Archive for Wine, Food and other Fun Stuff


In the News – March 28, 2013

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3/21/13 Jon Bon Jovi Selling NYC Penthouse for $42 Million:  Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has put his Manhattan penthouse on the market, and a peek inside shows 7,452 square feet of pure luxury. And it better be luxurious and then some, considering he just put the place on the market for $42 million, a mind-blowing price even for New York real estate.  See the full article with pictures 

3/21/13:  Plan for Trash Station Debated at Upper East Side Democratic Mayoral Forum:  All politics were local last night at a Democratic mayoral forum on the Upper East Side, where a proposed trash facility brought out strong feelings from the candidates and crowd.  See the full report at  NY1.   

3/28/13  Verizon trounces Time Warner in Poll:  In the endless war between Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable, there is finally a clear winner—at least, according to the 84,000 Consumer Reports readers who responded to the magazine’s annual survey of their television, Internet and home phone service providers.  See the full article at Crain’s New York Business 

3/28/13  Brooke Shields nabs East End home listed for 4.3M:  Actress Brooke Shields and her husband, Chris Henchy, are buying a six-bedroom beach “cottage” on  Lewis Street in Southampton that had an asking price of $4.3 million, the New York Post reported.  See the full article at The  Real Deal.


The Manhattan project

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The Manhattan Project from Cameron Michael on Vimeo.

 I hope you enjoy this cool video as much as I did!


In the News – October 21, 2012

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10/3/12  Power Strips:  What’s your strategy for Power Strips?  Do you hide them?  How about showing them off?  Read about Rich Thrush’s strategy and see some interesting designs in this New York Times article.

10/10/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for Westchester & Putnam Sales Markets:  After one of the busiest spring markets we’ve seen in 5 years, the Westchester housing market remained active through the summer.  In fact, third quarter sales in Westchester were up sharply compared to the same time last year. Record-low mortgage rates, despite unusually tight lending conditions, drove demand and helped bring first time buyers into the market. While housing prices generally remained stable, the amount of inventory available for sale continued to decline. We anticipate the same market conditions through the end of the year.   See the full report at 

10/18/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for the Queens Market:  The third quarter Queens housing market was characterized by stable pricing and falling inventory. Properties sold faster as buyers and sellers moved closer together in determining fair prices. Despite mortgage rates dropping to record lows, the market remained a challenge for buyers, with limited inventory to choose from and tight bank lending conditions. The Queens market has come a long way over the past several years, and we look forward to an active market over the next several quarters.   See the full report at

10/18/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for the Brooklyn sales Market:  The Brooklyn housing market was defined by falling inventory this quarter. Consumers had fewer choices, which continued to hold back the number of sales. Despite mortgage rates falling to record lows, housing prices remained stable, largely due to the tough lending standards still in place by banks.  Despite this challenge, the market stabilized, and we anticipate continued improvement over the upcoming quarters as the economy grows stronger.  See the full report at


In the News – October 7, 2012

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9/27/12 City Awards Contract for Controversial E 91st Street Trash Station:  Swedish construction giant Skanska has won a $181 million contract to build the controversial East 91st Street marine transfer station.   The city’s Department of Design and Construction selected Skanska and a company called Trevcon to work jointly on building the new 10-story garbage facility, the city confirmed.  Read the full story at 

10/02/12 Second Avenue Subway Newsletter:  72nd Street Station plans.  See the full newsletter at 

10/02/12:  Forget Restaurants!  Locals are eating in:  The 2013 New York City Zagat restaurant guide reveals that for the first time in more than three decades, New Yorkers are cooking more dinners and lunches at home than dining out or ordering take-out.  See the full article at Crain’s New York Business 

10/2/12:  Manhattan Apartment supply hits 7-year low:  Despite tight inventory of apartments and co-ops in Manhattan, there is little sign of any pickup in prices.  The time it takes to sell an apartment drops to a five-year low.  See full article at Crain’s New York Business




In the News – August 19, 2012

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08/15/12  In Manhattan Home Search, Some choose to Go Big:  There are a small, but growing group of New Yorkers with deep pockets and the stomach for renovations, some are creating single-family homes out of an apartment building.  Behold the return of the urban mansion.  See the full article in the Wall Street Journal 

08/16/12  Refinancing a Vacation Home:   Homeowners who want to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates and refinance a vacation home should be prepared for stricter loan requirement especially if they rent out the property.  See the full article in the New York Times

08/17/12  Rent or Buy?  Blanching at their rent bills, more New Yorkers are being forced to confront that age-old question, should I rent or does buying make more sense?  See the full article in the New York Times 

08/19/12 Upper East Side  fourth-grader Samuel Wohabe is cooking up quite a career in food: White House ‘State Dinner’ is next for the 9-year-old upper East Sider and co-winner of national Healthy Lunchtime Challenge  See the article in the New York Daily News

Recently ABC News did a story on Graham Hill and his group at showing how they turned a 420 square foot SoHo studio apartment into a veritable Swiss Army Apartment.  The apartment was gutted and rebuilt with convertible walls and multi-purpose furniture and fixtures that morphs into six different living spaces, all in a single room.

Dinner party for 10?  No problem with an expandable table with multiple leaves slides out from under the kitchen counter to seats 10.

Guests staying over?  Pull out the convertible second bedroom to reveal bunk beds to sleep 2 more.  Dark heavy drapes ensure privacy.

Even the kitchen is unique.  All the appliances, refrigerator, dishwasher and stove are tucked into drawers.  The stove top is actually two induction burners that store in a drawer and are placed on the counter-top when needed.

Technology is present all over the apartment.  Projection screen TV and Rumba Robot vacuum are two of the features. 

Nearly every space has dual purpose, including the bathroom that doubles as a ‘quiet room’. 

The apartment embodies the “Less is More” philosophy, and does so with style.




In the News

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06/26/12:  Let them all eat a $1,000 dessert:  A crown prince of Dubai and his party arrived at the Serendipity 3 for one of their Golden Opulence Sundaes recently.  Read the full article at the New York Post   

7/13/12:  Geffen gets super Rich pad:  David Geffen buys Upper East Side Penthouse apartment of Denise Rich for $54 million.  See the full article in the New York Post


In the News

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6/3/12  Tourists Drive Retail Surge in Manhattan:  Tourists are spearheading a retail spending surge in Manhattan, with $52.4 billion expected to pour into the cash registers of clothing stores, electronics shops and other outlets by the end of 2012, according to a report being released Monday.  See the article in the Wall Street Journal 

6/6/12  Foreign investment in NYC commercial properties doubles, Knakal says: VIDEO:  While foreign investment in New York City residential real estate has captured the headlines, Massey Knakal Realty Services Chairman Robert Knakal appeared on CNBC’s “Street Signs” this afternoon to say foreign investors have also sought commercial properties (see video above). He reported seeing twice as much foreign investment in real estate thus far in 2012 as he did during the same period last year.  See the Video and read the article at The Real Deal 

6/6/12  New York Hospitals Look to Combine, Forming a Giant:  A proposal to bring together NYU Langone Medical Center and the Continuum Health Partners network would change how medical care is delivered in the city.  See the full article in the New York Times   

6/7/12  Reports:  Manhattan rental market gets even tighter:  With rents again hitting record highs, vacancy rate dips below 1%.  See the entire article at The Real Deal


Where to Eat on the Upper East Side

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View Michael Lomonaco in a larger map

Michael Lomonaco shares some of his Upper East Side Favorites

Pizza by the Slice:  Italian Village 

Pizza by the Pie:  John’s Pizzeria

Cheap Burger:    J.G. Melon 

Fancy Burger:  Jones Wood Foundry  

Sandwich:  2nd Ave Deli

Coffee:  Oren’s Daily Roast

Bagels:  Tal Bagels 

Chinese:  Pig Heaven 

Breakfast:  E.A.T 

Bar:  Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle

Ice Cream/Gelato:  Sant Ambroeus

Falafel:  Melange Food Fair

Late Night Eats:  Cascabel Taqueria 

Date night:  Crown 

Can’t-miss Neighborhood Spot:  Sandoro’s   

From Serious Eats NY


Childproofing: Get Down on Their Level

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 It’s every parent’s worst nightmare; an accident harms your little darling, especially a preventable accident.  Outlets, dresser drawers and cabinets filled with chemicals are child magnets.  Being naturally curious, a child will explore everything with their hands and mouth.  Choking, shock and strangulation hazards are everywhere.

 Some advice from the experts:

  • Start before the child comes
  • Get down on their level.  Crawl around on your hands and knees and see things from a child’s perspective
    • Outlets:  use outlet covers with horizontally sliding doors.  Easy for parents to use, don’t need to be removed and reinserted.  Check out Safety 1st Swivel Outlet cover about $2.25, or Levitons Decora tamper-resistant duplex receptacle, $2.50 at Home Depot.
    • Choking and strangulation hazards:  Cords on window treatments and power cords.  Secure the electric cords out of reach with Safety 1st’s Cord Short’ner, about $4.  Forego the venetian blinds for something that is completely cordless.
    • Secure the TV to the wall, a child reaching and grabbing could tip the TV onto themselves.
    • Secure furniture more than 30 inches tall with wall restraints.  Be sure to screw the straps into a wall stud.
  • With all the temptations in the kitchen and bath, toxic chemicals, sharp utensils, etc., think Operation Lockdown:
    • Use latches that automatically reset upon closing.  Safety 1st No-Drill Deluxe latch kit (about $31/set of 4) uses a magnetic handle to release the latch.  Once installed, keeping track of the handle will be the hardest part.
    • In the bath, get a toilet lock.  KidCo makes one that automatically resets and is relatively easy to clean (about $15).
    • Keep the bathroom doors closed and put child-proof doorknob covers on the knobs.
  • Stairs:  Use a child safety gate top and bottom. 

 While this list isn’t all inclusive, it gives you a good start.  Consider calling in a consultant.  Every home is different, and poses different potential hazards. 

 Based on New York Times article by Bob TedeschiOctober 26, 2011

Categories : Buyers, Fun Stuff
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Central Park: Seasons On The Terrace

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Central Park is one of the most important works of art in America. And for 30 years, the Central Park Conservancy has worked to maintain this living masterpiece and enhance the public’s enjoyment of its visionary design. What better way to celebrate the Park’s success than with a stunning art installation befitting of New York City’s premier museum without walls?

Narrated by Kevin Bacon this incredible marriage of art and technology takes you through a year in the life of Central Park. With musical selections from Sting’s Symphonicities, this digital artwork lets Central Park admirers from around the globe enjoy its colorful spring blooms, green summer lawns, rust-colored fall foliage and snowy winter landscapes – all without traveling an inch. Originally projected onto Bethesda Terrace during a live event on October 13, Seasons is making its online debut today.

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 As I tweeted last night @reGeezer:

Celebrated anniversary at Del Posto in Meat Packing District. Had 7 course tasting menu- local ingredients paired w/Italian EVOO+wine. Wow!

 Below is the menu from Del Posto’s site. Our favorites were the ostrich and the 100 Layer lasagne!

                                                                  Menu Tradizionale

Champagne “Fleur de L’Europe,” Fleury Brut NV France

Del Posto CRUDO with Homegrown Herbs & Burrata
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ROI: Cru Riva Gianca, Riviera dei Fiori DOP 2009/ 2010 Liguria
Cinque Terre “Marea,” Bisson 2008 Liguria

Apician Spiced OSTRICH, Date Conserva, Lovage & Barley Crisps
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, La Mola, Sabina DOP 2009/2010 Lazio
Copper Ale “Spring Fling,” Blue Point Brewing Co. New York

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta NUDI di Uovo, Bird’s Nest Style
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lungarotti, Umbria Colli Martani DOP 2010/2011 Umbria
Friulano, Meroi 2007 Friuli

100 Layer LASAGNE alla Piastra
Butter, Beppino Occelli April 2011 Piemonte
Morellino di Scansano “I Perazzi,” La Mozza 2008 Toscana

VEAL Braciole, Roasted Porcini alla Cacciatore & Broccoli Blossoms
Extra Virgin Olive OIl, Zamparelli 2010/2011 Campania
Barolo “Rocchettevino,” Bovio 1999 Piemonte

PECORINO Fresco with Warm Eucalyptus Honey and Saffron
“TOCAI PLUS,” Bastianich 2006 Friuli

Nectarine ARROSTO, Basil Gelato & Grilled Lemon Cake
Extra Virgin Olive OIl, Mondranova 2010/2011 Sicilia
Passito di Pantelleria, “Ben Rye,” Donnafugata 2008 Sicilia


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New York City Real Estate is different – and navigating the waters can be difficult without a network of friends or financial resources to help you.  There are many websites you can visit, but here’s a few to help you get started:

StreetEasy has searchable listings and user forums geared towards sales rather than rentals. For $15/month you can get sold prices of coops, condos and townhouses. A must have if you are trying to determine what the “correct” selling price should be.

Trulia  has searchable listings and interesting neighborhood stats.

The New York Times website  has articles and searchable listings.  provides you with comprehensive and detailed data including zoning, permits (Department of Building information), property tax information etc.

Curbed NY  is a cross between commentary and gossip, it is a good place to get a feel for New York real estate and learn about new developments and conversions. Tongue-in-cheek

The BrickUnderground gives practical advice, with current prices and advice on rental apartment living.

Hotpads A search tool with thousands of apartment listings plotted on a map.

NabeWise ranks neighborhoods based on various characteristics.

If you have certain neighborhoods in mind, for rentals,  sites like Naked Apartments and RentHop  provide search tools to narrow preferences

Navigating the waters of Manhattan real estate is not for the faint of heart.  It takes stamina and persistence to find just what you want at a price you can afford.  Educating yourself is a great first step.

 Adapted from a New York Times article by Joseph Plambeck


iTrulli Pasta Class with Chef Patti Jackson

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Last Saturday my wife and I attended a pasta making and cooking class at iTrulia. This NY Times two star restaurant  is the epitome of a neighborhood restaurant serving Italian food from Apulia (which forms the heel of Italy’s boot) using the finest ingredients found locally and imported from Italy.

Located on a side street (122 East 27th Street between Lex & Park) i Trulli’s hands-on Chef Patti Jackson creates homecooked meals with virtually everything produced on site. The owner’s mother, Dara Maravilla, makes nearly all the pasta and can be seen doing so daily from 11am through about 4pm.

Unfortunately, Dara was not feeling well on Saturday, so it was up to Patti to cook and entertain the 15 or so “students” that attended the hands-on pasta class and lunch.

Each dish was prepared by Chef Patti with the assistance of apron wearing students. Interestingly, lessons learned were much less about exact measurements of the ingredients as it was about the look and feel of the various doughs and the color and consistency of the sauces. After each dish was prepared by Patti/group, we had it as lunch course served from the “real” kitchen. 

The first course was a Cavatelli (little shells) with broccoli rabe and almonds. We all had the chance to feel the consistency of this ultra simple dough ( ratio of 2 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup very hot water) as well as try our hands at making the shape.

Next we worked with whole wheat flour to create whole wheat tonnarelli (pasta similar to spaghetti) with fonduta (rich creamy cheese sauce) and walnuts.

Then we created butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce. Amazing!

Finally, we ended this lunch feast with strudel di mele for desert. Throughout the demonstration Patti would return to the strudel dough and continue to stretch it. Over time it was transformed to a paper thin dough,  four feet by 2 feet, encasing the apple and cinnamon and sugar filling.

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Rejoice fashionistas, spring is definitely in the air! New stores, new concepts and new celebrations abound. It’s time for spring cleaning; make room for the fabulous new offerings coming soon to an avenue near you.

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman, Retail Leasing and Sales Division
of Prudential Douglas Elliman recently published the shop ’til you drop Spring 2010 New York Retail Leasing Report