The Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine Scavenger Hunt is On

THE FOLLOWING POST IS BEING WRITTEN BY A GUEST BLOGGER
By Bracha Komarov
     Whether you’re a kosher restaurant “foodie” or you just like to go out to eat once in a while, The Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine Scavenger hunt has fun for everyone. The magazine advertises over 200 top kosher restaurants worldwide, their menus and other pertinent information. Elan Kornblum, also known as “The Restaurant Guy,” first published the magazine in 2004. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, a scavenger hunt has been going on which gives teams of family and friends chances to try new dishes while advertising on Facebook about the great restaurants in the magazine. Now in its third and final week of the hunt, each week there are 30-40 “challenges” that teams must try to accomplish. Some of the challenges were as simple as taking a selfie in front of a GKRM restaurant, while others were taking a picture of video trying dishes in certain restaurants. Some challenges took lots of guts – singing menu items in opera voice, singing happy birthday with a store manager, and even asking a non-GKRM restaurant own why he isn’t in the magazine. With 30+ teams competing, there’s a lot of competition going on. You can check out the website to see what it’s all about and you can still join a team or create your own for the last few, fun days. Visit The Great Kosher Restaurants Scavenger Hunt  for more about the hunt and  http://www.greatkosherrestaurants.com/ for more about the magazine and to order your must-have copy!

Reflections on 2013

As we come to the end of another year, it’s time to reflect on what it meant to us.  For me personally it meant something. There were many highs and lows, ups and downs, good and bad but in all that happened, I never once gave up. Well, I thought of it but that’s the easy way out and I’m no coward. I’m not going to go off on a rambling here and go into details (It’s gonna be to long of a post if I did that) instead, I will just reflect on a few things that meant something to me.

    Though reflecting on it can be hard as some can find it hard to recall what happened from January till December (A ball dropped somewhere in between right?)  No, it actually means something to people when the ball drops because people find it an excuse to propose to their loved ones. (Did she say yes?) Interestingly enough, I live in NYC and I’ve never ever stepped foot in Times SQ to see it drop. Nope I’m drinking booze (champagne… I’m probably hammered at that point to know the difference) and watching it on the wall (See, I told you I’m wasted) and that’s good enough for me. The funny thing is that Jan 1 and Dec 31 is full circle for me because I end the year with friends and begin anew with them as well.  I guess friends are really important in one’s life.

    It really does wonders when you spend time alone though (Not a hermit) because it makes you think about certain things. No, wait. Actually being alone is healthy and sometimes is what is needed.  I know it helped me and we all have our own ways of doing what we need to do to “heal” ourselves and truthfully it’s all for naught if you don’t live by whatever mantra it is you decided to live by. I have and I’m the first to admit that I’m not perfect nor have I actually lived by my own mantra and that’s okay because it gives me  a chance to write posts like these. 🙂

 In all seriousness though, someone asked me 365 days ago what my New Years resolution was and I told her what’s the point? No one keeps them anyway and if you don’t believe me just ask around and you’ll be amazed at the answers. Well, I guess we keep them for maybe 48 hrs and then it’s like: Resolution/s? What resolution/s? But it’s all willpower. Is it hard? Yes but so is being alive each and every day which is a challenge in itself.

 And with challenges brings risks and if I didn’t take any I’d never have experienced or faced different things and in my opinion, risks are part of life’s lessons. It’s like an obstacle that has to be  completed. I did take some. Some I enjoyed taking and some I did not but the funny thing is that I learned more from the ones I didn’t enjoy taking then the ones I actually did enjoy. Ironic isn’t it… 

    I learned stuff about me that I didn’t even know. It’s a scary thought when that happens because sometimes you just don’t want to know about it. But it’s those moments when you are the most vulnerable that’s hard especially when it happens among a crowd or friends.  But I guess that’s something that maybe you need I don’t know.  It’s tough to reflect because I honestly either don’t remember it all or purposely blanked it out but the joke is on me because I’m reminded of them at various different points and probably for my own good.

    All in all, I can’t complain about 2013. I made some great new friends, experienced new things and places and no regrets.

In fact, I don’t believe in regrets. No. To me, there’s no such thing as regrets just mistakes. I’m asked that question all the time and honestly I say that no, I don’t.  Why? Because I can’t live a life based on regrets because it just doesn’t work like that. Not everything that happens is for me and not everything that goes on is for me but on the flip side if I do go it may not necessarily be something I should have been to in the first place but really that’s how we learn. We learn from what we experience and how we experience them so how can you regret? Mistake? Yes because if we go someplace and it’s not for us then it’s a mistake and I truly believe that making mistakes is part of life. it’s how we grow and learn. It’s one of those life lessons.

Having said that, I feel that I grew from my living 2013  and for that I have my close circle of friends because they saw things in me that I either didn’t see or was just afraid (scared?) to see for myself. They pushed me. Sometimes hard and the funny thing is they know me better then I do and know what’s best for me and that’s okay because I rely on them for support.

   So when I look back on the year, I am thankful. I’m happy. I’m proud. I’ve made many mistakes and with those mistakes I’ve sometimes paid the price and I am fine with that because I only have myself to blame for that but if not for those mistakes, I’d never have known who I really am as a person so as I look towards the next 365 days, I thank my friends for always being there  for me when I needed them the most because without you, I might have gotten lost along the way.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 

HERE’S TO 2014

 

A Lesson Learned

 One day about a month ago, I was having a really bad day where things were going from bad to worse. At the same time I was talking to a friend on Facebook who was also having issues that day and well I basically took it out on her when all I was trying to do was help. A few days later, another friend blocked me because he didn’t agree with something I liked. A few days after that, I went on a “warpath” regarding events for singles that were taking place weeks later (see my previous posts). It was then that I received a text message from another friend telling me that he can no longer be my friend because and I quote” You are a mean bitter person who does nothing but hurt others and I can’t associate with people like that in my life right now so lose my number.”   I never did but I guess I might have had it coming.

Over the weekend, the unexpected happened and it happened quickly within a 24 hour period. I was at an event when the person above called me out of the blue. We spoke for a half hour. The friend that blocked me added me as a friend again and in fact, I saw him yesterday as if nothing happened and we were ourselves again. Then, while at work, I got a text from the very person I was having a bad day with that caused me to take it all out on her. She called me and we spoke for an hour. Suffice it to say, everything seems to be back to normal. But man was I caught off guard by the unfolding of this.

Looking back on it now I had it coming and honestly, I probably deserved it. I admit my actions may have been a bit out of control that caused people to turn away and that’s fine because honestly I might have done the same thing in that situation but I am glad that it’s all water on the bridge and that things are back to normal because in all honesty, they are all really good friends.

The weird thing about this is that I’m nothing but nice to these people and in fact, they know this to be true. She (let’s call her Jenny) also had time to reflect and admitted to me that she missed me and that it was really stupid(silly) to not be friends with me as I’m a gentleman and nothing but kind and caring to her.

I guess G-D’s  been good to me. Is it the “pay it forward” ideal? Is it something else? Doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I’ve reflected on things in this whole month and realized that if people can forgive and forget then maybe I can do.  Why? Because in the end, people see you for who you are and it’s the actions that speak louder then words. People have a reputation and that goes a long way. I’m trying hard not to tarnish mine and if people are seeing me in a bad light for my actions then it’s not worth trying to be someone I’m not. It’s not who I am nor who I want to be and sadly, it took 3 friends to make me realize this but I thank them because having them “disappear” for awhile was good therapy for me because sometimes it takes people who care about you and vice versa to make you see what’s important.

Trying To Cover Up The Truth By Blaming Others.

In my last post I had written about how the manager of the venue was threatening me with a lawsuit and saying I needed to seek help. Well, not long after that post I did indeed get handed a lawsuit with I believe is frivolous and insane and here’s why:

First off, he filed using my nickname which isn’t even recognized in the state of NY. He also made me the defendant’s place of business (the place suing me). He then decided to sue me in the amount of 1.5 million with interest. $1 million in punitive damages and another $ 4,400 in compensatory damages. He then added on a page demanding to know why he shouldn’t get a restraining order against me. So my question is this: What the hell did I do? Since when is it a crime to post links on the internet to your Facebook wall? What damages, if any, have I caused?

If he gets wind of this blog is he gonna sue me for taking it public? The manager needs a scapegoat so he’s using me to look like the hero in all of this. Why? Because he’s desperate. He knows no one is coming to the “hotel” and knows what I did will maybe keep people away but when a place is public knowledge there really is nothing you can do. He claims he’s suing me because of links I posted from Trip Adviser(which apparently he claims he’s suing as well) which has the reviews to his venue.

Basically what it comes down to is this: Anything you want to know about the place is public knowledge. There’s nothing he can deny (well, he can try). In fact, I did some looking into and it seems that they have 2 strikes with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) regarding their sales and advertising which isn’t really surprising (see my earlier post) plus according to the State Health Dept, they boarded up several sections condemning it till they get the proper repairs .  Of course, the manager doesn’t give a shit so it’ll remain closed.

The second thing is about what I said about the molester (see my last post). I retracted, publicly apologized and then privately emailed him and did the same. Therefore, he feels that by slandering him, I’ve hurt his feelings and his business. I say not true because his business reputation has been ruined for years. He just needed a scapegoat and he found one.

I’ve committed no crime. For that matter, he can’t sue Trip Adviser either. On what grounds can he do so? Last I checked, it was perfectly legal for people to leave feedback on places they stay. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he’s just afraid of getting caught with whatever it is he’s trying to cover up.

I have had bad experiences at the venue and so have others that have been there alongside me and if it’s one thing I learned throughout this whole thing is that all you need is one person to speak up for others to hear because when you do that, others may come forward and that’s all it takes because one person can make a difference.

 

The Truth Hurts (Or The Aftermath Of Trying To Help Others)

In my last post I wrote how about some promoters are dishonest and will do anything to attract a crowd to the place they are promoting. I don’t regret what I did and in fact, I had people thanking me for standing up to these bullies. At the same time, I made a very bad judgement call  that would have done irreparable damage to an individual.  It seems that someone  posted a link to an article where it said that one of the guests at the hotel was a convicted child molester. Going on that, I then made it public trying to warn people who might go with kids or something. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing and again, people thanked me for it.

 However, a few hours later, I was informed that what I thought was true was in fact not and in fact it was for a different crime altogether. I had to fix whatever damage I may have inadvertently caused. So I did what I felt was the right thing to do. I retracted my post and issued a public apology. Not only that, I privately messaged the manager of the place to apologize as well. I did have to delete the first one because I forgot to name the person and said crime. I reposted and within 24 hours, the manager decided to once again email me all pissed. 

Let me quote my statement:

Dear Friends,

I made a really bad judgement the other day in a post that I made. I never should have posted anything about Mr. Streicher being a child molester without double checking on facts and information. What I posted was based on incorrect information which I thought was accurate at the time. Though I can’t take back what I said, and though the damage may have been done, I am owning up to it. I feel bad and ashamed and I would never wish it upon anyone. I apologize from the bottom of my heart and to the Mr. Streicher who I may have inadvertently caused harm to and I wish him nothing but the best until 120.

That’s the apology which apparently didn’t sit well with the manager who deemed it neccessary to email me again with the following: 

Is there someone who can help you here? You are getting yourself into more and more trouble, and need counseling on how to proceed. In your first two posts about molestation, you did not mention (Took out person’s name)  by name, then in your second version of an apology you actually mentioned him by name. The District Attorneys office suggested I contact you before lodging an Aggravated Harrassment complaint. (PL 240.30), but i am assuming that I am better of speaking to any counselor (legal or psychological) or friend of yours because you must not know what you are doing.

Clearly this guy has issues. First off, this is unprofessional of any business and unethical as well. It took guts  to do what I did and not one that many would do. Did I mention that he wants to sue me for speaking the truth? Last I checked I was within my legal rights to post whatever I wanted. So as long as I’m not abusing my Freedom of Speech on what grounds can he sue me especially since all the negativity is public knowledge?

If he sees this is he going to accuse me of “defamation of character?” 

This makes him look bad not me because eventually people see you for who you really are. Bullies show their true colors. When you do what he’s doing it is because you are desperate and losing money. Doesn’t give you a right to use scare tactics. He claims he’s a lawyer which I don’t buy because if he was then he’d know the laws..  I asked him to stop contacting me and to leave me alone. Let’s see how long this sticks.

  If I really wanted to be a jerk, I could make the summons public which turned out to be a hoax because last I checked you can’t serve someone through email especially when they use a name of yours that’s not even legal.  

Apologizing took guts. I did it and I feel really good about it and again, people are applauding me for it. 

I don’t know what will happen next but I am not worried and as long as I have people on my side I should be okay.

Truth in Advertising

The internet is a powerful weapon. It can be used for good or evil. It’s both a blessing and a curse in the hands of humans. Same goes for Facebook. Case in point: In a few weeks, there will be a holiday we call The Giving Of The Torah (Shavout) and many like to go away be it a hotel, camp or something else. So we then get bombarded with “promoters” advertising places non stop. While this is okay, truth in advertising is something that apparently is NOT in their vocabulary.  While there are promoters that get paid to advertise and bring in people, there job is also to be honest about the place they are doing it for. There’s no reason why they need to be aggressive and bullying to attract a crowd. On top of that, they have a reputation to consider and therefore they shouldn’t say things about the place when it is simply not true.Technically, they can say whatever they want because of our First Amendment rights. But to what extent?

    Okay here’s a scenario: You go away with friends on an event and you are all having a good time. Then something happens that can be serious. People come down with a bout of food poisoning with a few ending up in the hospital. Fast forward to a year later where you have the same organizers going back to the same place.

Next Scenario: You know of a place that in it’s heyday, used to be the place to be but over the years it fell into a state of disrepair. Now you go there and see for yourself the shape it’s in. One year later, you see the promoters doing their thing and you know that it’s not true. What do you do? Do you have an obligation to inform others especially if they may have allergies?

Why do I bring this up? Because I did just that and all hell broke loose. Sure I knew it was going to happen but I felt that it had to be done because someone has to stand up for their fellow singles. I’ve been burned and/or trapped and I don’t want that happening to others. In fact, when it does (and it has) people get turned off from ever wanting to attend another event and why should they have to suffer because of that? 

    Promoters have a responsibility because they are  representing the venue and, in some cases,themselves as well. So if you are advertising a place that is: “Beautiful with impeccable service and a sell out crowd with a great singles program and you know that some of this is the opposite what do you do? First of all, because a promoter is representing the venue that venue has a certain image and if  I, as a promoter, misrepresent that to the public there’s a question of morals that come into play. One is: People will come based on what I advertised. Two: They will come because of the price. Now you get there and find out the place is falling apart and not at all what was advertised. So now you have a problem. people will be up in arms for being lied to which means now that venue’s image has now changed because of what the promoters did. Here’s the thing though: While I understand promoters are being paid to do just that, there’s no reason why they need to be aggressive and bullish about it. Eventually people will come because of it but they will find out the truth.. Then what? 

   So when you start to publicly list all the events with the pros and cons and then get attacked for it, that is what I don’t understand. What is wrong with doing that?  People don’t have a right to know if they don’t know which venue to go to? All you do is put the options out to help them decide… 

Same thing with the food poisoning. Sure it happens. That’s life but as an organizer, it’s your responsibility to make sure these things don’t happen again. Well, no, there’s more to it then that. You, the organizer, are in charge of everyone that is at the event which means that if something goes wrong it is your job to own up and admit it and then apologize not to deny it and blame it on someone who wasn’t even there. It’s common sense really. Think about it. If word gets out (and it usually does) what do you think will happen? Well, do you really trust this person again? Do you go on their events in the future? A person’s reputation is very important and in my opinion, it can be ruined in an instant.  Like I said, shit happens but you have to be able to deal with the outcome of it. How far does one go to inform others about said place without crossing a line? It’s funny. No matter what you do or how you do it, there will be those that will hate you for it and those that will support you for it and that’s okay because people who really know you know that you are just trying to be a good person by helping others out. But if it’s one thing I learned it’s that you have to prepared for what comes once you make those posts.

      Speaking of which: It is very unprofessional (and probably unethical) for any business to threaten you with a lawsuit for posting something they don’t agree with especially when it is in public domain. Promoters and venue management cross a line when they start messaging and bullying everyone who posts a comment to your post asking it to be removed. Forget the fact that Freedom of Speech allows people to say whatever they want within reason, but if everyone got annoyed at every bad review out there then where would our entertainment value be? It’s the nature of life. Besides, it makes you look bad and gives you a bad name when you do it.

  I understand that it’s a business and that they try to do the best they can to make people happy and happy customers are returning ones. But they also don’t want to be lied to. If someone is paying $400 for a weekend he/she wants to get their money’s worth. In today’s day and age, the way the economy is, people will be cautious how they spend it and where they spend it. Sometimes giving people different options listing the pros and cons of each can be helpful to them and they will thank you in the end.

And really this is what it really comes down to. There are some honest event planners and promoters out there who care about their reputation and their people and then there are others who are just in it for the money and could care less about what you you think and that is just wrong because eventually the truth will come out and people will expose them for who they really are. But until that happens, someone has to take a stand and do what’s right. People will either appreciate you for it or they will do what they can to make you look bad which is expected. But when people start to follow in your lead and support you, what happens then? Will these “promoters” still trash you and deny it all? As Captain Picard once said: “The line must be drawn here and now” and when that happens, more people will come out in support of you and say no more and when that day comes  hopefully it’ll mean more singles will be able to continue going to events without any problems.

Let me leave you with this powerful yet appropriate quote. 

“To Thine Own Self Be True:—- William Shakespeare.

    

21 Dating Truths We Need To Realize

 1. 95% of the time, they didn’t lose their phone. They didn’t drop in the toilet or the bathtub. It wasn’t shut off. They just didn’t want to text you. If not, why aren’t they Facebooking or tweeting you right now?

2. If you’re looking at someone’s online dating profile and there are multiple people in their photo and you say, “Who is that guy? He’s hot!”, the person will never be that guy. He will always be the person standing next to that guy.

3. No one’s ever “too busy” to hang out with you. Lots of busy people still date. Taylor Swift makes time for a new boyfriend every other day.

4. Everyone is allowed to make the first move. We put so much emphasis on seeming detached and unavailable until the last possible moment, worried we might scare them off by actually seeming interested. What if, heaven forbid, we showed them how much we like them? It’s a revolutionary thought, I know.

5. If they’re talking about their ex all the time, they are not over their ex. Did they just break up with someone? Then they are most likely not ready to date, even if they say they are. If they are actually ready, they are a serial monogamist. Don’t go to there.

6. You don’t have to rush into anything. It’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t call you his girlfriend right away. Neither of you are stricken with the bubonic plague. There’s no bomb in your chest that will go off if he doesn’t say, “I love you” in X amount of months. Slow and steady is just fine.

7. If the person you’re dating is dating you as a project or dating you to change you, they are not interested in you. They’re interested in an idea of you. For instance, an article from a couple years ago advised men on how to “subtly” tell their girlfriend she’s getting fat. If your partner subtly tells you to lose weight, subtly tell them they are single.

8. How quickly they text you back says nothing about how they feel about you, unless it’s legitimately a long time. If it takes a week, that’s a problem. But there’s no difference between 26 and 27 minutes. One less minute doesn’t mean true love.

9. Every guy isn’t going to be “the one” — and maybe no guy will. We need to stop asking every person we date to fulfill this singular role. Why not look for “the one who is good right now?” If that person ends up being “the one who sticks around,” great.

10. Your parents are not responsible for your dating life. We’re all fucked up, but we need to stop letting that be an excuse. If you don’t want to get married, don’t get married for your own reasons — not because of other peoples’. Your parents’ marriage says nothing about how yours will turn out.

11. Sex with another person always means something — whether you are dating casually, non-exclusively or are married. You are inside someone. How is that not a big deal? Even if the two of you are open, sex is an inherently meaningful act. Treating it like its nothing is just an indication of how you’re treating your partner — like it’s nothing. No matter your status, be honest and respectful of the other person’s feelings.

12. Their looks don’t correlate with anything else. Hot guys can be jerks, who clueless dorks who live in a bubble of their good looks. However, they can be well-adjusted people, especially if they don’t know they are hot. This, my friends, is what we call a unicorn. Hold onto that horn and never let go.

13. Did they break up with you because they “don’t want to date?” They just don’t want to date you.

14. Do all of your friends hate them? Does your mom hate them? Do people who don’t even know you hate them? Behold the red flag.

15. You’re not going to trick someone into liking you or wear them down. Pining for someone or helplessly waiting around for your mate to get interested in you never got anyone the girl. If you’ve been put in the friendzone, you need to recognize that and move on. It sucks, but the sooner you deal with the suckage, the sooner you can start getting jiggy with someone else. Even DJ Jazzy Jeff found a life after Will Smith.

16. Being nice doesn’t get you anything. There’s this weird idea that if we just put our head down and be “the good guy,” we get rewarded with Shooky-Shooky Time. However, you’re never entitled to anything. The only thing the object of your affection owes you is honesty. If you think that acting a certain way means they have to have sex with you, you’re honestly an asshole.

17. The other sex isn’t as complicated as you think. Almost all problems in this area stem from our lack of communication, our inability to just be honest or let the other person know when we feel like we’re not on the same page. People are pretty simple. You’d find out if you just asked.

18. Potential mates don’t care about your Gucci bag. Designer brands might give you personal confidence, but if we’re talking guys, trust me: they don’t care. They just want you to feel sexy and beautiful, whatever you are wearing. I personally have a thing for girls in boy shorts. I can’t help it. It’s sexy.

19. They won’t fix what your ex did to you. Don’t ask them to. You will bring your emotional baggage into the relationship, but they should not be the one unpacking all of it.

20. Also, your exes weren’t evil, and everything wasn’t their fault. They were good people (for the most part) who just weren’t right for you, just like you weren’t right for them. Taking responsibility for your share of the past will help you take responsibility for the future.

21. You don’t control your dating life. The saying goes that all women have the love life they want. I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit. I know a lot of people who are fucking miserable, and they didn’t ask for that. They just don’t know how to ask for more. We’re lost, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Do we just become a spinster? Do we go the mail-order bride route and just sell ourselves into a life of quiet matrimonial slavery?

No, you just get comfortable with the fact that you can’t control everything. You don’t have a crystal ball that tells you if he’s the one — or even if he’ll call you tomorrow. (You can always call him!) The only thing you can do find out for yourself, trusting in your ability to believe this one will be different. That’s the beauty and terror of dating: there’s no map and few certainties. You have to learn to go your own way. Embrace the journey