Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grabbing My Attention

It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s odd when I readily identify with somewhere prominently featured on the nightly news. That’s been the case in a big way this week as two places that I have visited in the past few years have been making headlines – and not in a good way.

The first is New York’s Times Square. Business trips plunked me right in the heart of the Theater District in both 2005 and 2006. I even got to go to a Broadway play (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” which was awesome!) during my very first visit. I totally understand why New York is a writer’s mecca and why the people who live there generally don’t want to gravitate too far from it.

So it was with mixed emotions that I watched coverage of the would-be Times Square bomber (truly a member of the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight). On the one hand, I was sad that the city is under siege yet again, and on the other, relief that this guy’s graduate degree wasn’t in construction or engineering as he might actually have known something about explosives.

Then, well after I’d heard about flooding in Nashville, I heard that the Gaylord Opryland complex was under at least 10 feet of water! I’d stayed there in 2007 for about three days during a client conference/event. Except for the shuttle ride to and from the airport, it’s all of Nashville I got to see.

You know you’re in a ginormous place when, at check-in, they give you a map! And you’d need one, too. It was like having a city under a roof. I got to where I gave myself 15 minutes to get anywhere during my stay, partly because of construction that had parts blocked off and partly because it was too easy to get lost.

I thought it was a pretty cool place. Very rarely did it ever feel like you were inside. Luckily, I took pictures while I was there, because it sure doesn’t look the same right now. Here’s some footage of the damage I found online.

Absolutely unbelievable -- especially when compared to what I saw back in 2007. It's such a pretty place. I hope they are able to make it look like this again.

There's a boat that goes through part of the center -- from this area below. I'm sure that only added to the damage.

See these gazebos? I'm pretty sure it's one of them that is captured on the video in a close-up, submerged.

I feel incredibly sorry for all of the people who live in this area and who are so affected by these floodwaters. I know there are several relief efforts under way to help people whose homes or jobs have been flooded. One of the things I plan to do today is to find one and donate. If you can, I hope you will, too.

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