Monthly Archives: March 2013

mandatory viewing!

Barry Dennis demonstrates here how true wealth is found in letting go. We already have so much more than we think! More time, money, energy, love and joy.

“It all started with a soccer ball.”
 ~ Barry Dennis

4 questions & the goy

my introduction into all things jewish came mostly from the weinstein’s.  debbie weinstein was my college roommate and one of 798 jewish peeps in my freshman year dorm complex which housed 800 people.  debbie always invited me to her parents home in boston for the holidays and it was there that i got accustomed to the seder rituals.  being the token goy, i didn’t have to actually participate in the prayer and hebrew readings so i was only familiar with the big picture and didn’t really know exactly what was going on.  the truth is, i was there for mrs. weinstein’s good cooking, and mr. weinstein’s  jokes – which were usually at my expense, but funny none the less.

after we graduated from school, i continued to go to the weinstein’s on jewish holidays and by that time i thought i had learned everything i needed to know about what to do at a seder – even though i never had to actually do anything. . .

then one year debbie’s brother mark got married and everything changed. this year, we had to go to mark’s in-laws for passover.  i guess they expected me to be jewish. or maybe they felt obligated to make sure i was aware of their collective suffering as a race. or maybe, debbie didn’t tell them she was bringing me and they were just pissed off about that – i don’t know.  whatever the reason, they were intent on teaching me how it’s done by making me to eat things i didn’t want, participate in the readings and pray in hebrew. with 5 or 6 seders under my belt, i felt like i could handle the situation just fine – until marks mother in-law asked me   if i knew the answers to the 4 questions, which i couldn’t quite remember.  i was mortified because i did know the questions were central to the seder.  i’m sure it didn’t happen this way at all, but i recall seeing dark red horns growing from my skull in the tiny reflection of her eyeballs.  i  blame mr. weinstein for my lack of knowledge because i’m positive he must have been making me laugh too hard to pay proper attention to this part of the ritual in years past.

this post serves to save all goyim who may be put in a similar situation this evening during a passover seder.  first, i would like to point out out that there is really only one question and four answers, which i would not advise pointing out to seder host.

here is what you’ll need to know:

Why is this night different from all other nights, from all other nights?


On all other nights, we may eat chametz and matzah. On this night,  only matzah.

On all other nights, we eat many vegetables.  On this night, on this night, maror.

On all other nights, we do not dip even once. On this night, on this night, twice.
(A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten.)

On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining.

and you may also want to know that mark has since re-married a nice girl from a  nice family who i am sure, would not make me eat anything i didn’t want.  tonight i will celebrate passover in nyc with the enzer’s, as i have  since debbie moved to chicago. i will read, pray in hebrew, answer the question(s), have a good time with good people, and as always on passover, be missing mr. weinstein’s enormous laughter.

gut yontiff to all!


Breaking Bonds
To break the bonds of anger,
To live with gentle pride.

To break the bonds of shame,
To live with humble strength.

To break the bonds of envy,
To serve each other in joy.

To break the bonds of guilt,
To accept all G-d’s gifts.

To break the bonds of fear,
To love with fullness of heart.

To break the bonds of lust,
To love with fullness of being.

To break the bonds of loneliness,
To receive a hand of hope.

To break the bonds of neglect,
To reach out a hand of help.

To break the bond of tears,
To see with awe and wonder.

To break the bonds of loss,
To rejoice in all G-d’s works.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

why the ny post is important

i often tell myself that the news is simply a waste of time, but then something happens and i just can’t help taking a peek at the front page of the ny post. here are some of today’s important events:


ny post exclusive

A Port Authority security contractor whose job is to look out for possible suicides and terror attacks on the George Washington Bridge was busted for smoking weed on the job this afternoon, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

A PAPD cop on patrol noticed an overpowering smell of weed when he popped in on the guard at the south tower security booth around 1:45 p.m.

When he asked the guard about the stench, Sami Omar, 26, of North Bergen, he initially denied it, then said “I think it’s a passing skunk,” a source said.

and you’ll also want to know about this:

A Michigan medical marijuana facility is partnering with a member of the Grammy-winning rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to cultivate and distribute a new strain of medical marijuana.

The Green Oasis and Stanley “Flesh-N-Bone” Howse have agreed to work together on “Phifty Caliber Kush,” which they say has a noticeable floral taste and is an effective pain reliever.

The Flint-area dispensary’s owner, Anthony Butler, calls the new pot strain “the best of the best.”

and finally, here’s some completely unrelated but also important news:

The corrections officer impregnated behind bars by convicted cop killer Ronell Wilson was excused from a court date this morning because she is having contractions, her lawyer said.

Nancy Gonzalez, 29, of Huntington Station, is hours away from giving birth to a boy and is awaiting transfer to a local hospital, her attorney Anthony Ricco told the court.

Gonzalez said she agreed to carry Wilson’s child to give the killer something to look forward to in his life despite facing life in prison.


“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
 ~ Albert Einstein

people know stuff


“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”
-Bill Nye


Our deepest need is for the joy that comes with knowing we are of genuine use to others.
~ Eknath Easwaran

anything is possible on your birthday!

so tomorrow is my birthday and i have a birthday wish.  actually i have several birthday wishes but one specially for the blogging community.   today i have 686 followers on my zen city blog.  my birthday wish is to wake up tomorrow morning and have 1,000 followers! 


would you be willing to help a blogger out here by asking your friends, family, your followers, your dog, mailman, whoever . . .  if they would follow my blog? in exchange, i promise to keep my zen city entertaining, informative and voyeuristic into all things nyc!



love, light and all things happy to you!



“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 
― Roald Dahl


china, anyone?

i have this great opportunity to work with an amazing woman on a fun & creative new venture which is almost guaranteed to make lots of money.  the one obstacle is that the money will take approximately 6 months to manifest and i don’t have that kind of time.  this is precisely why the experts, or at least suze orman, tell you to have a 6 month nest egg at all times.

because i really want to take advantage of this new venture, i have been looking online for the kinds of jobs i can to to make enough money to live while also getting this new opportunity up & running. here are just a few of the gigs i came across this week:

Macau junket operator If you can convince millionaires to travel to the Chinese city of Macau to gamble at a casino, you could earn 1.2% or more of whatever the high-rollers gamble. That could add up to $5,000 per month.  Joker-icon

Submarine cook In Australia, a senior submarine cook with more than six years of experience earns $200,000 (about $187,000 U.S.) per year, the same as a junior admiral. A bonus of $50,000 a year just for showing up for work, because the job is listed as “critical to the navy.”  Aqua_Monster

Airplane repo man If you like adventure and high-stress work, this is the high-paying job for you. Aircraft repossessors can get a 6 to10% commission of the resale price of a plane.  That can add up to$10,000 to $900,000 per plane. Be prepared for tough work, though. Some repo men get shot at or tossed in a foreign prison . . .

 Bounty hunter  Like a repo man, this is a dangerous job that could get you killed. Pay is 10 to 45% of the bail deposit amount.  $100,000 bail could net the bounty hunter $10,000 to $45,000. Experienced bounty hunters who take high-risk assignments can make more than $100,000 per year.


Shot girl $300 – $600 a night is about how much shot girls make, The Wall Street Journal reports. They’re paid 25 cents for every shot they sell at the bar, with the rest coming from tips. Smurfette-icon

and i’m pretty sure there’s an available position for a lion keeper in fresno county california, but somehow it didn’t make this list.


so then i went to the site, odd job nation  [i love the slogan for their site, hustle life . . . before life hustles you] and  this was the first job i came across:

Hello all!!! I am a 28 year old male who likes to act and be treated as a baby a couple of days a week. This job will occur 2-3 times a week generally in 4 hour shifts. The babysitter will be paid in cash at arrival of each visit. This job is in no way sexual and will just require for the babysitter to babysit and parent. This is in no way a joke but I do realize its a very very odd job. With that being said it is fun andfor the amount of work and time great money!!!!! I travel quite a bit and the sitting can be done at my hotel room or your place when I am in your area. I go back and forth between Virginia, and New York weekly for work. Please write me at with any questions or interest. Thanks!!!!

in fact, that was the only job listed in new york on the odd job nation site and it was listed 3 times.  the 28 year old baby first listed the babysitting job back in november, for $35.00 / hour.  presumably due to a limited pool of respondents from which to choose, he re-listed the job in december for $40.00 / hour.  still without proper supervision in january, he upped the pay to $50.00 / hour and is still in need of a sitter.   my guess is the travelling back & forth to virginia is just not for everyone . . . .


“being normal isn’t necessarily a virtue.  It rather denotes a lack of courage.”
~ Aunt Frances, from Practical Magic

new facist city?

i don’t drink soda.  not because it doesn’t taste good, but because i think it’s bad for my body.  i love carrot cake!  once in a while, i even eat some. i hate to think that one day carrot cake will only be sold by the  ‘sliver’   because someday i may want to buy a whole cake  or,  maybe even two carrot cakes at once!

and salt!  i love salt.  and i can have as much salt as i want. i wouldn’t recommend it for people with high blood pressure just like i wouldn’t recommend antibiotics for people who aren’t sick.  salt is not the demon.  most people who get too much salt are the ones who exist on pre-packaged salt laden foods and food-like substances.  

i also understand that working out everyday is good for my body, but do i work out every day?  no, i don’t,  even though i know i should.  whether i work out or not, i am free to choose  –  at least for now.   i am however getting a little scared that mayor bloomberg may soon start taxing people with over 21% body fat.  i can picture little bmi stations set up along side the toll booths and commuters and tourists will have to be fitness tested prior to entering the city.

i’m not anti-bloomberg, really i’m not.  there are a lot of people in my life who i like a lot even though they do really weird things.  

when i began to write this article it was going to be focused simply on noise rules in the city but it has now morphed into a story of personal freedom.  at first i wanted to simply point out that the city is inundated with signs promising a $350 fine for needless honking of car horns.

proof ↓


and if you’ve ever been to the city you have no doubt heard hundreds of car horns in just the first hour of your visit.  if you stay a week or so, you could possibly hear more than 1946 beeps – or more – that’s just an estimate of course.

so lets just say the traffic police who are honked at multiple times with each changing light in this town, were actually minding the law and giving out tickets as promised.  $350 x 1946 honks per week per neighborhood.  there are approximately 65 neighborhoods in manhattan alone so, without including queens, the bronx, brooklyn & staten island which are all part of nyc, the city could make  ($350 x 1946 honks per week) x 65 neighborhoods = $44,271,500.00 per week.


of course we couldn’t expect the traffic police to be present for every honking incident because we all know that would be ridiculous.  they’re too busy just standing there.  i realize most of us would be fired from our jobs if we followed the law just 10% of the time, but just for arguments sake let’s say the traffic police got just 10% of the honkers.   10% of  $44,271,500.00 would bring in $4,427,150 per week.  that’s over $230 million per year!  but instead, according to new york magazine, “the NYPD gave just 206 summonses for the offense last year.”

206 summonses translates into $72,100 last year for the city.  i suspect that wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of the signs, labor for installation, sign maintenance  and,  the salaries for the many, many important people who no doubt met for hundreds and hundreds of hours to determine placement of honking fine signs  – and god knows what the court filings and implementation of said sign laws cost  –  and it just goes on & on.

i didn’t vote for that.  if you voted for the honking signs, would you please identify yourself?  

if i were mayor and allowed the city to spend all that money on signs,  i would at least enforce the law.  the costs would be covered before the first year was out and quality of life in the city would actually be improved.

laurie  for  mayor!

and just, fyi, if you’re interested, on the nyc website,

You can request street signs installation, relocation, or removal.  You can also buy a personalized street sign. No Honking signs (the Department of Environmental Protection will study the intersection and approve or deny the request based on study results)

you may have noticed my lack of patience for imbecility but after all that money spent on salaries, bureaucracy, sign design and what ever else, how is it possible that the city does not enforce that law, yet agreed to fine a man for laughing too loudly in his own home?

Long Island man issued summons for laughing too loud in his own home.

There’s no pursuit of happiness for this Long Island man — local cops busted him for laughing too loudly in his own home.

Robert Schiavelli, 42, was recently slapped with two “absurd” summonses because his next-door neighbor complained that he could hear his hearty guffaws from across the driveway.   story

and it gets better!  this week the post also reported:

Mayor Bloomberg’s new health crusade: too-loud earbuds  –  Mayor Bloomberg — who has already cracked down on smoking, junk food, trans fats, salt and super-sized drinks — is embarking on a new crusade: preventing New Yorkers from going deaf.  story

i’m tempted to continue ranting on personal freedom, but i think  fay voshell has already said it best:

What could possibly be next?

Will the “don’t drink, don’t smoke” goody-two-shoes food police aim at the amount of pizza consumed? Will pizza parlors soon be able to sell only two slices at a time? Will pizza shop owners have to file a permit in order to sell a whole pie? Maybe customers will have to show they are fit enough to consume pepperoni topping by doing twenty jumping jacks; and those who dare to order a meat lover’s pizza will have to do thirty pushups. .  .

They should ask themselves questions like, “How would I like it if Muslim food laws were forced on all of New York City’s inhabitants?” Or, “Would it be fair if Seventh Day Adventists stopped all New Yorkers from eating bacon?” Or, “Would I like it if Gaia worshiping vegans ruled the City’s restaurants?”

that being said, i’m going to do my laundry.

kitchen (8)

“There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk”
 ~ Anais Nin

is there a new rule i should know about?

do pedestrians now have to stop for cars?  because i thought it was the other way around and now i don’t know what to do.  if you have information on this, please let me know.  thank you in advance for your help.

pedestrian stop sign soho

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
 Robert McCloskey