Enhanced Quality of Life in New York

People are always trying to either maintain or enhance their quality of life.  There are various related industries in this including: culture, home, wellness and more.  In this article we examine a few of them.


New York has always been a great home to high-end culture.  Now, that is about to be taken to the next level especially for book lovers.  The plan is for Amazon to open its very first New York bookstore close to Central Park.  Located at The Shops at Columbus Circle, this upscale midtown shopping mall features other chic retailers including Coach, Eileen Fisher, First Republic Bank and J. Crew to name but a few.  The store is due to measure 4,000 square feet and anticipated opening is set for some time in the spring of 2017.

Home Renovations

Rocco Basile
Rocco Basile

Another way quality of life can improve is by making home renovations. Many people are gearing their renovations towards state of the art sustainable living with the guidance of experts like Rocco Basile’s Avo Construction company.  Located in Tribeca, the company helps its New York based clients create their dream house. Basile’s firm focuses on two key areas in this. These include ground-up construction which includes coordinating with architects, engineers and designers as well as the client, and high-end interiors with a specialized team which examines the function of a space and works one-on-one with the individual client to achieve the desired result.  As Rocco Basile points out: “We’re very involved in the construction process with our clients.  We are very hands on with our architects, engineers and clients to ensure that we create the best space possible.”


And then there are the exclusive fitness centers such as 305 Fitness.  Inspired by the music and culture of Miami (hence the 305) this brand of boutique gyms were only founded a couple of years ago by Sadie Kurzban, but since their launch in 2014, two have come to New York. People in the midtown or West Village neighborhoods can work-out in style at these centers with instructors such as Columbia University graduate Deaton (The 305 Kween) or former Philadelphia 76ers NBA Dance Team member Naimah (The Lipstick Sergeant) to name but a few of the impressive instructors.

Parts of New York have always been high-brow. That trend seems to be continuing in a positive way with the help of the right stores, work-out facilities, construction companies like Avo Construction and so many others.

Finding the Right Elderly Care Facility for Your Needs

It’s never easy to make the decision to put a loved one in a senior care center. Whether you’re interested in a location in New Jersey like those in New York like Dry Harbor, or you have your eyes set on the West Coast, the basic considerations are all the same. Here are a few things to consider as you look into possible locations.

1. Expenses: Certainly, everyone wants the best for his parent or other loved one. But we can’t always afford the best. Before looking for a home, take a long, hard look at the elderly person’s finances and at your own. Do you want to be left footing some of the bill?

2. Care Giving Needs: Certainly, every elderly person needs a different level of care. And what your mother needs today may not be what she needs tomorrow. Does the home allow for changes in their needs? Do they have 24 hour a day care if your mother should need that at some point? Do they have an Alzheimer’s section?

3. Activities and Facilities: Does the facility have a hospital near by? Do they have services do bring the elderly person there? Do they have nurses on staff, and are there enough of them?

These are just a few of the many questions that you’ll want to ask as you look for the right location for your elderly loved one. Make sure, of course, to make appointments at a number of these facilities like the Dry Harbor Rehabilitation Center and also to drop in unannounced to see what they are like when they aren’t on show.

New Year’s Eve and Day Traditions

Why do so many people celebrate and party on New Year’s Eve?  What happens – apart from nursing a hangover – about New Year’s Day?  It seems like the traditions on these dates goes back a long time.  The first month – January – was established by the Roman Calendar and was named after Janus, a god, which is also the Latin word for door.  Janus had two faces enabling him to look back into the old year (and perhaps inspire him to make changes from his past actions) and forwards into the new one.

The Door Custom

In the olden days, the New Year started with a custom known as the 'first footing', which was intended to bring people good luck in the New Year. After midnight, people waited behind their doors for someone with dark-hair to show up, carrying a piece of coal, bread, money and greenery. These symbolic items were meant for good luck; the coal to ensure a warm house; the bread to symbolize everyone in the house having enough to eat; money so that no-one experienced poverty and greenery for a long life. Following this, the dark-haired guest took a pan with dust or ashes in, to signify the end of the old year and beginning of the new one.

New Year’s Eve Today

Today it seems most of these traditions are no longer kept. People just party pretty hard, get a bit drunk and enjoy fireworks in most places.  In Great Britain at the stroke of midnight, partygoers traditionally link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne to remind them of old and new friends.  In New York they watch the ball drop and in San Francisco, the Waterfront Area is a very popular place to be at midnight.

Chugging Champaign to Lose Weight?

Say Bye-Bye to Boring Greens

Apparently it seems that weight loss doesn’t have to all be about limp salads and leafy green vegetables.  This could be great news for those who wanted to enjoy their food over Thanksgiving and are hoping for the same during the upcoming Christmas season.  Most diets severely restrict drinking, but a new one is out that actually encourages it…and that’s not even just the usual talk we hear about a healthy glass of red wine or two being full of good-for-you antioxidants…we’re talking Champagne!

Champagne Diet

Yes indeed.  Next you’ll be seeing pigs fly. Well, maybe not, but a Champagne Diet has been developed which sounds absolutely perfectly appropriate for the upcoming Christmas and New Year season with parties and pub crawls galore.  Developed in New York by 31-year-old MTV employee Cara Alwill Leyba, the alcoholic diet is intended to be “two parts healthy living, one part fun.”  And it’s definitely worked for her – the diet that finally got her out of her depression on how she looked and turned her into a slimmer woman.
So how does this diet actually work, you wannabe slim drinkers are dying to know.  Well, according to Cara, since a glass of the bubbly stuff contains a mere 91 calories, you can drink and enjoy it.  But the thing is, you probably won’t be drinking all that much since the science behind it is that the bubbles get to your bloodstream real quick, which renders you unable to drink all that much.

Champagne and Lox

But it’s more than just drinking champagne.  From doing the research, it looks like Cara wanted a diet that was the envy of others – not the other way round.  Instead of sitting in a restaurant with friends not on a diet, staring at your miserable-looking plate of greens, go on Cara’s diet and really invest in yourself.  Order delicious foods that you really want to eat.  On the diet, there are no forbidden foods.  Rather, the premise is consuming delicious, nutrient-rich, high-quality foods (no more than 1,400 calories per day).  Get a bagel with lox and a glass of champagne for your lunch with the ladies and see how much more fulfilled you’ll end up being.  You won’t resent others not on this “diet” as your food will be their envy!  
Finally, Cara also feels that drinking in the bubbles actually makes women feel good about themselves.  And the better people feel, the less likely they will engage in emotional over-eating; another reason that people have to go on a diet in the first place.  Celebrate yourself every day – bring on the champagne and lox and lose weight while you’re at it!