Here's another fantastic issue of the BFON. Avid readers of the BFON may realize that the editors are staunch supporters of "reuse/recycle", especially when it comes to photos in the newsletter.
Anthony is coming to Boston, and boy, are Grandma and Grandpa excited! Uncle Kevin, with his new found time, will escort the little boy from Philadelphia up to Boston the day after Christmas, and Piper, Mom and Dad will follow several days later.
Already, Grandpa has gone to the library to borrow children's books and Uncle Kevin and Grandpa expect to set up the Xmas tree soon.
What other activities do they have planned for Anthony? Making cookies? Playing in the snow? Playing with his aunts Crystal, Alicia and Esther? Playing hide-and-go-seek? Whatever it is, everyone should have fun.
Kevin Needs a Job
After getting his MBA this May from Columbia's School of Business, Kevin enjoyed a couple of month in Central and South America, studying Spanish and touring. Then in August, he started his new career as an investment banker with the firm of Bear Stearns. His plan was to spend the first four month being trained in NYC and then in December, transfer and relocate to the regional office in Los Angeles.
Well surprise. In late October, Bear Stearns(like most investment banking firms in 2001)announced a major cutback in staff. Kevin was part of this lay off. What a bummer. Nothing like this had happened to Kevin in his short work experience and he did not like it at all. Now he had to start the job search process all over again and in a not too friendly job market.
The good news is that Kevin did not yet sign his apartment lease in L.A., nor did he buy his Californis car or furniture nor pay to relocate his things to the West Coast... many tens of thousands of dollars saved. His father is hoping that he finds his next job on the East Coast... hopefully close to Boston!
Emily's Art Exhibit
Emily Yee put on an art exhibit of her paintings over the Thanksgiving weekend at the Chinese Cultural Centen in Flushing, N.Y. She really worked hard for this exhibit and showed more than 50 paintings... many had caligraphy work done by her teacher.. Professor Wong.
It was a festive affair and many friends and relatives came for the reception on the first day... guests included Paul, Rachel and Kevin. Emily's children and their spouces attended as well. Her son-in-law, Daniel Pearson played a couple of very nice musical pieces on his violin to make the reception all that more beautiful.
Emily and his husband Brian invited relatives and friends who had traveled long distances to a dinner after the first day's show. The Baus were included and the dinner was held at the Harbour City Seafood Rest. on Queens Blvd.
La Dolce Vida
Deanna and Larry spent the Thanksgiving holidays in Rome, Italy. The had a hectic pace set for theim by their tour guides... they took three tours on this short vacation. So, they had lots of walking. Even their hotel was at the top of the Spanish Steps, so exercise was not in short supply.
One tour was of an art museum, another was of the different fountains of Rome and the third was a Vatican Tour. Deanna enjoyed the Vatican tour the most... who wouldn't.
They even went so far as to have a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for Americans in their hotel. Wow! With all that wonderful food in Rome, they ate American style.
Sears Diehard Battery
Just before the Thanksgiving weekend, the battery in Paul's Lexus died. It was a Diehard Battery purchased two years earlier and still had some warranty left so at the Sears Automotive store, Paul was given a new Diehard Gold and charged $48 istead of the $85 price.
So far so good. Upon leaving the Sear Auto shop, Paul noticed that the clock needed resetting. No problema. After all the battery had been disconnected and hense, the electrical current had been off the electric clock. Next he noticed that all the radio stations had to be be re-set. No problema senor!
But finally, he noticed that the "Air Bag" light was on on the dashboard. Now that was unusal. Paul pulled into the Mobil station and asked the mechanic to fix it and was told that he did not have the equipment and did not know how. Upon returning home, he phoned the Lexus serivce department and was told that it was caused by the ignition not being turned off when they changed the battery. It would cost $42.40 to have the switch re-set! $42.50!!!
Upset, he called back the Sears Automotive Store and talked with the manager. "Have it fixed by the dealer. Bring in the reciept and we'll reimburse you.", said the manager over the telephone. A week later, Paul went to the dealers in Danvers.... had the switch re-set, had a "free" breakfast in the service department, also a free car wash from Ira Lexus, went back to Sears and was reimbursed 100 percent and was given a free $10 certificate to use in the Sears store for the next purchase. Oh well!
NStar Electric Audit
NStar, the new name for Boston Edison, provides electricity to the Bau house in the suburbs of Boston. The offered a free energy audit as part of their service.
In early December, Paul had the man from NStar(Doug) into the house to conduct his audit. Doug offered to change all of the light bulbs in the house. He gave Paul over $600 worth of "free" energy efficient light bulbs... bulbs that use about 1/2 the watts to product the same about of lumins or light. $600 worth of free light bulbs!
Then Doug ran a test on the refrigerator... This test took two hours, and of course, the old Sub Zero failed the efficiency test. Doug told Paul, that if he replaced the Sub Zero with an Energy Efficient new refrigerator, he could be eligible for a $500 rebate from NStar!
Just the change of lights alone, Doug expects Paul's electric bill to drop by more than $1000 anually. All this service and more came out of this energy audit. Thank you NStar!
Kiss Me Kate
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Rachel, Kevin and Paul took in the Broadway musical of Cole Porter "Kiss Me Kate". For most of us, this was the first musical of Porter's that we saw live and heard his music performed on the stage. It was entertaining indeed with great music, great dancing and great performances.
After dinner at Kevin's midtown apartment on West 51st Street, we walked to the Mark Beck Theater... great to be so centrally located. The seating was really tight. Kevin says that in NYC, when a show is new... the seating is spacious and the leg room plentiful. As the show runs for a long while, the producers pack more seats into the same floor space in order to keep the revenues up... more people, but many of them with discounted tickets. Paul complained of having the elbow of the guest in the next seat in his ribs most the show.
It was a wonderful show and well worth the evening spent there. Unfortunately, Kiss Me Kate is about to end its run on Broadway and will be closed in two more months.
Ellen's Stardust Diner
Located at the corner of Broadway and 51 Street in Manhattan, Ellen's Stardust Diner is a "singing restaurant" done in a subway modif. The waiters all will sing as they serve.
Paul, Rachel and Kevin went there for a Sunday brunch. No singing at Breakfast! You'll have to go there at dinner to get the "free" entertainment. Or you can usually get singing at lunch times on weekends. We asked the waiter if you had to be able to sing in order to be a waiter. "Not all waiters can sing", he replied. "I can't sing and they only use me when they want to empty the restaurant."
Boy oh boy, what a fun and cheap place to eat. Teriyaki Boy is in Manhattan on 7th Avenue between 48th and 49th. You can eat in or take out.
All kinds of good quick meals for $5 to $8 and they are tasty and quick. Paul had Curry Chicken( a few pieces of chicken, cury sauce, rice and a small salad) for $5.95 and it was a perfect before the theater meal... not too heavy, but very, very tasty.
Rachel had a beef with soba noodle soup topped with kim-chee. This too was only $6.50 and Rachel said it was yummy.
Give this eatery a try when you want something good, cheap and quick.
Best Kitchen Rest.
A new restaurtant in Boston's Chinatown is "Best Kitchen Restaurant" on Beech Street... across the busy highway from the Chinatown gate. It's located on the first floor of the building that houses the tall multistory garage.
The Best kitchen has all the elements that the Weston Food Critic loves: tastey food, huge protions, and low, low prices. One Saturday lunch, the Baus had a lunch there, 4 people ordered 4 dishes. The bill was $20 and then a tip had to be added. There was so much food that about 1/3 had to be "doggy bagged". Please give this a try while it is new and the chef is working hard to please.