + a catering company)…so we thought this was our chance to have a go at our own creation. With Leon’s carpenter + chef & bartending skills and my marketing/advertising/business background + front of the house experience, we pooled our talents…gutted-renovated-redesigned the historic space, turned it into an 80-cover cafe + full-service bar, and voila! East Side Kitchen was born. (The name was twofold…not only because we were from the L-east side but the hamlet is also on the east side of the Hudson river).
We were open for about 5 years when my ascension journey started getting really physical and I couldn’t keep up with the intense pace-demand- extremely long hours so we sold the restaurant + real estate (home + investment rentals) and we bought a quiet antique cottage (read: chrysalis) on a tiny mountain to decompress (read: renovate/restore) not knowing at the time that the “decompression” would last for 15+ years. 😑😖🥺 This house remains our full-time home (for the time being) and now the city apartment could be considered our “weekend home”…tho currently we have a tenant.
That was a fun (unexpected) retrograde revisit…the reader’s digest version anyway ☺…thx for the trip down memory lane! For perspective, here is a pic of the exterior of our place under new ownership (the space with the patio/outdoor dining)