When she walks into the meeting suite, the fire is lit and the assistants around the oval table are going over the checklists.
“Well, this is it. In a few hours, we will be celebrating a unique occasion with our most valued guests,” begins Mr. Heiko Kuenstle. “This has been the largest renovation work the Hotel has undergone in 33 years. As the General Manager, I want to thank you for having allowed us to remain open over the last 3 years, and for continuing to provide an outstanding service, in spite of all the upheaval.
Thanks to you and all our team, from this day onwards The Lowell will be in a completely different position for the next 25 years”.
“I would like to add my own thanks and those of Mr. Chartouni to Mr. Kuenstle’s,” Dina adds. “We are a family, and I know we will deliver our very best this evening as well. Our mantra works, so believe in it. Even when something seems impossible, if you are truly open-minded and you really want it, then something will happen – one step closer to making it possible”.
Those taking part seem relieved, their expressions more relaxed. “You know I’ve just come back from London for the Vic Theatre, don’t you?” Dina goes on. “It’s a project very dear to my heart.
As Chair of the American Associates of The Old Vic since 2012, Dina has been working with directors, producers and artists, from both sides of the pond, tying together the artistic communities of the London theatre world with the stages of New York. It all flows quite naturally, especially since The Lowell has a long history and following by great artists. Dina often wishes “if only these walls could talk.”
Throughout the years, many artists have taken refuge at The Lowell. Some have come to write and others to seclude themselves in a home away from home. F Scott Fitzgerald and Eugene O’Neil both lived and wrote from their favorite suites. Playwright Wendy Wasserstein wrote Shiksa Goddess, a humorous memoir about living at The Lowell. Actress Michelle Pfeifer credits a painting that hung in her suite at The Lowell for inspiring her to play the role in Martin Scorsese’s Age of Innocence.
Dina is passing through the Clubroom and hears her name called out. It is her friend, and actor Alec Baldwin.
He proudly lauds her on the new spaces and Majorelle restaurant. He then turns to his friend and recounts the story from 2012, when NYC had been hit by SANDY, a major storm, blowing out all power to lower Manhattan.
Alec and his wife, Hilaria took refuge at The Lowell. Alec declares, “Once I got to my suite at The Lowell and lit the fireplace, I never cared if the power ever came back on.”