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Discount Decor: Ebony Living Room Accents

October 29 Discount Decor Real Estate

Since we already published our Halloween Decorating article earlier this month, we have another angle which is appropriate year round but fits the mood of the gothic holiday season. All any lady knows if she owns the staple little black dress, black pieces can provide stately accents that match well with other colors. Our choices this month are classy and streamlined for a clean look within the relaxing center of a home: your living room.

1. Twisting Wall Candle Holder

Who doesn’t enjoy a little mood lighting once in awhile? Even if you never use fire and it is only decorative, adding a metal wall fixture brings a touch of sophistication that is on a different level than simple framed art. You can light the night using one of these without taking up any space on the table (just make sure to catch the dripping wax). This regal wall fixture with unfurling leaves can be had for under $50 via

2. Tall Bookcase with Cabinet

A tall, slim bookcase with storage cabinets is perfect for any sized room. You can use it in the corner, or even as an entertainment center to hold your television and media. Most furniture shoppers expect to drop a few hundred dollars to obtain a decent bookcase, but not in this case! Staples is currently offering this lovely model for $100, and the design matches easily with almost any living room furniture scheme!

3. Cubic End Table

In keeping with a minimalistic furniture concept (one or two fancy pieces like the candle holder really stand out without competing in a forest of decadent curly-cues), it is a good idea to use sleek, cubic end tables beside your sofa or recliner. You will have an extra surface to hold a lamp, coffee mug, remote, or book. A little shelf on the bottom gives another surface to store your essentials at an arm’s reach. offers this little wonder for under $50. Modern doesn’t have to mean pricey!

4. Coffee Table with Storage Compartments

No living room is complete without a stylish coffee table. For many of us, this invention has replaced the family-sized dining room table (we’re looking at you, Dad). We found some great designs that offer more than just a surface for eating, drinking, and surfing the web on your laptop. These tables are multifunctional! They feature compartments to break up your storage, in addition to standing alone as contemporary art pieces.

Check out more great decorating tips, real estate listings, and fun news stories by visiting our Facebook page!

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“Shop Sandy Biz” Campaign, $17B Infrastructure Upgrades as Second Anniversary Approaches

October 28 Brooklyn Commercial Real Estate Economy Father Capodanno Blvd. Housing Market Hurricane Irene Hurricane Sandy New York News Public Transportation Real Estate Trending Weather

Over the past two years, New York City has seen its share of hard times and recovery continues as a steady pace.

On Sunday, October 26th, Senator Charles Shumer announced in front of the Whitehall Terminal that a total of $17 billion has been collected by New York State for transportation improvements. For Staten Island, funding highlights from this package include $60 million in shoreline oyster reef reinforcement for the South Shore, $40.5 million for emergency watershed protection (EWP) expansion in the Bluebelt floodplain, and $190 million to inact higher engineering standards for the Staten Island Ferry.

Though the majority of this funding will be used for the construction of new ferry boats, the terminals will also be improved to prevent future flooding and damage. The Whitehall and St. George Ferry Terminals received damage to their docking piers and the subway stations were heavily flooded during the 2012 storm.

In addition, an estimated $2 billion will be used to build coastline reinforcement berms on beaches throughout New York City. Schumer’s office issued a press release stating that they estimate a total of $25 billion in total infrastructure funding will be received once FEMA resolves all negotiations.

The New York State Buyout Program and the city’s Build It Back program were instituted shortly after Hurricane Sandy hit to reimburse homeowners through emergency government funds. Well over $100 million has been spent to buy damaged properties in low-lying areas, including the Staten Island communities of Graham Beach, Oakwood Beach, Ocean Breeze.

However, it isn’t just up to the government to ensure that New York stays strong. The city is also launching a social media campaign reminding locals to patronize Sandy-Damaged businesses.

Via NYC Business Solutions, the official Facebook page for the City of New York has begun drumming up community support in time for the two year anniversary by reminding New Yorkers how important it is to promote businesses that weathered the storm.

For example, when visiting a restaurant on Hylan Boulevard or a marina on the South Shore that survived Hurricane Sandy, you are encouraged to declare your support by snapping a photo and uploading it to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ShopSandyBiz.

Meanwhile, a large amount of homeowners promised grants through the Build It Back Program remain in limbo with severe water and wind damage. Relief is trickling in slowly as the bureaucratic fog clears, and as of September, 255 construction starts were in progress out of the more than 500 homeowners who have been approved for funding. The de Blasio administration introduced some major overhauls this year including a way for grantees to track their progress through an internet portal.

Follow our Facebook page to receive all relevant updates published by our public relations staff concerning Staten Island news.

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Top Ten Events To Do This Halloween!

October 28 New York Contests and Events Staten Island Top Ten List Trending

Do you have any big plans for All Hallows Eve? Since it lands on a Friday this year, we recommend that you take full advantage of all the late night fun going on! Need ideas on what to do? Here are the top ten things you can do this Halloween!

1. Celebrate the Eve of Halloween with us! Our Best Dressed Halloween Home Decorating contest is going strong as of press time! Cast your votes here and then join us on October 30th for the Winner’s Ceremony! Stay tuned on our Facebook page for the announcement of this year’s winner and where the ceremony will be held. Then you can join us at this location for the celebration, which will be LIVE on YouTube!

2. Mall-O-Ween Adventure. Not only can the little ones Trick-Or-Treat around the mall from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, but they can also join in on Halloween themed activities. At 6 pm, in the center of the mall, there will be a Halloween Magic Show!

3. Deep Tanks Costume Halloween! This event will be held at the Unitarian Church (312 Fillmore Street, New Brighton) from 6pm to 11pm. All ages are welcomed! The night will be filled with sculptures, performances, and dancing, as well as a film screening, costume contest, art house photo booth! Beer from the neighborhood Flagship Brewery will be served at this event. Pay just $10 admission at the door which includes a drink and finger foods. The proceeds go to Doctors without Borders.

4. ZOMBIES AND GHOULS AND WITCHES, OH MY!’s 2013 Best Dressed Halloween Home Decorating Contest Winners are still in full frightening spirit a year later! On October 31st at 8pm, Marty and Gina will be holding a live Halloween show at their home, 580 Woolley Ave! It will be neighborhood fun for all! Come early to get a parking spot!

5. Thriller at the Brewery! The Flagship Brewery (40 Minthrone Street, Tompkinsville) has announced their own Halloween Party! Enjoy a night full of beer, food, and music! Dress in your best Halloween attire; there will be costume contest! The event takes place on Halloween night, October 31st, from 9pm to 1am. Advanced tickets must be purchased for this event, sold online for $50.

6. Hilton’s Lobby Lounge Costume Party! On Friday, from 9:30pm to 1:30am, head over to 1100 South Ave, to the Hilton Garden Inn’s lobby lounge where there will be a DJ and costume contest. On the rooftop, enjoy drinks and small plates as well as music and dancing! For more information, call 718-477-2400.

7. Freak Show Party! The Phunky Elephant (1271 Bay Street, South Acres) staff are throwing a freak show themed Halloween Bash and Costume Contest! The party will be on October 31st, from 10pm to 2am. At $20 per person, the cost of admission includes a drink ticket, raffle entry, and hor d’ourves. If you purchase tickets in advance, the cost is reduced to $15. Visit their website for more details.

8. Events video segment for the week of Halloween check out our Upcoming Events segment for this week of Halloween! Hannah Jay will fill you in on the awesome Halloweeny-themed events happening this week for all ages, as well as giving you extra information on some events listed above!

9. Halloween Parade. Want to leave the island for a night of spooky fun out in the town? Head over to New York City’s 39th annual Village Halloween Day parade! The festivities start at 7pm. Take the Staten Island Ferry and then hop on the R train to 23rd street! Enjoy all the costumes you see on your commute to the village- the ferry is bound to be full of fantastic attire!

10. Throw your own party. Finally, if these events are just not your forte- throw your own Halloween party for all your friends. You can use the Top Ten Halloween Party ideas or our Discount Decor money-saving Halloween items to help you with your planning and decorating!

If you need any costume ideas, check out the Top Ten DIY Halloween Costumes!

What will you do this Friday? Share your plans and join our conversation on Facebook!

Check out our Pinterest Top Ten Board for more pictures and how-to links.

Images source: littlebgcg, Team facebook, Pinterest, stencilease


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Exciting Staten Island Events: First Week of November!

October 27 New York News Staten Island Trending Trending TV Upcoming Events Video

Featured this week:

November 6th– The Bullying Project

November 8th– Wilderness Survival Lesson

November 8th– Vintage Camera Day

November 8th– Everything New is Old Again Kickoff Party

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Tech Corner: Go Go Coffee Gadgets!

October 24 News Tech Corner Trending

For many of us, morning coffee is a must! For some, one cup will just not cut it; we understand. This week in our Tech Corner, we have rounded up a list of coffee gadgets you can use on the go- so now you can ditch the “do not talk to me until I have my coffee” line.

Touch Sensor Mug

This thermos has a LED temperature indicator; using the warmth of your touch, the thermos will activate the screen to display the temperature of your beverage. The high-tech container will also show a colored light revealing the drink temperature: blue meaning cool, orange indicating warm, and red for hot liquid! It is powered by two AA batteries and can be found on Amazon. If the screen did not draw you in to make this purchase, the thermos also has an airtight cover and a heart shaped on the bottom for writing cute messages.

Get your Coffee On-The-Go!

If you are running late, or just do not want to wait in long coffee shop lines, you can now make your coffee on the go! Hanipresso is the ultimate must-have coffee gadget. This portable espresso machine is small enough to fit in a cup holder, and can be charged using the car’s charging port. The

Hanipresso (pictured on the left) is $199. If this is too pricey for your budget, you can consider the Minipresso (the picture is to the right). This 7 inch device is also compact and can brew up to 1.7 ounces of coffee for each cycle. It can make coffee, espresso, or an extra-strong double shot coffee. This is not available until next year but it can be pre-ordered now for $39.

One puck


Once you have your thermos and your on-the-go coffee maker, all you need is your coaster. This coaster gadget not only provides a surface to rest your fresh, hot Cup-of-Joe, but can also charge your phone! The heat from your coffee gives the coaster energy to charge your phone. And if you are more of an iced coffee drinker, it also works with cold beverages!


Now: Go out and get your caffeine fix, the Tech Corner way! 

Which is your favorite gadget? Join our conversation on Facebook.

Sources:, amazon, wacaco, pinterest

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Abandoned Warehouse will Reopen As Tech Startup Office

October 23 Economy New York News Real Estate Special Report Staten Island Trending

A neglected metal warehouse on 75 Clinton Street has been revamped with plans to host startup companies and space for artists.

Termed “Techbox”, the small Stapleton building had been abandoned for over ten years and was falling into disrepair before it was purchased by investor John Salis. The doors are slated to open in December.

Salis responded to demands from entrepreneurs who complained about the lack of available space for startups.

“I’m hoping to keep these good brains on Staten Island,” Salis stated in an interview with DNAInfo. “They don’t have to take the ferry anymore.”

He also took notice of the demand for shared art space after learning that all vacancies had been filled at the nearby SIABC. Salis has reserved a number of studios in the building for rehearsal space and work rooms for visuals artists.

The renovated building, with a regal concrete-front, wrought iron door, and exposed brick inside, has private offices and a communal space for meetings. Community events will also be hosted here, such as web development workshops.

Techbox will join the SIABC, SI MakerSpace, Urban Ready Living, and other high-tech community based organizations on Staten Island’s North Shore. Modern developments will also be added to the anticipated New York Wheel, including four “bar cars” where riders can drink while enjoying the scenery and mobile 20-seat restaurant. Construction on The Wheel began this past Friday.

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Discount Decor: Asian Bedroom Inspirations

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October 22 Discount Decor Economy Special Report

Whether you are wind down in the bedroom at the end of the day, or waking up to greet the day, your bedroom should be the place where you achieve inner peace. Sometimes, looking to other cultures for inspiration can grow both your world view and your own understanding of your personal taste. Asian culture and design speaks wisdom, comfort, and zen. However, exotic items are often marked up. Below are several design ideas to use if you enjoy oriental decor and saving money.

1. Red Flowered Bedspread

The bed’s comforter is usually the focal piece of the room, and the color pallet for the rest of the space revolves around the design you choose. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms are highly important, symbolizing rebirth and change. A cherry blossom bedspread can channel this energy and help refresh you for a new day. Head to Macy’s and you will find this lovely complete set for an amazing $60 instead of hundreds.

2. Asian Table Lamp

Instead of switching on a traditional bedside lamp when you cozy into bed with your favorite book, take a look at these ebony wooden framed lantern-style lights to perch on your nightstand. These two lamps are very similar and are reminiscent of a classy Japanese restaurant. Set the mood with this pagoda lamp from World Market, which is less than half the price of the already discounted lamp from Bellacor.

3. Simple Brown Floral Area Rug

Asian decorating is known for using simple motifs that make a strong statement. Adding an area rug with twining floral accents help establish a wistful, serene mood in the bedroom. Choosing a brown area rug with simple floral designs easily compliments the more complex pieces in the room, and the dark color is practical since it does not show dirt easily. On you can find this rectangular floral area rug for $234, which is quite alike in appearance to this rug from Home Decorators Collection- saving you nearly $800.

4. Cherry Blossom Curtains

To compliment the bedspread, hanging sheer cherry blossom curtains over the windows ornament the room cheerfully. It’s like wall art for your windows. Gain privacy without closing off the sunlight with these white floral curtains, which can be had for a mere $20 from Collections Etc. Exotic hand-painted oriental curtains can run into the hundreds.


5. Privacy Screen

Just like old-fashioned dressing rooms used stand up privacy screens, you can have one of your very own in the bedroom, whether for practical use or decoration only. Set up a four-paneled Asian privacy screen in an empty corner for a unique, worldly decoration. Just because these items are uncommon does not mean that they will drain your wallet- an authentic-looking four paneled Asian privacy screen can be had for around $60.

Interested in other decorating ideas? Join our conversation on Facebook, or browse our main real estate site!

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Top Ten Ideas for a Halloween Party

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October 21 Contests and Events Staten Island Top Ten List Trending

Halloween falls on a Friday this year! Obviously this means we shall all have an unhindered night of spooktacular fun, right? YES! If your group of friends do not have any plans just yet, be the one to throw a Halloween party, the and TrendingSINY way! Here are the top ten things you will need for a purrfect party:

1. Pick a theme. This is an important step. You will need to figure out what the theme of your party should be. Do you want the home to be haunted and filled with zombies, mummies, and vampires? Or do you prefer to throw a modern Halloween themed party with pumpkins, witches, and ghost décor? The only limit is your imagination! Once you settle on what you want, you can design the party around that idea.

2. Enter, if you dare! The first thing guests will see are your outdoor decorations. Make sure your front lawn is dressed for the occasion with a cemetery, ghoulish figures, and spider webs! If you need some inspiration, check out our Halloween Decorating Ideas, or visit our Facebook page to be inspired by the Best-Dressed Halloween Home Decorating contestants!


3. Deck the halls with haunts and scares. Once you are satisfied with the outdoor decorations, it is time to decorate the inside of your home! Only focus on rooms you will be holding the party in. Set the Halloween mood indoors with lanterns, banners, balloons, cut outs, spiderwebs, lighting, and, of course, decorative pumpkins.

4. How to creatively block off rooms. Control where the party goes by keeping people out of rooms they do not belong in with some crafty ideas. Try using caution tape, or police “do not enter” tape to block off a room that is considered a “crime scene of a murder”! Or go with the zombie theme and block off rooms with wooden boards, declaring with signs that the “living dead are inside” and mortals must stay out.

5. Keep guests on the ground level. Do not want wandering guest to enter the second floor? There is a creative way you can keep them out of there too. Try adding a staircase display. Add tool cloth, leaf garlands, spider webs, and “do not cross” tape. Give it an extra creep factor by adding fake mice, decorative body parts and skeleton bones.

6. Care for a bite? Make your food table as decorative as everything else. Have a centerpiece, use tablecloths, and themed party plates, cups, and napkins.

7. Trick or treats! Let us not forget about the Halloween-themed food you can serve: from mummified hot dogs, to graveyard pudding!

8. Witches Brew. Why not mix Halloween-themed drinks for the adults as well? Serve them in a cauldron, or give your pitcher a fancy name, such as “Carrie’s Blood”, “Zombie Virus”, “Polyjuice Potion”, or “eyeball punch”.

9. Watch your back. Make sure your guests do not have a place to hide from your Halloween spirit. Decorate the bathroom too! Some the best horror movies have a bathroom kill! This can be accomplished with decorative towel, mirror paint, and even a scary “psycho” shower curtain.

10. Party Tunes. No party is complete without a playlist! Mix your entire Halloween playlist in with your Top 40 tunes.

Now your party is ready to begin!

What are some of your Halloween party ideas? Share your thoughts by joining our conversation on Facebook!

Check out our Pinterest Top Ten Board for more pictures and how-to links.

Images source: blogspot, pinterest, catchmyparty


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Upcoming Staten Island Events: Week of Halloween

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October 20 New York News Contests and Events Staten Island Trending Trending TV Upcoming Events Video

Featured this week:

October 30th– Halloween Home Decorating Contest Winner Announced

October 31st– Live Halloween Show at 580 Woolley Ave

Ocober 30th and 31st– “The Littlest Witch”

October 31st– Halloween at Historic Richmondtown

October 31st– After Dark Cemetery Ghost Tour

November 1st– “Untold Stories of Lighthouse Horrors”

November 1st– Art Lab Masquerade Party Fundraiser

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Tech Corner: FBI Fears New Smartphone’s Settings

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October 17 News Tech Corner Trending

For everyday iPhone users, the main concern they have for their new iPhone 6 is if it may bend in their pocket; the instance of which is highly unlikely despite the rumors. But for the FBI, their concerns range wider. Apple, and even Google, has made their new software pretty difficult to crack and law enforcement is not happy about this.

New smartphone operating systems have a new and powerful encryption setting that is making it much harder for law enforcement and surveillance groups, such as the FBI and NSA, to access user’s email, photos, and contacts. This is leading the FBI Director, James Comey, to believe Apple and Google’s new privacy standards could enable criminal activity.

During a press conference, Comey states that it will take “more than five and half years to try all combinations of a six-character alphanumeric passcode with lowercase letters and numbers”. He also states his concerns that “these companies marketing something expressly to allow people to hold themselves above the law”.

He even went as far as placing blame on new technology for hindering federal bureau investigations, causing families to be let down while searching for kidnappers because contents on the victims’ phone cannot be decoded. He goes on to state that the updates in operating systems will prevent law enforcement from stopping terrorists.

Comey believes that Americans do not trust the government. He criticizes the public for their beliefs that government officials access personal messages and emails sent, claiming this is false. He comments of this fear and mistrust by declaring “it is time we have a debate on security and liberty.” But are Comey’s arguments in this conference valid?

Apple and Google have dismissed Comey’s exaggerated claims by stating that access to information, such as geolocation information, call logs, emails, iCloud storage, and other data from different carriers can easily be granted with a police warrant.

Technology companies were not the only ones to make a comment. Laura Murphy, head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office, released a public statement on the organization’s website, stating “Comey is wrong in asserting that law enforcement cannot do its job while respecting Americans’ privacy rights. Indeed, the federal law explicitly protects the rights of companies to add encryption with no back door.” The Center for Democracy and Technology president, Nuala O’Connor agrees. She explained that law enforcement agents already have plenty of other means to get stored data from devices. She says that “weakening the security of smartphones and trusted communications infrastructure should not be one of them.”

What do you think about this situation? Join our conversation on Facebook and share your beliefs!

sources: New York Times, re/code

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