Took the plunge / Planet Payment

UPDATE:  Well, I finally got to speak to an operator and was able to place my order.

Today I took my first Polar Bear plunge and it was great! I wanted to buy a sweatshirt, but the lines were too long, so I decided to place an order through one of those fliers that were past around. Guess what? I can’t order anything!!!  I am sorry Planet Payment. I know you are a local Long Beach company, but your SHOP BYVOICE system SUCKS! Twenty minutes and two phone calls later – I got to a point where the system didn’t even recognize the Long Beach zip code.

Sorry Long Beach Polar Bear Club, I even wanted to donate money to make-a-wish with my order, but I can’t order anything!!! Is there any other way I can buy Polar Bear wear and make my donation?? – only 35 paid subscribers!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!! ROFLOLOLOL

Ok, so this article actually made me roll in the floor and laugh out loud. turned into a paid site a few months ago and since then they have only been able to attract 35 paid subscribers. I do subscribe to the paper edition because I’m a sucker, but I can’t stand the Dolan family so this is hilarious.  They spent 4 million dollars for 35 subscribers! Come on Newsday, this is the new digital age. Just install Google Adsense and call it a day.  Read the full article @  the New York Observer  –  After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions for Newsday‘s Web Site

My stay @ the Allegria

Allegria Hotel & Spa
80 West Broadway
Long Beach, NY 11561

I never reviewed a hotel before. So, to make my life easier, I’m just going to list a bunch of pluses and minuses that I experienced as a guest of the Allegria. There has been a lot of negativity towards this place already, so I am sure  some will read this and say that I am wrong; the food is awful, the service is bad, They Keep Lie, Stay Way, The Allegria RUINED MY WEDDING, blah blah blah.  Well, maybe you went on an off night, because my overall experience was above-average.

The Hotel in General:

Plus: Without a doubt, this hotel is beautiful inside and out. I loved the modern nautical decor – a nice change from the traditional decor most places around here have.

Plus: The gym, which is on the second to top floor, has an awesome view of the boardwalk and ocean.

Minus: The roof level is still under construction, so we couldn’t see the pool, bar, spa or whatever else that’s going on up there.  Is the spa even open? Did I miss something? because I couldn’t find it.

The Atlantica Restaurant

Plus/minus: Despite all the negative reviews and even my own past experience, the service was actually really good & kinda fast. Too fast. WAY TOO FAST!  Our dinner was served five minutes after our appetizers which was served five minutes after we ordered.  The hotel staff must be reading the reviews.

Minus: The restaurant staff must have heard funniest joke of all time because they couldn’t stop laughing throughout my entire dinner. They were laughing LOUD. Why am I making a big deal over this? Well, I’ve had quieter meals at Chuck E. Cheese. It was pretty annoying and distracting.

Plus: The food was actually quite good. Again, the reviews of the restaurant have been very mixed. Maybe the kitchen just needed some time to get the kinks out. Yes, I do know that there are much better restaurants in town, but what can I say? I liked my meal. It wasn’t on the same level as Coastal Grill, but it was much, much better than Monterey.

Plus: free-range, grass-feed, organic. I love seeing all those words on a menu. Especially since I just saw the movie FOOD, Inc.

Minus: We had to turn down sitting near the window because it was too cold and drafty. I noticed others moving away from the windows as well.  Aren’t these windows brand new?

The Room / Overnight stay

Plus: The rooms are really cute. I’m a big fan of the bamboo / chocolate wood color scheme. It’s just so relaxing, modern and clean.

Minus: Hallway noise was a big problem. You can hear every door close, footstep and conversation that went on in the hallway.

Minus: When a nearby hotel room door gets slammed closed, the place shakes.

Plus: Since the hallway noise was so loud, the hotel was kind enough to lend us a fan for background noise.

Minus: The visitor’s guide in the room had nothing to do with Long beach or Long Island. It was a generic guide for Manhattan.  I get it. Manhattan has everything. We have some stuff too.

Plus: We stayed in an ocean-view room and the views were awesome! Makes me want to live in a place on the boardwalk!

Minus: Again, drafty windows.  You can feel the cold air from a few feet away. I thought this was a “green” building.  So much heat is being wasted!

Minus: Tile + hardwood floors = every little sound you make in the bathroom can be heard by whoever is in the room. Kind of embarrassing….

Minus: The sound of loud footsteps from the floor above – not something a business traveler wants to wake up to on an early Sunday morning.

Minus: Too many light switches!!! The bathroom had five alone!  I kept on turning on the closet light every time I wanted to use the bathroom.

Bottom Line

Despite all my minuses regarding the room, this hotel could and should work.  Once it catches on, it’s definitely going to be a popular summer destination for Manhattanites.  A quick train ride for those who don’t have a car is much easier than that long bus ride to the Hamptons. Is that a good or a bad thing? Well, this hotel will bring more money to Long Beach. Tourism dollar$ are a good thing.  Plus, Long Beach is filled with so many great restaurants and bars that will hopefully benefit from hotel spillover. Sounds like a win-win to me. The only real downfall I see is how expensive everything was-  between room service, the restaurant and the room itself. Be prepared to spend a lot. So, for all you out-of-towners, If you have a ton of money to spend and want to experience Long Beach, I fully recommend it. Overall, my Allegria experience was great. I only wish I got to stay there before I started looking for a house- that ocean view was awfully nice 😉

The Future of Long Beach: Part 1 – Historical Proposal

Here is the Village of Northport’s historical Proposal – which states:

(The) preservation of the Village’s heritage and character by establishing a policy which will protect and enhance historic buildings in the Village will enhance the cultural, educational, economic and general welfare of the public, and ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Village consistent with its unique heritage and character.

Why can’t the City of Long Beach do the same thing? Instead, we are stuck with Fucco (Fake Beige Stucco) and the destruction of our downtown character.  Walk along W. Park Avenue and really look at the new buildings/renovations that occured in the past year or so. You can’t miss them because they stick out like a sore thumb. How do these buildings fit in with the character of Long Beach? The answer is: They don’t. These new buildings are not consistent with Long Beach’s unique heritage and character. 118 to 134 E. Park Avenue would make a great looking strip mall one would find in any town on Hempstead Turnpike.  Not here.

Going to stay at the Allegria

My wife and I are actually staying at the Allegria this weekend for our wedding anniversary. We live five blocks away. Sound crazy? Sure, but I am so curious about this place.  I’ll post a review with photos as soon as possible.

While booking the room, I asked the lady at the front desk how business has been. She said that the weekends are almost at full capacity; the weekdays get a lot of single business travels that need to be close to JFK.  I’m not exactly sure if I believe any of that – if you pass the hotel at night time it seems kind of dead and dark.  We shall see…….

A Hate Fake Stucco (Fucco)

fuccoWhat is Fucco? It’s that crappy fake stucco that seems to be taking over New York and Long Beach. Well, in my continuing efforts to stop the fucco parade, I am pleased to post this Yahoo article titled 7 Red Flags for Home Buyers.

From the article:

Synthetic stucco siding. This must be installed precisely or else moisture will be trapped behind it, resulting in mold and decay. In the worst case, the siding will have to be replaced. For a medium-sized house (1,250 square feet of exterior surface area), replacing vinyl siding can cost $2,500 to $8,750, while wood or fiber cement siding can cost $5,600 to $10,000 or more. Especially in humid climates, you may want to pay for a special inspection. HouseMaster charges $600 and up, depending on how much of the material has been used and the size of the house.

realstucco1So fucco = mold. Why do I care so much about Fucco? It’s just personal taste, right? Well, Sorry. It’s ugly. It doesn’t look like real stucco. It doesn’t make your house a Mediterranean house. It looks cheap and it brings the entire neighborhood down.

Fucco haters are now starting to call Fucco houses ‘Taco Bell Houses.’ HA! That is hilarious.

I hope that somebody who is even considering installing Fucco on their house reads this and thinks twice. This fake stucco is the Hummer of house renovation. It’s just plain embarrassing. Please Long Beach, say no to Fucco.  Pressure the Long Beach building department to not allow anymore of this type of contruction to continue, or Long Beach will look like cheap, crappy shit. That’s right. SHIT!

Here is a hilarious thread on this matter:  Read- What the fucco?

Newsday – Long Beach workers’ personal data mistakenly made public

So Newsday has this article about how personal data of Long Beach city workers somehow leaked out.  Our mayor is going to investigate.

Here is the link for those who have a login with I can access because we use Optimum online at work, but for those who can’t, I’m sorry. Newsday is somehow living in the stone age with their new online pricing scheme.  They think they can control the internet the same way they controlled cable TV on Long Island for so long.  Why can’t they do what everybody else on the internet does and just load their website with ads. Google does it and they are a multi-billion dollar company.

Newsday – Long Beach man drove 105 mph drunk, police say

WOAH. That man should not be allowed to drive ever again. Two laws were broken. Peoples lives were in danger. There is no excuse. PLEASE THROW THIS MAN IN JAIL.

Full Article: Long Beach man drove 105 mph drunk, police say

A Long Beach man stopped for driving 105 mph on the Meadowbrook State Parkway Wednesday night also was driving drunk, State Police said.

Police said Andrew Gaughan was driving south on the Meadowbrook near Babylon Turnpike – just yards from the site of a horrific 2005 wrong-way drunk-driving limo crash that killed 7-year-old Katie Flynn of Long Beach and limo driver Stanley Rabinowitz, 59 – when he was stopped by a trooper.

Gaughan, 30, of 86 Ohio Ave., was doing 105 mph, 50 mph over the speed limit, police said.

Police said the trooper noted Gaughan “smelled of alcohol.” A breath test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.10 – above the legal limit of 0.08 – and he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, police said. He also was issued citations for excessive speed. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30.

Corporate Boardwalk

I was just reading McLaughlin, Fagen, Torres win on the and I want to single out an interesting item that was said by city counsel newcomer Mike Fagen. From the article:

Fagen also said he wants to seek other non-tax revenue streams, including an Adopt-A-Highway program that would allow businesses to sponsor sections of a newly constructed boardwalk, and naming-rights deals with corporations to finance the ice arena and Recreation Center.

1752863852_be2ca45c85_bNaming rights is a great idea for the arena, but corporate sponsor sections on the boardwalk? I’m sorry, but the beauty of the boardwalk is the idea that it’s an escape from reality. I love that OUR boardwalk isn’t overrun with restaurants and stupid stores like Atlantic City or Coney Island.  When I ride my bike or take a walk on the boardwalk I don’t want to be reminded of Subway-five-dollar-foot-longs or the latte-Mocha-Frappachino-Starbucks-flavor-of-the-week.  Besides, aren’t those corporate-sponsored flag signs attached to the lamp posts enough? I just don’t want to see OUR boardwalk look like the Jersey Turnpike.  Ok, I’m done with my rant.

You can read the full article over at the –  McLaughlin, Fagen, Torres win