Posts Tagged 'New York'

New York City’s Silent Restaurant

Most of us enjoy silence in the right situations. When I want to go to sleep at night I want complete darkness and silence in my bedroom. But would you go out to dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t allow you to speak?

That is what one restaurant in Brooklyn is doing. Inspired by Buddhist monks in India who eat their breakfast in complete silence, the owner of Eat in Brooklyn is having certain nights where no one in the dining room is allowed to speak ever. On these nights all diners are served the same four course meal for $40 per person so no words need to be spoken to order food. The only noises that are heard in the dining room are background noise from the street and the kitchen and the sounds of people eating.

This is an interesting little novelty and I think it is a cool idea for a restaurant to stand out in New York City’s extremely competitive restaurant market. They are also wise to impose these rules only on select nights because novelties can wear off pretty quickly. Diners at the restaurant seemed to enjoy the experience though because they knew what they were getting into.

A restaurant where no one speaks with their mouth full.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

Why People Are Giving Up Cars

We’ve been experiencing a large-scale transformation in how we get around. Once the ownership of cars became sufficiently widespread in the 1950s we’ve seen explosive growth in urban sprawl and suburbs because car ownership allowed people to live much further away from where they worked. As an example, the town of Wayne, New Jersey is now a big suburb 20-30 minutes outside New York City with a population of about 54,000 people. Between 1940 and 1960 Wayne’s population exploded from 6,868 people to 29,353 people (that’s a growth rate of 427%) and that trend has repeated itself all over the country.

Now we’re seeing evidence that that trend is reversing itself. Right now the percentage of American households that don’t own a car is at 9.3 percent which is up from 8.7 percent where it bottomed out in 2007. Forbes has a fascinating article about what the contributing factors are to this trend.

Lack of a driver’s license – Believe it or not there is much less interest in getting a driver’s license compared to a decade ago. Young people who grow up in cities where car ownership is unnecessary are less likely seek a driver’s license when they’re old enough to get one because they don’t see a need for one. However, the biggest adult demographic of people without a driver’s license are people between the ages of 30 and 55.

Access to other transportation
– Mass transit, especially around urban areas has expanded to the point where it provides a viable alternative to commuters. Commuter bus and rail lines have expanded to much more areas and have allowed young commuters to be able to put off buying a car.

Cars aren’t available – Increasing population density decreases access to cars. Around 30 percent of people who live in areas with 10,000 people or more per square mile report they do not have access to a car. The further out you get into the countryside, the more that number decreases.

It’s easier to walk places – Walkable communities are hot real estate right now and there is great demand to not have to use a car to do routine errands like grocery shopping. Living in a walkable area decreases the need to own a car and some people are able to ditch it entirely as a result. Also there has been a rise in telecommuting and working from home which further decreases the use of cars.

All of that being said, we’re still a culture very much in love with our cars. Over 90 percent of American households own at least one car and 80 percent of commuters use a car at some point in their commute. But that is changing slowly but surely.

I don’t think anyone enjoys going through that every day.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New Jersey, New York, and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

The Cheapest Beer in the NFL

The NFL is one of the most valuable sports leagues on Earth and it’s popularity has made it expensive for fans. Since there are only eight regular season home games for each team and only so many seats in a stadium, ticket prices and concessions can be exorbitantly expensive. So much so that if you’re a Giants fan that wants season tickets, you have to go on a waiting list where you can expect to wait about 40 years. If you want to have a few rounds beers of beer and snacks at the game you’ll probably end up spending as much as you paid for your ticket. Now there is a very good social incentive for beer to be expensive at football games especially when the game is between bitter rivals. Fortunately, The Street recently put together a list of the cheapest per ounce pricing of beer in every NFL stadium this year. If you just want to watch a game with a reasonably priced beer and not get into a drunken fight with a fan of the other team, these are the best teams to go see at home to get the most beer for your buck:

Tie 6: Denver Broncos/New York Giants/New York Jets/Houston Texans/San Diego Chargers/Tennessee Titans/Cincinnati Bengals/Cleveland Browns $0.42 per ounce
5: Minnesota Vikings $0.39 per ounce
Tie 4: New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals $0.38 per ounce
3: Carolina Panthers $0.375 per ounce
2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers $0.36 per ounce
Tie 1: Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints $0.35 per ounce

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

The World’s Most and Least Honest Cities

Would you return a lost wallet loaded with money and the owner’s contact information? That’s what reporters from Reader’s Digest tried to find out. In an attempt to find the most and least honest cities in the world they went to sixteen cities and deliberately misplaced some wallets. It turns out that the most honest city they tested was Helsinki, Finland where all but one of the lost wallets was returned. The least honest city tested was Lisbon, Portugal where only one wallet was returned and that one honest person was a Dutch tourist. The lone American city tested was New York City and it turned out to be more honest than most of the cities tested, returning 8 out of 12 wallets. More interesting was that age, gender, and income played no significant role in determining who would return a wallet. Here is a list of all the cities and the number of wallets that their citizens returned (out of 12):

Lisbon, Portugal: 1
Madrid, Spain: 2
Prague, Czech Republic: 3
Zurich, Switzerland: 4
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 4
Bucharest, Romania: 4
Warsaw, Poland: 5
London, UK: 5
Ljubljana, Slovenia: 6
Berlin, Germany: 6
Amsterdam, Netherlands: 7
Moscow, Russia: 7
New York City, USA: 8
Budapest, Hungary: 8
Mumbai, India: 9
Helsinki, Finland: 11

The Finns may speak a crazy language but they won’t steal your wallet.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

New York Highways Now Featuring Text Stops

Texting and driving is a real problem that causes thousands of car accidents every year and has tragically cost people their very lives. In response to this public safety concern, some state and local governments are coming up with some creative solutions beyond upping the legal penalty to doing it and repeatedly telling everyone “DON”T TEXT AND DRIVE”. New Jersey recently passed a law that would allow police to search through drivers’ cell phones at the scene of an accident which seems destined to be fought all the way to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, New York is taking a more interesting approach. The New York State Police are investing in police vehicles where the cabin is elevated well above that of a normal car so police can see if other drivers have phones in their laps.

New York State also recently unveiled some new highway signs. They are rebranding existing park and ride stops and rest areas on their public highways as places where you can pull over and safely text people. This is kind of a brilliant idea when you think about it. When driving long distances seeing a sign that a rest area is coming up provides one with a level of psychological satisfaction. You know that in a few miles you can have access to something to eat and bathroom facilities. Governor Andrew Cuomo is hoping that same principle will apply to motorists who are tempted to text on the road. Best of all is that it costs the state very little money to make a few new highway signs. Better yet all of the rest areas on the Thruway already have free wi-fi so you don’t even have to use up your precious data if you want the internet at a rest area. This is an incredibly simple, cheap, and creative solution to solving a very real problem our society faces.

Text stops, not rest stops will soon dominate New York highways.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

French Castles Are Cheaper Than New York Apartments

It’s no secret that real estate in New York City is expensive. Most city residents have resigned themselves to the fact that if they don’t already own property in the city limits they probably never will. But what if you do earn enough to make buying a house or apartment in New York a viable option? Would it even be worth it? Buzzfeed has put together a list of six lovely picturesque castles in France that while expensive, cost less than some houses and apartments on the market in New York City. What could possibly explain why a modest living space in New York could demand a higher price than an extravagant French chateau?

It all comes down to supply and demand. New York City crams about 8.3 million people into 302.64 square miles with many more people wanting to move in. By owning property in the city you are not only close to the office where you earn your money, but you also have the ability to make a killing renting your property. Living in New York also comes with the advantages of not having to own a car and all of those related expenses as well as fairly easy access to markets for goods and services that you want and need. All of those factors are what drive property values in New York up to the astronomical levels that they’re at now.

Now lets compare that to the French castles. Yes they’re quite large, luxurious, and have incredibly beautiful views. However, Many of them are out in the French countryside further away from shops, services, and places where people work. Also maintaining those incredible lawns and gardens can’t be cheap. There is also the issue of taxes. If you earn anywhere near the amount of money where you can afford one of those castles you’re going to pay far more in taxes living in France than you will in America. When you consider all of those factors together, that is why enormous French castles are cheaper than New York real estate. The list price of a New York apartment is far closer to the true cost of ownership than it is for a French castle. But I will defiantly keep that article in mind in the incredibly unlikely chance that I win the Powerball.

I’ll take that over a Bed-Stuy townhouse any day.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New York City and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

Using Sand To Save Us From Another Sandy

You may not know it by looking at the weather forecasts but the North Atlantic is right in the middle of hurricane season. While places like Florida are very aware of this and have been for decades, residents of New York and New Jersey have new found reasons for concern during hurricane season. Prior to Irene in 2011 the last hurricane to come within 150 miles of New York City was all the way back in 1986. Now that we’re almost a year away from the wrath of Sandy questions are arising about what can be done to make any future hurricanes less destructive. There have been proposals for dams blocking off all of New York harbor, but the easiest and cheapest solution to be implemented has been sand dunes, and they have worked incredibly well.

The town of Ortley Beach on the Jersey Shore was one of the worst hit areas from Sandy. Many of the residences there were damaged beyond repair and still to this day most of the damage done still hasn’t been repaired. However, if you go a few miles south on Route 35 you will be in the town of Midland Beach which escaped Sandy mostly unscathed. Only one home saw any significant water damage there. The difference between the widespread destruction in Ortley Beach and the lack there of in Midway Beach can be attributed to sand dunes. Midway Beach’s sand dunes were started decades ago to avoid what residents considered a nuisance. Sand from the beach was being blown into the streets and residents were tired of having to clean it up. The 25 foot dunes were built up to keep the streets clean but decades later they ended up saving the homes of almost everyone.

So how does one build up such a defense on the shore? For a dune to form it needs to have some kind of anchor for the sand. That role is being filled by picket fencing and discarded Christmas trees. What is also needed are plants for the top of the dunes to keep them in place. The interesting thing for species of beach grass is that they will grow higher as the dunes grow. planting them now when the dunes are small will ensure that they have deeper roots to keep more sand where it is supposed to be. The biggest thing that a strong dune system needs though is time. They work best when the ocean wind builds them up naturally instead of just dumping a big pile of sand at the beach and calling it a day. I sincerely hope that we don’t get another storm like Sandy ever again but we shouldn’t be naive enough to forget the lessons it taught us. Through intelligent long-term planning and investments in things like dunes, we can prevent a great deal of destruction the next time we’re in the path of a hurricane.

I don’t want the Jersey Shore looking like this ever again.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New Jersey, New York, and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

An Interactive Map of Manhattan… from 1836

New York City wasn’t always the metropolis it is now. For one thing the city limits of New York City used to be just Manhattan. It wasn’t until 1898 that the five boroughs joined together to become the city it is today. There was also far less people and it was much harder to get around. Getting from Brooklyn to Manhattan is now a common subway ride for most New Yorkers. That ride used to be a dangerous boat ride across the East River. If you could somehow teleport yourself to New York City 175 years ago you would probably have no idea where you were.

Now it is possible to be able to somewhat imagine what Manhattan was like back then thanks to this new interactive map from the Smithsonian. With this map they’ve combined a map of Manhattan from 1836 with a satellite image of the city today and you can see the differences. Back then you can still see the general patterns of the streets and avenues which largely remain the same today. However, there are huge amounts of empty space on the island and it gets emptier the further north you go. Even as far back as 1836 the area we call Harlem today was mostly just vacant land. In fact, it didn’t look like there was much in the way of development north of 42nd street. Seeing how comparatively undeveloped the city was back then makes you really appreciate how far it has come in so short a time. This map is a really cool glimpse into New York’s past and well worth checking out.

NYC 1836

Manhattan then and now.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New York City and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

The Price of Beer Per Ounce in Baseball Stadiums

Here’s an interesting exercise to try. The next time you go to a professional sporting event compare the prices of food and drinks at the concession stands to the prices you would see at your local supermarket. With no competition inside the stadium and restrictions on what you can bring inside, prices get marked up to absurd levels that few other businesses could ever get away with. No where is this more apparent than with the price of beer. The last time I drank beer at a sporting event was last year at Yankee Stadium and a 16 oz cup cost $9. The only reason I even got it was because I wasn’t the one paying for it.

At least with alcohol sales there is a real social incentive to charge exorbitant prices for otherwise cheap beer. Drunk fans can cause some real problems and if a fan really wants to buy enough beer to get completely hammered the team wants to make a killing off of them in the process. The stadiums also stop selling alcohol at a certain point in the game like the fourth quarter in football and basketball or the seventh inning in baseball. Also the last time a sports team in America tried to run a promotion selling excessively cheap alcohol, the game ended with thousands of fans rioting on the field. Although beer is expensive in stadiums, the prices and portions are not equal. This means that in certain stadiums you get far more beer for your buck. Team Marketing Report has put together a great infographic showing the price of beer per ounce in every Major League Baseball stadium this year:

The Red Sox and the Cardinals get the worst of it by far but at least they have great teams that are winning this year. On the other side you have teams like the Angels and Diamondbacks where you can get two beers for the same price as one beer in Fenway Park. The fans I feel the worst for though are bad teams with expensive beer like the Mets, Nationals, and Mariners. Speaking as a Met fan, their performance on the field and their owner’s cozy relationship with Bernie Madoff in recent years has sometimes made me want to drink away the pain and suffering that they have been causing me. They should at least have the decency to give their fans some sort of value for their money.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Sports Legends, Dead Leaders, and Street Names

American cities love to name their infrastructure after their dead politicians. Just look at New York city for example: JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, the FDR, the George Washington Bridge, and the recently renamed RFK bridge (I will still always call it the Triboro though). However, the city of Green Bay Wisconsin does things a bit differently. In Green Bay if you coach the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, you’re getting a street named after you. The legendary Vince Lombardi has been immortalized in Green Bay’s municipal infrastructure for over 40 years. When Mike Holmgren’s Packers won Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 he had a street named after him later that year. So it stands to reason that after current Packers coach Mike McCarthy brought home the Lombardi Trophy in 2011, residents would be lining up to have their streets renamed.

Well not so fast. Residents have been resisting having a street named after McCarthy even though they love what he’s done for their Packers. When the name of your street changes, you have to contact everyone that uses your address and notify them of the change. Some people understandably don’t want to take the time to do that. There’s also the issue of Mike McCarthy sharing the same last name of a rather infamous dead Wisconsin politician. Some people think that honoring their current coach with a street name can be misinterpreted as honoring former Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy who was rather famous for being an overzealous communist-hunter in the 1950s. So Mike McCarthy’s street remains in limbo for this season amid the controversy but one thing remains certain though. If Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers win a second Super Bowl this season, street names are definitely going to get changed although one of the streets may be named “Mike McCarthy St.”

Time to show McCarthy some love.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.