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Home Guru: Seller’s ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy’ Approach to Listing a Home

Home Guru: Seller’s ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy’ Approach to Listing a Home

By Bill Primavera – Anna Maroselli could write the definitive book or teach a master class on preparing a home for sale. While normally it is a matter of a month or two from the time a seller and realtor engage in the process of listing a home, there was a gestation of more than two […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Treading the Delicate Politics of Restaurant Corkage Fees

Restaurant wine lists, crafted by today’s wine-focused chefs and highly educated sommeliers, can be the epitome of the overall experience at a restaurant. Many restaurants painstakingly pair food and wine offerings and invest significantly in well-stocked wine cellars. However, when celebrating a special occasion or trying to impress a potential business client, a diner may […]

Home Guru:  The Trick of Emotional Detachment from a Home When Selling

Home Guru: The Trick of Emotional Detachment from a Home When Selling

By Bill Primavera Do more people than not get attached to their homes to the point where they suffer a sense of loss when it’s time to move on? It’s a question I’ve been pondering lately and one that once again I’m facing myself. My home is on the market for the second time in […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Dilemma of the Sulfite-Allergic Wine Consumer

“Contains sulfites.” This government-mandated label appears on every bottle of wine sold in the United States. “I’m allergic to sulfites.” “Every time I drink white wine I get a headache.” These plaintive cries are on the lips of many wine drinkers in the United States. And so the debate over the effects of sulfites continues […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Anecdotal Discussion of Capitalism and the Wine Industry

Much has been written about the one-percenters in America as the polarization of wealth in our nation continues to get wider. However, this division of wealth is not a recent phenomenon. The one-percenters have dominated America’s social, financial and economic landscape ever since the days of the Founding Fathers. As the United States evolved from […]

Home Guru: What’s Trending in Exterior House Colors? Certainly Not White!

Home Guru: What’s Trending in Exterior House Colors? Certainly Not White!

By Bill Primavera  The caller was interested in an historic Sears-Roebuck Catalogue house I had listed in North White Plains, but he wanted to make sure that it was not “purple” as he said it appeared to him online. “If it’s purple, I’m not interested,” he said, “because to me, purple means ‘death!’” “It’s a […]

Restaurant Examiner: Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House to Open in Port Chester

Restaurant Examiner: Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House to Open in Port Chester

Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House will complete a major renovation and open in late August in Port Chester, owner Leslie “Les” Barnes said during a recent interview. The restaurant is located in the Willet House Building, built by the Westchester Grain Company in 1903. “A building like this is a rare find,” Barnes pointed […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Toast to the Origins of the Celebratory Toast

“Cheers!” “Salud!” “Santé!” “Prost!” “L’chaim!” “Nostrovia!” Whatever the language, whatever the occasion, raising one’s glass of wine in celebration always seems a most appropriate gesture. The toast is invariably interpreted as “Good Health!” regardless of the occasion. Typically offered by the host of an event and followed by multiple responses, this tradition has changed little […]

Home Guru: The ‘Why’ of a Project Like Crown Molding as Much as the ‘How’

Home Guru: The ‘Why’ of a Project Like Crown Molding as Much as the ‘How’

By Bill Primavera – When I sat down with my lawyer, Dan Tota, in Yorktown Heights, it was to discuss his project of installing crown molding in his home. But after we talked for a while, I was as interested in the “why” of his project as the “how.” “After working all day in a high […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Unintended Consequences of Living With Nature

In past columns, I’ve extolled the virtues of winemakers intent on producing unadulterated wines made from grapes that are untouched by industrial science. This trend to produce wines in a manner most is in line with nature’s influence, not man’s. Natural wines can be expected to be more representative of the qualities and characteristics of […]

Home Guru: What it Means When We Get Interested in Historic Homes

Home Guru: What it Means When We Get Interested in Historic Homes

By Bill Primavera – When I received the e-mail from Vicki Jimpson-Fludd, a real estate agent with Better Homes & Gardens Rand in Briarcliff Manor, to have my historic house listing in Ossining join a group of other historic houses in Westchester and Putnam counties for a joint open house tour, I thought it was an […]

Home Guru: All Sorts of Things Can Hang from the Ceiling, But Carefully Please

Home Guru: All Sorts of Things Can Hang from the Ceiling, But Carefully Please

As told to me, it was a LMAO kind of story that may get lost in translation when cleaned up, but I’m assured first hand it’s true. A woman who owned a condo was in bed for the very first time with a new boyfriend when suddenly the ceiling fan light disengaged from its mooring […]

The Restaurant Examiner: Westchester's Most Delicious Dishes

The Restaurant Examiner: Westchester’s Most Delicious Dishes

Maine Lobster Salad at Sam’s of Gedney Way – For a nice summertime treat, the fresh Maine lobster salad at Sam’s of Gedney Way in White Plains is a delectable choice. A thick round layer of creamy avocado rests on top of a tower of lobster salad and a circle of thin cucumber slices serves as the base. Mango, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Living Vicariously for the Seemingly Right Reasons

The offerings on restaurant food menus and wine lists in the 21st century have seen a wave of unprecedented changes. Ingredients, individually and in combination, are enticing and pleasing diners with novel and sophisticated tasting experiences. Similarly, wine lists are broader and deeper, to accompany the new flavor combinations on food menus. There is a […]

Home Guru: Brick By Brick - The Easiest Way to Build a Patio From Scratch

Home Guru: Brick By Brick – The Easiest Way to Build a Patio From Scratch

By Bill Primavera – When we moved to Westchester in the early 1970s, our home had a curious architectural twist: the front and the back were switched, as is frequently the case with 18th century farmhouses. At some point, the previous owners opted for privacy over curb appeal and hid the grand front porch and expansive […]

Home Guru:  The Surprising Health Debate of Carpeting vs. Hard Floors

Home Guru: The Surprising Health Debate of Carpeting vs. Hard Floors

By Bill Primvavera – For years, from a style perspective, we’ve preferred the clean sleek look of hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting, especially since we figured out that the costs were comparable. From a health consideration, we’ve had the perception in the media that hard surface flooring holds advantages over carpeting for allergy and asthma sufferers. […]

Quintessential Three-Sport Star Shines Bright in Ossining

Quintessential Three-Sport Star Shines Bright in Ossining

Jalay Knowles Never Settled for Good, She was Great – There’s Beyoncé and there’s Madonna and Cher… the one-named divas that have acquired status for their tributes to society via the genre of music. There’s Mother Theresa on an island unto herself, the matriarch of prayer. Then there’s a list of mononymous persons in sports; LeBron, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The High Cost of a Fine Meal at a Renowned Restaurant

Wine lists, in the hands of a skilled and customer-focused sommelier, can be the epitome of the overall experience at a restaurant. When curated with the food menu in mind, they can be the cornerstone of an exceptional dining experience at a top restaurant. They can also reflect the high prices at which many restaurants […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Guided Tour of the Evolving Restaurant Beverage List

Remember the wine lists of the 20th century? It was as if an invisible hand crafted the lists of every Italian neighborhood restaurant, every French bistro and every steakhouse. This monotonous uniformity fit the moment in Americans’ wine education. Offer them what they were comfortable with; don’t undermine their selections with wines contrary to their […]

Home Guru: How I Added Pizzazz to My Home With Custom Lighting

Home Guru: How I Added Pizzazz to My Home With Custom Lighting

By Bill Primavera – When I was in college, I appeared in a play called “The Madwoman of Chaillot” by Jean Giraudoux with the actress Linda Lavin, who would later go on to achieve fame as “Alice” on television. Most stunning about that production, as I recall, were the amazing effects achieved by its lighting director, […]

The Restaurant Examiner: La Panetière in Rye Plans “Bastille Day” Celebration Dinner

The Restaurant Examiner: La Panetière in Rye Plans “Bastille Day” Celebration Dinner

France’s equivalent of America’s Independence Day is its famous national holiday “Bastille Day” — celebrated every year on the fourteenth of July. In Paris, a spectacular Bastille Day parade begins at the Arc de Triomphe, continues down the Champs-Élysées, and ends at the Place de la Concorde. Late-night fireworks and lights dazzle onlookers at the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Beware the Many Faces of Media Hyperbole

In this age of instant news, instant data availability and instant gratification, I am suspect of most information that crosses the screens of my multiple electronic devices. So much of the rhetoric on the internet, upon investigation, is ultimately opinion, not fact. It is increasingly difficult to discern between the two. To make matters worse, […]

The Home Guru:  Vines Can Hide a Multitude of Sins . . . Or Take Over

The Home Guru: Vines Can Hide a Multitude of Sins . . . Or Take Over

By Bill Primavera – When my family moved to the south when I was eight years old, I was amazed with some of the colloquialisms I heard that were so foreign to my ear transplanted from South Philadelphia. Like one from our next-door neighbor Ethel who liked to say how much she loved her husband even […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Critically Acclaimed Author David Litwack

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Critically Acclaimed Author David Litwack

David Litwack has written three fantasy novels and is just about to release the first in a serious of young adult dystopian novels titled, “The Children of Darkness.” His novels have won multiple awards including two Pinnacle Achievement Awards and The Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence. I had the great fortune to grab a little of his time […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Presenting The Unique Wine Palate of Americans

Americans drink more wine than any other nation. And most of the wine we consume is produced in the United States. So what wines do we prefer? Is there a national preference for certain styles of wines over others? Do we tend to consume wines produced from a select few grapes or are our palates […]

Mahopac Rallies for One of Its Own at Relay for Life Sean’s Soldiers Raise $100K in Fight Against Cancer

Mahopac Rallies for One of Its Own at Relay for Life Sean’s Soldiers Raise $100K in Fight Against Cancer

You can say what you want and think what you want about Mahopac, but when push comes to shove nobody does it bigger or better than the town that just rallied like no other town in America did to help stomp out cancer at the Relay for Life event at Mahopac High last weekend. You […]

Home Guru:  'Feng Shui’ed' Anew, Not Without Some Trepidation

Home Guru: ‘Feng Shui’ed’ Anew, Not Without Some Trepidation

By Bill Primavera – After a year of great upheaval in my personal and professional domains, having moved to a new residence and expanded space in my office building, I was feeling off kilter. I was a little uncomfortable in my own skin, not sleeping well and working in a tangle of misplaced folders, temporary filing […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Bordeaux: Pleasure for the Elite or Staple for The Bourgeois?

Bordeaux. Wait. Stop. Don’t turn this page. I know the word Bordeaux can elicit very mixed emotions – and facial expressions – every time it’s uttered or printed on a page. The wine world at large has done such a good job in promoting the mystique and elusiveness of high-end Bordeaux wines that the general […]

Home Guru: Keeping the Biters at Bay: Creative Tips for Defeating Mosquitos

Home Guru: Keeping the Biters at Bay: Creative Tips for Defeating Mosquitos

By Bill Primavera Now is the time of year when you can enjoy evening meals outside, either on your patio or pool side. I enjoyed that for years before my recent move to a fifth-floor condo, where I don’t have to worry about pool upkeep anymore.  Maybe it’s the one and only thing I miss […]

The  Restaurant Examiner: The Great American BBQ Co. Returns for 2015 Season

The Restaurant Examiner: The Great American BBQ Co. Returns for 2015 Season

Restaurant-goers pursuing delicious barbecue will find many appealing attractions at The Great American BBQ Co. in White Plains, an eatery and a full-service catering organization. The entrée list at the restaurant includes a sampler dish with an array of barbecue favorites: grilled salmon, sliced filet mignon and a pig roast for 15 or more patrons […]