The Big Apple. The Ultimate Melting Pot. The City That Never Sleeps. Can you judge a city by the number of nicknames bestowed upon it-or by popular songs written about it? If the answer is yes, then New York, New York has to be the global number one city for tourists and 40 million visitors each year cannot possibly be wrong. It’s the U.S. city with the highest population and recognized as one of the largest cities in the world. From the early 1500s, New York has been a landing site for worldwide travelers and today many of those tourists come from the GLBT community.
New York is a city rich in gay history and a walk on the wild side of Stonewall is a gay trip back to our future. Almost four decades have passed since the Stonewall riots and for many who have “come out” since that time on June 28th,1969 this important piece of gay history may not be well known. On that date, and for several days following, acts of police brutality against homosexuals-more specifically targeted at drag queens-sparked riots which in turn sparked the beginning of the gay rights movement and subsequent worldwide Pride celebrations.
This clash was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay and transgendered people had never before acted together in such large numbers to forcibly resist police harassment.
Although the original Greenwich Village landmark of the Stonewall Inn has long since vanished it’s namesake bar-closed temporarily for renovations- stands today on the same spot as the original gay bar and hotel at 53 Christopher Street. Simply walking along this street the feeling of our gay past is apparent and landmarks like the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore provide information and resources for all that New York has to offer the gay traveler. There is even an intersection with Gay Street, perhaps named for those who fought so hard for equality at a time when the GLBT community was an underground movement considered indecent, immoral and mentally ill by the vast majority in most countries.
Today just a few blocks from this historic site at the border between Chelsea and Greenwich Village is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center located at 208 West 13th Street. It is the meeting place for approximately 400 gay and lesbian organizations and is perhaps the largest facility of its kind in the world. This is a busy place where community forums, dances, performances and other events seem to occur constantly. Anyone can visit the center which is open daily from 9AM to 11PM and provides detailed information on everything that is GLBT in New York and you’re guaranteed a very gay welcome. They have a comprehensive tourism Welcome Packet containing information on resources, bars, publications, entertainment venues and much more. Every gay visit to New York should begin here because then likely it will end with a very positive gay memory of this mecca.
The island of Manhattan contains three very distinct gay neighborhoods-the East Village, Greenwich Village/Chelsea and Hells Kitchen. Each is distinctly different but all contain a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants, resources and attractions to make your visit a very gay time. Although Greenwich Village is the historical part of gay New York, today most people recognise Chelsea as the real hub of the community. Local historians are unsure when the short migration to Chelsea actually occurred but none dispute the Chelsea Gym, Colas and Food Bar were the anchors that slowly encouraged other gay businesses to move to this hamlet. Today it probably has the largest concentration of gay businesses that can be found anywhere in the city. Undisputed, strolling down the 8th Avenue promenade is to feel the pulse and heartbeat of gay and lesbian New York.
The Chelsea district also includes some of the best gay accommodations available, which also happen to be convenient for everything gay and straight which New York has to offer its visitors. When the weather permits one can walk from here to Times Square, Broadway, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and the city’s numerous other well known attractions.
One important fact about New York accommodations is the size of the rooms-small is the universal standard. Whether it’s a home, a store, a park or a hotel room, space is a very limited commodity in Manhattan and very little affords the luxury of size that you may be accustomed to on your other travels. Perhaps the only exception to this would be the beefcake found in the numerous bars and clubs! But there are different kinds of luxury and this is a part of what makes this city unique and you soon adjust to become like a New Yorker. After all there is so much to see and do you will probably find yourself only in your hotel room for minimal hours each day when exhaustion takes over and you have to sleep for a short while.
New York is vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters. The risk is so great that New York City has an Office of Emergency Management to help residents and business owners prepare for the worst. Officials in New York are most concerned about fires, floods, and severe weather like hurricanes and winter storms. Read on to learn how to protect yourself from New York’s natural hazards.
Storms and Hurricanes
It has been calculated that a Category 4 hurricane would cause a storm surge so great that it would send water 6 miles up Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Coastal storms and hurricanes affect New York often. The densely populated New York coastline makes this state especially vulnerable to damage from tropical storms and hurricanes.
Those who live within 10 blocks of a coastal area are advised to have an emergency disaster plan and kit should an evacuation be ordered. It will only take winds of up 70 mph to topple buildings and trees. Heavy rains could cause a storm surge that would inundate parts of the coastline with up to 30 feet of water.
Those who live in high-rise apartment buildings in a coastal area should make plans to evacuate in the event of a tropical storm.
The brush in the grasslands of New York is known to catch fire during the hot dry months of the summer.
Residents are encouraged to keep their plants and lawns well hydrated, weeds tamed, and grass mowed. Plants and trees should not be grown near homes, and one is encouraged to plant vegetation that is less likely to catch fire when landscaping. Any wood that is dead should be removed from trees, and branches that are less than 10 feet from the ground should be trimmed off.
Homes are less like to have problems with wildfires if trash and flammable materials are disposed of properly. Flammable chemicals and unused firewood should be stored in a location away from the home. The roof and gutters should also be kept clear of leaves and other debris that easily dry out.
Intense rain causes flash floods in New York. The heavy rains have sometimes caused sewers to back up into homes and businesses. Much of the infrastructure of New York cannot handle rain that falls at a rate of more than one inch per hour. This is especially true for the lower lying areas.
New York is not a stranger to wild weather like hail, extreme heat, thunderstorms, and strong winds. It is estimated that lightening hits the Empire State Building 23 times each year. Tornadoes are not unheard in some parts of New York state.
New York gets dangerously cold in the winter. The winter weather makes roads icy and slippery, causing traffic accidents. Additionally, the FDNY fields many reports of fires caused by fireplaces and electric heaters. Flooding is often reported because of frozen pipes bursting.
To prevent such domestic catastrophes, make sure heating systems and pipes are well prepared for the freezing weather.
Disasters that are officially declared by U.S. government have been caused by weather 90% of the time every year. Residents of New York can prepare for disastrous event by evaluating the risks in their area, creating an emergency disaster plan, and packing an emergency kit.
Traveling with children can be a challenge. Kids have special needs and wants when they are on vacation or stuck in a hotel somewhere, even in the most exciting of world cities – New York. It is not surprising to know that there are New York City Hotels that are very kid friendly and some of them are five star top of the line hotels. When choosing a New York hotel that caters to the whims of kids, you will hear less of “I’m bored” and more of “what are we going to do next?”
One New York hotel that is especially accommodating to kids of all ages is the Plaza Hotel. The Plaza is a virtual wonderland for kids; the staff is welcoming and will go to great lengths to make their smallest guests stay at the hotel more pleasant. There are special teas scheduled at The Plaza that are geared toward children who are staying in the hotel. There is the Teddy Bear Tea where children are encouraged to attend and bring their favorite Teddy Bear for a formal sit down tea and crumpets. It is a fabulous event each week that really gives the child guest something to look forward to. There are also day spa visits that are designed especially for the smallest members of the jet set. Other seasonal events are scheduled throughout the year at the Plaza for the little people on its guest list as well.
The Waldorf Astoria is another five star hotel that is fabulous and kid friendly. There are babysitting services on each floor of the hotel so that mom and dad can have a day or evening out while the children are well kept and happy. All of the personnel who are on the babysitting staff are specially trained and undergo background and other screenings so that you can be assured that your child is in good hands.
The Embassy Suites is a kid friendly hotel in New York City. The Embassy Suites offer kitchenettes in most rooms, which is great if there are small kids that need bottles warmed or for older kids to keep snacks on hand. The décor is spacious and modern, and this New York hotel also offers babysitting services provided by a staff that is friendly and helpful. And little ones will feel right at home when you let guest services know that you need a crib to be placed in the room.
Hotel Metro is a great kid friendly New York hotel, the rooms are large, and the suites are multi rooms with full living rooms. There is room service, baby sitting services and supervised children’s activities to keep little minds busy. There is a roof top terrace that has a special designated play area for children. The location is fabulous and only one block from the Empire State Building.
The Hilton New York City has great rooms with kitchenettes, baby sitting services and an onsite restaurant that serves family style meals. The staff is friendly and helpful and really seems to enjoy the family atmosphere. Breakfast and dinner are served buffet style in the dining area and are complimentary. The Hilton New York hotel is a great family option.
Cheap budget hotels in NYC are somewhat difficult to find. After all, one of the most expensive things in Manhattan is space! We all pay a LOT of money to live here and the size of many apartments would likely shock you. According to NYCGO.com, there are an estimated 80,899 hotel rooms in NYC at an average of cost of $238 per night. Of course, many rooms are much more and some killer suites go for upwards of $20,000 per night. However, there are also plenty of great budget and cheap hotels in New York, many of which offer interesting rooms, great amenities and free breakfasts.
If you are not from an urban area, then the size of NYC hotel rooms may come as shock to you. Remember there are millions of people in NYC who pay well over $1,500 per month to live in one room, where their bed is also their couch, the kitchenette is two feet long and their bathtub, if they have one, may even be in their kitchen. New York City is never about what’s inside your home – it’s all about what’s outside your door!! After all, that is why you are traveling to New York City, right? To see all our famous culture, history, attractions, restaurants and so much more. If you’re actually spending a lot of time in a cheap budget hotel in NYC, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Many people ask me if they should stay in New Jersey? My answer is always no. If you are visiting to New York City, I recommend you stay in our state, and preferably Manhattan. You might be surprised at how much time and money you lose by traveling back and forth every day. If you are vacationing with children, this could really hinder your trip. There are so many other EASY ways to save money in New York City, scrimping on a hotel room hardly seems necessary, especially when there are some great Cheap Budget Hotels in NYC, with rates starting at $76 to $139 per night (as of late 2010)..
Jane Hotel NYC – West Village
The Jane Hotel has rooms designed like a ship’s cabin. The low rate catch is there’s only a single bed – and the coed bathroom is down the hall. Some rooms offer bunk beds and the “captain’s cabin” with private bathroom starts at $225. The hip, but tiny rooms, come with free Wi-Fi, 23-inch LCD television, DVD player, iPod dock, built-in drawers and a luggage rack plus bicycles are complimentary and they are right on the Hudson River. In 2010, brunch at the Jane Hotel is a trendy NYC favorite.
Comfort Inn – Times Square
The Comfort Inn on 46th St is not expensive by New York standards but is recommended only for those who can deal with clean but small hotel accommodations. The hotel is steps from Times Square, 2 blocks from the 49th Street Subway, features a 24-hour gym, rooms with free Wi-Fi, an iPod docking station and a flat-screen cable TV. There is another Comfort Inn close by on 39th Street.
Other cheap budget Times Square Hotels include: The Hotel at Times Square, Hotel Edison and Portland Hotel Times Square
Pod Hotel NYC – Midtown East
Targeting the “Hip and Thrifty” market, the Pod Hotel offers extremely compact, cleverly designed guestrooms with iPod docking stations and small LCD TVs. Rooms have shared or private baths and in-room displays indicate availability of the shared baths. The shared bathrooms feature rainfall shower heads, water jets built into the sides, and streaming music. Private bathrooms also have rainfall shower heads (no jets), along with sleek stainless-steel sinks. The Pod also offers suites with standard TVs, private bathrooms, and living areas with sofa beds.
Hotel 31 NYC – Midtown East
Reflecting the eclectic, cosmopolitan personality of New York City itself, each of the 60 rooms in the eight-story Hotel 31 have their own unique decorative design. Stylish, comfortable, and very affordably priced, Hotel 31 offers accommodations for the discerning traveler on a budget.
Vanderbilt YMCA – Midtown East (near the UN)
Offering hotels for budget travelers from every continent, seven YMCAs in New York City provide great value for visitors who want to experience NYC’s multifaceted neighborhoods as well as its fabled sites and entertainment venues. Three YMCAs in Manhattan, two each in Brooklyn and Queens offer clean, comfortable and tranquil hostel accommodations for under $100 per night-in some cases, much less.
New York Manhattan Hotel – Midtown West
Part of the Red Roof Inn Group, this hotel was recommended by a NY childhood friend, now an attorney in Florida who travels back here frequently for business. It has clean rooms, complimentary breakfast, free wireless internet and is just steps from the Empire State Building.
Holiday Inn – SoHo
The Holiday Inn Soho Downtown Manhattan New York City offers well appointed and spacious rooms, including satellite television, high speed internet access, CD radios, three-way calling, and work desks.
Of course, there are many more cheap budget hotels in Manhattan, but this is a great start. Enjoy your New York City Vacation!
New York City is The Big Apple, America’s melting pot, perhaps the world’s melting pot, but wow, is it one expensive apple. It’s no wonder the city is a melting pot. You have to make stew with what you can scrape up just to eat. At least it seems that way to most New York denizens and its many visitors. In this article, part 1 of a 2 part series, we’ll examine the high cost of living in New York City and its causes. In part 2, we’ll examine how the high cost of living in NYC affects its many citizens today.
Back in the late 1990’s, Chef Marc Lombardini was an Executive Chef at the famed Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, the 4 star resort that is home to a Presidential bunker which has housed and elaborately fed the rich and famous for many, many years. Chef Lombardini was at a crossroad in his culinary career. The choice was presented to him to either go back home and run the family restaurant in Catonsville, Maryland, or to get a position as an Executive Chef at the famed Tavern On The Green in Manhattan.
He could either take a job thousands would kill for, a once in a lifetime opportunity to show his skill in one of the premier restaurants on the planet, or go home and run The Candlelight in a suburb of Baltimore. Feed the Derek Jeter’s and Donald Trump’s of the world on a fairly regular basis, or the citizens of Catonsville, population of 41, 457. Take the best position that he would only get offered once or take over a family business he would eventually embrace any way. The choice was obvious, right?
Of course, Chef Lombardini chose Catonsville. But why? Why turn down such an incredible, potentially career changing offer?
Because the job, that was offered to him had a salary range of $75,000 a year. Sounds like a lot, but in New York City, it’s not. When you check out the cost of housing, utilities, fuel, food, taxes, parking, insurance, and everything else that you get hit with in New York, that same income will amount to about $40,000 a year in Baltimore. The buildings aren’t the only thing that are sky-high in New York. An ice cream cone costs $4.50. It certainly didn’t make economic sense to move to New York to make the same excellent food that he could produce in his home kitchen. Chef Lombardini didn’t miss out on a huge opportunity, The Big Apple lost out on a great Chef another flavor to add to its melting pot, because the cost of living is just too high and has been for many, many years. Manhattan, by far, is the absolute worst.
More and more, people are leaving New York or are simply not moving to the city of dreams because the cost of living is simply ridiculous. For years, New York has been the hallmark of freedom, the bastion of hope, and the landing spot for many immigrants coming to find their version of the American Dream. Now the expenses have come home to roost, as well.
After years of taking in such a large number and of developing its remarkable history, sights, sounds and smells, New York has clearly out priced itself trying to manage to accommodate and entertain so many. The cost of housing is, to put a construction phrase in play, literally through the roof. It costs $400 to a ridiculous $5000 a month just to park in a parking garage 5 days a week to go to work.
Why is the great metropolis so expensive? Because it’s such a wondrous city, it attracts too many wealthy companies that pay a lot of sky-high salaries. Because it is the banking center of the country, and Wall Street is the principal trading market in the nation. It is also because New York City is the publishing and media hub of the world. A large number of super rich people occupy the upper class of the city, even though most New Yorkers don’t make the big money. However, since the cost of living is high, incomes are normally higher, and this means that Uncle Sam takes more in taxes than anywhere else in the nation.
“…a typical registered nurse in metropolitan New York earns $82,712 versus a national average of $65,464. In the case of an accountant, they calculate a figure of $74,388 versus a national average of $58,712.” The median difference in average income is a little more than $10,000 a year per vocation higher in New York City when compared to the national average. The IRS doesn’t mind that you have to pay more in New York City for food and necessities; they just care how much you make over the course of the year. So even though not all New Yorkers are rich or super rich, many are quite poor, there is a higher tax rate across the board which fuels the cost of living. The irony is that, in many cases, though the cost of living in New York is much higher, the standard of living is arguably worse because everything is so expensive. New York subsidizes many other states and municipalities because so many federal tax dollars come from The Big Apple.
Fair or not, everything is bigger, better and faster in New York, including the speed at which dollars leaves your wallet or pocketbook. There’s no other place like it in the world. That comes at a cost to its many residents. The city has been packed with wall to wall people throughout its history, hitting a high point in regards to immigration in the early 20th century. It’s been paying the bill for all this immigration for the past 100 years just about and there’s no end in sight to the outrageously expanding tab. In part 2 of this 2 part series, we’ll examine the cost of living in New York today and how it’s affecting its many citizens.
Origins and the Elevated Railways:
What happened below was the result of what happened above.
Measuring a meager two miles wide by 13 miles long, 23-square-mile Manhattan Island grew into one of the world’s most populace cities. Like a cohesive trunk, it grew four other branches, or boroughs, in 1898, which stretched to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and became unified as New York City.
Although its insular status would have logically dictated the opposite, this jigsaw puzzle of land parcels, sandwiched between the East and Hudson rivers, was quickly fed by the Erie Canal and its bustling, East Coast ports.
Lower Manhattan, incubating most of the city’s businesses and industry, grew ever-denser and needed a frequent, low-cost means of access for its workforce, yet the obstacles to its creation were many.
Because electricity as a source of motive power had yet to become a viable option, traditional steam engine technology would forcibly have to be used, yet it was ill-suited toward anything but short, underground tunnel passage and would therefore be relegated to outside, elevated track.
Financial hurdles were likely to be considerable, and few would be willing to inject such a massive capital outlay into a transportation mode that had yet to be tested. Who, in the event, would own such a network and, even if its costs could be covered, how high would its fares have to be to do so?
Any street-level usage by track-plying trains would obviously require significant approvals, permits, and contracts from city, state, and governmental agencies and regulators.
What was needed was a method to transport its burgeoning population, which had begun to obstruct its streets as if they were clogged arteries. Tracks, laid both on and above them, would, albeit temporarily, serve that purpose before they found their way below them.
Indeed, a quad-wheeled wooden passenger car, pulled by two horses and constituting the New York and Harlem Railroad, became Manhattan’s–and the world’s–first horse rail company, providing surface travel between Prince and Fourteenth streets via the Bowery when it commenced service almost two centuries ago, on November 26, 1832. A byproduct, foreshadowing events to come, fostered outlying population growth and construction, enabling residents to commute from increasingly distanced dwellings to core-city businesses.
So popular had these horse railroads-along with their trackless, but equally equestrian-propelled omnibuses-become by the middle of the 19thcentury, that street congestion negated their speed advantages, resulting in traffic snarls and protracted commutes.
The only way to continue to harness the advantages of such a transportation method was to devise a means by which it could operate independently of other, competing forms, placing its rails either above or below the existing ones. In the case of Manhattan, it meant the former-and its first elevated railroad.
Designed by Charles T. Harvey, a Connecticut inventor, it employed a single, quarter-mile-long track supported by 30 columns that stretched from Day to Cortland Street and used a stationary steam engine, which propelled steel cables that in turn moved its cars. First tested on December 7, 1867, the Greenwich Street routed West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway became the world’s first elevated one when it opened seven months later, on July 3. But the following year’s Black Friday financial collapse, which occurred on September 24, consumed the necessary funding to either continue or expand the system.
Several other ideas for what could be considered the city’s first “rapid transit” system were posed. Alfred Speer of Passaic, New Jersey, for instance, envisioned a continuously moving conveyor belt that encircled New York, enabling passengers to board and deboard wherever they needed to go, although it never eclipsed the idea circulating in his head.
Dr. Rufus Gilbert, a Civil War Army surgeon, advocated a dual pneumatic tube transportation system in 1872. Mounted in a Gothic arch above Broadway, the tubes themselves were intended as channels for circular streetcars. Although, like Speer’s plan, it never saw the light of day that its elevated arrangement would have provided, it passed the torch, at least in concept, to the one that did.
Substituting steam for Charles Harvey’s cables, the New York Elevated Railway inaugurated service on February 14, 1870 along Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue, and five years later, the tracks had reached 42nd Street. The Metropolitan Railway, a second elevated company, offered definitive, inter-urban rail transportation luxury with oil lamp chandeliers, oak and mahogany walls, murals, tapestry curtains, couches, and carpeting in its first class cars, and plied its own Sixth Avenue elevated tracks by June 5, 1878.
When it merged with New York Elevated on September 1 of the following year, it gave rise to an eventual 81 miles of stilted tracks along Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth avenues, which reached 129th Street on the East Side and 155th Street on the west and enabled some 14 million passengers to be carried to the fringes of the Bronx. Owned by the Manhattan Railway Company, all of the elevated lines collectively carried 184 million passengers by the turn of the century
Compared to the existing, horse-drawn, street-level lines, this system afforded far greater convenience and a three-fold speed increase to its passengers. But, since all technologies inherently incorporated trade offs, it had its own: its erector set of track supporting structures were less than attractive and permanently shielded the streets over which they passed from the sun. Plied by a continual parade of coal-snorting and steam belching engines, they emitted a trail of carbon and burning cinders, which settled on to pedestrians like black, microscopic snow. And they created a virtual 24-hour symphony of chugging, puffing, and track clacking, which rendered it difficult to be heard immediately below them.
Although the most extensive rapid transit network had been created by 1890, New York’s intertwine of track could still not meet the insatiable demand. Indeed, with every rail that was laid, there was always a line of people waiting to ride it, and before they choked the city into transportation asphyxiation, it became apparent that elevated steam engines had become an interim-technology solution and a third realm of railroad construction would have to be explored. That realm was below ground.
When someone is talking about New York, most people think of New York City, NY with its skyscrapers, taxicabs, and Starbucks on every corner. However, outside of the city and the hustle and bustle of city life resides American workers who rely on the agricultural, manufacturing, and mining industries to support themselves and their families. Having a safe, reliable unit to house these workers is of the utmost importance in any industry.
In NY in particular, it is difficult to maintain a building cost effectively. Fortunately, innovations in pre-fabricated steel buildings solve the costly problems that others types of buildings have. New York’s unique climate takes its toll on a building. Hot humid summers and melting snow can cause mold and damage the structural integrity of most building types. Steel framed buildings however are not susceptible to mold. The high strength of steel is excellent for supporting heavy snow loads and withstanding heavy wind loads, such as those from hurricanes and blizzards. Steel buildings can also be made with special paints that are guaranteed not to rust. High quality steel buildings are not only stronger and more durable, they are also much more cost-effective. They typically cost up to 50% less than buildings composed of other materials; and as mentioned before, maintenance costs will be drastically reduced, adding further to expense savings.
In addition to being structurally cost-efficient, pre-fabricated buildings, when coupled with proper insulation, are exceptionally effective at reducing electric expenses. Pre-fabricated buildings are constructed of components that are specifically designed and produced for your building. This means that when built your building will fit together like a puzzle to seal out the harsh heat in summer and the bitter cold air in winter. Whether constructing a building as a storage and/or production facility, or a place of business or for your home, you and your products will be protected in a better temperature regulated environment. If you wish to take it one step further towards lowering your electricity bills-which less face it, we all could afford to do-here are a few other steel building options that would benefit any New Yorker:
Reflective sheet metal roof and siding panels to reflect the hot sun and reduce heat transfer
Solar panels mounted or integrated into the roof to reduce your dependency on the increasingly expensive electricity from your local electric company
Skylights to utilize natural light (make sure they are weather sealed to maintain efficient temperature regulation)
Shooting video in New York City is a challenging experience to those without resources. However, by hiring a full service New York City video production company is the key to your project’s success. Very few companies offer every service you will need to get your project completed from conception to completion. The companies that do offer every service under one roof will benefit your project more than going to multiple companies for a handful of services. Quality control of your video is maximized when it is handled by a select group of people who have been trained in each of the crucial steps in the production and post-production process.
From the minute you realize what format and medium you will shoot in, this will determine the road you will need to go down in terms of budget and equipment to create your video. The first step in finding a capable production company to handle this project begins usually with a search through the NY411 guide and finding a company like Suite Spot, LLC ( http://suitespotnyc.com ), DV House, or Bridgeway Video. All services at Suite Spot and the like are catered to being able to help focus a production and drive it in the direction to meet its goals. Look at a demo reel and see their client list. Do they offer one for you to see on their website? How many of their clients have similar needs to your own? Are they shooting Fashion Shows and Music Videos, or filming corporate videos? A company can shoot feature films and still have the diversity to work on short films or commercials. It all depends the New York City video production company and their specialty.
When beginning your project, know what your needs are and look for the skilled and seasoned New York City video production company to do the job. Having the ability to find incredible locations in unique areas, which also need the correct permits to shoot, is essential to your video shoot. Casting talent is a key element along with coordinating the crew. What is the New York City video production company’s talent base? Having a great director or photography and location sound recording will make you very happy when you start to work on your video editing and sound mixing in comfortable suites. You will want to make sure your process is condensed and very efficient. As soon you are out of the field and off of location, you move into their studios.
Beginning the post-production process starts with video dailies from your shoot and making notes about selects you want to pull for your edit. Find a New York City video production company that will accommodate you and provide you DVD dailies so they are viewable everywhere and not just on a Beta tape in the studio. Most companies charge for this service to rent a space to view your material. Finding a New York Video production company that has video editing suites, along with graphics and sound mixing is key. Having all of your services under one roof will make sure you spend less time running between different business that have a different work ethic and quality standard. Suite Spot, LLC were the first to recognize the evolution of the video process, as we know it and pushed each of their suites to maximize your time and tools. So, you will also want to find a company whose work habits mirrors the way that your project works. A harmonious experience with your New York City video production company will be the key to making sure your project meets is success.
When you’re booking a holiday to New York you want to be able to take as much spending money as possible so you can come back with a new wardrobe! You can cut costs on accommodation by staying in a hostel rather than a hotel and there are some great ones to stay at in New York. I’ve written a short review on my top 2.
The first hostel is called The New York Loft which is one of the trendiest hostels located in Brooklyn. It looks like an old style New York warehouse with a minimalistic feel which makes the rooms even more spacious. Its only 10 minutes away from Union Square and is located right next to a subway giving you easy access to the sites of New York! The best bit about this hostel is that it has a Jacuzzi in the garden and a swimming pool on the roof which is perfect in the summer when you need to cool off. Its other facilities include free breakfast, free wireless internet and a common room complete with computers and a flat screen TV. Prices start from about £12 for a mixed dorm with an ensuite and the maximum stay is 29 days!
The second hostel has a more central location on 7th Avenue and is called L-Hostel (the ‘L’ stands for luxury). This is one of the more recently refurbished hostels in New York and is the best option for those who aren’t sure about the idea of staying in a hostel because it feels more like a hotel! They have tried to give L-Hostel a ‘hotel feel’ by having marble bathrooms, a private roof terrace and modern furniture. The top floor contains private rooms which have their own private roof deck! They even have their own cafe and grocery where you can buy food to cook in the recently decorated kitchen or on the barbecues outside. It also has a common room with TVs and free wireless internet. Prices range from £12 to £30 per night and the largest of the dorms can sleep up to 16 people.
SELLER’S DISCLOSURES AND THE HOME INSPECTION
One of the more frustrating, but necessary elements of representing a seller or buyer of a house is getting through a home inspection. In order to better deal with this ordeal we must first look at why it is so important and then look at the best way to educate the parties as to what to expect. In order to avoid any problems during the process it is best for the parties to be forth right and make sure it is clear to all the parties as to what their obligations are.
WHY IS THE INSPECTION SO IMPORTANT
New York is what is known in legal jargon as a “Caveat Emptor state” which literally means “Let the buyer beware” This has been handed down through old English common law. The buyer in New York must insure that everything with the property is satisfactory before they sign the contract and unless the contract sets forth conditions which seller must correct the buyer is purchasing the property “AS IS”. There are certain customary conditions which seller will insure, such as the treatment of termites, and most contracts will provide that appliances, plumbing, heating and electric systems will be in working order AT THE TIME OF CLOSING. There are no guarantees or warranties provided. The electric system may be working at the time of closing, but a buyer may discover after they move in that the 60 amp service that was adequate for the 85 year old seller, who has owned the house for 70 years, is not adequate to run an air conditioner and charge a cell phone at the same time. There is no recourse once the contract is signed. First time buyer’s usually are surprised to find this out and I am often asked “What happens if the washer breaks the day after we close” of which I reply “Welcome to home ownership”.
ARE SELLERS REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE
Case law has created exceptions to the Caveat Emptor rule. Even though the buyer must do their own due diligence before purchasing a house, the seller can not intentionally conceal defects. So if a Seller knows of a defect they can not purposely cover it up and make it difficult for a buyer to discover. A Seller must also disclose any material facts which a reasonable buyer would want to know before committing to buying a property. The clearest example would be if there had been a horrific crime, such as the murders of the Difeos in the famous “Amityville Horror” house. It would be reasonable to assume that a buyer would want to know of such an occurrence. New York courts have found that a seller must even disclose the fact that a house has a reputation of being haunted, even though there have been no proven occurrences of any hauntings. The New York Supreme Court found that the fact that the house had a reputation in the community as being haunted required that seller, and their agent disclose this to potential buyers. I recently had a case where a buyer was purchasing a large estate and a new survey disclosed a small cemetery on the property. The grave markers were from the 18th and 19th Century. This was never disclosed and was in a wooded section of the property and not easily discovered. My client’s loved the property and actually found the presence of the cemetery “cool” so it did not effect their decision to purchase the home, however, if my client’s were not so open minded I am certain that we would have had reasonable cause to terminate the contract due to seller’s failure to disclose.
The New York State property condition disclosure act
In order to protect buyers from the harsh reality of the states “Caveat Emptor” tradition in 2002 New York State Legislature enacted Article 14 of the Real Property Law, known as the “property condition disclosure act”. The law, in my opinion, has provided the buyer with no further protections. The law requires a Seller to prepare an in depth property condition disclosure statement and provide it to prospective buyers at the onset of the transaction. You can find a copy of the required statement online by searching New York State property condition disclosure Statement. The statement goes into details of all known conditions to the property, however, imposes no liability upon seller if they are incorrect. What makes the law even more ineffective is the fact that the Seller can “opt out”. The seller can elect not to provide the disclosure and in turn will be required to give the buyer a credit of $500.00 at the time of closing. Oddly, this is roughly the cost of the home inspection. Even if a Seller is willing to give the disclosure I strongly urge that the purchaser obtain an inspection. I advise them that you can not rely on the sellers statement. If the Seller is mistaken or dishonest, your sole recourse would be to sue the seller. Nobody wins in such cases except the lawyers. Better to do your due diligence and greatly reduce any possible issues.
ADVISE PARTIES OF INSPECTION REALITIES
Outside of these exceptions it is up to the buyer to “discover” any defects. Most lay people, myself included, have no idea what they are looking at when they commit to buy a house. They look at the room size, the amenities, the appliances, the schools, the neighborhood the kitchen cabinets. All important considerations, however, most do not look at the foundation, the age of the roof, the condition of the heating or air conditioning system, the plumbing and electric. Of those that do look at these items only a very few actually know what they are looking at. Hence the need for a Home Inspection. Many brokers and sellers fear the home inspection and feel that many are deal killers. To some extent they are correct. But as I often say it is not WHAT is said it is HOW it is said. Expectation is everything.
When I am first contacted by a seller, I advise them to do their homework and make sure that they get the house ready. They should take an inventory and be aware of the defects and short comings of the property. They should be aware if any certificates of occupancy or compliance are needed, and when possible they should correct defects and obtain needed certificates. If they are unwilling to make corrections this should be disclosed to buyer when negotiating the contract and purchase price. If, using the example of the house with 60 amp service, you advise the buyer that the electric will need to be upgraded when negotiating the price, the buyer will not be able to renegotiate after the home inspection for this reason.
When a buyer retains me to represent them in connection with their purchase I encourage them to obtain a home inspection for all the reasons stated above. I feel it is very important that I explain that the inspector is hired to find things wrong and let them know that the inspection is as more an educational tool than a negotiating tool. I strongly encourage them to attend and stay with the inspector. Most of all, ask a lot of questions. The inspector will inform you of how things operate and what you will need to know to maintain all the systems of the home. Again, they will find problems, this is not a new house and there will most likely be things that are inadequate and need attention. I advise them that these things fall into 3 categories, The obvious, the acceptable and the deal breaker. The obvious being that the price was which agreed upon was based upon the apparent condition of the property, If the front door has a big crack down the middle of it is disingenuous to renegotiate the price after the inspection because the front door has a crack. This condition was obvious and taken into account when negotiating the original price.
Where the inspection comes more into play is where there are conditions disclosed which the buyer had no way of knowing when agreeing on the price. Lets use, for example, the roof. A buyer with out any disclosures otherwise given, will assume that the roof is in good shape when agreeing on the price. The inspection discloses that the roof has three layers of shingles and is at the end of it’s useful life and that it will need replacement in the next year at the cost of at least $15,000.00. When this happens I get the panicked call from the buyer saying that “THE SELLER HAS TO FIX THIS”. The first thing I say is that the seller does not have to do anything. The seller can simply say too bad take it as is or move on. It is important to immediately present this situation to the seller and see if they are willing to move off the purchase price or make other concessions towards resolution of the issue. A lot comes into play with this regard, and a lot has to do with market situations. If the Seller feels that they are “giving away” the house (and what seller does not feel that way) they are going to be less amenable to making any concessions. However if the seller is more realistic and does not want to lose the buyer, they may be willing to reduce the price.
Same goes for the buyers end. I explain to the buyer that it is great that they discovered the problem with the roof, but it does not necessarily mean that they should forgo the deal if the seller is not willing to make any repairs or concessions. With the knowledge obtained from the home inspection the buyer will reduce the “element of surprise” and will know what they are getting into and what to expect in the future. They will be able to budget for the repair and when the time comes they will be ready. The buyer must take all this into account. They know the market and may ffe that the house is still a good deal even though they will be faced with this capital expenditure in the upcoming year, or the costs of eventual repairs may cause the house to become unaffordable. When buyers decide to go forward with the deal with the bad roof, where the seller refused to negotiate any repair or reduction, I let them know that it is going to suck when it comes time to repair the roof, but at least you had the opportunity to prepare and by the way “Welcome to Home Ownership”.
So in conclusion, material disclosures and the home inspection are necessary steps in the home purchase transaction. They should not be avoided or downplayed. Any material facts which would effect a buyer’s decision must be discussed with seller and disclosed to buyer. The Home inspection should be embraced and the parties should be made aware of its importance and what they can expect. The better the communication at the onset of the process the more likely it is that a smooth transaction will follow