A month of my life has now been devoted to this flood, and I know it's not ending at that. It's a little unbelievable to think that for a month, my feet have not left the muddy ground of Monterosso al Mare. We went to Levanto Saturday night for a pizza, and I didn't realize how much I psychologically needed to leave my flooded little town. It was strange, because the group of 11 of us wanted to eat a pizza at 9:30, and at this time and at this point in the season, you wouldn't expect every restaurant to be completely full. What we hadn't taken into account was that Levanto isn't just Levanto anymore - it's also the majority of evacuated residents of Monterosso and Vernazza. There was the surf competition, but there were no waves in Levanto for the past week, so they moved to another town where they could finish their constest.
We drove there again on Sunday, this time with Manuel's family, for a short stroll and some fresh air, and could barely walk half a block without stopping to talk to a friend that
was now living here. The sighs are the same, the comforting shoulder pats and hugs, as everyone checks in on each others progress in the recovery and rebuilding. But, after a month, the progress has been incredible. I can't stress that enough. The Cantina is at a bit of a stalemate, as it's completely empty and we wait to figure out insurance wise and so forth what exactly we can do. However, other restaurants have made progress that blows me away. Lorenzo's place, Ciak, as you've seen and as I've written, is more or less mud free. As you can see, in the photo, the flood revealed a beautiful brick wall that was covered up - and the lamps hanging from the ceiling give a reminder of how high that water and mud was.
I'm coming back to New York for a few days, then Thanksgiving, and it's desperately
needed. When you can step back from the strange reality you've been faced with, it helps give you a clearer perspective on how much we have to do still, and what we've accomplished. Still, looking at the photos from a month ago today shocks me. It's something I never thought I'd have to deal with here, and I'm obviously not the only
one who feels that terrible sense. The best way to deal with it is to simply work and try not to dwell on what has happened here, but I'm incredibly glad to see New York City and wear normal shoes for a little bit.
However, the forecast calls for rain. Go figure.