I was born in NYC and I frequented the Waldorf with my family. When I met my now-husband Nick and we were making wedding plans, I knew immediately that we would be having our moments at the Waldorf. We stayed in a suite which became an important suite: 27Y. That’s when the time capsule plot began. On our one-year anniversary, we got our room again, 27Y. I brought along some of our wedding pictures, because that was still very new to us.
Then I had the idea, “What do you think about putting some of our pictures in an envelope and sticking them somewhere in the room? We could put them here and then every year we can come back and hopefully they are still there!”
We taped the envelope to the back of this painting. At most I thought that we could go back in a year and maybe it would still be there! When we lived in the city, we would still staycation at the Waldorf Astoria because we lived ten blocks away. We wouldn’t go on vacation, we would just go back to the Waldorf! The first thing we would do is go look at the painting and it was always set up the same with our time capsule taped to the back.
Ten years later, I got a Facebook message from a complete stranger named Mikey who turned out to be working on the restoration of the Waldorf Astoria. He had found our envelope on the floor in the construction site! He said “I don’t know why, I don’t know what made me pick it up, but I had seen this manila envelope during construction, and on the outside it said, ‘Do not discard, open me!’”
We still haven’t met to this day, but Mikey is connected to us forever. When we post on Facebook, our anniversary, it’ll say, “With Nick and Mikey Montano,” and a lot of friends are like, “Who’s Mikey?” because it’s unusual, but he’s the reason. Connected always. We always joke, especially at that time, when the Waldorf opens again, I said, “We’re going to go back. We’re going to meet there.”
To be telling this story now is just everything we ever dreamed of. The whole building, the whole block… you can take the walls down, but the memories are still there and all the spirits. There is magic in the entire architecture of that building. You can’t get rid of it. We are just happy to be a part of it.