Gay’s Agent Year in Review 2020

Wishing everyone a healthy 2021 and may all of your endeavors be successful!

Westchester is GREAT!

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I can recall … Musings on our children growing up

I can recall reading how children in New York City would play stickball way back when …. I grew up in a pseudo country side, and my father had invented ‘sticky wicket’, a game with a ball and a cricket bat with the players trying to throw a ball (gently) at the legs of the person holding the cricket bat. It was so much fun, and I can imagine how it would be frowned upon today! Throwing a ball at someone’s legs! Oh my goodness!

My siblings and I would grow vegetables and then ‘sell them’ to my  mum, and there was such a  sense of accomplishment. Each year I would embroider chairbacks for Great Aunt Nance, and she would knit us a cardigan each. We would be in bed at 7 pm. (summer too  – can you imagine!), and we would lie in bed for hours until we fell asleep. I would read a book, and sneak it beneath my pillow when I heard my parents on the stairway. My mum made great roast chicken with stuffing (my father’s chicken was better though), but it was just the way he would season it. He would return from work and we would sit and watch him eat, and he would put x amount of pepper on the potatoes, and then the salt, and I cant describe it, but he would make everything look so appetizing when he did next to nothing? My mum would place our dessert called ‘afters’  behind the main course. We were not allowed to eat the ‘afters’ until we ate our dinner. The point of course was to eat all of those vegetables we hated in order to get to the yummy dessert be it pie and custard or something else.  Ice cream was always a huge treat. When my mum made a stew.. ‘we…ell‘  it was meat, some vegetables in water…. That was when we started to learn how to season,  some A-1 sauce, some pepper, anything to give flavor. We would always take out the dumplings and save for our ‘afters’ and serve with jam. Vegetables? My mum would cook a variety, but I would not be exaggerating if I stated 4-5 with each meal. Swedes, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, potatoes of all kinds, greens as we called them. Not much meat.

Sundays in the summer would mean my mum pickling some hard boiled eggs in vinegar to have with salad for tea ( always a roast for Sunday lunch).  If fishermen would come around, we would have fresh cockles and mum would place them in vinegar to marinate. They were delicious.  Herrings slow cooked in the oven with onions and vinegar – yum! I used to love to bring in the bottles of milk and enjoy the fresh cream on top!

Life was so different. Families were families.  Sunday afternoons would mean sitting by the fire and reading the Sunday newspapers. When I was 4, I would pretend to read.. and when I was 5, I did read. So many stories about the holocaust. That I vividly recall.  I can recall coming in second in a Cadbury’s writing contest held  amongst all schools in England and  Northern Ireland when I was in Elementary School. We had to write a story on how the Easter Bunny lost its tail! We had time to have imaginations. Are our children too programmed today?

A.J. and Mark. A.J. always loved uniforms, and is now a commercial pilot! Mark is in business!

Playtime was outside, playing with friends, be it soccer, or berry picking, or going where we weren’t supposed to it which were the batteries or emplacements on Canvey Island. We would run amidst the pillboxes having so much fun. Yikes! I am sure there was ammunition left somewhere but what did we know in the 50’s! I can recall mud flats, and we would roll in the mud – it would be warm and oozing. Canvey Island was a holiday spot for people from London which made us laugh.  Coming to our island? People would come for holidays or day trips, there was a fair ground, a Country Club, a horrible stony beach and a casino. We even had (have) Dutch cottages with thatched roofs. One famous pub was called the Haystack because of it thatched roof.

When I was 11, I passed the “11 Plus’, my parents told me not to go to High School for I would get married and so why bother. Ha! However, I attended an all girl’s High School which meant I had to wear a uniform, a beret, take a bus to a train, a train and then another bus to my school from the age of 11 onward. I cant imagine doing that now. However, back then, everyone did it. The trains were also steam, and so we would hang our heads out of the window to see the smoke getting all black in the process!  We had to stand for any adult on a bus so they would not have to. Life was different. We were taught to respect our elders.

I couldn’t wait to have a job and earn money. At the age of 14, my friend, Carol Brand and I  obtained jobs at Connolly’s in Westcliff. I seem to recall a bed and breakfast, a snack bar, and Mrs. Connolly made THE best  flaky fruit pies. I was put in charge of the snack bar, and one day I felt sorry for a lady and  made her toasted cheese sandwich with extra cheese. She made a complaint about me! Mrs. Connolly informed me that she wanted to sponsor me and send me to a Hospitality and Restaurant School!  I declined but I often think what could have been had I accepted. I had a crush on her older son who was an engineer but a different story! Perhaps she saw that. Of the musing of the young! When I traveled to the United States, Mrs. Connolly wrote the loveliest  reference letter on my behalf.

I think that our childhood also determines to some extent the type of play we then have with our children when they are born. My father was the fun person, and we loved his sense of play. I can recall (still do – oops) having throwing contests with paper balls into the garbage can from the kitchen table. We call it the best of three, and see who gets the ball of paper into the garbage the most times.  A relative came to stay once, and asked why were we doing it. I responded with ‘because its fun!”  I felt so sad that he had never experienced doing something so silly and he was so young. I would sit down on the floor after dinner, their homework completed, and my sons and I would play marbles. Or, we would play floor hockey on a limited basis of course.  Board games – always just as we did growing up on Canvey. Scrabble my favorite!  Driveway tennis,  baseball, berry picking, cooking. All of my sons are great cooks.  One of my son’s friends said he would love sleep overs as I would make great breakfasts. That was nice . One time, and after my children had a bout of the flu, we decided to have an indoor picnic to cheer  up. I placed a sheet onto the kitchen floor, and we had a picnic just because…

I was taught not to take myself seriously, and I would like to think that my three sons all have a great sense of humor, care for others, and to treat everyone the same. Life is too short.

So, it all makes me ponder on this generation a little.  Don’t hate me!! I see the children glued to their computer tablets and phones so how do they socialize, have fun and just be children? Will they grow up to be too serious. Perhaps unhappy?  Its saddens me when I hear how colleges have to create safe places for their students because they cant cope. Have they lost their sense of fair play, how to play, how to relax, can they spontaneously create a game just because?

Just pondering..

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It’s National Gingerbread Day 2020!

Each year I like to make gingerbread houses for friends and clients. Definitely a labor of love, but I feel so good in making them and delivering them.  I felt compelled to make them this year to just try and place a smile on a few people’s  faces.  Happy Holidays!


Westchester is GR EAT!

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Hunan Chinese Restaurant Larchmont

WHO doesn’t like Chinese food! One of my favorite Chinese restaurants is the Hunan Chinese Restaurant in Larchmont. Located just across the street from my office (so convenient), but the food makes it a worthwhile visit no matter you live!

One of my favorites is the Ginger and Scallion Lobster. The owner makes it  extra spicy for me and I love it!. One of my husband’s favorites is the Szechuan Beef and the Chicken Chow Mei Fun. Whatever you order, you will not be disappointed!

Located at 1961 Palmer Avenue in Larchmont.

Monday – Thursday 11:30am to 10:00pm
Friday  11:30am to 11:00pm

Saturday  12:00am to 11:00pm
Sunday     1:00pm to 10:00pm

914 833-0400

Westchester is GREAT!

 

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Sal’s Pizza 43 Quaker Ridge Road New Rochelle

It is always nice to visit our local restaurants, and during these uncertain times,  now is more important than ever. We are all trying to support as many restaurants as possible, and when you love the food served, it makes it all the more enjoyable!. We love ordering from Sal’s Pizza located at 43 Quaker Ridge Road in New Rochelle. The delivery time is always quite quick, the food delivered is always hot, and the food is delicious!

We love the family style salad – it is huge and just $12.95.  Arugula, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes, and always served with oil and vinegar dressing, and all delicious. The pizzas are fantastic also, and we also like the Chicken Marsala. price are very reasonable.

Visit them. Order from them. You wont be disappointed!

Sal’s Pizza – 43 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle 914 632-1248

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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Giving Tuesday 2020

While I first wrote this blog post a year ago, I think that year it has so much more meaning, and so important . My office has given our Holiday party spending money (there will only be a Zoom party – but it will be great!) to both the Hope Community Services where hundreds of families are fed, and also to the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force. 

Ali Greene from our office is on the Board of the Hope Community Services and she has been working tirelessly there this holiday season.

We also had a toy drive for the Hope Community Services. So many children without this year. 

Tuesday December 1st was giving Tuesday, but it shouldn’t just be on any one day. It is simply fun and so rewarding to help others. I would even argue that we are helping ourselves more (mentally and emotionally) when we are helping others.

Life throws out so many challenges to everyone, and not everyone has time and certainly not money readily available, so I would also like to feel that community service could be interpreted as giving a helping hand along the way. Helping someone cross the street (assuming they want to cross the street of course – ha!),  offering some money to someone less fortunate, taking over a meal to a friend who is ill, taking that extra frozen turkey or ham to a soup kitchen, all wonderful gestures and definitely serving the community if even on a limited basis.

It’s funny as I see how my helping others has evolved over the years.  When I found myself alone in the city back in the 1970’s, and missing my family, I sponsored a child in Brazil with monthly donations, then became a ‘Big Brother’ to a young boy in the city. When I married and couldn’t become pregnant, I volunteered at the city’s Foundling Hospital one night a week after work. I became pregnant in 3 months!  It took my mind off me!

As a parent, we try to encourage our children to give to the community too and in ways that they can enjoy also. As they see us giving, they will follow in our footsteps.

When my children were younger, we delivered meals on wheels for 7 years. Not every day, but every other Sunday, and as one child couldn’t make it due to sports, etc. the other son would accompany me. I have great children, and it was fun. We met so many interesting people along the way.

Through delivering those meals on wheels, I noticed that my visit was THE only visit some of the older citizens received. My heart cried for them, and I made a Valentine’s Day cake for one older lady who I thought was very special. She gave a card to me on my next visit, thanking me for the cake, as she never thought she would ever receive a Valentine’s Day gift from anyone anymore. Oh my goodness! I asked Patricia Showers, the Director of the program if I could make a Birthday cake for each the home bound receiving meals on wheels. I started making cakes for them on their Birthdays, but it didn’t last more than a year or so as it became too complicated for the program. My heart was there, and I enjoyed the experience. One lady informed me that her grandson played football at West Point and was in the newspaper. I  went out and bought several copies of the newspaper for her. On my next visit, I excitedly gave her the copies of the newspaper with her grandson featured  thinking it would make her happy, but she had forgotten all about it… age had stepped in.

I can recall making a Thanksgiving complete dinner and delivering it to a Halfway House in White Plains on Church Street one Thanksgiving… taking foods to the Hope Kitchen when it was at the church on Lockwood Avenue. I think we all try to give in ways that have meaning to us. In my case, my family was in England, and while I had a loving family here, I would think about all of those less fortunate who were away from their families, and needed that small connection. In truth, one lasting memory stayed with me and still does to this day. When I was about 10 years old, I had written to Oxfam to help starving children in Africa. I had received an envelope, and donation envelopes or something similar. That was as far as it went, and I never sent any money as I had none to give. I was terrified that someone would knock on my door asking for the money, but I think it made me want to make up for not giving at that time. I once brought home a school mate and asked if he could stay for dinner. My mom said that she had no food for him, and that memory also had a lasting effect on me too. I felt so badly towards that young friend who lived in a lean too if my memory is correct. On another note, I would have gladly given him my brussel sprouts and greens …

As my children grew a little older, and they were involved in so many sports, so my contact with others also changed direction, but not community involvement. I noticed that many youngsters in the Pop Warner Football team were not as fortunate as we were. SO, I volunteered to have two boys join me after school, so I could help them with their homework. The goal? SO their test scores would improve allowing them to make it to the Championship Bowl game, an overnight trip over the Thanksgiving Holiday which was a treat for all who went.  Also, one young man was offered a scholarship at Iona Prep School but he needed better scores. Alas, right after the football season ended, my young friends disappeared also as it was then basketball season. I also learned that their neighbors made fun of them for having a white friend . That saddened me, and realized that if my face were a fixture then I would not be the oddity in their lives? So, not to give up, I thought I would reach out to the community by contributing time at the local Boys and Girls Club. Ostensibly, I was still trying to connect with the two young men, but I had lost them.

However, I thought on how I could contribute making it fun for myself and my youngest son, then around 2 years old. I asked if I could teach cooking. My youngest son, Brett was just 2 or 3 or so at the time, and he would accompany me. I did this for 2 years over the winter months, helped assist in one Holiday party too, and it was a fun and rewarding experience.

I can recall making gingerbread houses for the entire Special Education classes at the Ward School one year. I went from classroom to classroom, bringing in the icing and candy decorations for all of the children and helped decorate those houses.  I also helped as a helper in a special education classroom when my younger son started Kindergarten.  I showed the children how to make papier MÂché, and we made puppets and bowls! We all loved it!

I have been a soccer mom, baseball coach (the other coaches must have hated it but I would handle the paperwork and equipment!), and when a son joined a luge club, I created the “On the Fast Track”  bulletin for the Adirondack Luge Club, where I obtained some advertising, featured articles on the luge athletes ( hopefully some humorous ones), and designed and offered merchandise to the athletes also. PTA Co-Treasurer – been there done that! Organized a party for the School – check! I was also a Student Advocate for 2 years too helping young students obtain required services. After 9-11, we (our soccer team) held a garage sale with proceeds going to the local firefighters who had helped at Ground Zero.

My children and I collected coats for the needy one year too, delivering them to the Bronx. I have no clue where I found the organization as it was so many years ago before the internet,  but it was something I thought would help others, and my sons were actively involved.

I always wanted to answer a child in need’s request for a gift from Santa. That was one disappointment. I went to the Post Office in Grand Central, and asked for some letters to Santa. Unfortunately, my letters were from a teacher who had instructed her class  to write to Santa as a project to get free gifts, and I just didn’t feel comfortable with that? It took the romance out of giving from the heart. Nothing should be contrived?  That is important.  We should give because we WANT to, not because it is expected of us?

My middle son and I gave a $250 gift (not much I know) for 7 years at the high school to a student in Special Education . We called it “The Power to Excel Award”, and we wanted it to go to someone who wasn’t that A or B student but rather someone who was either physically challenged or learning disabled and who simply worked his/her the hardest they could.

Now that I am in real estate, I work 7 days a week,  totally support my family, and so my time is limited. However, I love animals, and was a volunteer at the local Humane Society. Well, as we all know that is just an excuse to adopt another pet! I would go on Holidays and snow days to help clean the cages and feed the pets so the workers could leave a little earlier or at least on time, and along the way, I found Binky! Once adopted, so ended my  volunteering there.

Community service has allowed me so many different avenues of wonderful experiences. I was on the Advisory Board for the Scarsdale Adult School for quite a few years, and then on the Board of Directors there too, but that I think was just rewarding for me !

Now that my time is limited due to my work, this is where donations come in handy! We all have our favorites, and I like to give to the Humane Society of Westchester in New Rochelle (it used to be the New Rochelle Humane Society), and to the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter. I recently was one of the sponsors for a Turkey Trot Race with the proceeds going to local charities, so while I am not as involved nowadays timewise, my heart is still there to help others in ways that I can. My office and company is very active in Philanthropic endeavors, and I help there when I can, but we all have our favorite charities which speak directly to us. If clients have unwanted items then I always encourage them to donate to the local charities too.

So, I would just say that to help is grand, to love what you are doing even better!

Westchester is GREAT

 

 

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It’s Thanksgiving 2020!

I thought it would be fun to deliver some turkeys on Thanksgiving (albeit chocolate ones!).

It is always hopefully nice to put a smile on someone’s face.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Westchester is great!

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Rosen Vineyards Closes

Well, Rosen Vineyards has closed. Ha! It never opened, but we did have some fun along the way. I decided years ago to make our own wine, less sulphites, healthier – just the way everyday wine is made in Italy and France.

I bought all of the necessary equipment; the grape ‘de-stemmer’, the wine press, the big vats to use while the wine is fermenting, the  stainless steel vats to store and age the wine, the machine to insert the corks into the wine bottles, a wine bottle holder, and also a filter to make sure no sediment entered the bottle in the bottling process!  I had made a drawing of our home, and of course had labels printed up too.

We ….lll  how did the wine taste? I always said that if you were thinking of giving up drinking wine, all you had to do was to taste a glass of mine and that would do the trick!

I started to make the wine in 1993, and tried for several years and then life stepped in! I always wanted to return to making it, and  the other year, a friend (Juergen) and I were going to take the plunge again, but everyone is busy.

SO, after all of these years, and in trying to empty my garage, I just sold everything! I hope I made some nice gentlemen happy. They already make wine, own a pizza store, but wanted the stainless steel vats. They obtained so much more! Cheers!

 

Westchester is GREAT!

 

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159 Centre Avenue, Townhome #3 Public Open House Open House 11/8 1-3 p.m.

Please join me at an open house at this great town home on Sunday, November 8th, 2020.  Downtown, pet friendly Tri-level contemporary townhome (1186 + 600 addit’l sq. ft. in a great lower level). Convenience of a city with a neighborly community feeling. A minute away, you will find fresh bagels & pizza, International dining, theater/art, & trains to the city (30 min). To the south: parks, waterfront & beach. The “heart” of the home includes living/dining & powder room featuring an upgraded chef’s kitchen, LG pro stainless steel appliances, granite & European Birch butcher block-over 250sqft of countertop! The open living & dining area leads to a deck w/an automatic Sun Setter awning. The top, “tranquil” level has two bedrooms (one with a King-sized bedroom, walk-in closet & private bathroom) and a hall bathroom. The lower level great space is being used as a custom home office, guest area w/a ceiling track, washer/dryer & storage. 2 zone “smart” heating system & two coveted parking spots. Garden area w/new private barbecue station. Common charges include snow removal, landscaping & garbage removal.

For the video! Click here

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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33 Petersville Road 10801 Public Open House 10/24 1-3 p.m.

Please join me at a Public Open House on October 24th from 1-3 p.m. at this delightful home 1584 square foot 3 bedroom 2 bath Colonial home located on 0.14 of a level acre with a 2 car detached garage. Granite counters in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, a dining room, living room with a fireplace, enclosed porch all make this the perfect entry level home. Gas heat. Shared driveway. There is an enclosed porch too. New Rochelle is a vibrant city, and this home is located close to downtown, the trains (the Amtrak train currently being the only train that goes to Boston and Washington, D.C.)

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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