I Saw The CLAW!!!

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north riverhttp://www.northriverlobsterco.com/index.php

https://twitter.com/Sawtheclaw

Whether you are visiting New York City for the very first time or have been a “New Yohkah” for many, many moons – if you have about two hours – go check out the North River Lobster Company this summer.

Located at Pier 81,  West 41st Street (off of 12th Avenue – at the water)

Walk towards the west side of Manhattan.  If your compass or sense of direction is a little off that day, have no fear – New York has many identifiable landmarks to assist you get your bearings.   In this case, should you suddenly find yourself facing 194 colorful flags – TURN AROUND – you went the wrong way and are now at the United Nations General Assembly Building.  So, once turned around and heading west the approximate walking time across Manhattan in either east/west direction is a good 45 minutes.  Once you walk past the majestic Intrepid, take in the sights,  then make your way to the  North River Lobster Company Boat.

The North River Lobster Company is a brand-new floating lobster “shack”  – and, in my opinion, really terrific.  The boat leaves the dock several times a day and makes it’s way slowly up the Hudson River – then comes right back to shore (all in all –  about 40 mins sailing time). I

Free:    It’s free to walk unto the boat – you can stay all day if you like.

The ship is brand new , very clean, nicely decorated – has three levels with a bar each (and clean, sizable bathrooms on the first and second levels).

-First level:  Bar (standing room)

-Second level: Rows of tall wooden communal tables & stools as well as regular tables and chairs/benches. Tasty food and drinks can be ordered from the bar – though here you can also find a beautifully presented raw bar.

-Third level:  Outside deck with tables, benches  – and it’s own bar as well.

The food is delicious and the prices very reasonable.   I  ordered the Lobster Roll (came with a bag of chips and sauerkraut)  and it was excellent.  For drinks – I highly recommend the Nautical Margarita served in a Mason jar souvenir glass! A couple of extra bucks, but makes for a good keepsake.

The staff is super-friendly and helpful, makes for a pleasant visit..  all around it’s a fun time to be had.  The moveable restaurant setting makes for a unique – and jovial – environment.  You are free to roam around the ship, take pictures, eat, meet others, or even sit by yourself if you prefer.  After your excursion is over, you really will feel like you’ve just returned from a mini-vacation! I loved it.

It’s fun, was comfortable and was really – a very pleasant experience. I can’t say enough good things about it – I highly recommend it !   If you go, ENJOY !! (You can even watch the World Cup games on the ship!)

 

Closet Organizing Time!

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It’s cold out. It’s grey out. The Weather Channel is calling for another foot of snow. Yuck. So what to do during this frigid winter season? Let’s stay indoors and… organize !!

If you’re like me, then you know exactly what I see when I look at my closet and drawers.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that  I’m a pack rat or a hoarder, but I tend to hold on to things for a long time. A VERY long time.  Example: a shiny black velvet mini tube top worn to nightclubs 20 years ago, a winter cotillion dress from my first freshman year high school dance,  summer flip-flops, winter boots, seemingly more shoes than Imelda Marcos ever owned, and clothes in a wide size range from size 4 to size 16, small to extra-large (my never-ending weight-loss wishes haven’t exactly manifested themselves into a successful physical form …yet!).

For some of the items, there is obviously a sentimental attachment (as I don’t think I’ll be baring my midriff – especially in this weather –  any time in the near future)  🙂   However, considering I live in a teeny tiny Manhattan studio.. well, sometimes it’s good to purge, to donate, to try to organize.

Here, ahead of the annual “Spring Cleaning”  (way ahead … because you know the 15th snowstorm of 2014 is on the way!)  is this great article I wanted to share.  We may as well organize now .. this way we can emerge in the spring, with the nice weather, purged of all the things we no longer use .. and then be ready to enjoy the summer!

Have a great week everyone!

 

Article:   http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/05/24/40-hanger-closet/

NYC where to donate: http://www.nyc.gov/html/stuffex/html/donate/where_to_donate.shtml

 

 

Truth and Justice – Madoff’s Minion

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Annette Bongiorno (Bernard Madoff’s former secretary) is the main subject in this article  [http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/28/news/companies/bongiorno-madoff-trial/ ].  Since reading it a few days ago I have been in a state of suspended disbelief.  I want your thoughts. No. I need your thoughts –  because I’m truly stumped.

What do YOU believe – based on your opinions and your personal experiences?

Do you think she’s telling the truth or is she making Pinocchio look like the stalwart of truth? Could it be a mix of the two?

Here are my thoughts:

1) TRUE: I can believe some of Ms. Bongiorno’s points. For example, where she says that  she was only doing “data entry” and “typing”, and that she did whatever her boss told her to do. She worked for Madoff for 46 years – and as she is now 65 – we calculate that she started working for him back in 1968 at the age of..19. The workforce (and the world in general) was a very different place back then  (AAkk!! No internet! No computers!)

I can also believe that she didn’t read the Wall Street Journal as she probably didn’t need this tool to do her daily functions.  Also, as dishonest as Madoff was – based on Ms. Bongiorno’s recollections – he seemed to treat his employees well.  Very well.  Do you know of ANY employers that will pay for your honeymoon or that will help your elderly, stroke-ridden mother get a room in a nursing home?

2) FALSE: I don’t believe Ms. Bongiorno’s statement of “not knowing what the S&P 500” was. The S&P 500 was created back in 1957 –  relatively new at the time when Ms. Bongiorno started working for Madoff. I would think that she would have had SOME form of exposure to it, SOME form of understanding or comprehension even if she was just following his instructions, typing documents and performing admin work.

In her chosen field – it would be hard to avoid being exposed to certain industry “staples” such as the S&P 500, and I would imagine, that even with limited exposure – one tends to have SOME form of awareness of systems and functions and indexes/guides/markets/rules in one’s field – even if there were a few degrees of separation outside of their immediate role.  There is no way that  Madoff didn’t at SOME point say something like,  “Hooray!, the S&P is doing great! Dinner’s on  me!” or “Booo! I lost lot’s of money today because the S&P tanked. ”  And so, are you really going to tell me that in response, she just stared at him with a blank look in her eyes with NO idea of what he was talking about? For 46 years? hmm… I don’t believe that.

Now,  I also think that most people in the workforce have peers, colleagues, friends,  mentors (whether at their firm or at other firms).  Many people will chit-chat, make small talk, share stories. So, tell me – In 46 years – how did she not realize at SOME point that what she was making in terms of salary / was able to own was a little… different from what others had?  For example… the BENTLEY? TWO MERCEDES? TWO HOMES? MAKING PLANS FOR EARLY RETIREMENT? (who does that anymore??),  the $6.5 MILLION DOLLAR Florida condo??   Oh.. and let’s not forget the $50 MILLION DOLLARS IN HER INVESTMENT ACCOUNT.  Didn’t she think that was somewhat of an anomaly? Her peers and/or friends couldn’t have been making the same.   Unless she thought she had somehow really super-duper lucked out – I don’t understand how she could have thought that what she had was NORMAL at any point in time.  She is not “dumb as a doorknob”, or else she couldn’t have done the work. This can only mean two possible things: 1) She must have been completely deluded into thinking her exemplary daily work and years of employment gave her these benefits; or, 2) She’s lying.

There is also no way she can say that she doesn’t understand financial terms as she had a personal brokerage account.  She was utilizing Bloomberg to input trades such as short sells, for her own personal account.  I would think that someone that doesn’t understand financial terms related to trading would be somewhat intimidated (by the unknown) and therefore not have a stock account.  Why on earth would you have something under your name – that utilizes your salary/money – and not know a single thing about it?  Nope, sorry – I call BS.

She also must have realized she was doing SOMETHING shifty when she was told to backdate Lehman trades – only for Madoff, herself, and for her family  Hhhmm…did she do this for anyone else then? Wouldn’t you think she’d question WHY ?
So for me, I’m stumped.  I say it’s a mixture of truth and lies.  What do you think?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/12/20/bernie-madoffs-millionaire-secretary-annette-bongiorno.html

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304071004579409610330618006

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570316/Whats-Ponzi-scheme-Bernie-Madoffs-former-secretary-says-did-not-understand-financial-terms-despite-spending-40-YEARS-office.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26P_500

Daily Art Treasure Hunt! British artist Banksy in Manhattan

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Banksy design

Everyone is running around Manhattan trying to uncover the art that elusive British artist Banksy is creating -and leaving – in random places this month.

So where best to hide ??

Well, out in the open of course !

Figures that he was selling his own work – out in the open – on the street by Central Park. (It’s just so obvious that nobody realized!!). His work is valued in the thousands – and yet, there he was – selling masterpieces for $60!  A definite SCORE for those lucky enough to have stopped to buy one of his precious designs.

So if you’re in the city this month, keep your eyes peeled!

Banksy could be ANYWHERE!

Great article below:

The ultimate fake-out: How I didnt buy a Banksy – U.S. News.

Banksy’s site: http://www.banksy.co.uk/

More on this:  http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/14/living/banksy-street-art-sale/

 

day1

San Gennaro

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San Gennaro

San Gennaro.

It’s time to head down to Little Italy in NYC for the yearly San Gennaro Feast!

This is one of my favorite feasts – terrific food, huge crowds buzzing with energy, and fun games to be found everywhere. Well, fun that is, as long as I stay away from any dart games.. (long story! Let’s just say that I can be very naïve at times,  yet also very competitive when it comes to winning… I WILL WIN! ROAR! So I’m sure you can just imagine – naïve & competitive does not  a good combination make !

However, I’m definitely looking forward to procrastinating my diet for another 7 days or so (it’s been 6 years of procrastination, what’s another week, right? Sigh..ha!  🙂 ) to get my yearly fix of zeppoles, fried Oreos, and sausage&peppers.  Yum. These are definitely my  “go-to” foods..(and yes, then I can probably “go-to” the gym!)

So head on down from now until September 22nd if you can. It should be a great time for all. Plus, very pleasant weather is expected.   See you there !