How Ride Sharing Apps Are Changing The NYC Real Estate Market

Real estate professionals in the New York City area know how there has been a sudden change in the market in that area and it is largely because of the rise of ride sharing app popularity. There are a number of companies such as Lyft and Uber that help transport people from point A to point B in a very affordable manner. Previously, people would choose their residential location in New York based off of the subway system or the public bus system. There were building development companies that would purchase properties and develop buildings based off these prime locations as well. Now, the real estate market is more vast thanks to better transportation that is easier as well.

The Need For Transportation
People who choose to live in the big city often leave behind the option for a vehicle because it just isn’t practical in this type of location. You have to pay for parking, you have to pay for gas, routine maintenance is ongoing and that doesn’t even address the issue of traffic. It is preferred when walking to a certain destination is an option but if not, the subway has always been to common way of getting around. Ride sharing ( is more popular these days because not only does it eliminate needing a vehicle but you can also share the cost of the trip with other people who are headed in the same direction as you. These ride sharing companies know this is a fact and they have begun to advertise to certain areas outside of the public transportation system to let people know they are around.

What it comes down to is that allocating a budget for something like Uber can still be a lot more affordable than investing a car, maintaining that vehicle, buying gas, insurance and much more. People can also save money by moving outside of the main areas of NYC ( enjoy more land, less traffic and better views. As real estate booms in the city, more and more developments will occur from companies that are looking to expand but feel more comfortable doing so outside of the paths of the G train or the subway system.

Zombies Take Over New York City!

Before you grab your nearest crossbow and prepare to Daryl it across the country, there were not any actual zombies in New York City. Dish Network recently decided to drop AMC from its list of available channels. In protest, AMC unleashed a few zombies into the civilian world of New York City to make a statement. People were dressed up like firefighters, food vendors, construction workers, mailmen, essentially everyday people found in the famous city. Except they were zombified and played their part quite well.

People were either terrified, curious, or excited about the staged act. The entire performance was filmed and the message at the end entails a zombie dragging a Dish satellite, with words proclaiming that zombies only belonged on television and not in real life. AMC had some problems with Dish when they began to ask for those who wished to watch the channel online pay extra fees. Officials from AMC thought it was questionable that viewers should have to pay more when they already had access to the channel on their TV.

The website currently being used to protest the drop of AMC from Dish’s lineup is called PutZombiesBack, and it believes that the reason AMC is being dropped doesn’t have to do with the channel itself at all, and instead is about an older business issue. One that never even involved AMC or anything related to it. PutZombiesBack is pushing those who interested in the dispute to find a new provider since they believe that the regular viewer is just being used as a pawn in a business game. That they are being charged unreasonably for a service that others can provide for them as a cheap and normal part of their viewing list.

While it is yet unknown what Dish will plan to do next, whether it will return AMC to its viewing list, or if viewers will simply decide to ditch Dish and find a different provider, there’s no doubt the impact the zombies had on those during the protest. Signs of the apocalypse are certainly a guaranteed method to attract attention to your cause. For fans of the Walking Dead and other AMC shows, let’s hope the stunt does more than just scare a few innocent passersby.

MTA Worker Loses Life In Tragic Fall

A 23-year-old MTA worker lost his life while working on Tuesday morning as a result of a fall while picking up debris. The man was working a the 125th and Lexington subway station in East Harlem.

The president for the Transit Authority, Andy Byford, identified the deceased worker as St. Clair Zaire Richards-Stephens and said that Richards-Stephens had been an employee of MTA for six months.

Byford explained that emergency workers worked diligently to save Richards-Stephens but despite their efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries about an hour after the fall. Byford went on to say that his and MTA’s first thoughts were of Richards-Stephens and his family.

President Tony Utano, of TWU local 100, says that incidents such as this perfectly demonstrates the dedication that is demonstrated by employees of MTA. Utano expressed his condolences for the loss of life and the grieving family and said the tragedy is one felt by the “entire city.”

Utano paints the picture of Richards-Stephens’ last moments by pointing out that while most in the city were asleep, that a young man was performing his job duties in a tunnel beneath the borough of Manhattan so that other citizens of the city can travel to school and work. Utano said that an investigation will soon be underway and that the intent of TWU local 100 is to determine the exact cause of the tragedy and give the family the closure it needs.

The tragedy caused massive delays during the most inopportune time of the day. Commuters were told to expect serious delays on a number of lines early Tuesday morning. The Metro Transit Authority put 50 additional buses in service on Tuesday to help alleviate the resulting commuter congestion.

MTA said that it would not speak on the cause of the deadly accident until an investigation is completed and the full results of that investigation are revealed.

The details as Byford understands them to be at this time is that Richards-Stephens was working on a part of the track that had an upper and lower level. Co-workers of Richards-Stephens heard a scream moments before discovering the young man to be lying face down on the lower level of the tracks.

Pay Cuts for Delivery Drives Leads to Shortage of Frito Lay Products in New York City

Sometimes major companies make huge operational mistakes, and Frito Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, has done just that. The company recently made major cuts to their delivery driver’s wages by around 33% (almost $30,000 for some drivers) and many drivers opted to quit. Before the wage cut, drivers worked on salary as well as a commission system. The company chose to do away with the commission system, opting for a “bonus” system instead. Many drivers relied on the commission system to increase their salaries. The wage cut was a nationwide move for the company, but it has backfired in New York City. Out of 245 drivers for the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Bronx boroughs, 47 of them quit. That is roughly 20% of Frito Lays delivery drivers. The company has made attempts to spread out their remaining delivery drivers and have even had managers step in to deliver goods, but the attempts are failing drastically.

Many bodega owners are being forced to go without Frito Lay’s products, with some store owners reporting that they haven’t had a delivery in months. This is a major set back for many stores because Frito Lay makes a lot of products (30 different brands) that are found in bodegas. Some of these brands include Doritos, Lays, Grandma’s cookies, Funyuns, Rold’s Gold pretzels, Matador meat snacks, and more. The shortage has become so prominent that bodega owners are getting desperate. They have been searching out delivery drivers on other routes and trying to bargain with the drivers to deliver at their stores.

Back in 2016 when PepsiCo’s chief executive Indra Nooyi first announced the pay cut plan, the news was not well received. Drivers threatened to go on strike if the company continued with the pay cut, but the company responded by saying they would simply hire replacement drivers. On Frito Lay’s website in big bold letters, they state that their mission is to “delight their consumers”. It’s safe to say that this mission is not being accomplished in New York City.

Fourth Nor’easter In A Month Hits New York City

In the northeastern part of the country, snowstorms are not an uncommon weather event during the winter months. But by mid-March, things tend to slow down quite a bit. But this has been a snowier season of snowfall this year for the east coast. On Wednesday, an unusual spring snowstorm all but shut down the Big Apple Wednesday as the fourth Nor’easter in less than a month hit the northeastern east coast. Governor Cuomo ordered a State of Emergency for the city and parts of the state. He appeared in a photo on twitter of a major tractor trailer accident and urged people to stay off the roadways. The metro area and Long Island could see upwards of over a foot of snow in this late season record breaking storm.

Thousands of flights out of JFK, LaGuardia, Newark were cancelled because of the storm. By the early evening Brooklyn and Queens had over 8.5 inches of fresh snow which is unusual for this time of year. In Central Park, 6.7 inches of new snow had already covered the region with more on the way into the evening hours and early morning hours on Thursday.

The storm has been dubbed “Four’easter” because it’s notoriety as the fourth Nor’easter in less than a month. In New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania there has been icing on the powerlines and the storm is expected to last throughout the night.

While most people in and around the city and Long island were waiting out the storm there were a few people out in the storm trying to enjoy the conditions. At Rockaway beach in Long Island, high waves caused by the Nor’easters winds were bringing out surfers even in the frigid temperatures. But it has also been a deadly storm as there have been several road fatalities from this most recent snowmaker in the New York City area.

The storm has already become a record breaker for New York City snowfall. Because of the fresh batch of snow, it is the first time in the city’s recent history it has experienced a five year stretch of consecutive winters where there has been over 30 inches of snow in a winter season. The last time this occurred was when Chester A. Arthur was president in the 1880’s.

Finding Out if You Can Afford New York is Easier Than You Think

Living in New York is expensive. This is not a myth. It is reality. This is why many people do not move to New York City. The is reality is that this is something that you can manage if you actually know how much you need to
live in New York City. It is just a matter of knowing the city, deciding where you want to live and mapping out a plan to do it.

Anyone that checks a blog about living in New York will find out one thing that is true quite early: Manhattan is one of the most expensive places to live. People that are trying to make every dollar count are not going to be able to do it here. In Manhattan the apartments are not the only things that are expensive. The restaurants, if you care to dine in these areas are just as expensive as you would assume for a wealthy neighborhood.

The key to living in New York City is finding that happy medium. If you are looking for a nice place to live you may benefit from using websites like StreetEasy to calculate rent in New York City neighborhoods. You can also use the website to give you a better idea of the money you would actually need to make to afford to live there. There have also been studies that have been conducted about what a typical week of eating out and commuting would be like in NYC. This is helpful because it give you an ideal of the things that you would never think about.

The average person that makes plans to move to New York may think about rent and a general cost of living. They may never factor in the cost of parking or general things like the cost of riding the train. An outing for the evening could easily turn into a $200 or $300 night. This is something that people do not always think about. That makes it harder to really see how much you would spend without moving their first. Thankfully, people that move their and blog about it can give you some great ideas. You have a much better feel for what life is like through these ambitious bloggers.

When A Highly Acclaimed Restaurant Receives A Zero-Star New York Times Review, The News Can Be Shocking

When a restaurant is reviewed by a New York Times food critic, the review can greatly affect peoples’ perceptions of the establishment. A recent Eater article tells of how one highly acclaimed restaurant just received zero stars in a review by critic Pete Wells.

The Chinese restaurant chain DaDong is known for its roasted Peking duck and opened its first U.S. location in New York City in December 2018. The 17,500-square foot restaurant features the renowned duck, and a large menu that offers a diverse selection of choices.

According to the Eater article, the food critic recently dined at DaDong but was less-than impressed with the highly hyped duck dish that drew him there. The Peking duck served at DaDong has received lots of publicity and is widely considered to be among the best versions of the dish available in Beijing, China.

In his review, Mr. Wells acknowledged that some of the dishes at DaDong are nicely presented, but did not measure-up overall. As for the restaurant’s famous Peking duck dish, the critic thought it was dry and made a minimal impression on him.

While the New York Times review of DaDong gave kudos to the desserts and the wine list at DaDong, the reviewer said that it took him a while to realize that he spent almost $100 on a duck dinner that offered very little flavor.

Restaurant patrons are generally a fickle lot, and an eatery’s popularity can largely be shaped by reviews on various media outlets. When it was first announced that DaDong’s New York City spot was opening, 2,500 meal reservations were booked within just a couple of hours.

Although DaDong’s New York City location has received positive reviews elsewhere, reviews from the New York Times usually attract more attention. As qualified as a food critic may be, it is really only one person’s view of an establishment that is being presented.

It looks like hungry diners in New York City will have to decide for themselves if the Peking duck at DaDong is as good as it’s hyped to be.

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission Is Being Called Out On Their Ban Regarding Commercial Speech

The limousines, black cars, livery and taxicabs in New York may be owned by the businesses but in truth they are controlled by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The city highly regulates all passenger transportation but the businesses are still entitled to their constitutional rights. Prior to May of 2005 pre-authorization was required by the TLC for all interior advertising in regulated vehicles. In 2004 the installation of passenger monitors was required by the TLC. The next year the ad ban for taxicabs was lifted by the TLC to enable them to offset the costs.

Vugo is a media distribution company. In 2015 they attempted a partnership with New York City rideshare companies including Lift and Uber. The software from Vugo was downloaded onto tablets the riders could view. Sixty percent of the revenue generated from the ads would be paid to the drivers. The TLC stated interior advertising would not be approved for ridesharing. Vugo had to cancel their plans for expansion. Vugo then challenged TLC under the first amendment in New York’s United States District Court. Ronnie Abrams was the judge for the Southern District of New York. She declared Vugo’s commercial rights to speech had been violated due to the ban of TLC.

Judge Abrams determined TLC was promoting the interests of the state. She additionally determined the comfort of the customers was substantial. Due to the exemption of liveries and taxis the ban was deemed under inclusive. This ban was not connected to the comfort of the customers. The judge noted there were no limits on the size or placements of the ads. The final result was TLC was prevented from discrimination pertaining to rideshare vehicles. These vehicles were given the same commercial opportunities as the taxis. For additional details please visit

The advertising rule was justified by TLC with a study conducted seven years previously. The study showed Taxi TV was annoying to 33 percent of all passengers. This was not enough evidence to support the ban imposed on speech. The rules of TLC disfavored marketing and were considered to be invalid. Numerous courts for federal appeals were urged by the Washington Legal Foundation to assess the content of restrictions regarding commercial speech restrictions. It is possible the ruling of Judge Abrams will be appealed by the TLC.

New Study Finds Airbnb Driving Up Rent in NYC

For those of you who may not know what Airbnb is, it is a website that is used by many people to find a short-term rental property. Using this site, any homeowner can rent out a room or a house for extra income. Usually, renters are charged by the day. This means that any property owner can effectively use their property as a small hotel. Needless to say, this has had a negative effect upon the hotel industry, and upon the rental market.

A new study conducted by McGill Urban Planning professor David Wachsmuth attempts to show the impact of Airbnb upon these markets. It should be noted that this study was commissioned by the Hotel Trades Council and the AFL-CIO. They estimate that average long-term rental prices in New York have increased about 1.4% as a result of Airbnb’s increased popularity, which equals about $384 a year.

Their numbers were obtained using a complex comparative research model that is meant to rule out any other factors that could have caused price increases. As for the cause of these price increases, it seems to mostly be the prevalence of “ghost hotels”.

A ghost hotel works like this: Let’s say you’re a property owner, and you want to rent out a bunch of Apartments. If you rent them out in the normal way, you have to deal with a lot of regulations and fees. Renting your properties out individually on Airbnb gives you a way to avoid many of these regulations and fees. While Airbnb was intended to provide private homeowners with a means of extra income, this study suggests that many listings come from professional operators who are simply looking for a loophole.

The study found about 4,700 listings that were obvious “ghost hotels”. In addition, the study found that between 7,000 and 13,500 rental properties have been removed from the market using this method. The end result is an increase in prices across the board. Techcrunch’s article on the subject can be found here:

Even more disturbing, the study finds that about 45 percent of all Airbnb listings in the last year are in violation of New York law. New York City has a law against renting out property for less than 30 days if the property has more than 3 units, unless the owner also lives on the property.

The study also found that the top 10% of Airbnb hosts generated about 48 percent of all Airbnb revenue, giving additional credence to their theory that unscrupulous property managers are abusing a service intended to benefit the average homeowner.

New York City Chef To CoFound Seed Business

New York award winning chef, Dan Barber has been talking about WalMart, which is about as far away as you can get from the farm to table cooking Dan does. But WalMart is the end result that Mr. Barber is talking about in regards to the seed business that he co founded with Michael Mazourek, a Cornell professor that specializes in plant breeding and genetics and Matthew Goldfarb, who is an organic seed grower from the Fingerlakes region in New York. Row 7 Seed Co. is the end result from this collaboration and I, for one, will be eagerly looking for the seeds when they hit the market.

What is different about the Row 7 Seed Co.? These three men are creating seed blends that first of all are quality produce seeds and secondly are loaded with guaranteed flavor. For example: the founders produced the Habanada pepper, which has all the taste components of a Habanaro pepper with none of the heat that goes with it. Or the Upstate Abundance Potatoes these potatoes have a lovely buttery taste. My favorite is the Badger Flame beet. It is very beautiful when you cut into it (it looks just like flames) and is a milder, sweeter beet that is meant to be eaten raw.

I like that the founders see the formation of the company not just as a way to create seeds for their personal use or other professional chefs to use on some higher level, i like that they are creating these seeds to bring some quality to the consumer. They are seeing this vision of unique, fresh food that is available to all. There is something very beautiful in that mission. This is where the WalMart talk comes in. The seeds would be on the inexpensive end. For example, Badger Flame seeds come in a 100 pack for about $3.50. Here is hoping that this is the start of a beautiful thing and will be waiting eagerly with my trowel to plant some seeds. To read the original accounting for yourself, please click here.