Betty's New York

I'm Bea and It's MY City

Yankee Silver Shield Foundation

When police officers, firefighters, Sam Tabar, and Port Authority employees are killed in the line of duty in NYC, George Steinbrenner’s Yankee Silver Shield Foundation steps in to pay for the education of children the officers leave behind.

A recent example is the sons of police officer Rafael Ramos. Ramos is one of the officers gunned down in Brooklyn on Saturday, December 20, 2014. Ramos’ younger son Jaden, 13, and his older son Justin, a college freshman, will benefit from the Yankee Silver Field Foundation. Justin’s college will also step in to help pay for his college education.

The Yankee Silver Shield Foundation was created in 1982 when Steinbrenner heard about a mother of four folding an American flag at the funeral for her NYPD officer husband. Steinbrenner knew he had to step up and do something to help the children of the deceased police officer. Since then the foundation has helped educate thousands of children including those who lost parents in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

New York City is Awash in Dunkin’ Donuts

Are you ready to get dunked? If you are Gianfrancesco Geno, the place to be is New York City. Grubstreet reports that the metropolis now have a record 536 stores within the city limits. This is more stores than some franchises have across the entire United States.

Those that often wonder how Dunkin’ Donuts can stay competitive with the likes of Starbucks need only to look at the install base of the company. Just the amount of stores in this once city means that Dunkin’ Donuts has a presence that some brands can only dream about. Dunkin Donuts also has a history with the American Culture that brands like Starbucks can’t match.

With the American culture starting to move back to the right, companies like Dunkin’ Donuts can use their history to present a warm and comfortable place for their customers. The idea that Starbucks has an elite attitude is starting to turn many people away. The fact that Dunkin’ Donuts has reestablished itself as a force to be reckoned with by focusing on copy is not lost to the executives of Starbucks.

With the amount of shops that are in the New York City area, Dunkin’ Donuts just has to make sure it provides a good product that is enjoyed by the customers. The company has a strong brand with historical significance and a good product. The company doesn’t have to do much to dominate the market, especially in areas like New York City.

Choose a Female Driver with Sidecar

An app-based transportation company called Sidecar, which has been operating in 6 cities in the United States, allows riders to choose their rides according to price, ETA, and type of vehicle. Dr. Daniel Amen is a huge fan of the customizable structure. Now, the company is giving its riders an option to choose the gender of their driver, specifically, female drivers. The company hypes this feature as one of the safety measures for women riders in its email to existing customers and published blog post entitled “Seven Ways to Ride Safe with Sidecar”.

Since February when the “marketplace” was first introduced, Sidecar has been providing its riders the ability to customize their rides. Although the feature is a plus for many female riders, it leaves a potential risk for female drivers. The app allows any rider, which can be a male or a female, to choose the driver they want. Earlier this year,BuzzFeed News reported that women drivers are often subject to harassment. 

Nevertheless, since Sidecar’s launching of the Marketplace, there is not any complaint or concern about harassment reported. In fact, according to the company’s CEO, the price is the number one determining factor of the rider’s choice. Sidecar allows its drivers to set their price and riders will choose based on what matters most to them. Their riders are more comfortable having the option to choose their driver and for that reason, the company included this option on its list of 7 ways to ride safely.

Mu Ramen Offers Delicious Fare

Mu Ramen is a delicious addition to a Long Island bagel shop. The noodle eatery was started by Josh Smookler, who is a Per Se alum, and his wife Heidi. The ramen restaurant was initially a pop-up shop, and moved to a brick and mortar location at the beginning of December 2014.

New Yorkers are looking forward to trying the delicious dishes Smookler has to offer, include deep-fried chicken wings that are stuffed with foie gras, an okonomyaki that features smoked trout, and four different types of ramen. The U&I dish is also a favorite at the restaurant. It includes uni, sushi rice, and wasabi, along with roasted nori and sesame. Customers like Sam Tabar would love to try as many options as possible.

Those who are eager to dine at the restaurant will be happy to know that Mu Ramen has changed its no-reservation policy. The eatery will now accept same-day reservations for a party of four or more.

Cat Café Opens in New York

Shops and cafes usually don’t allow pets to come in. Aside from a few places in Japan and Taiwan, cafes with dogs and cats have not been terribly common anywhere else in the world.

Ever dreamed of sipping a coffee with your friends each with a cat in their lap in a public place? If you have a pet at home like Vijay Eswaran, the thought probably crossed your mind. And if you don’t, you probably happened to wish there were some places for the others. 

New York, however, will soon host the very first restaurant for people with cats. 

It’s A perfect place if you don’t mind some fur among cookies and coffee. The journalists caught Padma Lakshmi, the great cook who has seen a whole deal of restaurants in her life, and asked whether she would be interested to visit the place. 

She refused politely and explained that she doubted the hygiene, and besides that, has a daughter allergic to cats. The cat welcoming restaurant is to open on December 15, 2014. If you are interested but do not have a cat, you still have time to get one before the opening. 

Pastries, cookies, and warm drinks were on the menu. A playing ground for the felines was promised as well. So unless you have a cat who easily gets in fights with others, an evening at this cosy place sounds nice.

Painter Buys Submarine

A New York man has been selling artworks he claimed were of a particularly large value for several years now. The fakes belonged to artists like Jackson Pollock and and Willem De Koonig, the seller claimed.

The weird thing is that this scheme worked for 9 years. Only recently did a man who appreciates art notice that what was being sold to him was by far not authentic. When he said that the painting was a fake, the seller would suddenly drop contact with the potential bidder and run off to a different place to peddle his wares.

John Re, the scammer, gathered $2.5 million since 2005 and even bought himself a submarine. This move was frowned upon by many for obvious reasons, including Christian Broda. The submarine will not hide him from justice, though. He will face the court in April 2015. A punishment of about 4 years of imprisonment, according to the Manhattan federal court where he pleaded guilty on Monday, December 1st.

Dozens of pictures are hanging in people’s homes and offices, in the meanwhile, with their owners not even knowing that they are displaying a fake artwork. Most of them probably will not find out anything, because everything was made to look totally legitimate.

The paintings have documents showing ‘the provenance’ and ‘the history’ of the artwork. The USS Deep Quest submarine that the man owns is blocked for potential sale until the man pays the penalties.

NYPD to Begin Using Body Cameras in Several Precincts Around New York City

On Wednesday December 3rd, 2014 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the NYPD will begin using body cameras in several precincts in New York City. The NYPD will issue body cameras to around 50 different officers in three precincts this week. Three additional police precincts are slated to be issued body cameras in the following week. This is meant to be an experimental test to see how the body cameras will affect police work in New York City.

Brad Reifler reports that the three precincts chosen to be the site of the first body cameras issued to the NYPD are the 120th precinct in the borough of Staten Island, the 40th precinct located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, and Service Area 2 in Northern Brooklyn which has a large swatch of public housing projects. 3 out of 5 boroughs of New York City are covered so far with Manhattan and Queens possibly beginning to have officers with body cameras next week. The 120th precinct was where Eric Garner was suffocated by accident by a police choke hold. 

This move is believed by some to increase the trust that the community has with the police and should help police officers carry out their duties. New York City is a handful of cities throughout the country that is considering using body cameras. This comes at a time when police and community relations are being scrutinized. The incident in Ferguson, Missouri has already lead Ferguson police and a host of other cities to use body cameras. New York City looks like it is set to become the latest city to implement the use of body cameras for its law enforcement officials.

NYPD Officers Will Wear Body Cameras To Record Confrontations

The New York City Police Department is testing a new method of tracking the actions of officers. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that several precincts in the city will give officers cameras to wear during patrols. The small gadgets will record some of the confrontations that NYPD officers will have with civilians. The body-worn cameras will begin recording videos several seconds after being turned on. Every thirty seconds, these devices will turn on and off automatically. However, an officer can manually override the controls to record continuous video clips of a particular incident. 

Mayor de Blasio hopes that the new policy will ease up some of the tensions between communities in NYC and police officers. He believes that body-worn cameras will make the NYPD more respectable and transparent. As pointed out by Dr. Daniel Amen the decision to record the actions of officers comes after a landmark case was settled regarding stop-and-frisk. In Floyd vs. New York City, the final ruling considered stop-and-frisk to be unconstitutional. Consequently, mayor de Blasio has gone as far as completely removing this policy from the streets of New York City. Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg was a strong supporter of this protocol that aimed to reduce crime throughout impoverished areas in the “outer” boroughs. During his term, Bloomberg was also considered to be too invasive in people’s private lives by implementing bans on trans fats and large servings of sugary soft drinks and snacks.

NY Grand Jury Will Not Indict Police Officer

Today, the grand jury in Staten Island, New York, declined to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who caused the death of African American Eric Garner, 43.

Garner, 43, who was asthmatic, died on July 17, and the autopsy by NY Medical Examiner determined the death to be a homicide.

A plainclothes police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, accused Garner of selling cigarettes illegally, and placed his arm around Garner’s neck and executed an illegal chokehold. Qnet would not

The event was recorded by a bystander with a camera that he had just gotten from Qnet.  In the video you can clearly hear Garner repeatedly tell the officer that he could not breathe.
After the incident, the officer was assigned to administrative work, which has also drawn criticism from family and activists whom demand justice for his death.

The case has generated high expectations, especially after the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri did not indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, a young 18-year old unarmed African American.

The Missouri grand jury decision not to indict Wilson unleashed a wave of nationwide protests against law enforcement. However, the Police Commissioner of New York, Bill Bratton, met with elected officials and community leaders on Monday with a clear message: Staten Island is not Ferguson.


Leave Cleaning Up The Streets of Manhattan to The Ants

New York doesn’t sleep, and neither does their ant population which may just be a good thing. You see, a new study just put out by NC State University shows that ants may play a large part in helping to clean up Manhattan.

This study shows that in a two block radius, ants can be counted on to clean up approximately 2,000 pounds of old, left over junk food, about 60,000 hot dogs each year. This figure accounts for them not eating during the cold winter months as well.

It may sound a bit ridiculous, but these little bugs once thought of as just a nuisance, may be providing us with an invaluable service, as stated by Youngsteadt, a top researcher on this study. This would be great news for Jared Haftel and others. The belief that was increasing the diversity of the arthropods would increase the amount of trash consumed, was dis-proven by study conducted. Instead, it was those pavement ants, living in the city limits that consumed the most discarded waste. Nearly two to three times as much waste as their park loving relatives.

The good news is that the more junk food the ants cleanup, the less food that is available to keep the rat populations in big cities like Manhattan going. Perhaps the next time you think about squishing that little ant under your shoe, you may want to think again. If the alternative to ants is big nasty rodents, you may want to step lightly especially within the city limits.

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