RSSAll Entries in the "COLUMNS" Category

Home Guru: Lady Macbeth May Have Said 'Out Damned Spot' But Sometimes We Can’t

Home Guru: Lady Macbeth May Have Said ‘Out Damned Spot’ But Sometimes We Can’t

By Bill Primavera As a young child I was overly impressed by the movie “Gone With the Wind,” especially Scarlett O’Hara’s line, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Whenever there’s been an unpleasant task at hand, I’ve frequently pulled it from my bag of tricks to accommodate procrastination. Now as I tread gingerly through my Golden […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Mother Nature vs. Man

Here we are in the second decade of the new century. My how time flies. It seems just a short time ago that we were celebrating the dawn of the new millennium. Much has transpired in our lifetimes, in the realms of turbulent geopolitics, radical economic cycles, eye-opening technological advances and major scientific breakthroughs. Through […]

The Accidental Writer: The Question you Never Ask your Beta Readers

The Accidental Writer: The Question you Never Ask your Beta Readers

I had a long discussion the other day with another author about the benefits of Beta Readers. I have a great group of Betas I rely upon who have given me insights that have made my books better. He believes only writers, editors, publishers, and others in the industry give valuable feedback. I respectively disagreed […]

Home Guru: Buying a Home of the Past, Leaving it a Home of the Future

Home Guru: Buying a Home of the Past, Leaving it a Home of the Future

By Bill Primavera When I first met Kim and Matt Cozza and their teenage daughter Sydney, I knew I would enjoy helping them find a home because they said they would consider an historic one. As a realtor, I had developed a specialty in historic homes, having studied early American architecture at The College of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Justice Prevails in Wine Counterfeit Criminal Trial

“for some, small solace” Over two years ago I reported on the arrest of a wealthy wine aficionado. His crimes were ones of passion, of greed and unbridled ego. And one other that eventually got him arrested: selling counterfeit wines. Rudy Kurniawan, a 37-year-old self-proclaimed multi-millionaire, was arrested in 2012 by the F.B.I. on charges that […]

Home Guru: Dirty Jobs Gal Reveals the Most Disgusting and the Most Horrific

Home Guru: Dirty Jobs Gal Reveals the Most Disgusting and the Most Horrific

By Bill Primavera When the bundle of energy that is Hillary Sheperd bursts into a room, or in this case, into the sidewalk café where our networking meeting was taking place, you can’t help but take notice. I overheard her apologize to friends for her tardiness with snippets about “traffic” and just having had to […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Life and Times of California Small Producers

The California agricultural industry is the juggernaut of the food industry. It supplies more farmed products to the world than any other nation. On a micro level, the California wine industry supplies over 90 percent of wine consumed domestically. And wine is big business in the United States. Over 80 percent of all wine is […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera When I announced in the office sales meeting at William Raveis that The Home Guru Team was just about to list a great “mother/daughter” house, my office manager, Doris Ellias, gently advised me that “now it’s suggested that we refer to them as ‘extended family’ houses.” Oh, no, I exclaimed mentally, now […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Explaining Therapy to Children

Children come to expect doctor’s appointments. Every few months to a year children go to the doctor to get blood taken, for shots, and to have their teeth examined. These kinds of doctor’s visits keep you healthy and are necessary, parents explain to children. Many parents have a harder time, however, if their child needs […]

Home Guru: Hire an “Ombudsman” First!

Home Guru: Hire an “Ombudsman” First!

By Bill Primavera It was more than 40 years ago, but I still feel the sting of being swindled by an unscrupulous home improvement contractor. As a young couple, my wife and I had just managed to qualify for a mortgage and cobble together enough money for a down payment to buy our large historic […]

The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

A good first chapter should feel like a first kiss.   It should leave the reader intrigued, a little breathless, and wanting more. If your first chapter does that, then you have a winner. Of course that’s easier said than done. Here are a few things you should do in a first chapter. Establish one of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Fledgling Trend to Consider in Wine Innovations

In my travels through the wine world, whether caressing a handful of soil or the keyboard on my computer, I always keep a peripheral watch for new trends, wines or approaches to the marketing of wines. I recently came across a fledgling trend that may portend the future of winemaking offerings. As a wine journalist […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Should My Child Disclose His Asperger’s To Peers?

Parents often fret about disclosing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to teachers, parents, and their children’s peers. Particularly in ASDs like Asperger’s, some parents hope their children can slide by unnoticed because they are so high functioning. This strategy is typically intended to protect children from ridicule and ostracism. Parents fear that children will become […]

Home Guru: The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Floors

Home Guru: The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Floors

By Bill Primavera The historic house was one of the loveliest I had ever listed, but it was on the market for over a year and, while it had many showings, it hadn’t yet gotten a single offer. When it came time to relist it, the owners and I considered what else we might do […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Wartime Tribulations of French Champagne Citizenry

In recent columns I’ve been exploring the Champagne region of France. Together we’ve traipsed through the vineyards, the cellars and the streets of the people of this illustrious center of the past and future glory of Champagne. Intricately enmeshed in the oenological fame of the region is its tumultuous political history. I’ve described the history […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Why Does Sensory Processing Matter?

Do you find yourself perpetually perplexed by some of your child’s seemingly inexplicable behaviors? Does your son take excessive risks, often jumping or crashing into anything he can? Maybe your child loves shockingly strong hugs but can’t tolerate the slightest brush on the arm. When it comes to food, does your daughter crave raw lemons […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

I was extremely fortunate to interview the immensely talented Robb Grindstaff. Robb has had a long career as a newspaper editor, publisher, and manager that has taken him around the world. He has two published books – Carry Me Away and Hannah’s Voice. If you could choose one author to drink beers with, who would he […]

Home Guru: Homeowners Want to Know How the Real Estate Market is Doing

Home Guru: Homeowners Want to Know How the Real Estate Market is Doing

By Bill Primavera For more than a dozen years, The Home Guru has been observing and writing about the housing market and home building design, repair and maintenance. I have focused on hundreds of widely varied subjects, sometimes into areas quite unexpected. Who would expect a home columnist to write a treatise on mattresses or […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Champagne’s History: Struggling to Produce a Fine Wine

From the early plantings of the Romans in pre-Christian times through the evolution into a favored sparkling wine in the 17th century, Champagne was subjected to political and winemaking upheaval. Last week we left the region in the heady experimental days of Dom Perignon and the refinement of a still wine looked upon with disdain, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Mystique of the Champagne Region and its Wine

Ah, Champagne. . . Historically referred to as the wine of kings and the king of wines, Champagne has a storied and checkered past, often as much by happenstance as by astute winemaking. It has become a fabled, preferred beverage for special, celebratory occasions as a symbol of good fortune and happiness. The history of […]

The Home Guru: Bouncing From Leaves of Grass to Neighborhood Diversity in Our Towns

The Home Guru: Bouncing From Leaves of Grass to Neighborhood Diversity in Our Towns

By Bill Primavera The conversation started on Fourth of July weekend about a beautifully written essay in The New York Times by a man who had found “Leaves of Grass” to be a beacon of hope when growing up as an Evangelical in the South harboring the secret that he was gay. My wife somehow […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Enjoying One of the World’s Best Sparkling Wine Regions

Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Cremant, Asti Spumante, Sekt, Brachetto, Lambrusco and Franciacorta. All are highly regarded sparkling wines, some familiar, some flying well under the American wine consumer’s radar. But not all sparkling wines are equal. The majority are made from three traditional grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), but several are made from grapes […]

The Home Guru: A Myth-Busting Primer About Mold Around the House

The Home Guru: A Myth-Busting Primer About Mold Around the House

By Bill Primavera When she visited at Christmas, my daughter Emma alerted me that there must be mold in our living room. She could sense it as soon as she walked into the room, which is used only for special occasions nowadays. I looked into each corner of the room along the baseboard and found […]

The Accidental Writer: Is the Path to Hell Paved with Adverbs?

The Accidental Writer: Is the Path to Hell Paved with Adverbs?

There is a movement afoot to do away with adverbs.  In fact, many “serious” writers scoff at those “ly” words, turning their noses up in the air, and pursing their lips. Why so much venom?  At first, the extreme reaction left me a little dumbfounded.  They’ve always seemed useful to me, but as I gave […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

 By Bill Primavera When you are working on a job around the house or in the garden, are you like me in that your mind wanders to dreams of worlds to be conquered or occasional regrets about paths not taken? I had never thought about what might occupy the minds of others as they tackle […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

When you walk into your wine shop do you receive ad hoc information from the owner concerning a wine you’ve come to purchase? Do you receive insightful comments laced with a touch of humor? Are you regaled with the history of the wine region, the grape varietal and a myriad of factoids that enlighten you […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Seven Commonly Asked Questions About Toddlers

The toddler years are full of growth and amazement, but also confusion and apprehension. Parents often feel mystified by toddler behaviors and uncertain how to help during this critical period of development. The emotional skills toddlers develop influence them through adulthood. Child psychologist and director of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development, Dr. Tovah P. Klein […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera There’s some lucky stiff spending eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe, either through his vanity or warped humor or his wife’s open-mindedness or wealth, or whatever circumstances led to the shelling out of $4.6 million at auction on eBay in 2011 to buy the crypt just above the blonde bombshell’s final resting […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Trust Science or Practical Experience When it Comes to Benefits of Red Wine

Scientific health studies are in the news constantly these days, attempting to validate or refute claims made by manufacturers, scientists, the health industry or any number of respected medical and health journals. Much has been written concerning the validity of these studies and whether they conform to strict scientific standards or, rather, are more anecdotal, […]

The Accidental Writer: Writing for YA Audiences

The Accidental Writer: Writing for YA Audiences

I love YA books. There’s something about a well written YA novel that inspires me. In addition to having great characters, interesting prose, and a well developed plot, it’s important to pay attention to the other elements that dominate the genre. Some people believe that YA books are simply adult books with young characters. This […]