Breakfast at Bonbon's. Photo: Deb Stein
I did a sneaky thing, and now it's in the New York Times.
I copied and pasted a couple of illuminating Facebook updates by my friend Deb, otherwise known as Bonbon Oiseau - about what it is like to have three elderly Long Island relatives, her mom, aunt and uncle, refugees from Sandy, staying with her - and emailed them to Penelope Green (who wrote about our terrace), who was working on a story about dislocation for The Times. As a result Deb was interviewed earlier this week.
So now Deb and Jim are page four of the article about the new home life for refugees. It's a very nice read. And Deb hasn't killed me. Yet.
Losing Power but Finding a Way to Connect
Deb also sent me an email that was both heart wrenching and amusing:
"We drove donations today out to SI and Coney and then went out to my cousin's house, my father's parent's house where he lived when he got out of the service in 1945. The house was not quite decimated but almost. It looked like Dresden, they lost three cars and found a seal in their backyard. She's an RN so she was hanging tough, but Marie, it was heartbreaking. Then we went to find Jim's workmate who lives in East Rockaway because he couldn't reach him allweek. He's OK but lost all his stuff, no power, heat, boat on neighbor's lawn. The destruction is unimaginable and then you come into other neighborhoods and it's like nothing happened. So my elderly houseguests needed a bigger hug when we got home. It's been surreal. They're all troopers really."
(And yes, if you are wondering, that seal was alive.)
Sitting at Bonbon and Jim's table is one of the great pleasures in life. And if I was a refugee I couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather be. Fluffy bathrobes, nice cats; one is also beautifully fed, copiously watered (high proof fire water and flights of wines - well, perhaps not at breakfast, above, but what's in Jim's mug?) and thoroughly entertained, sometimes to breaking point.