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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It’s Halloween -2020!

Halloween is usually a fun time  (as it should be!). This year it might be a challenge with everyone trying to stay safe but still have fun. I thought I would take the party to the trick or treaters!  All in fun!

I made a Halloween goodie bag (and the wine is for the parents  NOT the children) but I thought it would be fun to have something for everyone. I am even  including some local market stats in their respective neighborhoods. Everyone likes to know what is happening on a local level!

If you would like to know what is happening in your neighborhood, please just let me know! If its before Halloween, you can expect a goodie bag too!

Westchester is GREAT!

 

 

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Ken Crutchfield’s ‘The ‘Great’ Kicking Dog –

Ken Crutchfield is well known in the music industry as a jazz musician, composer, comedian, actor and so much more. His wide, Terry Ballard was a School Principal, wrote, composed and starred in over 16 musicals and together are a dynamic talented and gifted force.

Ken just completed a book entitled “The ‘Great’ Kicking dog” is available on Amazon.

“Ex musician, assembly line worker and alcoholic, John Coleman Sr. is a man with deferred and shattered dreams. Living in a Chicago housing project during the 60’s he is a father raising his eight-member family; four girls, two musical prodigy boys and a mentally unstable wife, in a drug, gang and gun infested environment among households with absent dads. During a competitive time of young musical prodigies, he fights for a pathway out of the projects through his talented sons. On a quest to find a way out, he drags his gifted boys on a whirlwind journey of hope, from talent shows to south side Blues clubs and observes their reputation growing with each performance. But along with the journey to see his boys “get great”, is his ongoing struggle with alcohol, his wife’s neurotic behavior and the fortified barrier of resentment from his jealous daughters all brought on by a family history of mental illness. Not only does John Coleman Sr. have to contend with the inner turmoil of his family, but a family tragedy shakes him to the core and threatens the sanctity of his high-spirited loved ones.

The Family Tree is a Black experience during a turbulent time of civil rights in the 6o’s and free spirits of the 70’s embedded in the cradle of Chicago’s segregation. It is a coming of age saga of passion, perseverance and the courage to rise above; a compelling story of hope and the question of fate.”

Ken is so gifted, and this book is a memorable read. Ken resides in New Rochelle.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

 

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Totem Pole in New Rochelle 10804

Imagine purchasing a home, and having your very own totem pole located outside your home! That was the case for Debbie and her hubby Keith when they purchased 12 Old Orchard Road back in 2009.  It had been known as the ‘Murphy’ or ‘Totem Pole House’, and the Murphy’s had lived there for over 30 years raising their 6 children!  The totem pole was originally brought back from Alaska some 80 plus years ago, and for many years preschoolers from the surrounding schools would take a field trip to the totem pole in order to learn about Alaska.

However, it also became part of the local Iona College fraternity hazing activity, and would be ‘borrowed’ each year with the home owners getting the phone call the following morning, informing them where to find it.

Debbie and Keith got tired of retrieving it, and in being respectful of the beautiful antiquity, decided to place it in the family room (cutting out floorboard, and carefully installing new floorboards around the treasure).

Debbie just sold her home for $862,000 (homes in the area sell on average at $791,000 approx. at this present time) , and the new home owners did not want the Totem Pole, so Debbie spent some $4000 to carefully have it removed and floor boards replaced, and shipped it to her new home in another state. She would say that the Totem Pole was associated with love, Karma, and she wanted to respect it in every way.

Debbie is a lovely person, and she has certainly accomplished that.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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Walking my Pooch 10804

Havana

Binky and Raleigh

I would never have thought that walking my pooch would be such a social event, but sometimes it just seems like it is! Our pooches greet each other, and we, as neighbors,  then have the opportunity to say ‘hi’ to each other, and get to chat for a few minutes. My dog, ‘Binky’ likes the smaller pooches, and so whenever he sees ‘Raleigh’, ‘Lucy’, Louis, ‘Scooter’ it’s a treat. We always like to go for a walk with “Havana’ who he has known for years.  We see labradoodles, German Shepherds, Boxers, Miniature Australian Sheepdogs, Beagles, Havanese dogs, poodles, and then some mixed breeds like my pooch! We have a Speech Pathologist on the street, a Yoga instructor attorneys, Psychologists and Botanists to name a few!

We will see runners from Iona practicing their craft (Paine Avenue is hilly) , I always see a mom and daughter running in the morning, and then there is the chap who races by on his  cross country skis which he has outfitted with wheels,  the many neighbors on their bicycles, fellow neighbors just walking with their friends, and everyone is cordial. I think it is a wonderful representation of our neighborhood. Friendly, caring and nice! Home prices can range from approximately One Million Dollars to Two Million. Discerning pooches and great area! In better climes we have the Paine to Pain Half Marathon, and we also are also proud to boast that we have the Thomas Paine Cottage & Museum too.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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Scarsdale Area Market Stats 2020 – August

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