Thursday, December 27, 2007

Teach your children correct behavior....

It never ceases to amaze me each time I witness young children carrying on in restaurants... their parents totally oblivious to the yelling... ranting... and complete misbehaving. Tonight I was out to dinner and there was a table with 7 young children and 2 sets of parents. At one point I heard one mother say I don't care if they scream. Maybe she didn't care but I certainly did. Is there no regard for shared space? Do parents think their kids will ever learn proper behavior if they completely ignore the misbehavior and never correct them. Time and time again I see kids running around restaurants... Parents in their own worlds... Talking to their friends.. Ignoring the kids... Letting them carry on.. Disturbing others.... Its the parent's fault...

Children need to be taught... They need to understand what is acceptable behavior in each and every situation. If a parent doesn't take the time to teach their children then we all suffer. I think many parents find it easier to ignore... Sad but true!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, December 9, 2007

In Love with FAGE

I've been buying Fage Greek Style Yogurt for a few weeks now. Its been sitting in the fridge and I keep saying I have to finally try it. Being not much of a yogurt fan I kept resisting. Well I just tried it and wow I am a new fan!!! It is delicious especially if
you like very thick creamy yogurt. I did add half a packet of splenda and some sliced almonds. I was very pleasantly suprised.
If you like tart yogurt you will love this....

Enjoy!!

Have fun! I always do!

Risa

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Little Kids Make Me Laugh!!!

I was talking to my friend Liz last night... We go way back to my first job after college at Allied Stores Corp. Liz is like a sister and so in that her two gorgeous delightful kids are my niece and nephew. Kids never cease to amaze me in how they think and the words that come out of their mouths. Their thought processes even at the youngest ages are sometimes unbelievable..... So here's the story.... Liz told her six year old son that she didn't want him to watch Sponge Bob Square Pants during the week after school anymore. He could watch it on the weekend only. Shortly after telling him this Liz noticed her TV had the DVR (like TIVO) on and it was recording something. She asked her husband if he was recording a show and he said no. She goes to the DVR guide and sees the shows being recorded are Sponge bob Square Pants for the entire week at both the 2:30 and 7:00. Liz is shocked.... Then she approaches her "little guy" and asks him if he was recording Sponge Bob Square pants. He says yes and says Mom you told me I could watch it only on the weekend so I was planning to watch all the shows on the weekend. When Liz told me the story I cracked up. First I thought wow how slick. Then I saw his point and laughed even more when I knew this came from a 6 year old. He was just acting like anyone else who would record there favorite shows and watch them when they were able. In his case over the weekend. Then to make matters even funnier he remembered that he heard his dad say the weekend starts on Friday afternoon. He then asked his aunt who agreed. So he decided he could start watching his show on Friday after school. His mom, my friend Liz decided he shouldn't be watching it all so she told him she needed to think about it and for now he wouldn't be able to watch the show at all. He was a real trooper and is watching patiently for her to give him an answer. She suggested buying some Sponge Bob books and games. When they went to book store to buy the books he looked through them and said Mommy the words in the book are worse than the show so can I watch the show??? Of course she was speechless and is still debating...

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chabad's Children of Chernobyl Fantasy Auction and Dinner

I am honored to be a Dinner Chair for Children of Chernobyl "Children at Heart" Fantasy Auction and Dinner being held on November 19th at Pier Sixty. The beneficiaries of this wonderful evening are the very lucky children who are rescued from the Chernobyl affected areas in the Ukraine and Belarus. This problem exists today and is even more pervasive for the people living there with the contamination. Please visit the ccoc.net for more information. The evening which last year raised almost 2 million dollars and enabled many many children to be brought to Israel to live in the warm surroundings of Kfar Chabad. I had the pleasure of visiting with many of these kids last year when I visited Israel in January. These wonderful children are given the opportunity for a new life outside of all the contamination. I was met by their warm smiling faces a true testament to the wonderful care they are getting. I encourage you to checkout www.cah.net to see the fabulous items up for auction...

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Frozen Grapes

While in Florida on vacation and sitting by the pool... the waiters passed around small cups of frozen grapes... so delicious and refreshing... Either red or green... Wash thoroughly... Pick from the vine and place in a ziploc freezer bag... Wait about 2 hours and you will have a refreshing healthy snack.... Enjoy!!!

Have fun! I always do!

Risa

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pinkberry

Well my friend Vikki introduced me to Pinkberry over the summer... It was only from a far since the line at the Second Avenue and 82nd Street outpost winded around the corner... Hmmm and we were so in the mood... So what is Pinkberry? A small shop that sells 2 flavors of frozen yogurt... and that's about it... Will it be Original or Green Tea? Several weeks later I was back in the city and made it my business to stop at Pinkberry. I had to see what all the fuss was about. I ordered a medium Original (very similar to the Plain Yogurt at Bloomingdale's 40 Carats and Lord Taylor and Frogurt Plain) loaded with diced fresh pineapple, diced fresh strawberries and sliced almonds.... Scrumptious, decadent, refreshing... A dream!! Try it for sure!!!!

www.pinkberry.com

Sunday, September 23, 2007

TOKU - A New Restaurant at The Americana Manhasset

I have enjoyed both dinner and lunch at TOKU, the new Asian restaurant in The Americana at Manhasset. Both meals were delicious. The long awaited opening of this new establishment run by the Poll brothers of Bryant and Cooper and Cippolini fame is everything one would expect from this dynamic group. The decor is magnificent. Minimal and elegant in true Japanese flair. The menu offers many choices. A laundry list of both hot and cold appetizers, very creative salads, exceptional main choices and sushi. Both times we were too full for dessert but the menu looked very enticing. Some of my favorites are: Asian Caesar Salad which is finely chopped with cashews nuts, wonton chips, parmigiano reggiano all mixed with a ginger aioli.... Spicy Tuna with Wonton Crisps, Rock Shrimp with a Creamy Dressing, Black Sesame Crusted Tuna served rare was truly decadent. The prices are reasonable and the portion sizes are big. Dinner for 2 without drinks is around $100. Enjoy!!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SAKS NYC New Shoes Not Worthy

I was in the city today and made my way up to Sak's highly acclaimed new shoe department on the 9th floor. You know the one that has its own zip code HAHA. In my honest opinion totally unworthy!!! I have loved and followed all the best and most exciting shoes since I was a young kid working for my dad in East Harlem selling mostly low end shoes that would be equivalent to Payless today. With all the hoopla I expected to be slowly entranced as I ascended to the 9th floor. I heard all the press about the individual boutiques etc etc. The only area of the floor that resembled an individual boutique was Roger Vivier. The other areas were all just divisions of the selling floor. The areas didn't resemble "boutiques" at all. Certainly nothing like when Bergdorfs had the individual "Chanel" and "Manolo Blahnik" boutiques.

The selection of shoes and designers was also nothing remarkable. I didn't see anything truly unique. Nothing that would outrank Bergdorfs, Jeffreys or Barneys. The mainstream upscale Saks customer will probably be very happy with the assortment but for the real shoe aficionados always looking for something new and fresh disappointment with reign.

Have Fun! I Always Do!

RISA

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Favorite 'Hamptons" Shopping and Dining- Part 1

I've spent most of the summer in Remsenburg but have ventured out a few times to some of my favorite shops and of course restaurants. I'll go town by town and share with you....

Speonk
Pearls Asian Bistro
Salon Echelon (manicures and pedicures, hair)

Westhampton Beach
Fahrenheit 451 (lastest in comfy casual.. great jeans.. yummy cashmere.. marc jacobs bags)
Joan Boyce Jewelry (diamonds and unique jewels to swoon over)
Jimmys (hmmm did i say vbh and edidi bags, couture chic)
Lavish Beauty (bliss, mario badescu, bond 9 fragrance, paula dorf, unique and hard to find beauty products and gifts)
Blue (new this season... great casual chic clothing and accessories)
Magics Pub (amazing burgers)
Shock KIDS (cool kids clothes... hmmm love flowers by zoe for the girls)
Baby Moon (did i say gorgonzola salad)

Quogue
Otis Ford (the best service I have ever received at a car dealer, old fashioned customer service)
Q Restaurant (yes the prices are a little high but the food is excellent, great wine list and many many choices...)
Strebels Car Wash (hand detailed service)

Hampton Bays
FOOD (tiny restaurant with charm and fantastic FOOD, try it for lunch, reservations
a must for dinner)
The Hampton Maid (fantastic breakfast, seasonal closes at 1:00PM.. blueberry pancakes are incredible)

Southampton
Carleen Ligozio (boutique with unique jewelry both fine and costume, hamptons chic
clothing, and fantastic accessories)
Saint Ambroeus (beautiful people and beautiful pastry.. gelato.. delicious lunch and dinner albeit very pricey)
Stevensons (toys galore for all the little ones)
Tate's Bakeshop (was kathleen's bake shop many moons ago. divine chocolate chips.. Scrumptious Cakes)
Saks (always good to get makeup out in the hamptons)
Intermix (carries latest chloe, stella and many others)
Villebrequin ($$$$ bathing suits for the hubby and kids.. gee they can all match from baby to adult.. do you favor the jelly fish print or the ice cream cones??)
La Parmigiana (pizza is a must)
Golden Pear Cafe (quick and yummy fare)

Have Fun! I always do!

RISA

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My HBA1C is "Awful"

I've had Juvenile Diabetes for more than 20 years and recently visited a Physician for my own treatment at a major Diabetes Research Center that I have been involved with for many years as both a Board Member, Major Donor, Major Fundraiser and Volunteer. Several weeks later I received a lab report in the mail with the results of my HBA1C test and the result was circled and the word "AWFUL" was written next to it. After seeing the "high" result and being shocked and upset since it was way out of range I became angry that a physician could be so insensitive as to write that and then put it in the mail with no further explanation. In all the years I have met with various doctors I have never experienced something like this. After speaking to some friends who are doctors and to some friends who also have diabetes and other chronic diseases we were all equally shocked.

I made my displeasure well known and received a call from the physician. He said he does that with all his patients and sometimes writes terrible or awful or horrible or great. He felt it was much easier that writing out a whole long story to the patient. He saw nothing wrong with it and until I said I was very put off he then apologized. He said he hoped at my next appointment he could write "great" on the report. I don't plan on any other appointments with this person. I have many friends and associates who deal with diabetes and other chronic diseases on a daily basis. I would hope that the doctors are there to help us instead of "grading" us on our performance.

Have Fun!

I always do!

RISA

Sunday, July 8, 2007

No DIET Coke No Artificial Sweeteners at Empire Diner

So we sit down at the Empire Diner on Tenth Avenue and 22nd Street and I order a Diet Coke... NOT!!!!!!! I am told by the waiter that they do not serve Diet Coke or any beverage with artificial sweeteners. Hmmm I am a little puzzled but I decide to just have water... Jeff orders coffee and I decide to order a cup too not thinking that they only serve "sugar".... I am told their reason for this is keeping it "old school" 50's style diner and back then they didn't have artificial sweeteners.... WHAT!!! Back then they didn't have Caesar Salads, Blue Cheese Burgers, Veggie Burgers and Tofu..... The waiter says its a pain too and I tell him yes it is especially for someone with Juvenile Diabetes like myself. He says yea I am on the Atkins Diet all the time and it is really tough for me... I tell him at least being on the Atkins Diet is a choice. I really wanted to tell him what a fucking asshole he was to compare choosing to be on a No Carb diet with having a chronic autoimmune disease but I didn't want to waste the energy at that moment.... Then a guy at the next table asks if the pies are from The Little Pie Co. and the waiter asks the manager who says our pies are from several different places. The Tollhouse Pie is from Umanoff and Parsons he says.... Now isn't it a bit hypocritical for a diner who prides itself on being "old school" not to bake their own pies!!! I think they must be too fucking cheap to buy the little blue, pink and yellow packets or maybe they were disinherited from the Sweet N Low fortune...

Have Fun! I Always Do!

RISA

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

PAX - Effecting Change

We attended the PAX Gala last evening at Cipriani Wall Street that honored our dear friends Vikki and Michael Price. Congratulations to Vikki and Michael. The event raised well over 1 Million dollars.

So let me tell you about PAX.

Why PAX? The Gun Violence Issue Demands New Solutions.
For too long, gun violence in America has been perceived as a political debate rather than what it really is - an urgent public health crisis that is claiming the lives of 8 children and teens every day.


PAX has created two groundbreaking national campaigns, ASK and SPEAK UP, that make the gun violence issue a matter of public health and safety - not politics - and create the foundation for changes in social attitudes, behaviors and public policy that have previously been considered impossible. The fact is, the most successful social awareness movements of our time (such as AIDS, tobacco and drunk driving) all gained critical momentum when they became strongly focused on the public health and safety of the community as a whole, and particularly, our innocent and vulnerable children. PAX is bringing this same insight to the gun violence issue.

The ASK and SPEAK UP Campaigns: Changing Culture AND Saving Lives.
PAX's first major program - the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign - was launched in Fall 2000. Based on the fact that 40% of homes with children have a gun, with many of those guns left unlocked or loaded, the ASK campaign urges parents to ask about guns before sending their children to play at someones home. A partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, ASK is a simple concept that has far-reaching cultural impact. In the program's first two years, the number of parents who said guns are a top concern when their children visit someones home rose from 5% to 19%. The number of parents who said they have been asked about guns in their home rose from 5% to 10%. Parents are now talking with other parents about guns in the home as a routine part of good parenting, bringing the issue out into the open for the first time. Through the ASK campaign, America is changing the way it looks at guns and gun violence, and most importantly, lives are being saved.

Launched in October 2002, the SPEAK UP campaign is based on the startling fact that in 81% of school shootings, the attackers told other students about their plans beforehand. In other words, most school shootings are preventable. SPEAK UP features the nation's first-ever national hotline (1-866-SPEAK-UP) for students to report weapon-related threats in their schools and neighborhoods. Since its launch, the hot line has received more than 10,000 calls, almost certainly leading to the confiscation of countless weapons and prevention of numerous tragedies. SPEAK UP features an in-school curriculum for middle and high school students developed with the support of major educational associations, and a high-profile advertising campaign supported by media partners such as MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, Channel One, Teen People, ESPN the Magazine and many others. SPEAK UP is also supported by a powerful national media campaign called "Signs," communicating that students can truly help prevent a tragedy by calling PAX's anonymous 1-866-SPEAK UP hotline if they see a "sign" of violence.

PAX: Proven Results.
PAX has become the largest non-lobbying group dedicated to the gun violence issue based on the strength of an innovative strategy and proven results. PAX has assembled an accomplished team of strategic planning, marketing and grassroots professionals, and the rapid success of this team has earned the support of a wide range of organizations in the public health, law enforcement, education, grassroots and public policy fields, along with an impressive array of corporations and individuals.

At the gala we heard from children whose lives have all been effected by guns. Two children lost a young sibling who was playing at the home of a friend and there happen to be a gun in the house. Little children think it's a toy and then someone gets killed. Several children spoke about how they heard of potential threats and called the SPEAKUP hotline to report them and a potential tragedy was averted. We must ensure the safety of our children. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Encourage your children that if they ever hear of any kind of a threat to call the SPEAKUP hotline. You can make a difference.

On a lighter note... The event was magnificent. The auction was great... HMMM added a few things to my collection... TIX to FASHION ROCKS and a Backstage Tour of the ON DEMAND Howard Stern Show... Phil Collins Drum Head Too!!!

Have Fun! I always do!

RISA

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hamantaschen are Fruit Tarts

While shopping at King Kullen last night I noticed a package of Hamantaschen, the 3 cornered cookie with various fillings that is eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim. Well at King Kullen in Manhasset they are called Fruit Tarts. Same package, Same thing.... Jeff and I laughed... I guess they have become an "all year" treat and since Manhasset does not have a sizeable Jewish population they wouldn't know what a Hamantaschen is :-) ...

Growing up in New York with all the Jewish influences around it is hard for anyone not to pick up a few Yiddish words here and there... Albeit many of them don't translate perfectly into to English and many of my favorite classic Yiddish expressions don't translate well either... But here are a few...

DREK - crap
CHAZZER - glutton, pig
MEISKEIT - ugly
PUTZ - penis
FARBISSENEH - bitter, sour (used to describe a person) GEE I know a lot of these!!!!
GAY AVEK - Go Away
SHLEP - to haul or carry
K'NOCKER - "Big Shot" (often used sarcastically)
BUPKIS - beans (nothing)
CHAI KOCK - worhtless, beneath consideration
GANTSEH MAHKER - "Big man on Campus" (sarcastically)
KISH MIER EN TOOCHIS - Kiss my BUTT!!!!
SHMGEGGIE - Doofus, Idiot
TOOCHIS LECHER - An ASS Kisser HMMM I know some of those :-)

So this is just a start into the "choicier" Yiddish words..

Checkout Bubby Gram for many more words and loads of expressions...
www.bubbygram.com/yiddishglossary.htm

HAVE FUN! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day !!!!

For all the wonderful Mother's out there.....

SMILE..
Enjoy your day..
Spend time with your family...
Relish in your children's accomplishments...
Be Happy...
Thank G-D for all the little things...

Have fun! I Always Do!

RISA

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

No Shows...........................................

So with all the Bar Mitzvah festivities done I can now reflect on something I am sure many of us have experienced but hopefully not. The "No Show".....

Starts off with about 5 Kids at the Saturday service from the boy's school who replied they were coming and never showed!! HMMMM Don't the parents understand commitments... I guess not!!! Then 2 more kids didn't show on Sunday... No phone calls No nothing!!!!! I asked Dylan and Jake if when they saw these 2 girls in school if they said something and the boys said NO!!!! I of course was thoroughly disgusted with the whole thing!!!! No manners!!

Another mother called me at the last moment telling me her daughter wanted to attend The Israel Day Parade and she was going to support her... Didn't see think that telling her daughter that when you make a commitment to do one thing you shouldn't change your mind at the last moment especially when someone has paid for you to be at the event. Isn't that a better example??? I guess not for them.

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lindsey Inserra - What a Lady!!!

I am very fortunate to have met Lindsey Inserra and her incredible mom Bonnie. Bonnie will be honored at The DREaMS in the City event to benefit The Diabetes Research Institute along with Larry Inserra on May 17th. Lindsey, their daughter is our Honorary Chair. I wanted to share something that one of Lindsey's friends posted about her on yourtruehero.org Website. Lindsey and her family are incredible people and I am thrilled to know them.


Lindsey Inserra

Lindsey Inserra has been one of my best friends for 4 years now. She was diagnosed with the most rare case of diabetes that some doctors had ever seen. Her condition involves blood-sugar levels that are both the highest and lowest that have ever been recorded. Lindsey has been all around the world to see doctors and specialists, and she has been a part of many "practice surgeries", but she is still struggling every day with her condition. She now has a pump in her stomach that is supposed to automatically release insulin, as her body needs it. The pump fails often, and when it does work, Lindsey is in a lot of pain, because the pump rubs against the inside of her stomach area. She has endured many hardships with her disease over the past few years. The most recent problem was that her body was rejecting the pump. Her family got permission to get the pump removed, but they were denied when they requested getting the pump put back in. Lindsey can’t live without her pump, yet through all of the hard times, I know that I can always turn to her. Her family is incredible too. They take people in that have no homes; they are helping to raise a child that is not their own; they always throw parties when we have nowhere to go after a dance or on a holiday; they offer their home to anyone in need; I know that I always have someone to turn to.


Aside from being my hero, Lindsey is without a doubt a hero and role model within our entire community. She is so special to me and I wish I could have her positive, optimistic attitude. She is so caring, and compassionate. After all of the pain and suffering, and the near death experiences that she has been exposed to first hand, in four years I can honestly say I do not think that I have seen her once without a smile on her face. In addition to Lindsey’s disease, she has had many other issues to deal with over the past few years. Lindsey’s parents got divorced a few years ago, her brother had liver cancer; her mother has bad asthma and is ill because of it occasionally; and her mother’s fiance recently passed away due to cancer. If you knew Lindsey, you would understand why she is so amazing. Her happiness spreads to everyone around her. Lindsey is truly inspiring and she is a hero…. My hero.



Submitted by:
Jessi Zolotorofe


Lindsey wishing you the best!!!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top 7 Reasons I haven't responded on time to your Bar Mitzvah Invitation

So chasing people who haven't sent in their "stamped self addressed" response cards is NOT fun!!! Here are some of my favorite reasons people gave me for not sending them in when requested.....

TOP Seven

1. I am a Tax accountant and was very busy....

2. Who is Risa Pulver?

3. I am a realtor and Sunday is my busiest day....

4. I never saw the invitation..... (gee i never got it back from the mailman)

5. Are you sure its ok to come maybe its only for family (gee why would we have invited you then???)

6. What is a kiddush?

7. You know how things go... people get busy and you know how it goes.. (WHAT DUH???)

Amazing how tricky it is to write your name and make a check or an "x" or write a few kind words and stick in the ole enveloperuni.. lick the envelope shut and place it in the ole mailboxaroni???


Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Catching Up and Caramel Apples

To all my faithful readers.. Sorry I haven't written in a long while. So I happen to think that a Caramel Apple with Peanuts is about the best dessert ever created. OH OK Strawberry Cheesecake stnad a close second but can't touch the Caramel Apple. So while in Florida I ventured over to Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale and stumbled upon Kilwins, a purveyor of the most decadent candies and ice creams. The window was full of all these delightful treats and when you walked into the shop the smell of the freshly made waffle cones nearly knocked you out. I set my sights on this Caramel apple... bought it... and just cut into it (back in NY now) and let me tell you it is delicious!!! Probably the best I have ever had. Not that I eat these often.. Probably once every few years.. SO if you are in the Fort Lauderdale area I highly recommend Kilwins for some yummy treats...

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Interesting Viewpoints

Below is an excerpt from an email that I received today from a friend about a conversation that she had with a potential donor for a school she fund raises for in Israel. I thought the content was very interesting and wanted to pass it along..

"Last week I was talking to a prospective donor about the notion of how energizing it is to give kids who have nothing, EVERYTHING. So he asks me, "Why do you think it works?" In other words, most of the time, people think that giving money to "education" in general is sort of nebulous, and therefore wasted, BUT not to these kids since they literally start out with NOTHING AT ALL on any level. We launched into this whole conversation about the notion that given the proper education at birth, there are those of us who feel that the human animal will therefore be capable of good things -- true for anybody if you shape them right. So he says to me, "That's a pretty unrealistic, idealistic and Pollyanna-ish notion, don't you think?" And I told him, "Yes I do, but what happens if you DON'T believe that, then where would we be?" Then he tells me that most school systems are still immersed in the "fighter" philosophy -- teaching kids how to be wary and get a leg up in life, which is Darwinian and contrary to the whole notion of nurturing and kindness extended. He said, it's actually COUNTER INTUITIVE in terms of our reptilian brain and the immediate "fight or flight" conclusions it tends to jump to! I said, "No wonder it's such a hard sell! But, anybody who TRIES something is going to look better than somebody who doesn't. And when you try, then the results speak for themselves. On a micro level, Leo Baeck succeeds in creating leaders and they win education prizes for their efforts; on the macro level Israel's education system used to be in the top 5 and is now barely in the top 50. So what did he want to do about it? What would he want to go out and try? Which methodology? After all, nothing can be PROVEN unless TRIED first!

He started laughing and said, are you familiar with tough cases and overcoming? And I told him that I was, in a way, since my cousin was dyslexic and I had had to think about and research all sorts of ways that she could be kept up to speed. I told him that one of the things that worked the best was putting a marker above the text being read so that the mind has only one way to go. He said what else did you do? And I said that I always mentioned Niels Bohr, who was dyslexic, and won the Nobel Prize! I said for some dyslexics (like Nelson Rockefeller) money buffers alot, but I have always wondered about Bohr's parents (who were of modest means) and what on earth they could have done to encourage him! Food for thought, right?

At any rate, that conversation lasted 90 minutes! Can you imagine? I felt like I'd been put through the wringer at the end of it, seriously! All in a day's work!" ;-)


Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another Great Woman Passes Away....

I learned today that my friend Ellie Dubin had passed away from her valiant struggle with brain cancer. I met Ellie almost 2 years ago at a cocktail party in Bridgehampton to benefit The Diabetes Research Institute. Ellie was a beautiful intelligent women with style and lots of class. I remember admiring her beautiful jewelry and gorgeous outfit. Several months after the party I learned from a mutual friend that Ellie was diagnosed with brain cancer. In September I spent 5 hours with Ellie and another friend Sandy Cahn driving to the UJA Lion of Judah Conference in Washington D.C. Although Ellie spent much of the time resting in the backseat we all talked and stopped for a bite at Panera Bread in Maryland. Ellie and I laughed while Sandy rushed us to get moving and back on the road. Ellie who was undergoing treatment at the time wouldn't even think of missing the conference. She was a real trooper. On the drive back Ellie and I spent hours chatting and I had the most wonderful time. I dropped Ellie off at her home and we made plans to have lunch in the next few weeks. I called Ellie to confirm plans but she had to cancel because of a doctor's appt. Ellie's condition had worsened. All those hours together on the trip to and from Washington with Ellie were fantastic. A women of valor has truly been lost. Rest in peace Ellie.

xoxo, Risa

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When you can't sleep at 2 AM

If you've read earlier posts you will know I am not the best sleeper. Falling asleep is not a problem just staying asleep. So last night was one of those nights... I woke up around 2 something and couldn't fall back asleep till 4 or so. What to do?? Surf the web.. And for what... Kosher for Passover food. So first I loaded up a shopping cart on www.ohnuts.com to only find out that the $80 worth of KP cakes, chips, candies and nuts were going to cost $55 to ship UPS Ground. I sense major shipping charge "chutzpah" here... So I bailed on that site. Then while googling Kosher for Passover food I found several others. I did lots of shopping on www.aviglatt.com filled up a huge shopping cart (LOL) with loads of Passover goodies and the mundane necessities like cooking oil, spices, matzo meal.. etc... My order totalled $150 and guess what no shipping charges!!! Granted I will be in Miami for Passover and the access to Kosher food is very good with several markets and many restaurants but I didn't want to have to deal with all the crowds on the Sunday before Passover at either Sara's Tent or Kosher Kingdom in Aventura. Of course I will go there to stock up too but amazing what you can do on the "Net".. My almost 2 hours of being awake were extremely productive!!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Fashion Industry Loses a Giant - Janet Brown has died

I have been a customer and friend of Janet Brown for quite a few years. I was very saddened this morning to receive a phone call from a friend telling me Janet was killed yesterday afternoon in a car accident on her way from her home in Oyster Bay to the store in Port Washington. I was shocked. I had just seen Janet this week at The Regency Hotel in NYC during one of her trunk shows that she hosted several times a year. I had handed her a bracelet that she needed to have repaired for me. It is so surreal. Although Janet operated her business out of a small shop in Port Washington for many years most of her clients were NYC's society set. She dressed them all! Janet had a keen eye for fit and a level of taste and style is that very rarely seen. She was known all over the world in the high fashion industry. Janet I thank you for Kiton and Taher Chemerik and all the others!! Janet, my friend you will be sorely missed.

xoxo,

RISA

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The New York Synagogue Benefit

I had the distinct pleasure of co-chairing the The New York Synagogue Building Campaign Benefit this evening with my friends Sandy Cahn and Jerri Kronen. The event was spectacular as about 100 of us were treated to a piano recital by Marvin Hamlisch with some surprise special musical guests. The setting was the magnificent 5th Avenue home of Dr. Mona Ackerman who so graciously underwrote the evening. This is the first event to benefit The New York Synagogue which is in contract to purchase the building that currently houses The New York Genealogical Society on 58th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. My dear friend Rabbi Marc Schneier, the spiritual leader of The New York Synagogue and The Hampton Synagogue welcomed the entire audience and spoke about all the upcoming plans for the new synagogue as well as Marvin's connection to The Hampton Synagogue back in 1992 when ground was broken in Westhampton to build the shul. What a momentous occasion that was and now it is happening again here in New York City. How fortunate I feel to be involved with The Hampton Synagogue and New York Synagogue and all of our wonderful friends who have become like an extended family.

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nice G's Finish First

Is being nice so hard? I wonder. I think for some people it is. Makes me sad. Don't people realize that they can accomplish far more by being nice? Whats the old saying.. "You catch more flies with honey, then with vinegar." How true!! I am amazed too often how many people fail to know proper etiquette. Are we going back to Caveman times? Where has please and thank you gone? Why do so many people walk around with such a sense of entitlement? We were all put on this earth together.. Some of us have less.. Some more.. Some are prettier.. Some are larger.. Some smaller.. No one has the right to treat anyone different because of any of these circumstances. But unfortunately they do! Be nice or leave as the sign in my house says!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Monday, February 19, 2007

Easy Living

I cannot even imagine what the world would be like without the Internet. Mostly I love the convenience of shopping online. Last week I signed onto Amazon and was able to order Treats for the Pooches.. Cereal in Individual Cups (like they sell in the deli's)... Wee Wee Pads for Carrie Bradshaw who doesn't quite understand the idea of "doing her business outside"... K Cups for the Keurig Home Brewing System www.keurig.com. Crystal Light "On The Go" packets too! Everything went into one shopping cart and was one transaction even though the items were shipped from several different vendors. Easy Easy Easy!!! All from the comforts of your own couch!! Getting back to Keurig!! I have to send a special thanks to Benjy, who is my sons best friend! Benjy told me about this machine and it has changed our regular coffee making routine. We love it and all the choices of coffees and teas you can order. One cup at a time! Choice of sizes too! A must buy!

Have fun! I always do!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"One Person can make a Difference"

I can hardly remember a time when I wasn't actively involved in some organization or cause. Years back when I wasn't able to make significant financial donations I just gave my time. I remember getting involved along with my friend Debbie in the JDRF walkathon on Long Island shortly after I was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Now I am fortunate that I can give my time and money too. There is something out there for everyone who wants to be involved with making this world a better place, helping those in need, effecting change at a grassroots level, donating time and of course money. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by lots of people who do this on a daily basis. Whether it is spending time with the mentally ill, volunteering at your child's school, volunteering in a not-for-profit thrift shop, organizing fundraising events, volunteering at a hospital, championing causes and feeding the poor you are making a difference. So what about all the other people out there who for one reason or another never quite find the time to volunteer or never quite find a few extra bucks to donate?? I don't understand that! I don't know what bothers me more.. I think its the donating money! That's very easy. No excuses!!! You don't have to give your time and its very easy to make a donation these days. Especially online. Most organizations have websites and you can easily donate right on the website.
I encourage you all to pass this blog around.. Lets make sure all those who can are reaching into their pockets and giving to the causes that have meaning for them. I think my "cage" was rattled recently after making follow up calls for my children's school for their Annual Campaign. I was shocked and saddened to see how many parent's had not stepped up to the plate to make a donation. The campaign was structured starting at $18 all the way up to 5 figures... So each person could participate at a level they were comfortable with. What a tough sell!!! Oh well....

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Breast Feeding in Public

While eating lunch today at Baby Moon Restaurant in Westhampton Beach I noticed at a table right across from us a woman breast feeding her baby. I thought she was just holding the baby until I noticed the entire side of her shirt pulled up. I felt this was extremely inappropriate to be doing in the middle of a restaurant without covering herself. Maybe I am old fashioned in this sense but I feel there is a time and place for everything.. OK maybe not a time when you have a hungry baby but that is your problem.. the entire restaurant doesn't have to be part of it. I guess if she covered herself with a blanket it wouldn't have bothered me as much.. Maybe?? Then she even talked on the cell phone and drank a cappuccino at the same time. I guess this would be an example of multitasking at its best... Feeding your baby... while feeding your self while talking on the phone... Needless to say I think people need to be more aware of the shared space we all inhabit!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Weekend Roundup Feb 4th....

Friday night services at The New York Synagogue celebrating Shabbat Shira (the Sabbath of Song) were a true celebration!! We had the pleasure of listening to Cantor Netanel Hershtik and two incredible Cantors from Jerusalem, Cantor Yakov Rosenfeld and Cantor Tzvi Horowitz. The congregation was filled and everyone was truly mesmerized by the voices.

On Saturday, Jeff and I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential Candidate at a very intimate fundraiser for him hosted by major players in the tech world. http://pulverblog.pulver.com/I was thoroughly impressed by Senator Obama who answered all the questions asked of him with "thought-out" responses and truly spoke from the heart. He did not once "bash" any of his opponents but spoke at length about his vision on many pressing topics. I encourage you to find out more about this very intelligent and dynamic man who also shares a day that is very dear to me.. August 4th which is my birthday and his too!!

Hmmmm Saturday night and A Frozen Pipe... As we pulled up to our house in the Hamptons very late on Saturday night.. Really Sunday morning at around 1:00AM we noticed a flood in our driveway. Not a good sign!! We went into the house to hear the sound of a river flowing in our garage. I opened the garage door and was in shock!! A pipe had burst in the bedroom above our garage.... Water was pouring through the ceiling of the garage onto the cars and pieces of the ceiling had fallen down too... The bedroom carpet had turned brown and was soaked.. OYYY not a fun thing to walk into at 1:00 AM... Luckily with the help of our plumber by phone we found the shut off for the water for that part of the house... Then went to bed... So all will be fixed... Aggravating yes but nothing we could do... Confucius says: Make sure your heating system is always working when it is very cold outside :-)

In and Around Westhampton Beach....

Even on a blustery cold day like today.. There were still people walking around and shopping in WHB. I stopped at some of my favorites... Fahrenheit 451 and chatted with Liz.. Hugged Sammy (her dog) and bought the boys some cool jeans... Then headed over to Lavish Beauty... Randi is the best. She has all the latest body products.. Makeup from Trish McEvoy and Scott Barnes.. Bliss Products and Several Unique Fragrance Lines. Also Bond 9 Fragrances which is one of my favorites!! If you can't get out to WHB check out the website at www.shoplavishbeauty.com Then off to The Beach Bakery for a soda and some rainbow cookies for Dylan.. Many of the stores are closed for the season but there's still plenty to see.

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The House of Love and Prayer... A Play about the life of Shlomo Carlebach

I was very fortunate to be in the audience of the 3rd night of a 3 night NYC run of The House of Love and Prayer.. The Life, Music and Stories of Shlomo Carlebach. The 2 1/2 + hour performance was thoroughly engaging and delightful from the start. The music had the audience clapping and tapping their feet. As the show ended and the crowd rose to a standing ovation I felt like I could have listened to the music all night long...

A little info on the life of Shlomo Carlebach from Wikipedia....

Shlomo Carlebach's ancestors comprised one of the oldest rabbinical dynasties in pre-Holocaust Germany.

Shlomo Carlebach was born in Berlin, where his father, Rabbi Naftali Carlebach, was an Orthodox Rabbinic Authority. The family fled the Nazis in 1933 and lived in Baden bei Wien, Austria before coming to New York City in 1939. His father became the rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jacob, a small synagogue on West 79th Street in New York's Upper West Side; Shlomo and his twin brother Eli Chaim took over the rabbinate of the synagogue after their father's death in 1967.

Reb Shlomo studied at several high-level Orthodox yeshivos, including Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, New York, and Bais Medrash Gevoha in Lakewood, New Jersey. His voice and musical talents were recognized quite early during his days in yeshiva, when he was often chosen to lead the services as a popular Hazzan ("cantor") for Jewish holidays.

As is engraved on his tombstone, he became a devoted Hasid ("disciple") of Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn (1880-1950) the sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. From 1951-1954, he subsequently worked as the first emissaries (shluchim) of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, until he departed to form his successful model for outreach, literally teaching hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide

Reb Shlomo and his wife, Neila, had two daughters, Nedara (Dari) and Neshama. Neshama Carlebach is a songwriter and singer with her own following who has written and sung many songs in her father's style.

He died suddenly of a heart attack while travelling on an airplane to relatives in Canada. Seated next to him was the Skverer Rebbe, they were singing the Rebbe's favorite melody, which Shlomo had composed.

Reb Shlomo was very close with many famous Hassidic Rebbes, including the Amshinover Rebbe and Bobover Rebbe. Shlomo is regarded as one of the most successful Kiruv personalities of the 20th century, second only to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, reaching many Jewish souls through his outreach, music and teaching.


Carlebach's approach towards kiruv, or Jewish outreach, was often tinged with controversy:

"He operated outside traditional Jewish structures in style and substance, and spoke about God and His love in a way that could make other rabbis uncomfortable."[3]
At times, he would encourage mixed (men and women) dancing at his concerts and would often kiss woman upon greeting them:

"He was known for literally embracing his female followers—a forbidden practice among Orthodox jews. His standards of comportment were viewed as being too lax by Orthodox colleagues, distancing him from the Haredi establishment which adheres to the laws of shomer negiah (whereby physical contact with a member of the opposite sex is only permitted with one's spouse and very close relatives). An anecdote is told that when Carlebach was asked about his lack of adherence to the laws of shomer negiah by one yeshiva student, he responded (in a manner very uncharacteristic to him), "When your foolish rabbi knows as much as the average gentile about the Torah, come back and ask me the same question."

I had the pleasure of listening to Rabbi Naftali Citron, Spiritual Leader of The Carlebach Shul this summer at The Hampton Synagogue. Rabbi Citron is the great nephew of Reb Shlomo. The Carlebach Shul www.carlebachshul.org is located on West 79th Street in New York City.

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Great Websites of My Friends

I feel very fortunate to have many wonderful friends.... Friends that I have had for years and years.... I thought I would share a few websites of some dear friends... Unique and thought provoking....

www.theenchantedworld.com

From "About Us" on their website....
When artist Amy Zerner met author Monte Farber in 1974, an enchanted relationship was formed. Since 1988, they have shared their unique brand of life mastery and artistic excellence with their readers in the more than one million copies of their unique, award-winning works published in nine languages. They claim their multi-dimensional relationship as lovers, creative collaborators and successful entrepreneurs can be attributed partially to their application of the intuition building skills and ancient wisdom they have studied before and during their twenty-seven year marriage and friendship, compassion and a sense of humor comprise the other part.

Amy and Monte are dear friends. I feel truly blessed to have them in my life.


Another great website is that of another dear friend Geo Geller who photographed Jake and Dylan when they were TWO or THREE surfing the internet (in the early days)... Geo's site is quite thought provoking.

www.randomplace.com

I encourage you to visit these two sites. Stay for a while. Explore.

Have Fun! I always do!

RISA

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ron Mueck Exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum

It was so wonderful to finally see the works in person of Ron Mueck, one of my "new" favorite artists. I will tell you his work may not appeal to everyone but it is a must see just for the fact that it is hard to believe the realistic lifelike figures he creates. I encourage you to visit his exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum which will be on until Feb. 4th. It is a must see!!! My interest in Ron Mueck's work started after I had the great fortune of seeing "Two Old Women" in Glenn Furhman's apartment last year during a Women's UJA event. I have always been fascinated by Art that is very realistic and lifelike. Especially sculpture and 3 Dimensional Art. I instantly bonded with this piece as it truly fascinated me. I promise you a visit to the exhibit will be truly worth it!! Also stop into the Museum Cafe for a great lunch and the Museum Shop!
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/ron_mueck/

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sleeping .......

Not being a great sleeper... as in rarely if ever do I sleep straight through the night... I find myself trying to linger in bed especially in those early morning hours when I do finally feel like I could sleep for hours.... My perfect recipe is a slightly soft mattress... 3 or 4 king size down pillows... a room that is no hotter than 65 degrees preferably 63 and a big mushy down comforter enveloped in a Pratesi duvet... Very decadent.... So OK I did finally pull myself out of bed at 1:00 PM this afternoon.... Having pressed the snooze button a million times before that. Made a toasted everything bagel and a great cup of coffee... Hmmm the greatest luxury in life is not having to do anything... So we should all cherish those times when we can stay in bed a bit longer.. and just relax and enjoy doing nothing at all!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idol should be ASHAMED!!

I haven't watched American Idol for that many seasons and I have to say I am embarassed to admit I have watched for the last two nights. All I can say is that the producers should be ashamed!! I have a great sense of humor and love a good joke any day of the week. What were they thinking??? All I have watched both nights is people making fools of themselves. I am hoping this must be a joke?? Some of the people even border on mentally impaired. I guess the goal of American Idol is to poke fun!! Is it so hard to get ratings that we need to stoop down to this level?? Very sad!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thank you in Action.....

When I receive a gift it is immediately acknowledged with a thank you note. I have been doing this since I was a child and because of this I have acquired a taste for beautiful stationery. I have tried to instill this in my children albeit it is tough but hopefully as they get older it won't be. Acknowledging and then showing your appreciation for a gift by writing the "gift giver" a personal note is a "must"!!! We all lead busy lives but can't use that as an excuse for not having having good manners. It is shocking to me how many people do not follow this... I would think it would be natural. As natural as bringing a gift to someone when they invite you to their home?? Don't we all do this?? Well since I mentioned stationery I will tell you some of my favorites.. For sure Mrs. John L. Strong which can be found at Barney, NY and then Cranes, Smythson, fabulous papers and choices at Kate's Paperie www.katespaperie.com ... Great choices online at www.finestationery.com and www.chelseapaper.com

BTW My special thanks to y'all for reading my blog!!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Monday, January 8, 2007

I Thought I said PLAIN!!!

I am not the type who redoes the menu when I dine out.(Daily LOL!!) My biggest requests are dressing on the side or lemon with my diet coke. My children are another story.. Although they have matured greatly in their dining tastes and will try new things every now and then when they say "plain" they mean PLAIN!!! You would think when you say plain just plain with nothing on it.. the kitchen would understand?? But is it the kitchen?? If the waiter didn't explicitly convey your request to them whose fault is it? I will say that at least 75% of the time the order doesn't come as requested. I can't even tell you the countless times we have seen "green stuff" on pizza and pasta... wasabi on sushi.. lettuce and tomato(my son will just puke).. sauces on top instead of on the side... oyyyy... This is just a parent's worst nightmare!!! Especially those with young kids.. How many times have we all picked the "green stuff" off the food!! Tonight while eating at a local restaurant in town.. The boys both ordered Shwarma and we told the waiter plain with nothing on it at least 3 times!! Of course when it came one had salad on it. Major no no!! I stared at my sister and said I know I told the waiter plain and she said yes you did.. He got all flustered and had the nerve to go back to the kitchen and tell them that I was wrong.. I think he said something like that blah blah lady... Unbelievable! Is there any hope for change???

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Service as a Regular

This morning we went to our favorite local coffee shop (diner) in Center Moriches. The "UnHamptons"... Lucy one of the owners greets us immediately with a Kiss and a Happy New Year. The place is bustling with locals. We've barely sat down and a hot delicious cup of coffee is placed in front of me with a bowl of half and half's... I see our waiter grab a large glass and go for the ice and bowl of pre sliced lemon. I know he is getting me a diet coke before I have even asked for it. What service!!! Then he comes to the table to take our order.. always the same.. He even says two hot chocolates.. one with whipped cream and one without.. The boys say no two with whipped cream. I am amazed as they have changed their standard order. The waiter is shocked.. Then as Lucy brings over the hot chocolates she says.. WOW you both want whipped cream?? She said I had already made one with and one without so its overflowing a bit after I put the whipped cream on top. WOW that is personal service!!! And always with a smile no matter how busy the place is. Wouldn't it be nice to always be treated like a regular everywhere?

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Service or the Lack of...........

It amazes me that we are living in a world that when you receive good service it is almost a suprise. How sad and thoroughly frustrating. You would think that buying high ticket items at luxury shops, eating at expensive restaurants, staying at lavish hotels and giving your business to high end firms would somewhat ensure this. NOT!!!! (As said by Borat!! LOL!!) You get better service at McDonalds!! How many times have you been in an expensive restaurant with great food and lousy service?? Turns the whole meal on its head... Or having to wait 10 minutes for a glass of water after you've asked 3 times. Inexcusable!!

Is it a new generation of workers? Are the younger generation not being trained properly by their employers? Prices keep rising.. Technology is moving at breakneck speed. People are still needed and they need to be properly trained in their job functions to deal with customers. Every customer deserves proper respect and timely service no matter what price point they are shopping or dining at.

I hope the trend changes for the better although I am not holding out much hope for this.

Have fun!! I always do!!

RISA