The Haves And The Have-Nots

Forget The Coffee, Give Me The WiFi

I received an email from my friend Leslie Alter very early this morning, 5:47am to be exact. I read it about 6:30am. It woke me up to a whole new way of thinking about Hurricane Sandy.

Leslie said,

“I think I have post traumatic shock stress something or other… too much for my head to handle… the nightmares keep coming but at least we’re okay… and glad you are okay!… it’s not just twitter for instant news… it’s Facebook too…. I think my sister who hasn’t had power for several days is better off not seeing the devastation…. looks like a war zone in places.”

I felt the same way, but she expressed it so well. I feel like everyone in the Northeast of the United States is living a nightmare. We are so lucky that we have electricity. We have a steady stream of visitors who want to use our facilities to clean up, take showers, charge their electronics, warm up, exchange stories, and do some of their work.

Many of the people who have come by have not had much communication with the outside world, so they know little about Breezy Point, Queens, Lower Manhattan, Long Beach, LI, and the Jersey Shore. They only know that their own little world doesn’t have electricity and water. Leslie is right, maybe they are better off. Watching all the devastation on TV makes me wonder how much bad news can one person take?

Governor’s Cuomo and Christie claim NY area folks are tough. The truth is that all Americans are tough if they know there is hope. Fortunately, this time there is a lot of hope even though it seems far away from now. My friend Ben was hit twice. A tree fell right through his cathedral ceiling in NJ. He was sitting in his dark house just inches away. He also recently learned that his Jersey Shore house was swept away. Friends from Long Beach, LI, watched helplessly as their house filled with water and collapsed. My cousin’s entire basement in Oceanside, LI, is filled with water which seeped into the first floor of his house. He found his speedboat, which was stored for the winter in a boatyard, five blocks from where it was tied up. My nephew in the Financial District, climbs up and down 14 flights of stairs several times a day to walk his dog. Another friend from Westchester, is stuck in his house until he gets help removing the tree and debris in front of his front door and driveway.

Everyone has a story! The interesting thing is that digital equipment has become the common denominator. I haven’t had a conversation where someone hasn’t underscored the status of their smartphone, tablet or computer. We have reached a time in the world that people can cope much better if they are connected.

Today, everyone finds a way to charge and connect. A downtown Starbucks was closed, but their wifi was still being accessed by hundreds who sat just outside the front door.

Check out the photos below taken by my friends Ruth and Howard Greenberg in a mall in Bergen County, NJ.






Hurricane Sandy Tweets

Eliot and I were glued to the TV set last night. As long as we had electricity, we wanted to watch every bit of the news. You can imagine our surprise when all of a sudden we get an email from our daughter Whitney who informed us that patients from NYU’s Langone Medical Center were being evacuated because of a power failure. I could hardly believe my eyes. How did she know that? We were watching every TV channel. We didn’t hear a word about it.

Twitter had the news before any TV news station. Whitney is a big twitter user and monitors posts all the time. Twitter had the info on Langone Medical Center at least a half hour before it was reported on the air. The same thing about Breezy Point. Twenty-four hours later, we all now know the devistating news.

Once again, I wanted all of you to experience how people use Twitter to express themselves and deliver the news first.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
10/29/12, 3:16 PM
Direct view of crane from apartment window. Crane was never properly secured, blowing in the breeze.

Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess)
10/29/12, 10:32 PM
Praying for the lives of the babies in the PICU and NICU being carried down 9 flights of stairs at NYU Tisch Hospital. Generator failed

The Economist (@TheEconomist)
10/30/12, 5:50 AM
Is Hurricane Sandy capable of altering the American election result? (@CNNMoney)
10/30/12, 6:01 AM
Wall Street will remain closed for a second straight trading day as Northeast deals with impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Nicholas Sparks (@SparksNicholas)
10/30/12, 7:07 AM
Hurricane Sandy … because God is tired of political ads too.

Will Farrell (@YourLastLaugh)
10/30/12, 7:22 AM
What if gangnam style is actually just a giant rain dance and we brought hurricane Sandy on ourselves?

1010 WINS (@1010WINSNewYork)
10/30/12, 7:39 AM
1010 WINS is off of AM radio; We are now simulcasting on 92.3 NOW-FM.

Cory Booker (@CoryBooker)
10/30/12, 8:12 AM
Thank you RT @bsesser: A good list of organizations that need donations/volunteers in the wake of Sandy –

The New York Times (@nytimes)
10/30/12, 8:18 AM
A six-alarm fire has engulfed several blocks in the Rockaways, 3 dead elsewhere in NYC

Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC)
10/30/12, 8:22 AM
We send our deepest condolences to 83 people killed by hurricane Sandy: 15 in US, 1 in Canada, and 67 in the Caribbean. Rest in Peace.

POLITICO (@politico)
10/30/12, 8:38 AM
Chris Christie heaps praise on Obama for his handling of Hurricane Sandy:

Amazon (@amazon)
10/30/12, 9:05 AM
If you’d like to help the victims of #HurricaneSandy, you can donate to the @RedCross through

Popular Science (@PopSci)
10/30/12, 9:07 AM
5 surprising things that Sandy teaches us about climate change. That’s right.

Reuters Top News (@Reuters)
10/30/12, 9:18 AM
Hurricane Sandy losses worse than Irene: disaster forecasters

Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz)
10/30/12, 9:27 AM
Great info for all those affected. RT @TIME: Health and Safety tips for looking after yourself during Sandy

Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra)
10/30/12, 9:34 AM
Hurricane Sandy’s fury has been crippling & devastating & now mercifully abating. How many wonder as I do that Mother Nature feels violated

Donna D. (@MildlyAmused)
10/30/12 11:46 AM
Before and After photos of Funtown Pier. via @bannerite

NYC ARECS (@nycarecs)
10/30/12 12:23 PM
Stunning photo from last night, which bridge would you take? Neither! #sandy #nyc #dot

Weed Dude (@weeddude)
10/30/12 1:27 PM
Photo: Underground parking garage flooded almost to the ceiling at 20 Jay St in #Brooklyn (@NYCAviation) #Sandy

Yahoo! News (@YahooNews)
10/30/12, 2:35 PM
A New Jersey woman gave birth to a baby boy in a hospital truck during ‘Superstorm’ Sandy:

TACO BELL (@TacoBell)
10/30/12, 2:49 PM
For those of you impacted by #HurricaneSandy, don’t worry! You will get #FreeDoritosTacos at a later date.

Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony)
10/30/12, 3:06 PM
Hope everyone is staying safe after Hurricane Sandy.

New York Post (@NewYorkPost)
10/30/12, 3:08 PM
Beachfront home of Ronald Lauder was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy LIVEUPDATES

Forbes (@Forbes)
10/30/12, 3:29 PM
With more than 16,000 flights canceled, Hurricane Sandy deals a body blow to air travel.

Andrew Cove (@aac)
10/29/12 4:21 PM
Wait, they’re closing the bridges and tunnels? Finally a night worth going out to clubs in NYC!

If you didn’t get the joke written out in the last tweet here, call me. I will explain.

Living With Sandy


I am not even sure if this Digidame will get posted. It’s 8:53pm and we were just notified that they are shutting off the power in the elevators of our coop on 62nd and Second, NYC. They expect the power to blow any minute.

The wind outside is howling and our windows are shaking. Thank goodness for emails, tweets and texts. Family and friends are sending each other updates with pictures so everyone is totally aware of conditions throughout the Hurricane Sandy area.

One of the biggest challenges is a partially broken crane on top of an 80 story building on 57th and 7th. Everyone in the area has been evacuated or asked to move to lower floors in nearby buildings. Some debris has already fallen from the crane to the streets below. Luckily, no one was hurt.

The following pictures will show you taped windows, trees down, floods and 70 mile an hour winds. All photos from F&F. Notice the Fifth Avenue Apple Store with sandbags surrounding it and the view from the New York Times that shows the heavy winds.





My Idea For The Yacht That Jobs Built

We all knew it was coming, but we are never really prepared to see the creation of something new from a person no longer with us, especially if that individual is Steve Jobs. His new 260 foot super-yacht is nothing less than a vision of beauty, but the first pictures of it, in my opinion, still look like a cold memorial for a helpless soul who was struck down at the height of his greatness. Call me “morbid,” but that is just how I feel about it. Watch the video that shows the unveiling of the vessel Jobs named Venus.

Jobs commissioned its construction in 2007. He worked on it with French product designer Philippe Starck. We all know Starck as the minimalist designer of The Delano Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, the Paramount and Hudson Hotels in New York, the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles and the Clift hotel in San Francisco. Together they designed a luxury motor yacht to look like a floating Apple store. The vessel is presently docked where it was built, in a shipyard in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, just south of Amsterdam.

Just as you guessed, the yacht has all of the designs that made Apple products so distinguishable. It is sleek and sexy. Look at the crisp white lines, polished metal and tons of glass. Starck recently told the press that he is very proud of Venus. “It reflected Jobs’ expectation and vision.” The super-yacht has a long white hull with a row of circular portholes just above the water line and two glass-walled cabins on the top deck, one on top of the other. The cabin windows are large panes, almost floor to ceiling,and the main living area has windows 40 feet long and 10 feet high glass. windows.

Jobs was very concerned about the completion of the yacht. He didn’t want to leave his widow the task of finishing it. It is interesting to note that most of his life Jobs lived without the frills of a rich person. He got more pleasure from the act of creating rather than the creation itself. That is why I think the Venus should be gifted as an educational facility for the tech community. You’ve heard of a “semester at sea?” The Venus could be a floating school that offers seminars, tech instructional classes, research, and mentoring in every phase of entrepreneurism and creativity.

I don’t want to see the Venus listed on Vacations-To-Go or used for private events when the Jobs family and friends are not using it. I want to see the Venus alive every day of the year giving life to some form of innovation that will continue to speak volumes of what Jobs was all about. You can read more about the Venus in Jobs’ biography written by Walter Isaacson.

Pinterest, The Digital Corkboard

There is nothing like the threat of a major storm to make me think about how organized we are. I like the idea that at a moment’s notice we could grab our valuables and make a run for it. The older we get, the more we want to be in control.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to stop accumulating things. I just want them filed in an organized fashion so I have easy access. That is why I wanted to tell you all about the website Pinterest. It is a digital corkboard that allows you to search all kinds of categories and then “pin” interesting pictures on different boards. Pinterest has dozens of categories to search through. You can look up DIY crafts, must read books, travel ideas, gardening ideas, and several other subjects. It is a great way to expand your hobbies and find new and interesting things. This website has turned heads all over the world, quickly gaining millions of members and growing larger every day.

You can sign up for the website and log in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or with an email account. Once you log in, you can personalize your boards using whatever topics or titles you like. Some of my boards include `Sayings,’ ‘Fitness’, ‘My Style,’ and ‘Hair and Makeup.’ Your profile button will be located at the top right corner of the Pinterest website, where you can view your boards and pins, look up friends and their boards, and invite friends to join the website with you.

You can add pins to the corkboard by either uploading a picture, or by installing the ‘Pin It’ button, which is found under the toolbar. The Pinterest website gives you detailed instructions on how to install this button under their ‘Goodies’ tab on the homepage. Installing the button allows you to browse the internet freely. When you come across a picture that you like and want to add it to one of your own boards, simply hit the “Pin It” button, which will now be located at the top of the Pinterest webpage in a big red box. Using the dropdown box that will automatically appear, choose which board the pin will belong to, hit Pin, and you’re done.

One of the reasons Pinterest is so famous, is because it gives you the ability to collect and store files and still be paperless. Enjoy, your files are just a click away!

A Hurricane In The Digitial Age

I just heard on the news that many of us spend 15 years of our life watching TV. I am a TV junkie. I probably have spent many more years in front of the boob tube than that. Yes, yes, I know that I shouldn’t admit it. Not very scholarly of me. In the last eight years, not only do I watch a lot of TV, but I also have my laptop on my coffee table, my iPhone right next to me, and my iPad next to my iPhone. I like to think that this corner of my living room is my command center. I do my best thinking here and this is the spot where I de-stress. There is nothing like getting my work life in order to make myself feel totally liberated.

The world is outside my window. Nothing can touch me in here. That will all be tested in a few days from now when Sandy, appropriately being called Frankenstorm, hits the New York area. All of the TV news stations, WINS radio and now YouTube are reporting that Sandy might be a lulu of a storm, something the east coast has never seen before. At breakfast this morning, at our neigborhood diner, Silver Star, I told Eliot that if we did get rained in, that I could use the few days to catch up on emails and other Internet research that I was behind on. Then he gave me the bad news that never occurred to me. If we lose electricity, all of my communications gear will be useless, no TV, no radio, no Internet.

I felt myself go into panic mode. After breakfast we shopped for batteries and food for the next few days. I downloaded a lot of music, podcasts and audio books that I have been wanting to listen to. Thanks goodness I have multiple iPods so hopefully that will get me through a few days. Then there is always traditional books and printed magazines. If I light some candles, it will be like the good old days of the late 80s. Remember when we were able to concentrate on one thing at a time without beeps, clicks, bells and buzzers going off all the time? I could use some down time from all the noise but I don’t know if I am ready to live without Twitter and Facebook for a few days.

Tout This

Have you touted yet? If you haven’t touted, you have to try it. Here is a chance to capture your 15 seconds of fame. There is a new app called “Tout” that allows you to record and share 15 seconds of video via email, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. You don’t have to upload to YouTube. Just record and send.

Click here to see my first Tout videos

You can send a quick video message to the grandkids, share a quick video of yourself on your next trip or record your grandson’s first homerun.All videos can be saved on any device and shared with family and friends. You can also view other members’ videos, including celebrities and interviews. If it is posted, you can view it.

I am told this is all the rage in Hollywood and in the music industry. Everyone is video recording each other and sending video messages that they don’t want to say in person, like “Go Tout Yourself.”

Right Up My Valli

“Oh, what a night!” I haven’t felt so energized in a very long time. Watching Frankie Valli live on stage at 78 years old at the Broadway Theatre last night, was just the shot in the arm that I needed to get me back on track. I was starting to feel that maybe I should wind it down a bit (I get this way every once in a while), but after seeing Frankie on stage I feel that there is still a lot of living to do, and if that includes work, so be it!

Frankie is the new 78. Thin (he can’t weigh more than 120), strong, sexy, and totally with it. You can just tell from his body language that he is very satisfied with himself and wants to share his glorious voice with others. If you read his bio, he has had his share of tough times, but he seems like a “total picture guy” who wants to soak up every joyous opportunity.

I have a male cousin like that, Allan Becker, who is in his early 70s. When you speak to him you feel like he is planning his life as if he was still in his 20s. He travels the country for his work, loves the people he meets, focuses on helping his much younger boss build a new business, is constantly busy with community service, and has a great social wife with his beautiful wife Irene.

The minute the Frankie Valli show was over, I wrote an email to a bunch of friends telling them not to miss it. My girl friend, Sara Levinson, wrote back that she was considering it but after seeing so many Doo Wop shows where most of the singers look half dead, she decided to skip this one. I agree with Sara. Most of the time the singers that show up at Doo Wop’s look like faded glory. Last night was totally different. Frankie Valli’s falsetto voice was as strong as ever and those sounds made the crowd go wild.

What I loved the most was that the audience was vibrant. I felt like I was with a bunch of teenagers. Everyone looked fresh and animated trying to capture Frankie on their smartphones, tablets and digital cameras. No one listened to the ushers who were warning, “No recordings please.” Everyone was snapping away. During intermission, the 50-plus crowd were texting their friends, making calls on cells, emailing photos to other fans, and checking the photos they took to make sure they got what they wanted. I had to laugh to myself. This senior crowd was no different than the youngsters who rushed to Brooklyn recently to see Jay-Z at the new Barclays Center.

There was a few moments of realism when the new Four Seasons members came forward to sing right next to Frankie. First they towered over him and their bodies shimmied in ways you would only want to see on a young person.

I am thrilled that Eliot and I went to see Frankie Valli last night. I can’t get this dopey smile off my face.

Twitter Folks Respond To Donald Trump’s Obama Announcement

I did not edit the responses. Just copied and pasted the first to tweet. This blog post gives you a good idea of how Twitter works and how the tweets get posted.

The Onion‏@TheOnion
“I’m a sad, pathetic human being and a complete waste of life.” – Donald Trump

rob delaney‏@robdelaney
Ann Coulter, Richard Mourdock & Donald Trump = appetizers. Mitt Romney = main course.

Lizz Winstead‏@lizzwinstead
BREAKING: Donald Trump replaces bed bugs as Americas #1 Pest

Scabby Crutchfield‏@curlycomedy
Ann Coulter and Donald Trump sitting in a tree, H-I-S-S-I-N-G.

Not Brian Scalabrine‏@BScalabrine24
BREAKING: Donald Trump demands to know what medical school Dr. Dre went to

Ann Coultergeist‏@OhNoSheTwitnt
Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are all trending so I can only assume Voldemort is next.

aaron blitzstein‏@BlitznBeans
This Donald Trump character is Andy Kaufman’s greatest bit ever.

Peyton’s Head‏@PeytonsHead
Mitt Romney just announced he’ll donate $50MIL to charity if Donald Trump will just shut the f••k up.

Kid Fury‏@KidFury
I demand that Mitt Romney announce the species of demon he is and that Donald Trump admit that his wig is a hovercraft.

Andy Borowitz‏@BorowitzReport
Attention parents: if you give your children even the tiniest bit of attention now, maybe they won’t grow up to be Donald Trump.

Drunk Ass Rick ‏@Rickonia
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump demands to know what medical school Dr Dre went to

Drunk Ass Rick ‏@Rickonia
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump demands Latifah tells what country she’s the queen of

New York Magazine‏@NYMag
Our expectations about @realDonaldTrump’s Obama announcement were clearly not low enough.

Nancy Lee Grahn‏@NancyLeeGrahn
Donald Trump is the Honey Boo Boo of rich people #trump

JD Crowe‏@CroweJam
The Humane Society will give Donald Trump $5 if he releases that thing on his head back into the woods.

Ed Schultz‏@edshow
NOT BREAKING: Donald Trump releases edited video of himself shouting nonsense at a camera

Zack Beauchamp‏@zackbeauchamp
Amused that Donald Trump is essentially doing a “philantrophic” version of the Joker’s moral experiments in The Dark Knight.
Expand Collapse

Jon Lovett‏@jonlovett
“It is not the policy of the United States government to negotiate with Donald Trump.”

At noon I will announce that Donald Trump is my real father.

Andy Borowitz‏@BorowitzReport
I think it’s very thoughtless of Donald Trump to schedule an appearance when so many of us will be eating.

Steven Amiri‏@StevenAmiri
Donald Trump’s big announcement is that his real name is Tronald Dump.

Josh Hara‏@yoyoha
BREAKING: Donald Trump to announce how easily a rich idiot can get everyone’s attention at 12 EST.

Charlamagne Tha God‏@cthagod
Patiently waiting for Donald Trump’s announcement at noon regarding our President so I can prepare my Donkey of the Day for tomorrow.

Dr. Jill Biden‏@JillBidenVeep
I think Donald Trump’s announcement is going to be that he once killed a man with only his hair.

Josh Hopkins‏@thedayhascome
Donald Trump plans to announce that his hair has become sentient and is controlling the thinky and movey parts of his body.

Roseanne Barr‏@TheRealRoseanne
donald trump is rumored to have been born on Planet X.

The Dowager Countess‏@theLadyGrantham
Donald Trump’s revelation will be that his hair was born in Kenya.

the gangster of oz‏@holllyyx
Donald Trump is the Kim Kardashian of politics. God forbid it’s not all about him.

The Daily Edge‏@TheDailyEdge
SOURCES: Donald Trump to reveal Wednesday that Barack Obama has fathered two black children with a Chicago-born woman named “Michelle”

Roger Simon‏@politicoroger
I don’t want to be too judgmental, but Donald Trump couldn’t be dumber if you cut his head off.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Instagram

This photo was altered by using Instagram

Intern Kiersten Daly with Taylor Swift

This post was written by an intern who works for me because she is an expert on Instagram. So many of you have asked me why Instagram is so popular. Kiersten Daly spells it out. I have included a picture of Kiersten because she got up at 4am this morning to see Taylor Swift in concert on Good Morning America. She was one of hundreds who arrived outside of ABC’s studios waiting to meet the mega star.

By Kiersten Daly

Many of you may be wondering what Instagram is and what is the point of it? Plain and simple, it is a fun and interesting way to vamp up your pictures and share them with friends and family. That is called social media photo-sharing. Instagram is now officially owned by Facebook. With the touch of a few, easily identifiable, buttons on Instagram, you can instantly change the appearance of your picture and post it on the Instagram site for all of your followers, or friends, to see. Followers are the people that are connected with your Instagram site.

Similar to Facebook, you look up family members or friends and request to follow their page so that you can see their profile, pictures, and other information that they choose to share. In return, those people will usually ‘follow’ your page. Followers are a simple way of stating, “I agree to follow what’s going on with your life and I will look at your pictures that you want to share with me.” You can make pictures look older, enhance them, make them different colors, blur out background images that you don’t want in the picture, crop them and much more!

What started out as a simple idea quickly transformed into a system utilized by Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Android , and of course the iPhone and the iPad. Each system mentioned above has Instagram installed or available for download. By clicking on the Instagram icon or link you can log in and begin to take pictures or load previously taken pictures onto the site and share them with all of your followers. This fun product captures events with snapshots that will make memories last a lifetime. Instagram allows you to take all kinds of pictures and transform them into a more beautiful image than you started with, thanks to the various filters available to change the look of the photo. Capture the Eiffel Tower in France, the Statue of Liberty in New York City, or a day out with your grandchildren, and have a unique picture to last a lifetime.

Users have the option to ‘hashtag’ photos as well. This universal popular symbol, #, attaches itself to a word or phrase to categorize similar topics on a subject together so that it can be easily searched. This gives other users the ability to know what the photo is about or where the photo was taken. For instance, if a person were to hashtag one of their photos #NYC, than when you search that topic, their picture will appear. It makes things easier when trying to group pictures together under a specific topic. Yet, if you don’t want people other than your friends and family to be able to view your pictures, you can make your Instagram profile private. People will have to ask permission to follow your photos and those without permission cannot see anything on your profile.

The pictures can also be easily uploaded to your computer to print out and hang up or store until a later time. Using the explore option; you can look up family members and friends to follow their page when they share photos as well. You can also look up a specific topic or theme. By typing in the topic you are interested in, numerous pictures come up that relate to your topic. You can enjoy other users pictures of places you may want to see, ideas you may be interested in for yourself, and even inspirational sayings to help you through a difficult day. Once you start, you’ll never want to stop.