White Plains, NY: A City of Contrasts

Entry is updated version of 1st 3 sections of White Plains, New York: A City of Contrasts published in 2013.

Remaining updated versions of the book can be found under different titles listed at the end of this entry.

Original Book (soft cover & e-book) is for sale with online venders. Facebook page for book under this title is also maintained by author and gives related info:



CONTRASTS: Today a modern suburb of New York City, White Plains (WP) is best known for its shopping centers, courts & services. Many come for work, study and entertainment.  WP has an “urban” vibe offering services usually only available to much larger cities.

In contrast, WP played an important part in the American Revolution. Here NY became an independent state in the summer of 1776 and then in a few months’ time the setting for a standoff between the American Continental Army & the British Empire. Had things not gone as they did, America’s dream of independence might have been lost.

Throughout the city, one can still find remnants from earlier times. Many older structures have been repurposed for a purpose completely different from their original use.


BEGINNINGS: During the early 17th century, WP was home to members of the Weckquaeskeck tribe of the Mohican Nation. Evidence shows settlements on Fisher Hill. Natives referred to the area as Quarropas, which has been translated to mean “white marches” or “plains of white.”

Perhaps the best explanation for the city’s name is that there were once numerous wetlands on which a heavy white mist would often linger. Even though many of these wetlands are gone,  mists still hover over the city where the tops of skyscrapers disappear. There is another explanation concerning groves of white balsam but John Rösch dismissed this since there were no traces of the plant by 1874.


A number of old trails used by early inhabitants would become some of WP’s first roads. A number of streets still have Native American origins. Quarropas St is in the business district (BD). Nosband, Shapham and Orawaupum Avenues were named after sachems (tribal chiefs). Kensico , which is used for a number of streets, comes from the English spelling of Chief Cockenseco.


The Dutch, who came to North America following Henry Hudson’s explorations of 1609, set up trading posts, towns and forts along the Hudson River as far north as Albany. The colony of New Netherland was established with New Amsterdam as its center.  Due to the high demand for furs in Europe, the colony flourished.

In 1644, the British took control of the Dutch colony renaming it NY after James II, the Duke of York and Albany. The Dutch retook the area briefly in 1673 but this ended in 1674 with the end of the Third Anglo-Dutch War. In 1683, NY was divided into twelve counties of which Westchester was one; the Bronx was part of it. People who came to the county found an abundance of forests filled with trees, wildlife, fertile lands and rocks that were readily available for trade, farming and building.  Traders who came to the WP area referred to it as “White Plains.”

Settlers came to the colony during Dutch rule from all over Europe including Scandinavia, Germany, France and Belgium.  French Huguenots and Jews came seeking freedom, while Africans were brought as slaves.  Under British rule this tradition continued and was part of an agreement made with the Dutch avoiding a hostile takeover. Conflicts though with Native Americans often resulted in violence. Mural taken in Yonkers, NY around 2012 that depicted the meeting between Hudson and Natives of Manhattan (Lenape Tribe).



The Westchester

On November 22, 1683, a group of Puritans from Rye bought 4,435 acres of land from the Weckquaeskeck and Siwanoy people.  Sale took place alongside a lake in the area where The Westchester Mall is located. On the day of the purchase, WP was considered part of CT and then six days later after a boundary settlement, WP was part of NY.


Drawing “Purchase of the White Plains”) by John Rösch (former City historian) illustrates the purchase; is hung in WP City Clerk’s office at City Hall. WP Public Library has a photograph in their digital collection that one can access online that shows the rocks depicted in the drawing. Obviously, there are some historic depictions of Native Americans that are inaccurate in the drawing, but this is what was known at the time about native Americans during Rösch’s time. The Native Americans depicted are more like those in the mid-west (teepees and clothing) or the “plains.”

Soon after the purchase, John Richbell of Mamaroneck made a claim to the same land claiming that WP was part of a much larger purchase he made in 1661 with different Native tribes. John Richbell sent surveyors to the area, but they were driven off. After Richbell’s death in 1684, his claim was sold to Colonel Caleb Heathcoat of Scarsdale but he too failed to reclaim the land before his death in 1706. WP settlers petitioned the Governor of the NY Colony to grant them a royal patent that would give them the rights to the land, but it was not till 1721 that a royal decree was made.  The city, though, did not forget John Richbell naming a street after him.

The settlers came from Rye by way of an Indian trail. This road appears on early maps as the “Road to Rye,” but in 1708 it was called “Queen’s Highway” named for Queen Anne. Today, it is known as North Street (St).  During colonial times, WP remained a village in the Town of Rye.


By 1697, the Village of WP was centered along another Indian trail where N & S Broadway are today.  By 1734, it was referred to as “The Village Street.”  Open space called “the Commons” was designated for residential use by the community. The commons became the center of Broadway and then Broadway Park. In 1898, Charles Tibbits, a community member, founded WP Village Park Association to improve the park that would later be renamed in his honor.

Running through the park, is the Heritage trail with red & blue markers was created by the WP Monument Committee established in 1958; is now sponsored by the WP Historical Society. It is linked to Google maps at whiteplainshistory.org. An original map of the trail that includes different areas can be found on the Town of Harrison’s website (harrison-ny.gov).

Monuments in the park include the Civil War Statue, Christopher Columbus Statue, and the gun for WWI.


In 2009, the routes used by Generals George Washington & Jean-Baptiste Donation de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau (of France) during the later part of the Revolution were designated as a National Historic Trail.  In 2016 makers were placed in Tibbits Park marking the route that comes through WP. Information about this trail can be found at the website nps.gov/warp/index.htm. Markers like these can be found elsewhere in the area along the route.


………………………..End Notes……………………………………

Other updated sections from book are: WP and the American Revolution and War Remembrances from the Battle of WP, Westchester County Seat and Government, Waterways in White Plains, WP’s 1st Village St, WP Older Houses, Historic Traces in WP BD, Houses of Worship, WP Schools History, Buried in WP, WP Quarry & Farms, WP Historic Businesses & Organizations, Memorials in WP & WP Hospitals. Sources for book are listed in a separate entry Sources for Further Study of WP.

Other entries about WP (not found in the book) can be found on this website are: Demographics in White Plains, What’s in a Name: The Bar Building, Battle of WP video, Art in WP, The Arts in White Plains: Past and Present, Seeking History One Foot at a time: WP’s Walking Tours, where is the Mamaroneck River in WP, What’s in a name? Bloomingdale Rd vs Bloomingdale’s, Presidents in WP, Martine Ave, Coloring for Adults: WP Photos, WP Neighborhoods, Origin of Names of Places in WP, Transportation in WP, How Well Do You Know WP?, Parking in WP, and Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail as well as many others.

Diary of a Mad Jewish; Eggless Woman Venting & Doing Lots of Soul-Searching April 2023

Continuation of Facebook Entries

APRIL 2023

Post April 1, 2023:

Tested my water. Got kits and it was very simple.

Wanted to check my bathroom where I sometimes get reddish residue on sink, red stains in toilet. Tested kitchen sink; filtered water. Also checking for Bacteria but that takes 48 hours. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting sick from my water as I drink a lot and need to more than ever.

Results were fine. Water might be a bit hard but everything else seems okay. No iron or lead. My building is as old as I am so pipes could be an issue though NY water is great.

Have to make sure I clean out my filtered water container. I felt nauseous; I think it was some of my meds.

Saw Kidney specialist but he has to wait on more tests; for some reason he could not see the scan results that I just had this week. Too many FDG tracers in different places but none where my female parts were or still are with the 1 left.

I do have to stop taking Ibuprofen. Have a bag of old drugs to drop off at police station so this will just be added to that pile.

Doctor says what I eat doesn’t affect my kidneys, but he said diabetes does. Well, my sugar levels are affected by what I eat so what is it? Right now, sugar levels are more like normal, even better at certain times. Trajenta has helped but there are a lot of side effects.

Wow a busy week coming up with doctor visit with Oncologist on Mon. My 1st seder I will be preparing for April 5; all just before my 69th birthday on the 10th.

I am making real progress on Spring cleaning. Got rid of a lot of things. Next, I will tackle more of those papers of my mother’s. Things are looking much better. Last year things got ugly. I now have to figure out where to get rid of my old Oreck since my new Miele works for me so much better. It is light and picks up a lot.

Post April 2, 2023:

Found this in NEJC newsletter with my mother at The Bristal with rabbi’s wife and 2 children. My mother lost the fake tooth she had when at King’s St Rehab and her dentist does not do this work. Children are dressed for Passover and my mother is making a “thing” with her missing tooth.

Have yet to figure out what to do about it if anything. Now that Mom is tough to take places, I have to talk to some of the companies that provides accessible transport. Paratransit will not work for her and I would have to reapply for that. Too much on my plate right now to think this out.

Post April 5, 2023:

oday I give my mother a Passover Seder picnic style.

Made everything yesterday so I just have to pack in a cooler. Besides making charoset, a roasted lamb shank and a roasted egg for the first time, I made a brisket and veggies. Hopefully, the microwave will work out that I was told is in the Country Kitchen at the Bristal. Even got the fortune cookies that look like they are made of matza (marzipan) for dessert. Have 2 Haggadahs with illustrations that I don’t know if Mom will be able to see but plan to read/sing into her better ear.

After, everything that went down in NYC yesterday, I just hope everyone will be safe this Passover. We all need for the hatred & violence to pass over us.

I went over my scan results with my Oncologist and there seems to be something in my abdomen area that will need to be looked at. Dr plans on discussing my case with others and might be recommending a biopsy, radiation and or an operation. I really don’t think I can handle another operation right now, but this is what happens. As for my kidney, the test results don’t seem to be a problem just yet but will have to wait a month for that discussion. Meanwhile I get to see my Endocrinologist on my 69th birthday next Mon. I really feel my age these days. I just wish my hair would grow back.

Wish you all well and I will drink today not just for your good health but for peace in the US/Israel.

Post April 6, 2023:

Mom decided yesterday, she wanted to do something about her missing tooth. Called the dentist she had in Yonkers where they had put in a crown in 2019 and I will arrange an accessible van to take her there. After Passover seder, my mother saw the light I guess and finally decided to do something. Maybe it was just my tough Brisket.

Post April 9, 2023:

What I learned to save on taxes/money:

1. Keep records of all the expenses that you spend on your job that you pay for and take them off your taxes with Miscellaneous expenses: This includes dues to unions, and other business-related organizations. Then there are the classes you take to continue your education (not for minimum requirements) and the materials you buy for this.

2. Plan trips to places where you can go to a convention related to your job or even to take a class. There are rules to follow as to what is tax deductible. I even planned my trips to conventions to take credits that would give me a higher salary. Everything has to be in advance and document how and why you incurred an expense. You can deduct things you buy that relate to your job.

3. Cell phone costs. I needed a cell phone at work because I worked at a location where there was no land phone for me to access and office would have to contact me from time to time.

4.There are also discounts for certain groups. Verizon has an Educator discount and Barnes and Nobles has one as well. I could join TDF as an Educator and now as a retired person. I got to see a lot of plays in NYC at 1/3 the price. Many places give a discount to Seniors.

5. Reward programs: Many credit cards have reward programs as well as department stores. Microsoft has a reward program for using their search engine.

6. States offer things as well. NY has the Star Program and the Enhanced Star program for Seniors reducing property taxes.

Post April 15. 2023:

What a difference a day makes.

Heatwave is gone. Seems like we have normal weather, but sun is shining so no rain here. Spring has started but no cherry blossoms yet. County put out fire warnings for much of my area.

On my health, will be having radiation treatment to one small growth in abdomen area. Bunch of my doctors consulted on my situation; believe it is cancerous so no biopsy. Looks like this is what my future holds for me. Cancer can pop up anywhere and at any time.

Still manic but finally got 7 hrs sleep. Skipped a Synthroid pill this week. Surprised Endocrinologist did not call me with my lab results in. Got tested on birthday. Some present I gave myself. Made up with buying spree. Got a new computer since old one Surface Studio was breaking down with every Verizon update losing Wi-Fi, blue tooth and then a keyboard connection. I did get WIFI back but never got blue tooth so got a different keyboard, but this was lost to me as well. Hard to use online keyboard on large screen.

Cleaning up this week, accidently cut my phone line so Verizon made a visit yesterday. Guy cleaned up everything. He said everything should have been removed before when I got an upgrade when my battery went out last Sept and closed system. It was also not pretty with a black wire in living room. Could also detach wire grounded to electric box. No charge for service since everything should have been done correctly back in Sept. Prefer my land phone at home. Can’t always hear cell ring and even when I had to use to make appointment 2 Verizon people could not hear me, so they hung up on me.

Took a ride north to Bedford (forgot a fake flower putting in Mom’s room and then to Katonah where I got some sandals that fit. It was really hot in the sun but air-conditioning in my car saved me.

When I got home around 3, there was a loud noise in my bedroom from outside my unit. Figured it was from upstairs; was louder than my fan. Tried to nap but couldn’t. At 6, I called management to complain since I need quiet to sleep. Got a call from Super and said ventilation fan was left on 2nd floor. He would not admit it was 2A though it probably was since I don’t usually hear noise from 2G. Carmen R has been the neighbor from hell with her loud footsteps wearing shoes, banging, scrapping furniture on floor and creaking floors since 2006. He also said no one was home there but would turn off fan that was left on by workers who I had heard banging away all day long. Plan was for fan to go all night so I told him I would call police since construction is not allowed in city after 7pm. Our building requires noise to be off by 5pm. He also did not show at 8 so at 8:24 I called Stillman Management again and told them I would call police at 8:30. Finally at 8:30 I heard footsteps upstairs and fan went off. Why did they think that was okay and not sure my management knew. Carmen R had been away for like 4 months and now back making lots of noise. Had to get on elevator with her like the day she returned and told her I knew she came back because of her noise. She said she was in Spain for 3 months, but I told her it was more like 4 with her leaving before Thanksgiving.

Feel very strongly that my building discriminates in its enforcement of its bi laws and rules. Plan to file complaint with building. I was sick and would not have been able to sleep. With fighting cancer and being manic without getting much sleep, I thought this was beyond consideration for me. Told my building, I was disabled and did try to get a lawyer. I will have to get NYSUT service again. Even put overlays on my doorknobs to hall and bathroom. Keep leaving my keys in my mailbox. Locked myself out of building the other day but got in at front door using my cell that is connected to buzzer. I have then a trail of keys going to the one for my apartment. I have locked myself out too many times. I used to have a key box on underside of car but have not been able to find a place that has metal that I can reach.

Did tell doctors that something is causing me to force my head down and not very balanced when walking. I have had this before and said Synthroid levels might be too high.

Plan to go to Recycle Center to get some dirt. Got some seeds to plant flowers outside by benches I paid for and Basel. I have to get rid of all that e-waste with the clean-up in my unit. Hope TILI Shed is open but might be too early.

Finding another place to live might take years with the few houses in my price range offered and ones I actually like. Have to reapply for mortgage but without seeing houses in a nice area that has some walkability or where no construction is scheduled is hard.

Post April 18, 2023:

esterday wasn’t a great day. Took Mom to Dentist she used to go to in Yonkers and trip was really just a waste of time.

We took Assist Transportation; young woman driver got to Bristal early. Took a lot of time to load Mom into back of SUV. Mom is heavy and so is her wheelchair. Also, had trouble getting into van myself. Entrance was like up to my waist. Driver was using GPS and was often in the wrong lane. Didn’t say anything till later. (My sister had yelled at me for directing her when she was using GPS in her car when she came down for my last 2 operations). We got off in Greenburgh instead of Tuckahoe and she took Grassy Sprain Rd but she was going to the Golf course. Seems that E was left off the GPS address. Then when we got out of SUV the woman put the pedals on wheelchair, but one did not go down.

Concerned Dental waiting room was freezing. Seems they had air conditioner when it was cold out. Filled out forms and had to wait till almost 12 when appointment was at 11:30.

They then tried to do x-rays that I did not expect for a consultation. Mom could not handle the gizmo things they had in her mouth and bite down. The gadgets holding x ray was bigger than the ones my dentist uses. Then after a while they tell me, that Mom has to go to a hospital for x-rays and they can’t help us till she gets those. Said her dentist did x rays but since they were done in 2021, they could not do a consultation. Just wanted to know what to do with her crown that they put in that the tooth was always coming off. And, the last time it was at Rehab place so it was lost.

They said we had to go to lobby, but it was too cold and we had about a hour till transportation came back. Could not stay outside cause of weather so went into building where Mom’s bank is. Gave Mom the lunch I brought. I was too stressed to eat. I thought building was accessible, but it wasn’t really wasn’t. They don’t have automatic door openers. Had to sit outside cause I couldn’t stand for that long. Called service to tell them we could be picked up early and were at back of building that was the handicap entrance without automatic doors. But, no one showed at 1 pm. Called again and the woman’s SUV had broken down. Oy! Another driver was located but we waited to about 2 for driver who ended up being very fast. Mom liked him and so did I. Told him to go with Tuckahoe Rd to get to Parkway which is right around the strip mall on Tuckahoe.

Took Mom upstairs as fast as I could because she had to use bathroom. She did need help though and I she eventually hit button. She is very confused about when to use it. The woman who came fixed the wheelchair petals in seconds.

Don’t know what to do next but Mom thinks we should wait till she has her cleaning with AZ Dental in June. They could do the x-rays. She liked the man who drove her back. His car was better, and she sat next to me instead of back-by-back door so could actually see some of the outdoors as we drove back.

Post April 18, 2023:

Living in “stacked housing.” And, a Cooperative as well.

Neighbor upstairs was away for over 4 months (leaving before Thanksgiving) and came back this April. Heard her very noisy return. In elevator, she told me she had been in Spain. I did tell her that I knew she was home and when she said she was gone 3 months, I told her no it was more than that.

Then on Friday April 14, Carmen really drove me over the edge. Heard construction upstairs during the day. She often does construction without going through the building and/or doesn’t follow the building/city rules. She started on a Friday and then left a very loud machine on that I could hear very loudly in my bedroom. I knew I would not be able to sleep with this noise that sounded like a running motor surrounding my room.

I did call Management and ask for this to be turned off around 6pm. I did say I would call the police at 7 if it did not stop. Super Nick calls me and tells me the plan was for a ventilating fan to be on in a 2nd floor apartment. He would not even give me the apartment number though it was obvious to me it was 2A. He said he would come at 8pm but no show at 8:24 so I called Stillman again and that I would call police at 8:30 if the fan did not go off. They could have put fans on the windowsill, open the windows and run the motor at a lower level but this seemed like it was on the floor. Nick also told me the tenant wasn’t home. I knew she wasn’t in the apartment because I would have heard her.

Noise stopped at 8:30pm and I was able to sleep. But then the noise started up again on Sat in the early morning and continued till after 4. Then noise went on early morning Sunday and off before 5. Then Monday, fans went on before 8:30 and workers came after around 9:30. I left apartment and came back after 2pm. The workers were very noisey till just after 5 when ventilator went on again. Turned off before 7pm. This morning the fans went on early but when workmen came it went off around 9:30. So the fan could have been going over 55 hrs till Monday and then all night Tuesday. I suspect this might take all week.

Another person in the building on 4th floor (studio unit) said her apartment was damaged recently by a leak in the woman living above her and she got no help from building to pay for damages. There was mold damage and she had to go to a hotel.

So far, I don’t have damage that I can see but bathroom and closet area in bedroom must be affected. I did smell sewer like smell off and on for a while, but I used my normal methods of covering this up with perfume. But I still could have damage on the other side of my ceiling where water leaked. Years ago, there had been damage to my ceiling by the couple in 2A that were there before Carmen and then when Carmen did her bathroom in 2006, her unlicensed contractor torn out the walls and debris had come down into my apartment breaking through the heating vent area. I heard a lot of debris falling on the top of my ceiling so maybe this protected my ceiling. The debris was little pieces of sheet rock or a hard material that city said was not asbestos. I did have leaking from 2A and 3A but it was more like around my bathroom sink area. I did hire a contractor the building gave us that did my ceiling of bathroom over. I even had the paint for him to cover it all to match my walls.

Our building does not allow weekend construction (weekdays from 9am to 5pm) but city doesn’t allow after 7pm and 8am on weekdays and on weekends/holiday 7pm to 9:30. City does not allow moveable equipment noise related to construction everyday from 10pm and 8am unless they have a permit.

I sent emails to management and only response I got on Mon 4/18 that the shareholder had done remediation with insurance to fix her damage from a leak. That leak could have been the toilet and it spread to bedroom closet. I had no damage in my unit but who knows what the top of my ceiling looks like on the other side. I have had leaking there 3 times over the yrs. I had my ceiling fixed because of the damage left by leaks.

I was never notified that the noisy machine that I could hear in my bedroom, bathroom and even in living room would go all night and day for 3 or more days. I never got an answer about the building knowing about this and getting those required insurances and papers signed. City requires work like this to have special permission and all affected be notified. This was not the case. When the noise came back on Sunday, I called police to document the noise. I need proof of the noise. Policeman said the noise was in corner of bedroom by closet. Carmen was out of unit when they tried her apartment. She had been in and out all day on Sunday. Machines went off on Friday at 8:30pm, after 4 on Sat and then off on Sunday at 5ish. But they also went on Sat around 9:30 and on Sat also in morning. Then on Mon morning they went on around 9am. Then I heard construction noise after and it was loud. Contractors came back and were still banging away when I got home after 2pm. They left after 5 but fan was left on. I followed contractors to find out who they were when I went to get mail. They are licensed but why then were they not permitted and following City laws? Carmen turned off the one fan in bedroom around 6 or so and then later the one in bathroom that was not very loud.

Because of my lack of sleep and not being able to, I need to take naps. My head starts to push me down and I have no choice but to lie down. I am going to try to get a lawyer today with the NYSUt Legal Service I resigned up for. I might have to take Carmen and my building to small claims court. This action is not just against our buildings house rules but also city’s. I tried Building Dept but no one picked up and no one called back. I sent in a written contact form. This was just cruel! I did tell my building before this happened that my health was not good.

Post April 18, 2023:

Saw this listing this morning and it seems like a nice house. What do you think?

I could always put a bed in the den or dining area and put in a shower on the first floor if going upstairs is a problem.

After all the noise from my neighbor upstairs and the fact that I do not walk much anymore in the downtown or elsewhere living in an area that is far from things might be the deal. It is near North St where there is public transportation. I would be about the same distance to The Bristal where Mom is and I have been driving to hospital and all the doctors that I see that are around there. I don’t think I would have trouble selling my apartment and it seems I avoided real damage from the apartment above me. I have been smelling something really bad like the sewer and even smelled it yesterday. 2A will have to fix this or pay for this. I am keeping a lot of notes so if I have to sue her I will.

There is no natural gas for stove, the basement is unfinished, and house has oil heat. There is no central air but I guess I can put it in because there seems to be an attic. Chimney seems to be an issue but I don’t have to use it. The house is not very high priced. Kitchen cabinets are dated but I can live with that and vanity upstairs can be replaced. The front steps can be avoided using the back exit that seems level with very large lawn area around the property. I would have no sidewalk to shovel and there is a garage.

Post April 19, 2023:

I found the pictures of the party my parents had for the Schneiders before they moved out of their home in Yonkers. I thought I had thrown them out but I just took them out of the many albums my mother had.

I grew up with Carole Sue Schneider who was killed by a drunk lorry driver in the UK. I think it was in Scotland and Rabbi Wise of NEJC helped get her body back to the states. I still remember this as if it was yesterday. Out of all the high school and childhood friends, Carole kept in contact with me. If I remember correctly, she had plans to go to law school but died so tragically at age 26.

Her family had a truly tough time dealing with this tragedy and when her father Sam (pictured here in the stripped shirt) died, I went to his funeral since my parents could not go. (Joan is cutting the cake in the first picture). I think my parents were in Florida when Sam died. I found myself standing at Carole’s grave. She is buried at Sharon Gardens in Valhalla.

My parents ended up buying funeral plots in the gardens (though they had plots on LI) and they got a plot for me. I took them on a tour of the famous at the larger cemetery Kensico. I even led a hike there and once took black and white photos that I developed.

My Dad took up permanent residence there in 2013. He was 93 on 9-11-2013. Seems Joan also died a yr later and she was 93 as well.

I used to visit my Dad along with my mother each yr and did go during Covid once. There was no one in the Cemetary in 2020 during the shutdown but it was so peaceful, and I knew I would be safe. Dad is near the train tracks.

I posted this first with just Madelyn (Carole’s younger sibling) but she never responded so I posted for all my friends. I don’t know where I was that day along with my siblings, but we are not in any of the pictures. Unfortunately, many of those pictured are no longer with us. My mother was a member of NEJC till she fell in her home and went to White Plains to live. I did ask her if she wanted me to take her there or even to the house, she lived in for 67 yrs but she was not up to this. She also hasn’t visited my father since 2019 but thinks of him always. I always said my parents were tied at the hip and till his death they did everything together.

I do have more info about Paul Harrison my father on my website sandraharrison1954.com. I also have posts about his mother and my mother’s mother and my grandfather’s third wife that I interviewed in my senior year for a Sociology paper on my ancestry. I recently put that paper on the website. I actually kept 2 papers from 1972 and the other was on Art of the times.

Sorry about how I scanned the pics but I am still getting used to my new computer. There were a lot of pics.

April 20, 2023:

Did my DNA again with CRI Genetics and the results were more like that of Heritage DNA than Ancestry Results. But the countries tracing to all parts of the world were quite weird. According to tests my mother’s ancestry originated in what is now Kenya. 2.5 % ancestry from Arabia and 11% from Europe (Greek, Eastern Slavic and French).

April 23, 2023:

What did you do for Earth Day?

I cleared out my bedroom closet and recycled some old clothes and gave away a bunch more that no longer fit. And, I had so many socks without pairs that I just let them go. Will bring Mom, some as well. Her clothing just seems to have gone in the last two years. She once had clothes in like 4 closets in multiple rooms. At least the shoes I got her haven’t disappeared.

Also bought some more plants to put in the areas around my apartment building outside. I got edible plants since I feel they might feed some creatures or even humans. Got Basel, peppers and some flowers. Trying to start some with seeds but also bought some starter plants.

Also got more rocks to paint with words to put in areas where the grass has gone so people can create rock poetry or just let them be. I once put some really nice one in the seating area I dedicated to my Dad but those disappeared. Love going to nurseries and the one in WP Amodio’s did not disappoint.

Also went to look at two houses but open house is tomorrow on Bursley Place (right near where I lived from 1980 to 1988) and another on Albermarle but I got lost.

April 24, 2023:

Went to open house here. House needs work but I love the house. I can’t explain it. Very close to Hospital and all or most of my doctors.

Lived in Highland neighborhood from 1980 to 1988 on Davis.

There is a laundry room and accessible bathroom with walk in shower on first floor. Accessible entrance is on side of house off driveway. The roof looks good and no signs of issues on upper floor.

There is a basement with horrible steps and 2 upper floors.

No central air but I could put in those more energy efficient systems they have now with wall air-conditioning with a machine that goes outside. I have one portable and in process of ordering a 2nd.

There is no street parking but is so on next block over. There is Druss Park that was empty of people, but they have improved it with tables and playground. There is fencing on both sides and in back.

Garage is in back and there is a fence stopping one from going back there that would have to come down. All seasoned room is a closed in porch really and steps to it on both sides needs work.

Don’t need all the rooms but steps to first floor were fine. Bathrooms could use some upgrades.

I would put in more rain gardens in backyard and trim all the bushes back away from entrance. Delivery people can park on driveway, and I think a delivery truck can also park for moving in and delivering big items. There are only two steps up to front door, but this can have a ramp. I would have to shovel sidewalk but very small. I would have to clear walk for mail. I could still walk into BD but longer walk. But these days I am driving more and getting food delivered along with lots of other things.

Fireplace in living room and house could use installation. Lots of crap lying about and will need a deep cleaning inside and out like I did with my mother’s house. Oil heat but has gas for stove. Maybe that can be switched? Garage is big but door to inside is very heavy. It is used for storage of yard things.

Tax is about $14,000 and I would reduce it with the Star Program and sometimes the Enhanced star since SS is not counted as income for this. I would then use deductibles and might use all my medical expenses. I pay little in state tax or very little so most of property tax would fall into the below $10,000. I would get a mortgage and after sale of apartment I can use the money to fix things up and pay off more of mortgage.

April 28, 2023:

Stew Leonard dies at age 93 on 4/27/23. Always loved his store in Norwalk where I went during my college days with a college friend Marlene Lambert and her family. They had live animals out front. Went back as an adult a number of times over the years.

Then Leonard opened stores in Danbury and Yonkers. Once visited the Danbury store while nearby antique hunting. My parents loved the Yonkers store. Me, not so much. Childhood friend, Maureen Howell worked there as a cashier till she retired.

Mostly hated Yonkers store because of the parking lot. It was a traffic nightmare and I always thought I would get hit by someone either parking or walking. Mom though had no problems, and I went with her a number of times. Dad of course liked the samples.

My parents often shopped for groceries together at Finest while I was growing up. Sometimes I came along. Dad would get items while I pushed the cart, unload things at check out and pack up everything in paper bags (no plastic back in 60’s). He drove home and then would help take the packages to and from the car.

Oh, course in later life, my parents would go to stores alone especially when Dad retired. If I remember right, Mom thought Dad would always come home with some things not on the list like sweets. Either they went to Shoprite on Tuckahoe Rd or they would go to Stews. Dad also liked the ice cream cones he could get before going into the store. But, my father never seemed to gain weight and Mom would say he weighs what he did when they were first married (1949).

Like a Whole Foods and Turco’s of today, Stews was a very different place to shop. It wasn’t like Cosco, but many would stock up on certain items. They had items that went from the floor to way up above my head. The prepared foods sections and the fish/meat departments were just great.

Realize Stew retired a while ago but I do remember seeing from a boat his mansion off the coast of Norwalk. Went on a boat ride with Audubon who had these great Norwalk Harbor Bird Watching Tours that I see are still happening. They took us to a bunch of islands and I got an appreciation for bird watching back in my day. I used to see a lot of birds hiking in the woods during my younger days. I still wonder at all the birds I see in my neighborhood.

My Dad lived to 93 dying on 9-11-2013 and my mom is still kicking. She will be 92 this June 29. She sure is putting up a good fight to beat the odds of most of her family who died much younger. Her Mom died when she was 16 and she married at 18 to a guy that her father felt was not good enough. Dad born in Manhattan in 1920 came from a very poor Russian family. Parents actually met at a party that was down the hall from her apartment house in the Bronx. Dad was 11 yrs older than Mom. Mom had graduated from HS early and was working as a secretary in Manhattan not far from Empire State building.

And, so I ramble but my parents were very much glued to each other at the hip I would say. It was hard to separate them.

When I moved back from Maine in 1977 (after 18 months working as their first Sp Ed teacher), they were more than happy for me to come back to their Yonkers home till I could afford to move out as I did in 1980 after working at WPHS for two years.

As my siblings moved away to different states, my folks would often want me to go with them to restaurants and other places. Stews was one of those places. Even though I lived in White Plains, they would travel up to get me to take me out to dinner or to go somewhere else. I even took them to Broadway to see Arsenic and Old Lace (got tickets with TDF) that had a bunch of old famous actors like Jean Stapleton. By the time we got to the theater, I had to sit between them when they started arguing in the restaurant, we went to first.

Hope the Leonard family knows what a wonderful contribution their father made to those of us who have to shop for groceries and to those children who loved visiting the goats, chicks and cows. For many of us it was our first experience with farm animals up close and personal.

Post April 29, 2023:

Started composting in a small bin in my kitchen. Want to eliminate most of my garbage. I will be taking the scraps to White Plains Recycle Center since they started collecting scraps a number of yrs. ago.

Years ago, I asked my management to start composting in the back part of our building, but they weren’t interested. They could have mulched the leaves & made their own compost for their many bushes, flowers and trees growing on the property. I was willing to get the equipment needed for this and even would start a small community garden (off the ground in one of those boxes they sell) but this also was a no go.

Maybe, if I find my own house, I can do this. Also growing some plants to put outside in the memorial for Anderson and Harrison that I created in my neighborhood. I have tried growing grass, and some did grow by Anderson/Harrison memorial but too many people walk near the benches I paid for that city put in 2014. A lot of erosion there with some exposed areas under the benches now where there are anchors. This is with another two benches nearer to Main St. The dirt is so dry it is now sand in areas.

Also started putting out some rocks in an area under a maple tree near my building on Franklin with some have words on them. It is for rock poetry. So far the rocks I put out are still there. Some guy on a FB group I belong to said I should use nontoxic paint.

Next is to cover or paint the rusty metal on Amherst that I have asked city to get property owner to remove. The owner is in NYC and 2 lots were supposed to be an apartment building, but it never happened. Had to report to state about it being a zombie property because the city did nothing. Recently they cleared the two lots but this rusty thing is right by Amherst sidewalk that needs to be redone and across from Eastview where all 6th graders in district go to school. It is a hazard and ugly. Thinking of putting a garbage bag over it and attaching dog treats on it since people use the lots to walk dogs.

Being manic gets my juices going and I am doing like 10 different things at the same time. It’s crazy but productive.

April 29, 2023:

Composting isn’t difficult and the bins at Recycle Center were pretty full. I ordered recyclable bags and the process will be even easier next time. They take almost all food stuff, napkins, paper towels. I don’t have a smelling trash can anymore. The can I got for composting has a charcoal filter on top. Looks like lots of people are cutting their trash by recycling, giving away things and composting.

TILI shed wasn’t open but did not get an alert that it closed with the rain. I want to see if I can replace a chair and a table that I put in my mother’s apartment. I regret not taking the 2nd chair that she has in her unit that is very comfortable for guests that someone in my building put out for White Plains to take away.

City also has compost, dirt, chips, firewood for residents and one can recycle e waste, metal, and clothing. Wish they took air conditioners, but I did the last time with Westchester Recycling center in Valhalla and except for a car ride, it was really easy. I could also visit my Dad who I haven’t in a year. He is at just a few blocks away in Sharon Gardens.

Post April 29, 2023:

Update on Mom.

Made a few more changes to her setup to help her with the sight going. Stuck a toilet paper holder next to toilet on vanity and a see-through holder stuck to tiles in shower to hold shampoos and other items. Found things with Command company.

Found some of her shirts in the wrong drawers but at least I found them. Someone this week gave her washed socks without pairing them up. This is crazy. Mom pays like $10,000 a month now and they can’t put her socks together?

Some left the window open but at least the pollen in air went down to moderate (for trees). My nose stopped running as well and the rain helps a lot. Two days.

I realized that when and if Mom runs out of money, she can go into a senior building in White Plains and get 24 hr care with Medicaid. I will need to keep records going back 3 yrs for this while nursing homes require a look back of 5 yrs. The senior building on Franklin Av where I live was intended for handicapped. But they might have an age cut off at 95. Or I can find her an apartment and if I get a house and still kicking, I can put her in a room. This is why I rooms and bathroom on the main floor. A ranch is best but not many come up for sale.

Post April 29, 2023:

Radiation Treatment starts this week on Tuesday with positioning. They figure out area to beam radiation. Will have to lie still with positioning pillows holding my body in place. Feel like I am on Star Trek where they put people in a machine to give treatment.

Will then have 5 treatments every other day. Will be able to drive home. Might start that on May 9.

Am also concerned about kidneys and taking Jardiance added to my cocktail of meds. Stomach churning this morning and had to throw up though there was nothing there but liquid. Urine labs came out online, but they don’t seem really off. I am sure my Endocrinologist will call me about this and then she did around 1:15. Was she hearing my writing?

It is all a bit scary.

Post April 29, 2023:

My building made a few accommodations for me. They moved recycle bin away form my mailbox as I suggested. They also installed a light near my car.

My windows were fixed and the drain outside my kitchen was finally cleared. I had a small pond on what I call my terrace (upper garage). It is not great but better than what I had before where it was so dark going in and out of my trunk.

They still haven’t removed the couch in lobby liked I asked where this one woman who might weigh 80 lbs sits for hours. She attracts others who end up blocking my pathway through the lobby. She is nosey and was transferring packages from one side of lobby to the other. I also asked for this to be leveled so there are no stairs.

Yesterday, she was sweeping up the carpets that I walk on through the lobby. She did not move for me to pass. I told her this is a liability for our building because she is not insured as our employees are. And, it is their job, not hers. Sweeper (pan and broom) was in an unlocked closet in laundry room. I asked for this to be put in office that is locked. She also lets people in who should be buzzed in by residents. She is in a rent subsidized apartment and doesn’t share in the costs, so this is a liability. Our maintenance has gone up every year now (3 to 5%).

She also this week (Mon) had the nerve to come off the couch to tell me that the super was at lunch when he told me to come back after I went to doctors. Now she is keeping tabs on the Super and everyone else. They would not give me a shareholder list as law in NY allows because of privacy concerns but they allow this person and others to butt into our lives and talk about them to others. She wears a heavy mask like the same one every day but the safest place is in her apartment and not where many pass through.

I do not feel safe with her living in our buildings lobby for part of the day.

This is why I want to move.

I feel like I am in a senior living facility.

Also found a ramp that would help in garage and sent them a picture. The step into garage and out is too high.

Post April 30, 2023:

Wow, this house was great. I would have to make a ramp in one entrance like in back, but it was so clean and nice. I asked agent to put a bid on house. I know there will be a bidding war.


Diary of a Mad Jewish; Eggless Woman Venting & Doing Lots of Soul-Searching May 2023

Continuation of Facebook entries for May 2023

MAY 2023

Post May 1, 2023:

May first and the sun came out. Will it soon be time to put those plantings outside?

Put all my FB posts this year on my website for: “Diary of a Mad Jewish & Eggless Woman Venting & Doing Lots of Soul Searching.”

Changed the title when I heard that Kansas state just defined a woman as one who produces ova (eggs).

Also heard MTG badger Randi Weingarten (Head of AFT) this week saying she was not a real mother (because she did not actually have the child through her womb), teacher (because she no longer teaches) or a doctor because she has a Doctorate but is not a medical licensed doctor.

This requirement for being a mother to be being a teacher or even a good one was one I heard a lot during my 33.5 yrs. of teaching. Being a mother is not a requirement to teach otherwise men would not be able to teach or be good ones.

Post May 2, 2023:

Radiation Treatment-

Went today for positioning for radiation treatment. It was not at all what I expected and will have to have like radiation every day for a month starting at the end of next week and going till June 5.

After drinking barium, I had to lie very still on what seems like a CT Scan machine completely topless. Hands go over head, but they had two handles for me to hold onto. After what seemed like a long time (25 min or more) they came out and put little markers (tats) on the outside of my abdomen area. Room is kept cold, and it was hard for me not to move or sneeze. Thank heavens I bought a bottle of water before going into the lowest floor of the cancer center.

Also found out I lost out on the house on Crane Ave and will be looking at one at 30 Ridgeview Ave in the Fisher Hill neighborhood. I will have to check out the terrain and it is near the Bronx River and train.

Post May 4, 2023:

Used to think San Diego CA was the best place in the US to live weather wise. It was though expensive otherwise. But, with climate change, so has San Diego. What a shame. I remember going there one summer for a class and a combined vacation. Stayed in a person’s home who did a Bed and Breakfast thing. Rented a really cheap car (Rent a Wreck) and it was such a wreck that it had to be replaced.

Post May 5, 2023:

IRS actually helped my Mother with her taxes. Mother just got a refund from IRS that was charged as a penalty for not paying pre-taxes last yr though I I told the H&R Block guy this. Mom did not pay taxes last year so there was no penalties but luckily IRS caught this and gave a refund. Of course she had to pay taxes of about $3000 but by paying it on April 15, she saved some with interest she got on that money.

I still have to research the survivor benefit she gets from Dad but haven’t had time to do this. I would have had to do my mother’s taxes over for 2022 but IRS saved me time and energy. That was a nice surprise. Now with her added medical costs, I don’t think she will have to pay taxes for 2023.

I still have to do mine over since investment company sent me a revision. Maybe I can do that myself but I will see. Being manic actually makes me more productive.

Post May 6, 2023

This copy is a prayer my mother gave me long ago that got me through some tough times dealing with impossible situations and impossible people. I hope it helps you.

Found it while clearing and cleaning my apartment. Not religious, but I do believe in the power of prayer.

Other food for thought:

“You are what you eat, but you become what you think.”

“There are no failures, but lessons to be learned,” and this came from a Barbara Streisand song. I used to play it at work and posted it so my students would understand that everyone makes mistakes and has problems, but it is how we handle them that truly makes the difference. You can’t overcome anything unless you want it.

“Mind over matter.”

May be an image of text




Diary of a Mad Jewish; Eggless Woman Venting & Doing Lots of Soul-Searching February- March 2023

These are from posts from my Facebook page for 2023 with a bit of tweaking.


Post February 17, 2023:

Have not posted much lately. Last yr, had surgery and then chemo for 6 months. Diagnosed with 4th stage endometrial cancer. Chemo was effective though cancer can pop up anywhere at anytime. Surgeon keeps mentioning radiation therapy for vagina but if there are no problems, I just would rather wait.

Not my first cancer. Had thyroid removed in 2014 but had radioactive therapy after.

Have been cleaning up my own apartment feeling less depressed.

Taking care of my mother’s issues and doing all her financial business is very difficult and stressful.

I just wish after 6 months my hair would grow more than an inch or so.

Post February 20, 2023:

Negativity has impacted my life and the rest of the world. It is not helping my outlook. Wish people would stop blaming everyone else for not only their own problems but ones that we have no control over. We have to adapt and change to improve our lives. Start with yourself. Tired of the talking heads, media and government officials not looking for workable solutions that one can actually achieve in the short term. Waiting for gun control, or someone to protect you from violence is not working.

My mother always told me to take money for the mugger when I ventured to unsafe places like downtown Yonkers when I lived there decades ago or NYC when crime was really rampant during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I still try to carry fewer things especially valuables. Being aware of those around you is most important. When someone is right behind me, nipping at my heels, I move over and let them pass. I even do this driving when I can. I hate having a parade behind me.

I started purging my Twitter account of those I follow that just bring me negativity. It is easy to blame the government, but I always look for ways of improving my life and the area I live in. My block is more important, than a block in Memphis. These are lessons I learned while teaching and I have to remember to apply them to myself.

Over the last year, I let things go in my apartment. I had so little energy to change things and the clutter just mounted. Having cancer and going through chemo drained me a lot. I am just starting to feel better. I’ve been burdened with helping my mother and let my own life go.

I still don’t feel like travelling or even going into a grocery store. I haven’t been to the Met for 3 yrs though I am a member. I let my TDF membership lapse since I haven’t seen a play in years. I could have gone to plays in my own City but sitting in a theater gives me willies.

I just want to feel better and dispel all that negative energy. Letting go of the things I cannot change will help.

Post February 27 2023:

Being sick (believe I have a cold) while getting manic is making it hard to get much sleep. I am getting a lot done finally cleaning up things and throwing out a lot of papers of which most are my mother’s. She kept a lot of papers and records going back decades.

I left my mother’s taxes at H& R Block but I haven’t heard back yet. I did call but got no call back. My mother might have been paying taxes since 2013 on a death benefit she got when my Dad died all when the H & R guy I go to found that this income was not counted. This is the difference of owing either over $3000 or just $90 for 2022. He had to research this. I did some of my own and I just can’t concentrate on figuring it out myself. It is possible her accountant all these years that I decided not to go to this year had been doing things wrong. I can only redo 3 yrs going back and Mom paid no taxes last yr with her medical expenses being so high.

I found more papers to help with this in my mother’s stuff but it is complicated. I downloaded Form 721 and there is a worksheet for this.

I also have to redo my own since one of my investments 1099 sent me an updated changed form. I had the same thing happen last year. I guess I will have to wait next time till March to do my taxes. I lost so much money last year with my investments but still had capital gains. Luckily, I am getting a refund unlike last year where I had to pay more with penalties. I even had to pay state income tax last yr and that was first time since 2010. Love the NY State pension that is not taxed by NY. I had considered moving to CT when I retired but my pension would have been taxed in CT. CT is not a cheap state to live in and I believe more so than NY in areas bordering CT. I found a great place in Sheldon CT but there were no doctors on my plan there. I would have to go to Bridgeport. I did my student teaching in Sheldon CT. It sure had changed since the 70’s but it is a nice place. They still have cows and farms. When I was at Sheldon High School, the school had just opened and there was an announcement for the students to stop messing with the cows that were in pasture by the school. It was hard for me to believe that Sheldon had dairy farms but they did.

Doing my mother’s taxes is less complicated but adding up all the medical bills is a nightmare. I had papers all over the place and that made things more difficult. I was smart to pay the bills either with checking account (mostly online) or with a credit card. I had to give all my mother’s accounts the POA and that was a job in itself. I actually spend more time on my mother’s bills than my own and this is after I got rid of her house and car. I still have to deal with Yonkers since Mom gets her Medicare premiums back from her former employer. I recently signed a form to have it come with direct deposit. This will save me time going to her bank to make deposits. I also get more mail for my mother than I get. Somehow even the people I did not send a change of address have found her new mailing address that is mine and I get so much junk mail. Mom, gets mail at her apartment as well. She gets ads for local grocery stores even. When she was away, this box accumulated quite a bit of mail that I had to go through. Mom can’t read much anymore. She did request a large clock that I spoke to her about and it came but not going over to see her till I am sure my cold is gone.

Mom has been losing it. She even had to call the lobby to get the name of the place she is living in. Someone from her days of going to Senior Centers in Yonkers called and Mom couldn’t remember where she was to tell the caller who she forgot her name though she wrote it down. Can’t read her notes. I wonder if I should get her diagnosed with legal blindness but tax guy didn’t think it would change much for her on her taxes. Mom’s macro degeneration is no longer stoppable with injections. She had been getting those for years and I drove her to those appointments for years and it was a long trip for me and even her through the streets from one side of Yonkers to the other. Mom, though had to go out to a restaurant she liked in area. It was a nice place but I would have rather just going back home. Gianna’s was the place. We even took out take out during shut down eating a wedge in the parking lot. It was really good.

I am sorry I am rambling, but Mom told me to write things down. I might copy and put on my website. It does help to get things out. These last 3 yrs have been difficult with Covid and all. We are expecting snow tonight, but it will just get washed away with the rain that follows. It is so cold that Mayor sent out a message about it on Facebook. Don’t ever recall getting a message about that before. We did have cold weather in Dec.

MARCH 2023

Post March 4, 2023:

Feeling better today. Did take a Covid test on Thurs. Made a trip to my mother’s and got there when she was at lunch.

Bought her a large digital clock but she can’t read it. I put in some more organizers and took home things.

There was no light in closet. She is paying about $8000 a month, and no one can fix her light?

The balloons I got her for Feb 14 are starting to lose air. I don’t understand how she could have used two bars of soap from then when she had 5 bars and can’t see them anywhere being used. Mom has liquid soap as well. Found her shampoo under sink when it should be in shower area. Next time I open soap wrappers so no one can use them somewhere else. I did this with toothpaste.

Room was pretty neat for my mother but there was a ton of napkins. She is like a squirrel gathering things from building.

She is losing it mentally and her friend called me because she can’t get Mom on the phone. Her friend who is older fell in home and hurt elbow so was in nursing home for months. Now she is at Assistive Living for a trial stay. I told her I had tried getting her from my mom’s apartment but we had no luck with the 2 numbers we have.

Still haven’t heard from H & R Block on Mom’s taxes. I tried calling buy guy did not call me back. Now I have to redo mine getting an update from my investments. What a pain doing taxes. I am expecting a refund but might get it before I file a change to my taxes. Last year the same thing happened and got $25 back after paying much more with penalties. Getting SS throws off everything and between gains in 2020 to big loses in 2021 I can’t figure things out.

I am at least cleaning up my apartment that went downhill last year. Donate things at Greendrop (books, hospital gowns my mother no long uses, sanitary napkins I no longer need and went to Recycle yard in city to get rid of an old cell phone, fabric and metal items.

I dread going to Oncologist this week. I hope she doesn’t recommend anything and just takes blood. My last blood tests cost over $2000 with Endocrinologist though I will not be charged. My two long time doctors change management and now hospital is involved. They charge too much for blood work.

Post March 5 2023:

Tomorrow is Purim. I was looking for those Hamantaschen cookies; the soft kind that I’ve gotten in a bakery, but White Plains Bakery was closing in 30 min.

Then saw a listing for Patisserie Bakery, and it said it was in the Daido Market (an Asian/Japanese grocery) on Mamaroneck Av. I decided to check it out though I doubted I would get the cookie I sought.

It wasn’t so easy to spot the very small bakery inside the store, but it was there. When I pointed out to the woman who was running the bakery that Patisserie means French bakery, she insisting it was a Japanese Bakery. There is a combo here as there were some macarons. In Japan there are French bakeries but, in this case, there was more of the Japanese influence.

I watched too many Japanese TV shows in my life and read too many Manga stories. My ending I came up with for the very popular and famous Manga called “Nana” gets a lot of hits from people all around the world. The author of Nana got sick and never finished the series. I gave my take on how the story ends.

I did pick up some huge shrimps that I will cook up with the salmon I have.

Enjoy the holiday. It has great relevance to what is going on in our country and in Israeli. Those protests are something in Israel with a fight for democracy.

Post March 11, 2023:

On manic Friday, I visited Mom. Finished reorganizing everything and brought her some new clothes. She was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Her clothes seem to be disappearing and much of it doesn’t fit her anymore. I have to guess on the size and have to put labels in everything. Some of the older labels have washed away so I sew in labels I had printed up.

I sorted socks and found over 13 single socks without a matching pair. Two were damaged so I tossed in garbage. When I had to get clothes for her stay in Rehab, I was so frustrated by those socks all thrown in with her bras. It was a nightmare; I don’t want to repeat.

I still can’t find a lot of things I bought her before but everything in closest on one big shelf is all thrown together. Most of the hangers that had pants and tops hanging are empty. I got her some shoe hanging shelves to hang from where hangers go and at least she can find the new shoes I got her. She was wearing them.

I called for her to get a haircut and she got one yesterday after I left. I finally got a list of her meds. Though I have a right to all things Harriet, I am often not informed. Still get notices about doctors who saw Mom that I didn’t know about or were told there would be no extra charge. Mom just can’t remember everything or gets things mixed up. She has also lost her long-term memory.

Took home the last clock that she had that was from her home in Yonkers. It had my dad’s name on it for some reason. I got Mom a large digital clock but she can’t see it well so I moved her chair she has in room closer to the TV.

I did not have the energy to have her try on her old jackets because I doubt, they will fit her, but I did get a warm cape to drape over her for wheelchair use.

I went to Oncologist on Thurs, and we spoke about radiation therapy, but I don’t have anything going on in my vagina. They are scheduling another CT. I am dehydrated after getting a call yesterday from nurse there so I have to go back next week for more blood work. I hate this constant monitoring and procedures. It wears me out.

I had to park at a garage not near Cancer Center but up a hill and my left leg was bothering me, so it took forever to walk. They have free valet parking, but I would rather park car myself. Parking lot was kind of full and very unlike it was the last time I parked.

One walk signal at Chester was out and the area from Longview to Chester is filthy with litter/leaves all over. Gilda’s club is the worst. They don’t clean their sidewalk area and full of cardboard and those masks. Their steps had old leaves and litter.

I was afraid I might get hit crossing legally cause the cars are very aggressive and turn on the red light without letting me cross first. There is a blinking light to cross by Cancer Center that cars ignore. I took elevators in Longview garage to get back up the hill without killing myself. It is very steep here.

I am a bit afraid of what the weather is out today. Irish parade is today so it will be cold and wet. I ordered a food delivery from Whole Foods.

Post March 14 2023:

Got out for a change. Winter was brewing up a wind with snow and what looked like small bits of ice (or hail). I needed to walk. Pharmacy did not have everything, so I went to Target and made stops at bank and H & R Block who has yet to finish Mom’s taxes.

Best of all there was little traffic and I crossed streets when I didn’t have the right of way.

Post March 18, 2023

My sister Irene turns 71 on Monday and will bring a bit of Spring with her when she visits with my mother tomorrow A few of us will be eating together at the Bristal with my Mom to celebrate her lucky day. They have a dining room where we get to eat the Bristal’s dining choices. No menu ahead of time.

Post March 21, 2023

Rewards and/or Discounts.

Do you have reward programs & discounts?

With prices of goods and services going up you might want to take advantage of some of the rewards and/or discounts that are offered here in WP or anywhere else. Like Martha Stewart once said, “It is a good thing.”

Places to get discounts/rewards:

Shoprite at City Center: Weekly coupons, Price card discounts; free main entree for major holidays when you use price card; 1 hr for parking.

Stop & Shop: Weekly coupons; price card discounts.

Whole Foods: Discounts at store with Amazon Prime membership; free parking

Microsoft: Offers rewards for using search engine and coupons for items ordered online.

White Plains Parking; Get a discount with keys for meters for $75 when using certain garages at certain times. See city website for this.

White Plains BID; Discount card available to be used at various retail venues in city.

Feel free to add to the list in your comments. Some offers might have been discontinued while others might have happened since posting.

Post March 22, 2023

Will never surrender to a false god,

Even if it means being alone.

Never was a follower,

Made my own path in my journey of life.

It can be lonely sometimes.

But I would rather be dead,

Then give my soul to a false god.

Never will be a sheep,

Blindly following the herd.

I will then forge forward with my eyes wide open,

Even as I lose my sight.

Want to make up my own mind,

Live my own true self,

To be truly free.

Standing on top of the mountain,

Or on top of a building.

Looking down at what is the glorious Earth.

Letting in the sunshine,

Exposing every bit of me,

Letting out my fears.

Time to break out of my isolated pandemic life.

And get back to the things I once enjoyed.

Scared, yes.

But it is time.

How about you?

Post March 23, 2023

Held back a lot this past year and finally decided to let everything go. You can unfollow me if you are tired of reading my rantings.

I now have to have another scan. This time a PT scan. First told it would be a CT scan but then Onocologist Office and Hospital kept calling driving me crazy about both being approved. One woman even suggested having both scans in one day. Problem though is CT with contrast conflicts with my kidney that is elevated. Have to see a specialist about my kidney issues. Finally found an opening that wasn’t in June. Never been to kidney specialist. I’ve had my blood tested more times than I can count that I am beginning to think these people taking my blood work for vampires.

My poor Mom now has conjunctivitis and an infection on her lower legs. I was visiting when doctor came in her room. My mother had no idea what was happening. I think the women who come to my mother’s door and ask her if she needs help going to bathroom don’t realize my mother can’t hear them. One kept coming to her door while I was on phone and I could not understand her either. Don’t they realize my mother is practically deaf?

I am the last to find out things. Just got another bill from an ambulance company from Feb. I should be told what is going on with POA and Health proxy. Oy vey.

There’s an expression I say, “When it rains, it pours.”

If you have gotten this far in reading my dissertation just have a wonderful day.

Post March 24, 2023

How has your life changed since Covid?

I stay home more & get more deliveries.

Yesterday, I got my 1st same day home delivery from Target. I’m not talking about ordering things online that I have done many times but actually ordering a doorstep delivery where in just a few hours I get a delivery.

I live maybe 4 blocks from Target at City Center in WP and as I used to say its just 4 NYC blocks (20 blocks = 1 mi) so it is just a little way from my building. I started out ordering a few things but ended up adding more to the order. And, it came in just 2 hours. And it all went great. I will have to try that again. They have food as well as dry goods.

Post March 25, 2023:

I know I am getting old when I now have to hire someone to change my light bulbs.

Tried changing bulbs in ceiling fan in kitchen but bulb came out but not the metal end that is still in socket. Had to change 2 and just a complete failure. Getting on a ladder is scary these days.

My building requires all sorts of permissions to do repairs and remodels. I am just going to call someone cause the fan was already approved and it is just a light bulb that needs changing. Living in a Co-op can be very annoying with the rules and rule changes that are not even updated in a single listing.

Post March 25, 2023:

My grandparents are buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY and it is on Long Island. My parents have 2 plots there but don’t know where.

Mom said, her father’s 2nd wife Jean was buried next to them but I told her I don’t see it. Asked for a pic since my mother has been paying for the care of plot and grass area. It is $129 for yr but I don’t see what she is paying for.

This was taken now but don’t know what she is paying for. My Dad is buried in Valhalla at Sharon Gardens. There are 2 plots there for Mom and I.

I tried to make the pic clearer but could not fix with a scan. I can’t read much off the one they sent me after I called.

Post March 27, 2023:

Mom, was more there today. At least she knew who it was.

For some reason I feel like a Passover Sedar, so I am going to do it with my mother.

I ordered a 30 min Haggadah, that I will have to read it to her. I am sure she will remember things. I also decided to prepare a Sedar Plate. I will be making a Brisket with veggies kosha style but not with kosha meat that I am getting from Whole Foods. Mom wanted not too sweet grape juice so I ordered a sparkling kind that we can water down.

I will have to bring everything and got a reservation in The Bristal’s Country Kitchen with a noon time (all others were taken) and because we can’t eat in her room, I will have to bring everything over in a cooler.

I started cooking again a couple of months ago and figure I can make a brisket using a method I found online. I am not going to use a Dutch Oven, but I can brown meat on stove and then put it in oven covered with the veggies (onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots) all, but mushrooms all cut up. I got tomato sauce, Worcestershire Sauce for the sauce. I ordered a red cooking wine so will add that as well with spices. Mom told me how to make the Charoset and I looked it up as well. I am just using apples, chopped walnuts with cinnamon and wine. Mom said just a little of cinnamon, but I have never made it before so whatever it tastes like it will do. I even ordered a lamb leg that we can add to brisket.

Not sure they will come in time but ordered marzipan fortune cookies that I found on Esty. They look they are made with matza.

I was going to order food from The Seasons in Scarsdale, but they have meals for 6 with a Seder plate. I could have got prepared meal from Epstein’s as well but I already get delivery from Whole Foods so will do this since I know I can depend on them. Whole Foods has prepared meals for Passover, but one has to pick them up. I will be making food in the days before April 5.

Have a PT Scan tomorrow and see that Kidney Specialist and trying to not eat foods that turn up trouble for kidneys. I remember something in my last scan with my kidneys but probably was a small kidney stone. Just found out that Montefiore has a 3D CT scan for colorectal cancer. I am overdue for one. Though I have had 5 previous ones. I could have colon cancer as grandfather had on mother’s side and they have been poking about my breast for years.

I once smashed my car before a mammogram. I did it in my garage and though the building had no damage I ruined one side of my car. Took over 2 months to get that fixed. They just replace the parts these days. My parts had to come from Japan. This was in 2017 so I can’t imagine having a crash these days. I had a Legacy but now have a Crosstrek Subaru. Love the car but Mom can’t get in it without a lot of prodding.

I also felt a bit like having a bit of fun to see if anyone notices. I got those plastic eggs filled with candy and plan to put in Tibbits Park on Easter morning and if someone finds the right number that I will post, I will give them a free book. I announced on my FB page for White Plains, New York: A City of Contrasts but so far no reactions.

Post March 27, 2023:

Shopped today at a bunch of stores but the last was Bloomingdale’s.

It was a surprise to see Sheila in the shoe department. I really went nuts buying things that I held back buying for years. Got some items for 20% off and then there are rewards. Bought something on all floors except the lowest one.

I think I saw someone else shopping for clothes who I once worked with at WPHS. She taught French and even became the head of the Dept.

Small world. It was a nice day for shopping.

Post March 27, 2023:

o Family. I have done a bit of research on the relatives on both sides. I have done what I could with the family tree on Ancestry.com. If you are interested in knowing more about the Schild (maternal side) and or the Harrison (paternal) line you can contact me and if you have something to add, please feel free to contact me.

My mother used to get calls from relatives looking for information on our ancestry. I am still looking for the reason for the Harrison surname and might have found something. Grandfather on paternal side and his father came together to US by way of England after leaving Russian (but today is Ukraine). Louie the younger brother came later. Names were often changed on the ships before landing.

I have done my DNA with two companies and had my mother’s done with the 2nd. First with My Heritage showed Nigerian and Sephardic Jewish from N Africa. Ancestry showed 100% Ashkenazi Jewish but now they are tracing back across Russia to China.

I ordered another kit to do genetic tracing for medical conditions.

I also keep a website and there is a post on Paul Harrison who was my father and info on my DNA/Ancestry.

Post March 29, 2023:

I am losing it. Got like 5 hours of sleep but from 8:30pm to 1:30am Thought today was Tuesday and had a scan yesterday. Too much stress.

Ordered a delivery of food last night for 10-12 and Verizon is now coming at 1?

Then I think I went crazy after getting a notice that Covid cases have popped up at the Bristal again. Mother and I will have to mask up again. Hate that more than anything.

The front desk kept calling me about the Country Kitchen reservation and wanted me to know that there are no plates, cups etc. I knew this and my mother has goods in her apartment for a picnic. I just wanted to know if they had a microwave and they do along with a refrigerator.

Also found out in conversation that The Bristal is having a Passover Seder for the 2nd night at 4pm. After they will go to dining room to eat. That my mother had no idea about but has to sign up. They make announcements but not sure where. My mother can’t hear the announcements and can’t see the written notices posted in elevator or ones at the front desk.

Did find out that exercise is at 10:30 and the escorts take her there over an hour early just not to get her out of her room where she wants to go after breakfast. She prefers using bathroom in her room and with a walker.

She is doing very little walking and uses wheelchair to go to meals/activities. It is a long walk even for me.

They are supposed to guide her to using the bathroom, but they shout in room from door asking her if she needs anything. My mother does not hear this and that is not a prompt to go to bathroom. She is paying for this service. I tell her to go on the phone so there will not be accidents like she has had twice when I happened to be there. Woman is still closing the blinds so it is dark in the room. Mother needs sunlight to see anything. There is a Wellness Dept that I have spoken to them about all this. I even got an email about these problems.

It is very frustrating to constantly tell The Bristal to do the right thing. She is paying thousands each month for this service. And, I don’t need to watch over everything. My mother is very nice, but they should not be dictating to her where and when she needs an escort.

Post March 29. 2023:

Remember, you cannot control anyone else’s behavior. But you can change your own behavior to affect the behavior of others.

For instance, if a person is shouting at you. one has a few choiceson responding. You can ignore them, but this takes a lot to curb anyone’s behavior. The person will just get louder and even resort to violence when you ignore them. And, it takes a lot of self-control to do this (behavior modification 101). Or you can talk back to them in a very low voice and I mean so low that they have to be quiet to hear you. It will drive them nuts and you have to stand your ground and just talk softly and say your peace. Telling someone they are loud and to stop yelling only gets more yelling. I used this at work and it takes a lot of practice to learn these simple techniques.

They also can be applied to everything else.

NYC is putting in new benches in some stations but putting a 90 min limit on their use. The homeless often stay the day and sleep on these benches. In London when I went their bus stops had no nice benches but there was a bar that one could lean on while waiting. No one slept on the bar, and I got to sit.

When I paid for benches in WP, the city would only allow the ones with a bar across the middle to prevent sleeping. We actually have a law about sleeping on benches and one cannot take up the two spaces for sitters.

But without enforcement that is not going to happen, people in NYC will just stay all day on the benches. In Grand Central this has become a problem in the food court where the limit is 20 min but the police there do not enforce the rules.

One has to think outside the box and come up with something that will force a person to adjust their behavior.

Post March 29, 2023:

Got my lamb shank and that brisket. Put it in freezer for next week.

I am after 68 years making my first Seder. Always went to Moms.

Got any suggestions on roasting the lamb and the egg?

Post March 30, 2023:

Got results of my scan, but I will have to wait for doctor to help me interpret the results. Meanwhile I have to see a Kidney Specialist tomorrow.

Stunned about DT being indicted. I just can’t believe it is happening and I pray that NYC will come through this safely. I guess a trip to the MET might not be a good idea right now.

“The City of White Plains Completes 6.8 MW Community Solar Portfolio

The City of White Plains and DSD Renewables (DSD) have completed the construction of a nine-site, 6.8 megawatt (MW) community solar portfolio, the largest municipal solar energy deployment in Westchester County, New York. The portfolio is expected to generate 8,100 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually, tripling the amount of solar energy produced in Westchester County and enough to power more than 700 homes each year. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) was the City’s energy advisor for the project.

The portfolio consists of canopy, rooftop, and ground-mount installations at four parking garages, Gillie Park, the Ebersole Ice Rink, Gedney Way Recycling Facility, Water Storage Site and the Sanitation Complex. Energy storage systems totaling 1.76 MW / 8 MWh were also installed at the Recycling Facility and the Shapham Place parking garage.

White Plains Mayor Roach said, “The City partnered with New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Distributed Solar Development (DSD) to create a successful 6.8 MW community solar portfolio that will not only benefit residents today, but future generations. Public-private partnerships will drive the proliferation of clean-energy projects through New York State creating a robust renewable energy market. I am grateful to NYPA and DSD for their counsel and collaboration during this project.” Mayor Roach continued, “We are in a climate crisis and are obligated to recognize the urgency and take deliberate action to build a sustainable, resilient planet. The City of White Plains will continue to serve as a sustainability leader by investing in and implementing renewable energy initiatives that will meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The city, as well as residents and local businesses subscribed to the community solar project, will receive a 10% discount for credits applied to their energy bill. Between energy cost savings and lease payments for hosting the systems, the installations are expected to deliver approximately $1M in value annually to the City of White Plains.

NYPA is the acting energy advisor for the project, providing oversight to ensure it’s well-structured and maximizes energy, environmental and economic benefits for White Plains. NYPA also helped the city with the competitive bid process to select a qualified vendor for the comprehensive city-wide project.

“The New York Power Authority is pleased to have played a key role in helping the City of White Plains create an expansive, unique portfolio of solar and storage systems that offer renewable energy to reduce the region’s carbon footprint,” said Justin E. Driscoll, Interim President and CEO of NYPA. “As the commercial hub of Westchester County, White Plains is setting an example for other communities looking to develop alternative clean energy options. Hopefully other municipalities will follow suit and help our state further advance its bold climate action goals.”

The projects incorporated several infrastructure improvements, such as a new roof for the Ebersole Ice Rink and an innovative enclosed solar canopy storage area for the water department, which avoided significant capital spending by the city. The canopies across many sites feature a proprietary integrated water management system that manages water from rain and snow melt.

At the Gedney Way Recycling Facility, DSD’s innovative canopy team designed the first floating foundation canopy mounted on a landfill cap. Additionally, two canopy systems at the site incorporate sidewalls to store and protect city equipment.

“We’re honored to be a part of a portfolio that has been so transformational for the City of White Plains,” says David Eisenbud, Senior Director of Business Development for DSD’s Origination group. “Our expertise and design capabilities have enabled us to overcome the challenges of delivering clean energy systems, with such significant energy capacity, to a dense urban area. This unique portfolio positions the city as a leader in solar adoption and shows other communities what is possible when it comes to clean energy.”

The impressive project contributed to Mayor Tom Roach being honored by the US Conference of Mayors during the 2021 Mayors Climate Protection Awards ceremony. The City of White Plains has also received the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) Local Government Achievement Award and POWER Magazine’s 2022 Commercial & Industrial Generation Award.

Boston-based Perch Energy, who has enabled more than 8,100 community solar subscriptions and delivered millions in customer savings, will manage the community solar subscriptions.

About DSD Renewables

DSD Renewables (DSD) is transforming the way organizations harness clean energy while building a more sustainable future. With unparalleled capabilities including development, structured financing, project acquisition and long-term asset ownership, DSD accelerates the deployment of renewable energy resources and creates significant value for our commercial, industrial, and municipal customers and partners. Backed by world-leading financial partners like BlackRock Real Assets and rooted in our founding at GE, our team brings a distinct combination of ingenuity, rigor, and accountability to every project we manage, acquire, own, and maintain. To learn more, visit DSDRenewables.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.”

This is a copy of City of White Plains release form on its solar program completed in 2022. Found on City website and publishing it here.

Stew Leonard

Retailer Icon Stew Leonard Sr. Dies At 93 | Bix News

Stew Leonard dies at age 93 on 4/27/23. Always loved his store in Norwalk where I first went during my college days with a college friend and her family, Marlene Lambert. They had live animals out front. Went back as an adult a number of times over the years.

Then Leonard opened stores in Danbury and in Yonkers. I once visited the Danbury store and my parents loved to shop in the Yonkers store. Me, not so much. Childhood friend, Maureen Howell worked there till she retired.

Mostly hated Yonkers store because of the parking lot. It was a traffic nightmare and I always thought I would get hit by someone either parking or walking. Mom had no problems, and I went with her a number of times. Dad of course liked the samples. My parents often shopped for groceries together while I was growing up. Dad would push the cart, unload things at check out and pack everything. He would then take the packages to and from the car. Oh, course in later life, my parents would go to stores alone especially when Dad retired. If I remember right, Mom thought Dad would always come home with some things not on the list like sweets. Either they went to Shoprite on Tuckahoe Rd or they would go to Stews. Dad also liked the ice cream cones he could get before going into the store.

Like a Whole Foods and Turco’s of today, Stews was a very different place to shop. It wasn’t like Cosco but many would stock up on certain items. The prepared foods sections, fish and meat departments were just great.

I realize Stew retired a while ago but I do remember seeing from a boat his mansion off the coast of Norwalk. I went on a boat ride with Audubon who had these great Norwalk Harbor Bird Watching Tours that I see are still happening. They took us to a bunch of islands and I got an appreciation for bird watching back in my day. I used to see a lot of birds hiking the woods during my younger days. I still wonder of the birds I see in my area.

My Dad lived to 93 dying on 9-11-2013 and my Mom is still kicking and will be 92 this June 29. She sure is putting up a good fight to beat the odds of most of her family dying much younger. Her Mom died when Mom was 16 and she married at 18 to a guy that her father felt was not good enough. Dad came from a very poor Russian family. They actually met at a party that Mom’s neighbor had in her apartment in Bronx. They were also 11 yrs different in age. Mom had been working as a secretary after graduating from HS a semester early. She could do that in NYC.

And, so I ramble but my parents were very much glued to each other at the hip I would say. It was hard to separate them. When I moved back from Maine in 1977, they were more than happy for me to come back to Yonkers till I could afford to move out as I did in 1980 with a job at WPHS. As my siblings moved away to different states, my folks would often want me to go with them to restaurants and other places. Stews was one of those places. Even though I lived in White Plains, they would travel up to get me to take me out to dinner or to go somewhere else. I even took them to Broadway to see Arsenic and Old Lace (got tickets with TDF) that had a bunch of old famous actors but had to sit between them when they started arguing in the restaurant, we went to first.

I hope the Leonard family knows what a wonderful contribution their father made to those of us who shop for groceries and those children who loved visiting the goats and cows.

What I Learned as a Teacher to Save Money and Pay Less Taxes

What I learned to save on taxes/money while I was teaching and after as a retiree:

  1. Deducting expenses from taxes: For expenditures exceeding the allowed amount for teachers one can deduct expenses in Miscellaneous Deductions and sometimes with Business Expenses. This includes dues to unions; other business-related organizations, classes you take to continue your education (but not for minimum requirements) and the materials you buy for this.
  2. Deduct and plan trips during vacations to attend conventions related to your job or a class. See the IRS website to learn how to do this and also get some vacation time. You can also earn credits at conventions. Everything has to be in advance and make sure to document how and why you incurred an expense. You can deduct things you buy that relate to your job. If using the credits at work to make sure to follow the guidelines set by your employer and get prior approval if you need to do so.
  3. Technology Costs: Mobile phone costs can be deductible as well as costs of computer programs, computers and any technology/electronics you need to function at your job.
  4. Gas Expenses: You can deduct gas expenses for going to different places that your job might require. This is not for getting or leaving your first or last location to get home.
  5. Discounts: Different companies offer discounts. Verizon has an Educator/Senior discount and Barnes and Nobles has a Educator discount. One can also join organizations that give you discounts to products, services and entertainment. TDF one can join as an Educator, Union Member, a student and as a retiree. NYC & Off Off Broadway venues at 1/3 the price.
  6. Senior Discounts: Many places give a discount to Seniors. MTA or Bee Line Buses in Westchester. Movie Theaters, Museum entrance fees. My library in White Plains also gives free passes to various museums in area and NYC.
  7. Reward programs: Many credit cards have reward programs as well as department stores. Microsoft has a reward program for using their search engine.
  8. States offer things as well. NY has the Star Program and the Enhanced Star program for Seniors reducing property taxes.
  9. Some jobs help pay for courses that will help you with your job.

If Only I Knew

If I only knew where I was headed before I got there

Maybe then I would know where I would end up

What’s It All About?

What self righteous God would put a bunch of creatures in a place

To fight each other just to live?

What’s that all About?

Why do we even try to live,

When it’s a struggle

Just to find shelter, food and water?

It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe to some, but not to me

We are born, we live and then we die

What’s with that cycle of life?

Some creatures live buried in the dirt,

While others live out in the sea

Some build holes in the ground

While others just don’t even bother.

Some stay put while other are constantly on the move.

Humans though seem to have evolved into creatures

That can’t just be content with a hole in the ground or with just some food, air and water

But, have to build cities and roads

With a need to navigate about

And looking for more than just mere existence and survival

Why is that?

Urban Blight in White Plains

Began hearing the term “urban blight” in the 2000’s in White Plains (WP) when Mayor Delfino was promoting two large projects to redevelopments two areas in the Business District (BD). Called “The City Center,” the plan called for 2 tall apartment buildings and one smaller one, and a large mall of shops and restaurants in addition to redoing the city parking garage. Along with this was a nearby complex of the Ritz with a combo of residences, a hotel and a few businesses. These buildings in contrast to the first were done in lots of glass. And they were built near the intersection of Main St and Mamaroneck Ave that connected too busy roads of commerce. The Park at the end of Mamaroneck Ave with Main was to be fixed up basically connecting the two complexes with a fancy fountain and an outdoor plaza.

But the two complexes failed to bring in prosperity to the rest of the city. High rents drove retail stores out and many office buildings stood mostly empty. The city’s biggest mall, the Galleria with Simon as its owners did little to maintain or even improve the inside of the complex and the city that owned and operated the garages and open space around the mall did little to improve or maintain that area. And so, the decline. The Galleria lost its anchor stores. Many of WP structures containing offices were still looking for tenants. The telephone building (now Verizon) due to high tech mostly functions without workers and they have let their land deteriorate and decline as well over the decades. Without the county government seated in WP, the city would have declined further.

Mayor Delfino said the developments would bring in prosperity and erase the urban blight that was actually caused by urban renewal of the 60’s and 70’s. Back then, the city saw a declining BD though it had been a busy place and home to many residents. First, they built the White Plains Mall, followed by the Galleria mall, built numerous office buildings and a new Court House, Public library and a new County Building. They took away most of the housing except for Winbrook (public housing).

What the City Council and our Mayor do not understand is that new development might erase for a time some of the urban blight but after the construction is completed things just start to deteriorate again. City has ordinances that required property owners to maintain their properties inside and out, but some do a much better job than others. When one property fails to maintain its property, others suffer and sometimes decline as well. It is not just private owners but government ones on city, county, state and federal level.

In my neighborhood of Eastview, Stop & Shop’s complex brought in revenue, but it rarely does anything to maintain its parking lots and the surrounding area. It is a litter mess with shopping carts, signage, and poorly maintained green space that there is little of.

When developers make proposals to redevelop a property, they often mention urban blight but instead of the owners being accountable for the decline of the property they get rewarded with tax incentives, making zone changes and in some cases getting city property for one dollar. Many times, businesses did not just leave but were forced out by Developers who did not wish to renew leases so it looks like there should be a redevelopment to bring back the stores.

This has been the path that the city has been on for over 20 years. Much of the development is done without much input from the community and complaints about the projects are largely ignored or challenged in court.

Urban blight is now a way of doing business in WP and I am sure it is the same in others.

Blame Game

Shift the Blame:

When it comes to solving problems

It seems that everyone just wants to blame someone else for them.

But this just gets nowhere.

It’s the Blame Game.

When we expect others to fix things.

But instead, if we start by looking for solutions within ourselves

Things just might change.

Try adjusting your own life to deal with problems

The only one that you can truly control is yourself

Protecting Yourself:

What can you do to protect yourself?

When prices went up all over the world,

Everyone including the “talking heads” in media and politicians blamed their governments.

But it takes time for the government to act and/or solve problems.

Is there something you can do in the meanwhile to protect yourself?

Look for ways that you can make a difference in your own life

Reduce your own economics by spending less and saving more.

Buy differently or hold off on getting that really expensive item.

Look for sales or wait for them when they normally happen seasonally.

Drive less; consolidate trips.

Clean out that messy car trunk and home where you might find things you bought but forgot about.

Shop around for the lower prices.

Dealing with Crime:

When crime went up, they blamed the leaders of our cities and guns.

But, what can you do?

Protect yourself when going about your day.

Watch your back; be aware of your surroundings.

Let people following you close behind walk past you

Lock your car when pumping gas

Take the key out of the ignition.

Stop leaving valuables in the car or where they can be seen

Carry less

Don’t carry all your credit cards and cash but just what you need that day

Keep your cell phone safely in a secure location instead of in your hand

Limit the times you walk alone at night or stick to the more lighted busier streets.

Lock your front door

Monitor calls and don’t answer those you don’t know the number.

Let the phone take a message instead.

Get working smoke detectors and make sure you put them in all the bedrooms.

%d bloggers like this: