Small Business Day – every day in Larchmont!

15241372_10211389582365443_7326115430345775826_nSaturday, November 26th was officially named Small Business Day, and both Jane Murray ( a great associate in the Larchmont Julia B. Fee Office) , and Carolyn Fugere (President of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce and Manager of the Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s Office)  were out and about  in Larchmont being very busy elves shopping in many of the stores! However, it shouldn’t be just one day. There are wonderful gifts to be purchased throughout Larchmont every day!15109598_10211381139394374_4763899196262335328_n

Happy Holidays!15220137_10207717468119262_4669034868629884688_n


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Your Garbage – Someone else’s Treasure/Helping Others!

gift-boxesMy friend calls it ‘dumpster diving’, but in being a Brit, I would rather call it ‘finding a treasure’. However, the fact remains that so many wonderful, expensive, GREAT items are put by the wayside for garbage pick-up, when so many people would be THRILLED to receive any one of them.

I was driving around Bedford last year previewing a home and I noticed two wonderful bar stools by the roadside. Oh my goodness! They were Western in design, and I have a fondness for the South West ! They fit nice and snug into my car, and all I had to do was to recover the seats. Perfect! My friend has a young grand daughter, and another on the way, and so if I see a great toy here or there,  I appropriate same! I have delivered to her a beautiful rocking horse, a tricycle,  a Barbi doll house (valued at a few hundred dollars),  and walkers, etc… However, if I hadn’t seen those items, would they have reached the garbage dump and languished there?

What else can someone do?

New Beginnings.  Help some Westchester homeless families. 165 Main St. Ossining Open Door. 914-923-4889 (voicemail). Donation hours Mondays 9:30-12:00. Items accepted: kitchen items, small houshold good, household linens, baby linens, children’s clothing up to size 10, children’s books. New Beginnings is a non-profit organization that provides basic household essentials to homeless families and individuals making the transition to permanent housing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester. Pick-Up Available. Call 1-877-399-2570. Will accept clothing, some household items, some small electronics. Consult website for list: I can recall donating my time to this worthy organization  many, many  years ago..

Furniture Sharehouse.  ” Furniture Sharehouse, a not-for-profit organization, provides these individuals and families with the basic household furnishings they need free of charge, enabling them to rebuild their lives with dignity” . Accepts furniture in good repair for families in Westchester County who have need. Will accept sofas (no more than 80” long), armchairs, mattresses (no stains), kitchen/dining room tables, dressers, bookshelves, lamps, small electric appliances, mirrors, televisions (no more than 5 yrs old), clean area rugs. Furniture pick-up available for 3 large items and a suggested $50 donation. Drop-off locations include the Warehouse at Westchester County Airport. Call for hours: 914-834-1294 or email at Website:

The Sharing Shelf, 47 Purdy Avenue, Port Chester. Run by Family Services of Westchester. Distributes children’s clothing to those in need.

“The Sharing Shelf was founded to meet this need. We collect and distribute new and gently used clothing in sizes from newborn through XXL, for children and teens from infancy through age 19. Volunteers meet in our Port Chester warehouse where donations are screened then sorted them by size, season and gender. Social workers, therapists, teachers, attorneys and others working with low-income families in our community submit requests for their clients. Our volunteers then create packages filled with a week’s worth of seasonally appropriate clothing matched into outfits according to a child’s sizing needs.

We also seek donations of other basic supplies including gently worn or new shoes, strollers, pack-n-plays and new school supplies (see our “Backpacks to School” program)”

Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity operates two local re-stores. Donate working house parts to locations in New Rochelle or Mount Vernon. Pick-up service can sometimes be arranged. Fax a photograph of your items with your contact information to (914) 636-8592 in New Rochelle (telephone number (914) 636-8335). Store is located 524 Main St. New Rochelle. Mount Vernon store is at 2 Cortlandt St. Telephone: (914) 699-2791. Email a photograph of your item to to see if you can arrange a pick-up. Used household items are also for sale at these two locations. You can also donate your car to Habitat for Humanity. Call (800) 237-4344 to arrange a pick up. HFH works with a third party to sell cars; proceeds are used by the charity. A tax deduction receipt will be available based on the sale price for the car.

Another way to help – make a donation –

Lifting Up Westchester – helping our neighbors in need

The United Way

The Hope Community Services – so many hungry people in every community…

Your local Religious organizations… churches, synagogues, mosques… call and I am sure they would welcome donations also..

Westchester is GREAT!

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Deborah Chassen – A Lady for all Seasons!

dsc06889Debbbie Chassen is my pooch walking buddy, and we find ourselves discussing everything from recipes, books, film,  and life! As friends, we share things, and I was thrilled when Debbie shared with me a special part of her… the love and time  (so much time) she devoted to canning tomatoes, fused with basil and garlic, a wonderful base for fish (she made a great fish dish with the sauce adding  ginger), for pasta and more.dsc06886

26265909tI decided to make mine with some gnocchi. Delicious!

Debbie is also very well known in our area as a Speech Pathologist,  she serves on several Boards, and she also owns a great Gift Basket company  –  The Enchanted Basket , so if you don’t have your Holidays gifts yet, pay her web site a visit! You dsc06890will be enchanted!

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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New Rochelle’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2016

dsc06833Perhaps because I came from a small Island located  in the Thames River in England, that to hear a siren was rare, and the jolt of that sound always evoked tears. To this day, when I hear sirens, see parades, an inner trigger goes off and the tears flow. Such was the case on , Saturday, November 19th when New Rochelle celebrated its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. I went to take a few photos, and ended up staying for the entire parade.  This year was its 53rd event!

There were the city officials (Mayor Noam Bramson, Senator George Latimer, Council Members  Barry Fertel and Jared Rice, David Lacher, past School Board President, and most importantly Santa paid a visit too! img_1115

While I stood where the parade started, I could see that the streets were flocked with excited children and parents alike. It was a wonderfully warm day, and a truly fun event.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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Larchmont Chamber of Commerce New Board Announcement !

I attended the November Larchmont Chamber of Commerce Meeting yesterday evening, at the always great Lenny’s for a very special reason. While I am a member, and it is nice to keep abreast of what is happening in Larchmont, yesterday evening also touted the Carolyn Fugere, the President of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce for the past 2 years turning over the reins to the new President, Shawn Nagpal who will commence as the new President in January 2017.

Michael Paul Levinson of member business IDesign Group – Secretary beginning Jan 2017

The Mayor, Lorraine Walsh, attended the meeting (save the date for Light up Larchmont on December 3rd.  Questions regarding this event may be directed to, and also  Senator,  George Latimer who urged anyone with any State level issues to contact him.

The Board has hired a digital/social media marketing expert, Stephanie Milton, to assist our member businesses in marketing and promotions throughout the holiday season. Stephanie will be spending a great amount of time writing blogs on behalf of the businesses, and directing traffic tot heir wonderful stores.

The Board is looking forward to Small Business Saturday , the Third Annual “Show Your Holiday Local Spirit Selfie Contest”.

As a fun aside  be on the look out for Santa’s elves who will be helping out and visiting our stores on Small Business Saturday and December 3rd to help raise holiday spirits!!!

****Nancy White @ The Flower Bar is offering a special priced Love Larchmont holiday wreath to member businesses.  Now is the time to get your orders in!  (Another of the GREAT reasons to join the Chamber!).

If you haven’t already joined, do so and the next meeting will be on January 10th at 5:30PM hosted by Coriander.

Board of Directors 2016

Board of Directors – 2016

Carolyn Fugere, President
Lisa Labelle, Vice President
Daniel Walden, Secretary
Drew George, Treasurer
Sanjiv Jaswal, Director
Megan McCarthy, Director
Mary Ann Mancino, Director
Gregg O’Brien, Director
Abbie Durkin & Judy Graham, Joint Director
Amy Sullivan & Tiffany Smith, Joint Director

Our Mission 

The mission of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce is to take leadership in promoting the improvement of the business environment, to stimulate a vibrant local economy and produce a cooperative effort with the community to enhance the overall quality of life in Larchmont to its highest potential.



Happy Holidays!

Larchmont is GREAT!


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New Rochelle offers GREAT sports Teams as well as great education!

DSCN6650As  featured in the local paper today, Francesco Notaristefano has been named Coach of the Year of the Section 1 Class AA conference 1 League B following a 11-4-1 second place finish in the league. Mr. Notaristefano took over the 12-14 coaching position of the  12-14 year old girl’s varsity team in 2013, and hasn’t looked back. The coach applauds the team, the boy’s soccer team who attend the home games, and the great support of the community.

That is what also makes New Rochelle great. We have a wonderful community.  Our schools offer great educational programs, we are close to the city, and we have wonderful beach clubs, a club for runners (which also benefits the community) and a dog park too!

When a friend asked me to help support her daughter’s travel soccer team last year (The Wildfires) , there was no hesitation on my part!  Of course! I also helped sponsor the team this year also, in addition to helping sponsor the New Rochelle Blasters Travel Soccer Team. Go New Rochelle Soccer. Go New Rochelle.

A great city in which to reside and play!

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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Westchester Real Estate Market Stats November 2016

IMG_20131018_125643_680With mortgage rates at still unbelievably low rates ( last Friday’s rates reflected 30 year fixed rates posted at 3.625% (APR 3.648%) for loans up to $625,500 , and 15 year fixed loans posted at 3.25% (APR 3.178%), no one can deny that it is a great time in which to purchase a home.

Couple that with the New York State Association of Realtor’s recent article, there will be a small increase in home sales this year with a year end sales at 5.4 Million, growing to 5.5 Million in 2017 and 5.7 Million the year after that… (how can they do that?), it is still a great time in which both purchase and sell your home.  Lower mortgage rates enable more buyers to purchase, and per  NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun,  Long-term interest rates are expected to tick up but stay low by historical standards for the foreseeable future. He forecasted rates to end the year at 3.6 percent, then rise to 4.1 percent in 2017 and then to 4.5 percent.

On a local level, and we should never forget that real estate is always local, and just as Mr. Yun cites that home ownership is at an all-time low at just 63.5% (lowest rate in 50 years), and with mortgages harder to obtain, sales vary greatly in different areas.

Hard to give stats in November, but in looking at the stats for 2015 first 10 months in comparison to stats for the previous year, sales prices were slightly down this year in comparison to 2015 in the New Rochelle area with fewer listings,  and higher in both number of sales and sales prices in the Larchmont area.  With interest rates at so low rates, a great time in which to buy, and another indication that marketing, pricing, photography, market placement are tantamount to obtaining a great sales price.








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161 Forest Avenue – Public Open House 11/6/ 1-3 p.m

dsc06268Welcome home to this 4 bedroom, 3 bath 3700 Square foot Mediterranean on 0.41 of an acre located in prestigious Forest Heights. There is an in-ground swimming pool, a large over sized family room with skylights, living room with fireplace, and don’t forget to enjoy the wonderful sauna that seats 10 in the lower level. The large eat in kitchen offers a Viking stove, Subzero Refrigerator, Island and exudes warmth and character! The Master Bedroom is huge with a walk-in closet, and an en suite beautifully renovated bathroom in earth tones. and don’t forget the sitting porch. Three additional bedrooms, and a wonderfully renovated hall bath with a claw foot tub await your bathing pleasure.gays-pool


Close to fine dining, trains and just 35 minutes to New York City. The neighborhood also boasts a home owners association where you can get together for pot luck dinners. Perfect!  There is  a public open house today from 1-3 p.m

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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The Second Annual Julia B. Fee Larchmont Haunted House

img_0980My manager, Carolyn Fugere   (see here on the far left with Ali Greene, Patti Anderson and Daniel DeMasi)  has in-exhaustive energy.  She decided to have a haunted house within our office both last year and this year, and my fellow associates worked really hard to make the office look both scary  (but not too scary) but also fun. Mr. Paul Breunich donated the huge Hershey Candy bars for the young ‘trick or treaters ‘ and I understand 215 chocolate bars were given out in just over an hour before the Annual Larchmont Ragamuffin Parade.

This wonderful festive event was postponeed this year from October 22nd to Saturday the 29th due to inclement weather but it was well worth the wait! So many wonderful reasons to reside in Larchmont, and this event is one of them!

Larchmont is GREAT!

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The 4th Annual March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction

march-of-dimesIn real estate, networking is a key component to success. However, while we network, we also have wonderful opportunities to meet fantastic people, who then become friends,  and we are sometimes offered the opportunity to help one another in different avenues.

When I received a call from Amir Asadi to attend the 4th Annual  March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, of course I said ‘yes!”.  Amir, one of the Committee Members, is always involved in one philanthropic venture or another, and his name can be seen at so many charity events. He is  a member of the Rotary Club, and I have had the pleasure of first meeting him over 3 years ago at the REVamp Networking Group. and Amir’s charm and intelligence has always been a constant where ever he goes!

The March of Dimes is an important charity, and this year’s event was a great success. The evening commenced at 6 p.m. with top local restaurants such as the Crabtree Kittle House,  Trevi Ristorante, Mima, The Crystal Spoon,   G & K Sweet Foods, Longford’s,  L’Inizio, The Rye Roadhouse, Slovenia (vodka!), The Yonker’s Brewing Co., Chutney Masala,  Zwilling Cooking School and Cooper’s Mill.

There was music, a silent auction, and the atmosphere was charged as the evening progressed with an auction, and introductions from this year’s Emcee, Mary Calvi whothen made the introductions for this year’s honoree  Martin Ball, who is the Senior Vice President and Banking Head at Customers Bank Private Commercial Banking Division, Dr. Shetal Shah who was this year’s Excellence in Advocacy Award Winner and the Mission Speaker, Zachary Lopane (a wonderful and eloquent young man).

A great event. A marvelous evening. A worthwhile charity. Thank you Amir.

Westchester is GREAT!

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