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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 […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera When I was a bachelor living in Manhattan, I had an acquaintance who would occasionally visit friends living in “the country” over the summer weekends. Maybe I was a little jealous about not knowing anybody outside the reaches of the steamy city because I had little patience when he called me one […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Wine Backdrop On the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. Listening to the media coverage, including the spoken words of the tales of the few remaining survivors of the invasion, brought the memory of the invasion and the war into vivid focus for me. I realized the importance of keeping these images as our […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: The Benefits of Handwriting for Learning

Laptops and tablets are quickly replacing old-fashioned pen and paper when it comes to note taking, but research suggests that this might not be such a good idea. It seems that writing by hand and typing on a keyboard draw on distinct brain processes. Writing by hand appears to improve processing, strengthen conceptual memory, and […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Erotica Author Pavarti K Tyler

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Erotica Author Pavarti K Tyler

Pavarti is an award-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature. She is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. Besides penning erotica novels she is also the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity. Her most recent work, Protecting Portia (A Sugar House Novella), was released last month. Which authors most influence your writing? I’ve been […]

Grapevine: The State of the Largest Wine Consuming Nation

Grapevine: The State of the Largest Wine Consuming Nation

Whatever happened to the artisanal goods of years past? Where have the locally grown and produced products gone? With all the talk these days about farm-to-table and farmers markets, the vast majority of products we purchase and consume are controlled by mega companies. When you walk into your local grocery store, what brands do you […]

Home Guru: The Freedom of Going Stark Naked (With Windows, That is)

Home Guru: The Freedom of Going Stark Naked (With Windows, That is)

 By Bill Primavera “Oh, no!” I exclaimed when I came home one evening to see the monstrosity of a commercial sign that had been installed directly across the street from our townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. It was a large glaring light box with the name “G. Marcolini & Sons Wine & Spirits,” so outsized that […]

The Accidental Writer: The Latest from the Book Expo of America 2014

The Accidental Writer: The Latest from the Book Expo of America 2014

Researchers have determined that storytelling benefits humankind. Just the telling or reading of stories helps people learn how to be, well … human. No kidding! Researches did not need to tell that to the people attending the nation’s largest book expo at the Jacob Javits Center. The energy and spirit at this year’s BEA crackled […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

“It’s time.” The call from Uncle Charlie that I had been anticipating came last Thursday. The grapes that we had crushed 13 days ago have reached the ideal level of fermentation. The grapes are now ready to be “pressed.” As I arrive at Uncle Charlie’s, I eagerly begin my assignments as his apprentice. But this […]

Home Guru: My Personal Campaign to Paint Every Front Door Red

Home Guru: My Personal Campaign to Paint Every Front Door Red

By Bill Primavera This week, just when I thought I had finished my checklist of things my clients Diane and Don had to do prior to the listing of their home and the brokers’ open house, Don mentioned that he would paint the front door. Embarrassed that it was one item I hadn’t thought was […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Talking to Kids about Race and Prejudice

Children tend to inherently believe that skin color has nothing to do with a person’s value. It’s 2014 and many of us would like to believe that race isn’t the issue it once was. We’ve had a black president and first lady for the past six years, and it’s almost as common to see interracial […]

The Accidental Writer: Engage Your Readers!

The Accidental Writer: Engage Your Readers!

Good writing engages the reader at all possible moments. I’ve been doing some editing lately, and I’ve been focusing on adding more engagement into the prose. Lets look at an example. David panicked when he saw the angry mob. This sentence works on one level. It gives a bit of information about the character and […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

In a recent column, I expounded on a time-honored and well-worn axiom in the wine industry: 90 percent of a wine is made in the vineyard. This implies that the characteristics of a wine are primarily under the influence of nature, not man. That the soil, natural irrigation, vineyard elevation and microclimate influence the vigor […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera For several years now, I’ve noticed that my Home Guru column has often shared the same page as the Miracle Home Improvements advertisement. I didn’t know anything about the company, so I thought I’d call and introduce myself. When I asked for the owner I was directed to Robert Sniffen. I thanked […]