I hope everyone’s been enjoying their summer. I can’t believe half of the summer has already come and gone.
Since my last post…I’ve been to 2 weddings, celebrated Ben’s 40th birthday, saw “Manhattanhenge”, had my 34th birthday, got on a wave runner for the first time ever (!), and got my “skin” legs!
But first, a few things that I left out from my last post b/c I only focused on the trip recaps…Blue Man Group show, concert at Forest Hills Stadium, and Property Brothers book signing!
Saw the Blue Men of the Blue Man Group with Momma and Poppa Katz. The show was a lot of fun!
Ben and I went to a concert at Forest Hills Stadium in June. It was the “Disclosure presents Wildlife” show. There were multiple performers. It was a nice day, the venue was nice, I met Havoc of Mobb Deep..we had a good time!
Once we were in the venue, things were ok, but getting to the venue itself…forget it. So, per my usual routine now, when going to a place I’ve never been to before, I tend to do research according to my checklist: Is there going to be parking? Is it going to be street parking or will there be a parking lot? How much walking will I have to do from the car to the entrance?, etc. We used to live in Forest Hills so we’re very familiar with the area, the parking, and the streets. But, when we lived in Forest Hills, they had yet to renovate the stadium to hold concerts, so we weren’t familiar with what the streets would be like the day of or how they would handle the traffic. I went onto the Forest Hills Stadium’s website and the only informative info that was on there was, “The best way to arrive to Forest Hills Stadium is on public transportation. Strolling from the subway or LIRR along the streets of Forest Hills is a part of the iconic venue experience.
Please note: there is no parking at the venue or on the streets near the venue. For your own convenience, please do not plan to drive here and park.” That information was under the section of the site titled, “Get Here”. Well, for my own convenience, I will drive there and park! And then under the FAQ section, “Is there accessible seating at Forest Hills Stadium?
Yes, we have an ADA/handicapped area at the stadium. Patrons in need of this area should select the ADA ticket type when checking out.”
Well, ok…not very helpful and nothing I didn’t already know. So, with this minimal amount of info, I decided to do a drive-by the day before. Turns out, there was a concert the day before, so I was able to ask the police that were there that night about the street closures and get a visual of what the area was going to look like. Cut to the next day…Luckily, we were able to get a pretty decent spot on the street. That was about the only “easy” thing about getting to the venue. There were more streets closed for the night of our concert than there were for the concert the night before. Great. Turned out to be a 0.5 mile walk from the first street closure to the actual entrance of the venue ( I mapped it on Google Maps when we got home to see exactly how far the walk was). We parked a block from the first street closure – so that was inconsequential. Now, a half of a mile walk, would have been nothing to me pre-accident, and it’s not the end of the world to me now, but there was ABSOLUTELY NO assistance or even any offer of assistance during that entire walk. No wheelchairs offered. No golf carts. Nothing. Now, we get it…The neighborhood around the venue consists of all private streets and they don’t want attendants of concerts to ruin the area. Fine, but by closing off a 0.5 mile area around the venue, not allowing cars to enter the closed area for drop offs, and then not providing assistance, it makes it really hard for me to go back there for any future events. By the time we got to the entrance, I was drenched in sweat and needed to fix my prosthetic ( I actually needed to fix it before I even made it to the entrance.). And here goes the next obstacle..the venue only has porta-potties, fine if I needed to just pee, but I wasn’t sitting down or touching anything in there. So…let’s just get to our seats and I’ll figure it out there. Once we’re taken to our seats, I realized there really wasn’t any private area where I could fix my prosthetic. I needed to fix my right prosthetic, which goes all the way up to the top of my thigh and in order to fix it, I basically needed to be out in my undies for that side of my leg. So, I asked Ben to get me some paper towels. I put a couple of sheets underneath my right leg so I wouldn’t have to directly touch the seat, and then I took my prosthetic and my liner off. Sat there with half my booty exposed and did what I needed to do. Gave ZERO f**ks. Then when I was done, I asked the staff, is there no assistance provided for the walk to the entrance of the venue. I was told that there’s a drop off spot, but when I asked about this at the entrance/exit when we left the venue, they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. I had Ben carry me, piggy back style, for half of the walk back to the car b/c I was worn out from the day. So, Forest Hills Stadium – we had a great time at the actual show and the grounds are lovely. But, if half of a mile of streets need to be closed, please recognize that you need to provide some sort of assistance for that walk. (i.e. When I go to Cit Field, I can flag down a golf cart and they will give me a lift to the gate that is closest to the section my seats are in.)
We met the Property Brothers (Drew and Jonathan Scott) of HGTV in June at a book signing in Barnes & Noble. Yes, there are still B&Ns open out there. =)
They were super friendly and nice..and really tall! I put together a little pitch to present to them, b/c I’m a nerd. I asked them if they’ve ever built/renovated a house that was for someone that’s handicapped. They said they had, but not for the show and that they encourage people to apply. I went…”I’m right here!!” If you’re curious and want to see the pitch I put together for them, click on the link below!
And if anyone reading this, has any contacts at HGTV or with the Drew or Jonathan…feel free to send them my way or pass along my info!
The first wedding we went to was in June at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua, NY. It was the wedding of one of my friends from high school. She looked gorgeous and the wedding was beautiful! It was the first wedding, post-accident, that I attended, where I needed to “dress up”. I must’ve tried on at least 5 different dresses to see what would work…something that was comfortable for me to walk in, that didn’t make me look more large and in charge than I already am (with my Serena arms), something that was dressy enough, and something that wouldn’t lead me to sweat like a pig. Looking for clothing pre-accident was a breeze compared to what it is now. To think, looking for clothing that wouldn’t accentuate my broad shoulders was a problem…pshhh….that was nothing. Now, that’s the least of my problems when shopping for clothing.
There were some stairs and a slightly, uneven, grassy area that I had to contend with, but overall, manageable. I even got in a little bit of “dancing”…in quotes b/c I don’t think I would’ve called what I did dancing, prior to my accident. Hah! But all that matters, is that I had fun doing it!
Read Part 2 for the recap of my July happenings!
– Wedding, Birthdays, “Manhattanhenge”, and wave runner adventures!