Archive | October, 2011

Westchester: There’s an App For That?

23 Oct

These days there’s an App for everything. That is, if you’re an iPhoner. If you’re a Blackberry user, well, I offer my condolences. And Androiders? You’re unfortunately second-class citizens in the App world. That might change in the coming years, but for now, iPhone is iNumeroUno.

This got me thinking… are there any useful Westchester-centric Apps out there? A little bit of digging uncovered these:

Garage Sale PennySaver (Free)Innnteresting. So PennySaver, whose success I can’t quite wrap my head around, is light years ahead of the competition with an app that tracks garage sales in the Hudson Valley. Bottom line? Meh. It’s not elegant in the least. The scrolling is a little wonky. It basically is a text-based list of tag sales. The web links in each posting I tried didn’t work. The map doesn’t seem to let you search from your current location. All in all, you’re better off pulling up Craigslist.

Authentic Church (Free) So apparently there’s a church in White Plains called Authentic Church. I’m Jewish, what do I know. But their tagline is “Know God. Grow Together. Show Love.” Clever, says the copywriter. The app currently has a handful of entries you can watch video of or listen to just audio. Cute idea, albeit not for me. I’m sure God, however, would be proud to know his messages have gone mobile.

News 12 Mobile (Free)  – Caveat: this app is free but only to Optimum customers, using their Optimum ID and password. I am not an Optimum customer, so I can’t tell you what this thing looks like. However they get a 3 (out of 5) star rating in the AppStore, with 31 ratings.

Good-life Gourmet (Free)This catering company serves Westchester, Southern CT and NYC, and has gourmet sandwich shops in Irvington and Scarsdale. The app has QR code capabilities, where users can “check in” via scan from the sandwich shop, and earn free sandwiches and merchandise for reaching certain levels. For example, 9 scans earn you a free sandwich. Pretty cool! Other than that the app doesn’t offer much, except for a TON of copy about who they are and what they do. What would be smart is if you could view menus straight from the app and even place orders. Hint, hint.

WVOX Radio (Free)WVOX is a community-focused AM radio station (1460) that serves Westchester, Fairfield, Long Island and NYC. This app is basically streaming radio in it’s purest form. As soon as the app opens it starts streaming content. I don’t know how valuable that is, considering the audience for AM radio is dying, but I guess in the event that zombies take over Westchester, it’s nice to know you can pull up a radio signal from your trusty iPhone and find a safe zone to escape the madness. Unless zombies have also attacked WVOX station and the DJs are dead. Then you’re screwed.

iTransit Buddy Metronorth ($1.99)Super smart if you’re a commuter, and even though it’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee, I still have to really want an App to pay for it. A better idea? Go to the Metronorth website from your iPhone or iPad, pull up the schedule for your stations, and screenshot it (simultaneously push the iPhone’s round button and the power button on the top of the phone). That way you always have train times saved in your photo album. I just saved you $1.99. You can buy me a cup of coffee if you’d like…

Bottom line? LoHud + Westchester Magazine should step up their game… they could be true trailblazers in the space if they act fast!

Readers: what type of Westchester-centric App would you like to see?


If Zombies Took Over Westchester.

23 Oct

Hey neighbor, you think I could borrow a cup of sugar? Or tear you to pieces?

So I’m back on the bandwagon for AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the second season of which started this week. The season premiere literally scared the pants right off my tush, but I’m going to keep watching anyway. I figure at the least, maybe I’ll learn some defense tactics in the event that zombies take over Westchester.

Here’s my breakdown of what would happen if zombies did indeed take over:

  • Chappaqua is the first town to go. Why? They still haven’t finished the construction on that bridge over the tracks, making egress that much more difficult. Sorry, my Chappy friends. I hope it isn’t painful. I suggest zipping over to Marmalade this week to pick up some festive tableware for “The Last Supper.”
  • Target is ransacked, as people rush to stock up on water, Archer Farms cookies and Missoni for Target products for their end of days.
  • Walmart is the second place people run to, to stock up on guns and ammo, and snap a few final pictures of oddly dressed Walmart shoppers to send in to the People of Walmart blog.
  • Caroline Corley, being the witty 107.1 Peak DJ that she is, sets the station to replay “The Monster Mash” over and over again, interrupted only for that commercial about what “Nyack is.”
  • Whole Foods White Plains stops validating for parking, causing panic and pandemonium. Irate and scared customers impulsively buy stretch pants at Destination Maternity to get their $3 parking charge covered.
  • Frannie’s Goodie Shop is wiped out, as looters go to town on all the DIY fro-yo and toppings they can eat before judgment day. (Sugar-free strawberry, of course, remains untouched.)


What I’ve Learned From The Real Housewives.

23 Oct

Andy Cohen's got the 411.

  1. It’s very bourgeois to drive yourself. Unless you are driving to the plastic surgeon. Or you live in Atlanta, or New Jersey – those Housewives have a product placement deal with Range Rover. If you’re in Beverly Hills, or New York, you better call up your local livery because it’s all about being driven around while you drink champagne, check your Google Alerts, and gossip-text your BFF.
  2. Housewives should eat out as often as possible, in high-visibility restaurants. But don’t ever eat. Sure, order food. It’s the appropriate thing to do to order something and have it placed in front of you, so as to appear human. But that $42 salad should go untouched. Just move the leaves around a bit and call it a day.
  3. Nothing is sacred. That means feel free to share your sex doings with the world, bash your friends in print, and wear a bathing suit (or 12) in front of the camera.
  4. Family portraits should be taken 6 times a year. Be certain to color coordinate the children to the living room, the living room to the in-laws, and the in-laws to the dog. And never, NEVER sit on the same couch twice.
  5. Holiday gatherings serve two purposes: To (1) stand in your new kitchen and brag about how quickly you’ve managed to rise out of bankruptcy, and (2) to show off how tall a tower you can make out of cannolis.
  6. It’s perfectly acceptable to be a mean girl. In fact, it’s a requirement. Don’t ever forget it. (Bitch.)
  7. The fact that someone is sitting 2.5 feet away from you should never deter you from talking smack about them. It’s a plus! At least if they’re within earshot, you won’t have to wait impatiently for the gossip mill to get to work. Consider it the most efficient method!
  8. Sunglasses should cost no less than $25,000. I mean really. Who needs college funds for their children? If you don’t protect your eyes by encrusting them in diamonds so as to repel the sun’s rays, you won’t be able to “see” them graduate anyway!
  9. Teenage daughters may be evil, but when they disrespect you on national TV, it’s recommended to buy them a new car. You know what they say…keep your friends close, keep your lazy, disrespectful teen out of the house, driving her drunk friends around in a brand new automobile. And when all else fails, throw her a big, lavish party.
  10. Speaking of parties, make sure to ALWAYS stir the family drama pot when hosting or attending a family gathering. Nothing is more genuine than the apologies that come after fists (or wine glasses) are thrown. Get it out! Air those grievances!
  11. Sing it, sister. Sure, you can’t hold a tune to save your life. But you know what? That’s got absolutely NOTHING to do with being a singer. Convince the hubby of your future in pop stardom, and introduce him to your partner – Auto-tune. Lalalalalalalalala!

When Life Hands You Apples.

23 Oct

Yesterday my family and I ventured a few exits up 684 to Harvest Moon Orchards for what we expected to be a fun, relaxing, sunny Sunday of apple picking. You know, the kind that starts with empty bags and an apple picker in hand and ends with apples galore and warm cider donuts? Mmmm.

Well if that’s the experience you’re looking for, you might want to consider avoiding Harvest Moon Orchards in North Salem. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they’ve apparently done TOO much promotion. Everyone and their 3rd cousin will be there. We spent 45 minutes trying to get off the exit from 684 – all traffic was heading to Harvest Moon and Outhouse Orchards. As we crawled toward the orchard (1/2 mile from the exit), my 14-month old grew bored, and my husband’s agitation grew. I spent the next 20 minutes (to go 1/2 a mile) singing “The Wheels on the Bus” to my 14 month old and trying to convince my hubby not to turn around and leave. I joked to my husband that by the time we got there, they might be out of apples. Foreshadowing, perhaps?

After finally arriving and parking (a feat in and of itself), we headed over to the “orchard” line. Etiquette was not on anyone’s minds, as strollers and parents pushed ahead, cutting in line to get their $25 bags. Yes, you heard correctly. $25 for a bag of apples. Sure, it’s an experience to go apple picking, and you pay for the experience. I get it. But twenty five dollars? Sheesh.

They were out of apple pickers, and told us to get one from someone up in the orchard. What this meant is we had to “bribe” someone to give us theirs. They demanded $5 from us, even though they had only paid $2.50 (of which they would have gotten their money back upon return). Black market apple pickers? Check, check.

So that leads me to why the apple pickers were so necessary. The orchard was practically picked dry. Nary an apple in sight, unless you count the ones that were at the tippy tops of the trees. All of that excitement about letting my 14 month old pick apples off a tree himself was diminished. Boo hoo. We managed to find one apple that was reachable. Baby bear was thrilled. We even snapped a few pics of him reaching for it, as we knew it was the only shot we’d get.

This, coupled with the fact that it was 95 degrees at 3pm, and it was a bit of a lackluster experience. And then, that’s when it happened. I looked to my left and saw a child, squatting, pants down around his ankles, as he pooped. In the orchard. With his mother sitting next to him, not doing a thing about it.

Now, this is certainly no fault of Harvest Moon. One can’t expect them to police their every guest. No, this was purely a disgusting, idiotic move on the part of a lazy, classless parent who thought it was okay to shit where people eat. Literally.

As we left the orchard and headed back down to the farm area, the line for apple cider donuts, which an hour earlier wrapped all the way around the building, had not shortened. Kids were going berserk, parents were yelling. It was a sight for sore, hungry eyes. Apparently, this place is more like an amusement park than a low key Northern Westchester farm.

And as such, no donuts were had.

Lesson learned? Let the traffic getting off the highway be an indication of trouble ahead. And go pick your apples elsewhere. Like anywhere far enough from the city to discourage day-trippers. Consider this my PSA for the week!

What’s Next, Mt. Kisco?

23 Oct

Now that Borders has gone the way of the Dodo, I wonder what will next occupy that amazing building. I don’t have such high hopes, you know. Between the super exciting “Joseph. A. Banks” store and the influx of CVS stores per square mile in this region, my expectations are decidedly low.

Here’s my suggested list of what should go into the old Borders space:

  • A roller skating rink. How fun would a Northern Westchester Moms Roller Derby tourny be?? It could be teams like “The Tahoes” vs “The Range Rovers” or “Saw Mill Clubs” vs “Saw Mill Easts”
  • A Trader Joes. Now I know this will never happen as long as old Mrs. Green is around, which is disappointing. Have you ever signed up for their “loyalty program?” It’s only good the first Tuesday of every month. Really, Mrs. Green? I’ll take a Trader Joe any day of the week.
  • A mini Bloomingdales. Just like Bloomies SoHo!! How great would this be – a hip little offshoot of the NY institution…just run on in for a last minute makeup application before a night out prowling at Village Social!
  • A Vietnamese restaurant. Sure – this isn’t even logical given the size of the space. But I had to just throw it out there as I (un)officially started the “Bring Vietnamese Food to Westchester” campaign. Seriously. Bo luc lac. Have you had it? It’s amazing. You’ll love it. Trust me.
  • Another book store. There’s a novel idea. Just because Borders failed globally doesn’t mean Mt Kisco can’t keep a bookstore in business. I for one think that Borders was always pretty bustling, and there almost always was a line to checkout. C’mon, naysayers. Books are not dead. Books are not dead!!!

Well there you have it. My list for proposed Borders space tenants. By the time you read this, I’m sure someone like Chase bank has leased the space.

Confessions of an A.D.D. Gardener

23 Oct

Warning: Objects are weedier than they appear.

I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t really like gardening. I mean, while I like the idea of gardening, and I get totally pumped in the spring to start with a clean slate and create a pretty veggie garden, or see some flowers sprout from the soil, I really am just not that into it.

You see, when hubby and I purchased this house 3 years ago, in all of it’s 1.5-acre glory, the suburban girl in me saw visions of weekends spent relaxing outdoors, quietly weeding and planting and enjoying the yard. The city girl in me saw visions of weekends spent slave to outdoor chores, cursing under my breath as I pull up yet another damn weed, and wondering why I moved here to begin with.

So now it’s Fall, and the time when I should be cleaning up outdoors, and moving those beautiful peonies that were planted in an ill-conceived spot. But I just don’t have it in me. I’m over it. So I’ll ignore the signs of yard death, and stew all winter long at my unkempt, unprepped property, so that in the spring I can muster up the strength to do something about it for a day or two, and brag online about what a great gardener I am.

Andre Leon Talley Has a Westchester Life

23 Oct


Work it, Mr. Talley

My world was rocked (ever so slightly) when I read the news that Mr. Vogue himself resided in Westchester. The same Westchester that felt so unchic five years ago when I made the mecca up from the city? Could it be true?

Not only does he reside in Westchester, he claims to reside in “Worthington.” Um… I think you mean Greenburgh. Although I agree, André , that just does not have the same caché as Worthington, which sounds a bit more Grey Gardens than White Plains neighbor.

Either way, it made my day. If ever I was worried that an outfit was a little more “city” than my little suburb could handle, I’ll just think of Mr. Talley and his magnificent Chado Ralph Rucci cape, perched upon a barstool at City Limits diner (his favorite jaunt? Really?) Sigh.