Friday, October 02, 2009
I mentioned last week that I would be making a quick trip to NYC to see my brother. Me, my DH, my Sister and Brother in Law all flew to JFK taking the red eye last Thursday night and arriving in the City at 6:30am Fri. We were going to do an "Extreme Make-over" on my brothers apartment. He lives on W. 57th in a 3rd floor walk up and has been there for 7 years. He is a hair and make-up artist and has worked on many Broadway shows, American Idol, Ugly Betty, Today Show, etc... so he is successful in his own right. After I visited him in August, I came home worried about him as he seemed pretty depressed and without energy... and he is 17 years younger than me! When I had seen him last year he was buff and in great shape. Anyway, when I was there in August he mentioned he was taking anti anxiety meds as his work was making him crazy. The work hours, the "divas" he worked with and more seemed to really be a problem. When I came home I discussed the situation with my DH and Sister. There isn't much I could do for him but I felt something needed to be done. One thing I can do is decorate ~ I told them I would like to go back to NYC and paint and fix up the apartment. I know having nice surroundings can really improve your outlook and he needed something fresh to get him kick started. He had uncomfortable furniture, bad lighting, no table/chairs, no microwave, and he ordered out for all his meals. Everyone agreed to be involved so we put together a plan and made it happen spending 3 1/2 days on site. My DH built bookcases for the bedroom and closet, installed fan lights in the living and bedroom, installed a new mirrored medicine cabinet, towel bars and racks and a new bathroom light fixture. He also hung mirrors on the living walls to capture more natural light from the windows, hung pictures and installed overcabinet lights for evening "mood". We took a small table he had in the hall and used for storage and retro-fitted it for an elevated kitchen table where he could eat and work next to the window. My sister and I shopped and bought new dishes, towels, chairs, bedding, pillows, etc and a gorgeous leather recliner. I organized the cabinets and cleaned cleaned cleaned. My Sister and BIL painted. We had NO time for sightseeing and worked the entire time. The end result more than met my expectations. I really think we were a great team and were meant to be there. My brother had been to the Dr for a complete physical last week as he was so run down and it wasn't getting any better. He was called in while we were there to discuss results with the Dr. The results answered a lot of my observations. He was devasted to find out he is HIV positive.... so we were so thankful we were there for him when he got that news. The Dr. indicated that there is medicine and treatment available so we are all hopeful that he will improve and re-gain his health. We all came home knowing that we had done the best we could and were thankful we went. Here are a few photos I can share from the make-over.