Maybe this has happened to you. You have two appointments at DHMC on the same day, separated by an hour or more. In my case, it was a series of scans, required to be taken an hour apart, 5 scans total. Each scan took exactly one minute. If you do the math, that is 5 minutes of actual treatment time, scattered throughout a period of just over 4 hours. It was a situation requiring Olympic-level skill at the art of killing time.
Should you find yourself facing such a challenge, here are the obvious possibilities: bring a book/iPhone/iPad and make yourself comfortable in the waiting room, poke around in the hospital gift shop, get a slice of pizza from Sbarro's if you are allowed to eat while waiting (I wasn't), or find healthier and reasonably-priced meals in the cafeteria on Level 2. Other ideas:
1) Wear your walking shoes. DHMC has miles of corridors. In fact, DHMC is listed on the website of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, complete with outdoor and indoor trail guides. (Yes, really.) Especially in very hot or very cold weather, the climate-controlled space allows you to get those steps in.
2) Need to sit? Be picky about your spot. Among the best ones are:
---the elevated and airy nook just next to the cancer center, diagonally across the corridor from the DHMC pharmacy in the East Mall. Sort of secluded but with plenty of windows.
---the main corridor between the rotunda and the sculpture of the moose. Hands down, this is the prime location for people-watching. Sip your coffee/espresso beverage of choice from Au Bon Pain and watch the Upper Valley go by. You may see things that cause you to count your blessings, and there often seems to be a surfeit of cute kids. And one of my favorite posters (below) is always inspiring.
---the chapel, if you are feeling meditative and/or you want a first or dozenth peek at the gorgeous window designed by the artist whom the Upper Valley calls its own, Sabra Field.
---the Health Education Center on Level 4 of the East Mall, for researching (there are people to help you) or just to have a place to park your laptop and get some work done.
Stained-glass window, designed by artist Sabra Field, in the DHMC chapel.
3) View the art. You are in an art gallery. Or, more accurately, several of them. DHMC has a permanent art collection with pieces scattered throughout the building, and a handful of gallery spaces for rotating temporary exhibitions. Ask at the rotunda's info desk for directions, or just start walking and looking. My favorite gallery is on Level 4 of the Williamson Translational Research Building. Enter DHMC through the main door, make a right at the rotunda and walk up the set of stairs halfway down the hallway. If it is nice outside, ask someone to direct you to the 27-foot tall kinetic sculpture, the Wind Orchid by George Sherwood, just outside of the Main Entrance.
What have I missed? Where and how do you spend your waiting time at DHMC? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.
I write about arts in the Upper Valley. You can sign up to receive an email notification every time I post something new to this blog by clicking here. To view my profile page or to read previous posts, please click here.
Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge