A boomerang pandemic plan, so it's back to Hell's Kitchen

At tea time: Mrs. Riley, a big tea drinker, remembers her husband often making her a cup. “We went through a program and answered a few...


At tea time: Mrs. Riley, a big tea drinker, remembers her husband often making her a cup. “We went through a program and answered a few questions before we got married,” she said. “The guy who took my answers said to Rex, ‘My advice: when she loses her mind, just make her a cup of tea and she’ll be right.’ And he did, and I was.


Working with Ross, her son in New York, she obtained copies of old leases and bank statements, and sent them all. Two weeks later, she received official word that she could leave the country. “If it weren’t for Ross,” she says, “I would still be sitting in Australia. I knew people who had applied three or four times and got turned down each time.

Ms. Riley still remembers the moment she returned to New York and walked out of the airport: “The first words that came out of my mouth were, ‘I’m free.’ I saw people walking, I saw people talking, it was amazing. In New York, even though people are social distancing and wearing masks, you can still go get a cup of coffee, you can go eat. In Melbourne, you couldn’t do that.

Initially, Ms. Riley was looking for a place in Sunnyside, Queens, to be near her son and family, but she struggled to find a place that suited her. Most of the buildings she saw were older, with stairs, which she found increasingly difficult to manage.

“We didn’t find anything,” she said. It was discouraging. She longed to be near her family, but she felt like nothing was working – not her time in Australia, not her return to New York. “I felt so fed up with it all.”

That’s when Ross called. “He said ‘Do you know your old apartment is available?'”

She went online and, of course, there was the listing, the 39th-floor T2 where she had moved shortly after losing her husband, with sweeping views of sunsets and bright lights. Everything was exactly the same except with a fresh coat of paint. “It was like she was waiting for me,” she said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A boomerang pandemic plan, so it's back to Hell's Kitchen
A boomerang pandemic plan, so it's back to Hell's Kitchen
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