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Constellation Energy Partners Schedules Conference Call to Discuss Second Quarter 2013 Results Press Release : Constellation Energy Partners LLC  –  Thu, Aug 1, 2013 4:15 PM EDT
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Constellation Energy Partners LLC (NYSE MKT: CEP) announced today that
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A replay will be available beginning approximately one hour after the
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August 26th, 2013 - 0 comments - Filed Under -
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Tiffany & Co shares rise as Q2 profit beats, outlook improved
Tue 9:36 am by Deborah Bacal
For the quarter that ended July 31, the New York, New York-based luxury jewelry retailer reported net earnings of $107 million, or 83 cents per share, up from $92 million, or 72 cents a share, in the same period last year.

tiffany Tiffany & Co. ( NYSE:TIF ) shares rose in early deals on Tuesday after reporting an improved full year earnings outlook and a better-than-expected second quarter profit. 


tiffany outlet For the quarter that ended July 31, the New York, New York-based luxury jewelry retailer reported net earnings of $107 million, or 83 cents per share, up from $92 million, or 72 cents a share, in the same period last year. 


sell tiffany and co jewelry Net sales worldwide climbed 4 per cent to $926 million, or 8 per cent when excluding the effect of translating foreign currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars. Comparable store sales rose 5 per cent, as growth was seen in most markets. 


tiffany rings Analysts had expected earnings of 74 cents a share on revenue of $941.5 million, according to FactSet.


tiffany jewelry outlet “Total sales growth met our objective due to solid performance in most regions, and with particular strength in our statement and fine jewelry product categories," said chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski in a statement Tuesday. 


tiffany outlet locations "We were pleased with the results of our efforts to improve gross margin which, combined with well-controlled expenses, yielded a solid increase in operating margin.”


Indeed, gross margin in the quarter increased to 57.5 per cent in the second quarter from 56.3 per cent a year ago, benefitting from diminishing product cost pressure and prices increases taken earlier in the year, the company said. 


Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 3 per cent in the second quarter, due to store-related costs and higher marketing spend, partly mitigated by the translation effect from a stronger U.S. dollar. 


In the Americas region, total sales increased 2 per cent to $444 million in the quarter, while comparable store sales were unchanged. The company saw sharp growth in the Asia-Pacific region, however, as total sales rose 20 per cent to $208 million, while same store sales increased 13 per cent in the area, led by strong sales in greater China. 


Business in Japan was impacted by a negative translation effect from a substantially weaker yen, causing total sales to decline 14 per cent to $136 million, but on a constant exchange rate basis, sales actually increased 7 per cent during the latest period as same store sales grew 8 per cent. 


Even sales in Europe rose 11 per cent to $111 million, with comparable sales up 7 per cent due to sales growth in the U.K. and most of continental Europe, Tiffany said. Other sales increased 33 per cent to $26 million, reflecting the conversion of five stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently operated to company-operated. 


As a result of the better-than-anticipated quarterly results, management now forecasts net earnings in the range of $3.50 to $3.60 a share for the year ending January 31, 2014, compared with its previous forecast of $3.43 to $3.53 a share, and $3.25 per share in fiscal 2012. The improved forecast is based on the assumption that worldwide net sales will increase by a mid-single digit percentage in U.S. dollars. 


“Looking forward, we are equally excited about the initiatives we are pursuing in product development, marketing communications and store expansion, all intended to further enhance Tiffany’s strong brand position and take fuller advantage of its long-term growth opportunities in the global luxury market," said Kowalski. 


The company, which held $490 million in cash and equivalents at quarter-end, also opened three stores in the second quarter, in Hong Kong, Italy and Mexico, and closed one in Japan. At the end of July, it operated 277 stores. 


Shares of Tiffany & Co. climbed 1.1 per cent in morning trade on Tuesday, to $82.55. 


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Haute Secret: Ivan Bekichev from Bulgari
August 24, 2013 11:49 AM | Read 84 times

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Meet Ivan Bekichev of luxury jeweler Bulgari .  Ivan is a Senior Sales Associate at the San Francisco store and specializes in finding unique, one of a kind pieces for his personal clients. Born in Siberia, Ivan made his way to the United States in 1994 working for an American friend who was selling Russian Art (coincidently that friend is now a Utah State Senator!).  Ivan landed in San Francisco on a business trip and it was love at first sight.
He started his career in fine jewelry in 1998; not exactly what he imagined when he got his MA in linguistics back home.  But clearly Ivan has a flair for fine things, working for high-end jewelers Tiffany & Co. and Boucheron , eventually landing at Bulgari.
Now a connoisseur of high-end jewelry, Ivan is also savvy professional in his field with a loyal clientele that includes celebrities and socialites. He is a frequent guest at many San Francisco social events and knows everything luxe in the city. Take a look at Ivan Bekichev’s Haute Secrets…

Where were you born? Siberia, Russia
How long have you lived in SF?  18 years
What Neighborhood? Nob Hill
What is your occupation?  Senior Sales Associate at Bulgari (San Francisco)
Favorite Restaurant: Boulevard
Best Sushi:  Sushi Zone
Best Italian: La Ciccia
Best dessert: Tartine Bakery
Best place for a romantic date: Zuni Cafe
Best Sunday brunch: The Ritz-Carlton
Best place for a power business meeting: Campton Place or Four Seasons
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Huntington Hotel
What is your favorite shopping venue/boutique: The Archive on Sutter Street and Barney’s
Best Spa: Nob Hill Spa @ Huntington Hotel
Favorite Charity Event: Zoofest
Favorite Cultural Event: Fall Antique Show
Favorite Cultural Institution: I have memberships @ deYoung and the Legion of Honor
Best Steakhouse: Harris’ Restaurant
Best Pizza: Pauline’s Pizza on Valencia
Best Lunch: Boulette’s Larder
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: I’ve been going to Club One for ages (It’s one block away from home, so I don’t have an excuse not to go)
Best Massage: I have a private massuse
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber
Best Museum/Exhibit: Asian Art Museum
What is your favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore?  Fort Mason
Hottest Club/Lounge: The Cellar
All-around favorite locale in SF: Mission/Dolores area; love walking around there on a sunny day…
Best aspect of SF: I love how wonderfully diverse the city is, and it’s never boring that’s for sure!

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Like Haute Living San Francisco? Join our  Facebook page  or follow us on Twitter  @HauteLivingSF . Want Haute Living San Francisco delivered to your inbox once a week?  Sign up  for our newsletter.

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Industrial Tool Supplier Garrison Dales Announce Launch of New Season Products
Worcestershire based professional tool importers and distributors, Garrison Dales, have added fantastic new products to their work wear range.
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(PRWEB UK) 14 August 2013

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Leaping into the future together


August 16. 2013 2:23PM

MARY THERESE BIEBEL [email protected]










tiffany EDITOR’S NOTE: Vows is an occasional feature that tells the story of a wedding and how a couple found each other. If you would like to share the story of your wedding, please contact Mary Therese Biebel at 570-829-7283 or [email protected]




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tiffany and co After Tashara Teart and Christopher Sheperis exchanged wedding vows on June 21, they joined hands and jumped over a broom that had been decorated with lace and ribbons and placed on the floor at St. Mary’s Chuch of the Immaculate Conception in Wilkes-Barre.


Jumping the broom is a custom rooted in both African and Celtic traditions, Tashara said, so it reflects both her heritage and Christopher’s. It shows the bride and groom’s willingness to “jump into a new life as husband and wife, sweeping away old problems and old concerns,” and it honors past generations of people who took that same leap of faith.


Every part of the broom “has a symbolic and spiritual meaning,” the couple’s friend Shamar Moss explained to the congregation. “The straws are the family roots, the handle represents the Lord and his blessing, and the bow being the tie of love that binds the couple together.”


Their love has been building for years, said the Wilkes-Barre couple, who first noticed each other when they were volunteers at a bowling party sponsored by a group called “Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere.”


Tashara had grown up volunteering for the cause because her brother, Tevon, received an autism diagnosis as a child, and Christopher was there because of a family friend’s interest in the group. “My mother always taught me to give back,” he said.


Actually, Tashara said, she and Christopher had likely attended many of the same S.A.F.E. events in the past but they didn’t notice each other until December 2007. She was the one who suggested the two go out for dinner, and they did, choosing the Lone Star Steakhouse. Every January since, they’ve returned to the restaurant to celebrate the anniversary of that first date.


The better they got to know each other, the more they felt destiny at work.


“I think Tashara is everything a good person should be,” said Christopher, who recently turned 29. “She’s caring. She’s always got a smile on her face. I thank God every day that I’ve been blessed with someone I don’t really deserve.”


Giving a smile that hints she does find him deserving, Tashara, 26, said, “I can’t imagine a day without him. Ultimately, you want to be with someone who’s your best friend.”


The couple cheered each other on while they finished their schooling. Tashara, a Coughlin grad, worked on her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education at Misericordia University, followed by a master’s degree at Bloomsburg University. Christopher, a Meyers alum, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King’s College and enrolled in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) at church, to prepare for receiving Catholic sacraments.


“I was so proud of him. He was the only one in the class, but he persevered,” Tashara said. “He did all his homework.”


Sharing their faith is important to the couple, who attended Mass together before Christopher proposed on Christmas Eve 2012.


While he works as a legislative aide to state Sen. John T. Yudichak, Tashara is a special-education teacher at Daniel J. Flood Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre. As a teacher, she considers summer the best time for a wedding, and the couple did get married on the first full day of that season.


On the wedding day, Tashara’s shih-tzu, Brady, seemed determined to be part of things. As the bride was about to get into a waiting limo, she noticed the little dog had run outside — and the door to the house was already locked. The neighbors couldn’t help; they were already at the church. So Brady sat next to the limo driver and rode along to St. Mary’s, where the driver got a set of house keys from Tashara’s father and took Brady home.


Before the ceremony, a group of Tashara’s friends, dressed in white robes with blue sashes, performed a liturgical dance. Guests filled the pews on both sides of the aisle, following the directions on a sign Tashara had made that said “Please choose a seat, not a side. Today two families become one.”


Instead of bridesmaids and ushers, the couple invited family members into the wedding procession, including parents of the bride, Denise and Dolphus Teart of Wilkes-Barre, mother of the groom, Rosemary Sheperis of Nanticoke; sister of the bride Tiffany Teart, brothers of the bride Tevon Teart and Patrick Stokes and brothers of the groom Brandon Sheperis of Texas and Andrew Sheperis of Wilkes-Barre. Principal witnesses were Amber Fiorelli of Chicago and Brian Carey of Myrtle Beach, and nephew Cody Sheperis, 4, carried the rings.


In addition to the traditional vows, Christopher added some promises he had written, among them: “I promise to listen without interrupting, answer without arguing, share without pretending and trust without sparing. Most of all, I’ll remember to promise without forgetting.”


During the reception for 120 guests at A Touch of Class, the groom surprised his friends by dancing a tango. That was Tashara’s idea; she loves dancing and is a part-time teacher at the Harris Conservatory in Luzerne, where Sean Harris choreographed the special steps, including a dip, for the couple.


“I can’t believe I convinced him to do that,” she said with a grin, “but now he’s happy I did.”


“I can’t say I’m happy about it,” Christopher protested. “I’m just an average guy.”


He may say that, but as the “average guy” and his dancing wife begin married life together, they’re both beaming with happiness.


 
 

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Cheap Fashion Clothing Store PACCONY.com
 
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Manchester United Replaces LVMH’s Hublot With Bulova as Partner
By Paul Jarvis -
2013-08-14T12:20:50Z

watches Manchester United, the world’s
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Louis Vuitton SA (MC) ’s Hublot as the club’s official timekeeper.


cheap watches The agreement allows Bulova, a unit of Japan ’s Citizen
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value of the new partnership, which places Bulova alongside
existing sponsors including Aon Plc, Nike Inc. and DHL.


top brand watches The soccer club , owned by the Glazer family, was impressed
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have both grown to become global leaders in our fields.”


swiss replica watches aaa+ A Hublot clock that was installed in a tower at the
entrance to Old Trafford has been removed, Lowe said. LVMH
didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.


Manchester United is worth $3.2 billion, according to the
Forbes list of the world’s most valuable sports teams, published
in July. That places the franchise second only to Spanish soccer
club Real Madrid, valued at $3.3 billion.


To contact the reporter on this story:
Paul Jarvis in London at
pjarvis@bloomberg.net


To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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Today in APIs: Slicktext New SMS API, Printful’s Custom Printing API, and 11 New APIs
Greg Bates , July 16th, 2013 Comments (0)

tiffany Slicktext SMS API integrates new functionality. Printful’s API prints for you and ships, too. Plus: Telecom API revenue opportunity projected to be $157 billion, APIs as the key to maximizing the cloud, and 11 new APIs.


Slicktext Adds SMS API for Integration

tiffany outlet online Text message marketer Slicktext has just released an SMS API so that developers can integrate the function into their apps.


tiffany outlet online According to the press release , Slicktext plans to provide SDKs shortly to facilitate use of the API:


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tiffany outlet locations As Slicktext notes, text messaging can be an incredibly effective tool for advertising, with 97% of all text messages read within the first 5 minutes. Programmableweb’s own Amy Castor described in detail how Slicktext works , along with covering the release of an earlier API in June.


Printful’s API Aimed at Printing and Shipping so You Don’t Have to

tiffany outlet online One of the last things you want to worry about as a start up is coordinating a printing and shipping operation. Especially if it makes sense to print, ship and mail one item at a time. Got T-shirts, posters, framed prints or canvasses? Printful , a company started by the Draugiem Group who also launched motivation startup quote maker  Startup Vitamins , will get it done fast.


As Steve O’Hear of Techcrunch points out, Prinful is aimed at one-off printing of a wide range of items.


“Targeting small businesses or any website that wants to sell bespoke merchandise, the specific problem that Printful is setting out to solve is not being able to automate drop shipping and printing for one-off orders. Through its API and own facility in Los Angeles, it wants to provide those Long Tail producers and brands with the opportunity to set-up-shop without the financial risk of large pre-orders — printing and fulfilment is on-demand and one-off orders are openly encouraged — or without creating too much additional overhead/labour.”


Obviously, the API is critical–you want to be able to sell on your site, have the order all handled by Printful in a manner that the customer experiences as seamless–and as you. Some API documentation is available, and contacting the company for further details is necessary.


API News You Shouldn’t Miss
Box, Dropbox vie for developers’ loyalties
Text Message Marketing Provider SlickText.com Launches SMS API
From The Startup Vitamins Team, Printful Launches Its Drop Shipping And Custom Print API-Driven Service
Mind Commerce Reveals $157B Telecom Network API Revenue Opportunity
How APIs are enabling businesses to maximise the potential of the cloud
11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including a daily deals aggregator, a crypto-currency exchange service, an electronic device remote monitoring service, a bulk sms service, an anti-spam software and a bitcoin trading service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.


CityDeals API : CityDeals is an online retailer that provides discounts and deals from hundreds of local and national businesses on a daily basis. You can use the their online marketplace to search for deals at businesses in your area.


City Deals offers a RESTful API for retrieving current daily deal information. API methods include deals, divisions, authentication, signup, order, category, and coupon. Responses are returned in JSON or XML formats. An API key is required.


Coins-E API : Coins-E is a crypto-currency exchange that allows users to purchase, store, and trade in an assortment of crypto-currencies. Coins-E is a The Coins-E trade API allows users to place and buy, sell, and many other orders in over 30 different crypto-coins. The service uses REST calls and returns JSON. An account is required with service.


electric imp API : The electric imp is a tiny hardware module that can be installed in an electronic device. Once installed, it connects the device with the imp cloud, allowing it to interact with software, third-party services, and external servers. The imp can help users monitor the health and activity of their electronic devices anytime, anywhere. The electric imp API enables developers to access local hardware and remote cloud functionality for an imp device.


KAP Computer Solutions API : KAP Computer Solutions is a bulk SMS provider based in India. Their messaging platform allows users to send SMS from the website, Excel SMS plugin, or REST API. Users can upload contact lists from a text file or Excel spreadsheet. Messages can be delivered instantly or be scheduled for future delivery. Sent message history is tracked, and users can retrieve delivery status reports for their SMS. Free demo accounts are available so that users can try out the service.


Lionhardt Lionytics API : Lionytics, from Lionhardt Technologies, delivers embeddable anti-spam barriers. The Lionytics API allows developers to include this functionality in almost any application. The API supports HTTP GET calls and all passed data must be encoded and escaped. Responses may be JSON or XML format.


LocalBitcoins API : LocalBitcoin is a Bitcoin site that facilitates the purchase, sale, and trading of Bitcoins with nearby people. The site services over 244 countries and enables the private and secure trade of the crypto-currency. The LocalBitcoin API allows users to automate routine tasks involved with the maintenance of advertisements and/or trading, or create applications that utilize the LocalBitcoin service that can earn the user money. The service uses REST calls and returns JSON. The API requires an API key and uses OAuth 2 for authentication.


MySMSmantra.com API : MySMSmantra.com, part of Micronet Infocom and Logistics, provides SMS services with a focus on SMS marketing in India. MySMSmantra.com offers customers an API able to send SMS, generate reports, check account balances, and change passwords.


Pool-X API : Pool-X is a Litecoin mining service that allows a group of user to share the computing power of multiple computers to solve blocks of Litecoins. The users then split the coins that are generated form solving the block and can sell them or trade them for other currencies. The Pool-X API allows users to query for the name of the pool being mined, check a hash rate, check workers, share this round, get info on the last block, as well as query for info about individual mining statistics. The services uses REST calls and returns JSON. An API key is required with service.


Seculert API : Seculert is a a cloud-based security service that provides targeted and timely information related to a company’s exposure to cyber threats. Seculert provides an additional layer of security on top of a companies on-premise security products by collecting external threat intelligence from cybercrime servers and botnets, providing a comprehensive coverage of malware.


The Seculert API allows you to leverage Seculert data with your other security solutions, such as SIEMs, firewalls and proxies. Integrate the API with your existing on-premis security products and Seculert will update them with newly detected advanced malware. Requests are sent via HTTP and XML, CSV, and JSON formats are supported. An API key is required.


Space API : Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places where people can meet and work on their projects. The Space API defines a unified specification across all hackerspaces that can be used to expose information to other applications. Information provided by hackerspaces includes data like contact information, door status, and sensor data such as the temperature or number of computers that have currently leased an IP. The directory currently lists 73 participating Hackerspaces.


WhatsNew? API : WhatsNew? is a service that allows bloggers to automatically show their readers what new content and/or features have been added since their last visit. The service works using the blog’s RSS feed, and tracks users using cookies. WhatsNew? also provides analytics including overall numbers a well as breakdowns by post.


WhatsNew? offers a Javascript API that allows you to customize the WhatsNew? widget. Options include customizing overlay content, customizing greetings, customization of the notification style, and more.


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Brand Library Regains Its Historical Grandeur The Brand Library and Art Center is receiving a host of improvements and restorations


tiffany BY ROUBEN KRIKOURIAN


tiffany and co outlet When you first approach the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale it’s hard to miss the Art Nouveau glory of the Tiffany leaded glass on its windows, which, until now, were hidden under metal grating. The historic Brand Library and Art Center is under some major remodeling, and with improvements like a seismically retrofitted structure, it’s as striking on the outside as it is inside.


tiffany outlet store The Brand Library and Art Center consists of two parts. The first building is the original mansion built by Leslie C. Brand in 1904, which the locally famous philanthropist named El Miradero. Built in an architectural style that combines Spanish, Moorish, and Indian influences, the building is characterized by its serene all-white appearance. L.C. Brand gifted El Miradero to the City of Glendale after his death in 1925, although his wife resided there until her death in 1945. In his will, Brand mandated that the mansion be used only as a library and public park.


tiffany & co The second building is an addition that was built in 1969 and added a recital hall, spaces for art exhibitions and studios, more space for library books, among other things.


tiffany outlet online In the course of the century, the mansion lost its original appearance as walls were covered up, painted over, and the flooring undone.


tiffany Talks about remodeling and restoring Brand first started three decades ago in 1984, explains Cindy Cleary, the Director of the Glendale Library, Arts, and Culture Department. In the early 1990’s, with some help from a Getty Foundation grant, the Glendale Public Library was able to make assessments and officially envision plans. But, as other, more pressing projects came to the City’s attention, the Brand Library was continually put on the backburner until, finally, in July of 2012, work on restorations began.


The foyer at the entrance to the mansion, where Library Administrator Carolyn Flemming says library specialists will be stationed


Now, the reconstruction is more than half-way done. The Library and Art Center has received a remarkable face-lift, with a restoration that has managed to preserve and recreate the old, while introducing modern essentials.


First, the newer, 1969 building has been thoroughly remodeled. The recital hall and art exhibition space have been revamped and a new kitchen area has been added, for use by parties who host their events there.


“We hope to have this space used for weddings and other events,” says Cindy Cleary. “With the kitchen and the new plaza downstairs, this will make a great space for hosting guests.”


A state-of-the-art climate control system has been added, with carefully placed components on the roof of the building that are invisible to passers-by, so as not to ruin the building’s appearance. Library Administrator Carolyn Flemming says the climate control system is highly important in preserving the library’s sizable collection of old books and vinyl materials.


Most important, there is a newly remodeled space for the library’s book and CD collection, located at a central area of the building, where all of the library’s materials (except vinyl records, which will be kept safely in storage) will be shelved. Carolyn Flemming, laughing off the inevitable, says that transferring thousands of books back into the library is going to be a huge challenge.


A new corridor now connects the 1969 building with the Brand Mansion, and as you cross over, hints of wood and color are introduced in preparation for entering the historic mansion.


An artist carefully recreates the stenciled embroidery that used to embelish the walls of the mansion


The mansion has been completely restored. The artists and historians who worked on the restoration plans went though great pains to make sure that the new interior would resemble its original appearance as closely as possible.


Luckily, they had some help. As they scraped through wall coverings and layers of paint, they discovered faint remnants of stencils made on the rounded covings of the mansion’s walls. To the artists’ delight, they also discovered remnants of the original paint on the walls, which happily matched exactly what they had predicted the colors would be.


Confidently backed by this evidence, the walls have been painted as Brand had them painted when he lived in the mansion, and a team of artists are recreating the decorative stencils on the walls.


The list of restorations continues with an exact replica of the mansion’s fireplace, which was a unique double-sided construction that provided a fireplace for two adjacent rooms. Once the new wood flooring and period-appropriate rugs are placed, the mansion will be ready to be furnished and used. Carolyn Flemming says the Library’s plan is to have the space be a tourist attraction as well as to serve as a quiet reading are, with tables and chairs placed in each of the several rooms.


For tourists, the library plans on providing self-guided tours of the mansion, with guests’ choice of a mobile app, an audio tour, or simply a brochure.


Since 1984, the project has been provided with $9.5 million in the form of grants and city funds. The city expects the project to be complete and ready for the public by spring of 2014.


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Aug 12, 2013

iwc The Iowa Wesleyan College football team is ranked No. 7 of 10 teams in its first year as part of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). The Tigers received 29 points in the coaches’ preseason poll. The College of St. Scholastic is slated as ...


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Saying Good-bye: The Hostile Takeover
08/14/2013

watches By Dennis Rubin


Cheap Rolex Watches “All good things must come to an end”; this well-worn anonymous saying dates all the way back to the year 1374, and it certainly describes my career. The conclusion of one’s chosen career is often a “good ending.” The end of most “watches” is well planned and greatly anticipated. However, in some cases, the ending could be a surprise and abrupt. Regardless of how "the last day of work” arrives, it will happen, and it will be time to hang up the fire helmet and move on to the next station in life.


Replica Rolex Watches It seems as if it were only a few days ago that I was walking down the halls of the fire training academy as a brand new recruit in October 1971. The anticipation of becoming one of America’s Bravest drew a spectrum of emotions that included excitement, challenge, and nervousness—all at the same time. Who knew that I would have the honor and opportunity to serve as the fire chief in a few incredible communities during my fire service career? The worst assignment that I ever had was amazing, and the best was “heaven on earth.”


Fake Rolex Watches Looking back at all of the trials and tribulations connected with the position of chief, the job is well worth the stress that comes with wearing all five speaking trumpets. When it is time to “take up,” it is generally a bittersweet occasion. The change to a new venue for a different position or to enter into retirement causes a break in the personal friendships and relationships whether intended or not. Of course, the feeling of leaving others behind is the bitter part for me. However, the excitement and opportunities associated with a new assignment are palpable for most folks, and this is the part that represents the sweet aspect of making a change.


Cheap watches Most of the time, the transition process is amicable. Generally, this major organizational change is associated with two very important celebrations:  First, the exiting fire chief should be acknowledged for the work, effort, and contribution he made during his tenure; perhaps a retirement party or similar event is held to mark the occasion. This event will come with all of the traditions that go along with the “old regime” stepping down and lead to the “welcoming gala” for the next new era. The new commanding officer should be welcomed into the organization as the person who will lead the agency into the future. Some of the best and most memorable events occur when the outgoing and incoming fire chiefs are celebrated at the same time and place. A wise and good friend, Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton, pointed out to me that the military has a process whereby the Change-of-Command ceremony is used for this purpose. It is no surprise that the military would model this very interesting and effective behavior. The federal government does the same when a new Commander-in-Chief takes office on January 20, every four years after a national election. The good-byes are short and sweet but very effective. There is a lot of symbolism associated with tasks, including the exodus of the retiring president by helicopter at the appointed time and place.


Replica Rolex Watches The changing of the community’s fire chief is by no means as big of a deal as an inauguration of a new president or even as impressive as the changing of commanders at a military installation. But, the transition rules should be generally the same: civil, effective, and respectful of all parties. We should conduct a ceremony that is a meaningful good-bye for the  outgoing chief and let him leave the organization in respectful peace. Chief Halton originally asked that I write about how to use the change-of-command ceremony to illustrate its importance to the continuity of the leadership of a fire department and perhaps highlight the traditions involved in saying good-bye to the fire executives who are leaving and saying hello to those who are coming in. What an honor and great assignment I have been asked to tackle!


However, I would like to tell you that this article is about the “fun” side of changing command, but that is not the case. I instead asked Chief Halton if I could report on the “hostile takover” process I experienced. Despite the fact that I did not experience a formal change-of-command ceremony at the beginning or end of my term, I did have the best experiences associated with becoming the new chief and leaving the chief’s position.  


One experience stands out, however--the horrendous way I left the organization. Interestingly, I am not the only chief to be ushered out of office while being repeatedly stabbed in the back. I will not mention the names, but other chiefs have lived through a similar set of experiences. Trust me, the “banished” fire chiefs are out there, and their numbers continue to grow. Because really bad public treatment and disrespect may be directed at any outgoing chief, I feel compelled to share my experience with high hopes of preventing similar actions or, at least, preparing the separating fire chiefs for the possibility that they may need to protect themselves.


I am writing this column to help other chiefs prepare for and maybe avoid the unnecessary postemployment embarrassment, harassment, and personal attacks and to protect their good name and character. This advice will go a long way to help limit stress and allow the outgoing chiefs to retain their dignity and sanity. This article is about the “hostile takeover,” not the “change of command” process, which is an opposing action and best describes the worst-case scenario when leaving the office of fire chief. Following are examples of actual events intended to help an outgoing chief avoid the intended fallout and stress that a weak successor brings to the table.           


 


SUCCESSION PLANNING (NOT TOO MUCH)

Succession planning is great in theory. In practice, however, it simply does not work in most public agencies or private enterprises. The likely exceptions to this statement are rare. Organizations such as monocracies (position by bloodline attainment) and dictatorships (totally autocratic) demand the succession order of the leadership roles. Although some fire departments may seem to be dictatorships, they most likely are not. The power to select a fire chief (or any other department head) belongs to the appointing authority such as the mayor, city council, city manager, or an oversight board of the organization. The belief that the current fire department leaders can set the course and make personnel selections beyond the time they possess the legal authority to do so is mostly wasted, wishful thinking. Let’s face it: there is no real harm (however delusional) in thinking that the current folks can select their replacements. I do not believe that there is one example of “succession planning” being implemented in a medium- or larger-sized career fire department setting.


I understand that some succession plans have sections that describe the needed/required career development of the membership to assume more responsibility. The value of personal and career development cannot be overstated. To plan for folks to be ready to assume more responsibility within their agency is “mission critical” for the success and health of the department. My suggestion would be to describe this process as a “career ladder” or “career development.” However, personal development is a lot different from the expectations a succession plan can create. It make sense to keep the elected officials updated on the “bench strength” that a fire-rescue department has built, but again it is with great caution that I point out that succession plans are not requirements to be followed by the decision making-appointing authority unless those members developed the plan.


 


MOTIVATION FOR THE HOSTILE TAKEOVER

Many major American cities have for all practical purposes evolved into a single political party operation. Either the Democratic or Republican Party captures the hearts and minds of the locals for a long list of reasons. Typically, the sentiment is that one of the political parties is in line with the community and the others are just simply out of touch. In the communities where I have served, there is very little political party variety to choose from in an election. There may be many candidates, but almost all hail from and are connected with the same political affiliation. The citizens’ focus tends to narrow and sees only one possible party that can provide public governance. What this means is that for a challenger to take out an incumbent elected official, the personal attack is just about the only tactic used to get elected. The party-line philosophy is generally the same for all of the candidates if they hail from the same political background.


So, the way that an incumbent is unseated in many urban communities is with a good old-fashioned smear and negative (muckraking) political campaign. I know that creating personal attacks just to obtain an elected office seems almost un-American, but there is an old adage that sums this process up the best:  “All’s fair in love, war, and politics.” Just when it seems like the electorate will not stand for one more negative campaign advertisement, the hopefully “attacking politician” gets the prize and is put into office. By the very nature of successful candidates who run negative campaigns, the voters reinforce the notion that the name-calling and backbiting works well to propel one into elected office. The point here is that this behavior is rewarded regularly, so it is very unlikely to stop anytime soon. The fire chief’s role in all of this is to stay politically neutral (as best as he can) and to understand the opportunities and pitfalls of this lopsided process.  


 


IMPACTS AND EFFECTS OF THE HOSTILE TAKEOVER

The impact and effects of such a personal political attack can cause a lot collateral damage. The people who work near and with the incumbent official  being politically attacked may get drawn into the battle. Most fire chiefs did not sign up to be in the political crosshairs, but this is the “nature of the beast.” It would seem that public safety is a basic and critical element of the operation of a local government. Politics should never enter into the selection and retention process for a city’s fire chief. However, as we all know, this is not a realistic expectation. Just as with the succession planning process, the spoils go to the winner; in this case, the elected executive gets to pick his supporting cast of characters. This is not necessarily a good or bad process for a community. Generally speaking, if the elected person is of high quality and a capable performer, so are the fire chief and other department heads he selects. If the elected person is corrupt or incompetent, likely the same can be said for the members appointed (birds of a feather?).


If this election process is a reality in your community, most likely the fire chief will become a political casualty  and be replaced by the incoming official (so much for the succession plan!). All of the folks in the outgoing administration will be asked to tender their resignations; their fate becomes the decision of the newly elected person. The belief is that if the senior elected person (most likely called “mayor” for a city and an “executive” for a county) must distance himself from the old administration, the broom should sweep clean—all new cabinet officers may be on the horizon.


 


THE WARNING SIGNS

The first signs that the transition to the new Fire-EMS administration at my department was not going to be very smooth or effective were blatant. It seemed so innocent at first glance. The soon-to-be appointee fire chief wrote on Facebook: “Want Rubin’s job.” Nothing wrong with that; I am sure that he was not the only one interested in replacing me at the helm of the department. However, a second posting went up just a few minutes later: “and Rubin’s head on a stick.” The second posting caught my attention and would set the stage for what was heading my way in a few months—in essence, announcing the “hostile takeover” was just around the corner if the incumbent lost the election. These postings caused me to realize that I was being replaced by a person who despised my administration and the accomplishments that happened during my watch with the department. I was “served notice” that if my boss did not get reelected, the personal attacks would soon be public. This silliness caused my team to develop a very interesting and informative transition plan that defended our collective honor and will be discussed later in detail.


The nonsense didn’t end with the new guy getting his coveted appointment as chief. Once in the office, the “newbie” made some rapid and poorly planned changes to erase all evidence of my team’s efforts of the past four years. Stranger than truth, there was a “building exorcism” to cast out the evil spirits in the fire administration offices. Next, the department’s official seal (shoulder patch and apparatus door emblem) was changed abruptly. This move cost the taxpayers more than $40,000, which the local media noticed. When questioned, the new selectee pointed out that what the previous administration used as an official seal was a “disrespectful insignia to the people.” When pressed on the disrespectful part, he pointed out that the Rubin-era logo did not mention the “emergency medical services” aspect of the department’s operation. Of course, this was not true! It was fired off to the media to defend the indefensible and unnecessary taxpayer funds expenditure.


Shockingly, the old logo was remanufactured by the new chief without the “Fire & Emergency Medical Services Department” component. His rendition of the seal reflected just the words “Fire Department.”  The fictitious patch was printed in the newspaper and shown on local television. The “watchword” for the newly selected administration was that if the information or statistical analyst didn’t align with the current need, just manufacture the information that serves the purpose; “Just make it up as we go” was the new attitude. I understand that this seems ridiculous and impossible.  However, from apparatus purchases to rehiring terminated employees without explanation to reserve apparatus fleet capabilities, the battalion chief’s promotion list, the annual aerial and ground ladder certifications, the number of arson fires that occurred, and paramedic staffing levels—this guy simply made up the needed results. I would not have interest in his fibbing, but in just about every case, he pointed to me as  the direct cause of the problem.


This section of this article may seem like “sour grapes” and that I am not a graceful loser. I assure you that I left the organization better than I found it and quickly took to the door with my head held high; I understand just how this statement must look to the average fire-rescue person. However, this is a factual depiction of the truth and the actions that have occurred. I have been personally held up as the culprit, the cause of all of the problems for a nearly three-year period.


“Trickery from the old administration” is the quote given to  the news reporters as they pressured the “newbie” to explain why $70,000 of fire resistive (FR) uniform shirts sat rotting on the shelves at the Logistic Section when two firefighter/EMTs were severely burned and two more members were moderately burned at an incident. Their recovery took weeks in the regional burn unit at a tremendous cost of personal suffering and pain. The burn injuries received by the firefighters that night were unquestionably exacerbated by the non-fire resistive shirts that the four were ordered to wear. The reasoning behind the must-wear orders was to have the correct logo even though the required uniforms were made of a 65 percent polyester blend that added to the severity of the burn injuries.


To reinforce the need for this department to place all line firefighter/EMTs in FR cotton uniforms, the department’s company officers had suffered a 60-percent full thickness burn around 10 years prior to this incident. Our member survived but was mandatorily forced to retire on a small disability pension. An extremely productive member of the department was permanently sidelined with great personal pain and suffering early in his career. The attending burn surgeon reported that the injured member’s polyester uniform greatly compounded the burn injuries he received. The FR cotton polo shirts had the “disrespectful” logo affixed and could not be used because of my “ “trickery” to place everyone in a safe station uniform ensemble.  


 


OUNCE OF PREVENTION

Realizing that the mayor-elect would be accepting my resignation because of the pending political changes for the community, it was time to develop a detailed transition plan for the “health and well-being” of the organization. I would love to report that this was solely my idea and that I could foresee the bitter attacks that would soon be heading my way. However, two executive staff members, in particular, urged me to spend the time and energy to develop a comprehensive transition plan. The defeated mayor asked all department heads to put together a few notes as to what were mission-critical departmental concerns that would need to be addressed by the incoming folks. With the mayor’s and executive staff’s insight, a great idea was vocalized and followed.


A comprehensive 21-page “Department Transition Plan” was prepared to instruct the “newbie” on what was happening and what needed to continue to be considered. Of equal importance, this plan was to address the membership of the department with the facts as to where we had been and what we had accomplished over the preceding four years. I would say that the plan was a smashing hit on several levels. As “Rubin Execution date” 1 drew near, the plan was approved by the mayor and widely distributed to all stakeholders. The submission to the mayor’s office worked out very well and held a special acknowledgement. The chief executive used the Fire and EMS Department’s Transition Plan as a best practice example for other city departments to duplicate for the new administration.


This widely distributed plan went a long way to document the accomplishment and progress that was made by the Rubin Administration. Looking at the long list of tremendous accomplishments, we were able to hold our heads up just a bit higher and straighter as we headed out the corporate door without regret. The members left behind had a great working plan of the mission-critical concerns that had to be addressed by the new people to keep making progress. I will try to redact the departmental specific information and make the plan available by email for anyone who requests the complete plan. See the outline checklist at the end of this article for items that should be considered for inclusion in a Transition Plan (Figure 1).



SPECIFIC COVER LETTER FOR THE PLAN

When the plan was transmitted to the Intranet for the membership and to all of the elected officials and media agencies, a personalized electronic copy was mailed to the selectee to his place of employment and both of his residences. This was an important step; this guy made up his own script of facts. I don’t believe that he would ever have acknowledged receipt of the document without proof of delivery by the U.S. Mail. One of the folks who worked diligently on the transition plan and insisted that it was a comprehensive document was the chief-of-staff gentleman. I mention this since he is still with the department and would be the first to recall developing the plan and sending it to the new guy.


Why did I take the time to discuss the need and purpose of a comprehensive transition plan after a political termination? First, I felt very strongly that the members needed to be commended for their outstanding performance during my watch. Second, this plan also replaced the make-believe and personal conjecture with facts for the public record and focused on what actually happened during those four years. Finally, the plan is painfully clear in what actions needed to be taken to keep the organization going forward. The spirit was to do the most good for the citizens and visitors of this city. I would have loved to have access to all of the projects and programs that the last chief thought was important! Rather than taking six months or so to figure out the organizational direction, having a comprehensive report would have been most welcome.


This document has served as a “reputation defense mechanism” for everyone who served at the pleasure and would be released from employment for political purposes. Whether it was the local media or national media or a potential new employer questioning the newly manufactured reality of the department, having a comprehensive plan provided the best framework to call the bluff (actually to call out “blue sky”) of the newbie chief. In essence, this document was a real stroke of brilliance and worth its weight in gold to all who have been attacked.


Regardless of the reason for writing a transition plan, it just makes good sense to complete an end-of-term comprehensive report that describes the organization’s accomplishments and immediate direction. As I have stated, if for no other reason, prepare the report to acknowledge the frontline troops who do the “heavy lifting” every day. If you include the seated elected officials and the local media, it will be difficult to impossible for someone to “fib” at your personal expense. If the governing body and media folks have the information, it may take a while, but the truth will prevail. I would hope that the mere presence and awareness of such a report would be a chilling factor, shielding the outgoing chief from the embarrassment and stress associated with the type of postemployment treatment I and several other executive officers were subjected to from the newbie chief.


I understand that this is an extreme case of a personal vendetta against me. I could fill many more pages with the unwarranted and unprovoked attacks. However, I would offer that developing this type of plan is simply the right thing to do for the right reasons. Perhaps bring in the new chief (if you know who he is) in to help with the development process before the report is published. Maybe this will give the new administration a jump-start on the all-important work of protecting the public while ensuring member safety at the highest level attainable. If you are interested in the full (and redacted report), please send your request to ChiefRubin@me.com.


 


REFERENCES


1. I was relieved of office on January 3, 2011, at 1000 hours.


Dennis L. Rubin is the principal partner in the fire protection-consulting firm D.L. Rubin & Associates. His experience in the fire and rescue service spans more than 35 years. He has served as a company officer, command level officer, or fire chief in several major cities, including Dothan, Alabama; Norfolk, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Washington, D.C. He served on several committees with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, including a two-year term as the Health and Safety Committee chair. He is a graduate of University of Maryland.


MORE DENNIS RUBIN


When Words Become Weapons, Part 3
Dealing With Seriously Bad Behaviors, Part I
Dealing With Seriously Bad Behaviors, Part 2
Dealing With Seriously Bad Behaviors, Part 3
Dealing With Seriously Bad Behaviors, Part 4
Managing the Information Flow at Large-Scale Emergency Incidents
Chief Lessons: When the Cyberbully Attacks

If you enjoyed this information, Dennis Rubin has written a book that has more details and case studies about being a fire chief in a fairly busy city--Washington, D.C.--to be published soon by Fire Engineering : D.C. Fire . For more in fo , CLICK HERE.




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Michael Cox and Hugh Johnson win IWC awards
19 Jul 2013 | By Erin Smith


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iwc Michael Cox, Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners and wine writer and author, Hugh Johnson, were both recognised for their services to the wine trade at last night’s International Wine Challenge 2013 awards.

iwc replica watches for sale Michael Cox was named Personality of the Year and Hugh Johnson received a Lifetime Achievement award.

spot fake iwc watches Cox was singled out by the IWC judges for his long and respected career in the wine trade and in particular his role as marketing director of Matthew Clark in the 1980s and more recently the impact he has made developing both the Australian and Chilean wine categories, first with Yalumba and then 10 years as director of Wines of Chile, Europe. But it was for his achievements as Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners that the IWC wanted to honour him in 2013.

iwc replica watches for sale This ancient guild was given its first Royal Charter in 1363 and this year celebrates its 650th anniversary. The judges said Cox has has “led the Vintners with his customary wit, charm and exuberance over the last 12 months”.

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Johnson says his life was changed while an undergraduate at Cambridge by two glasses of red Burgundy, at a meeting of the university’s Wine & Food Society. One was ordinary, the other magical and his career in the wine trade was born.

He joined Condé Nast Publications in 1960, and started work on Vogue and House & Garden. In 1962 he became editor of Wine & Food magazine, and started to write a wine column in the Sunday Times.

He has published many books about wine, among which are his highly respected introduction to the subject, ‘Wine’, in 1966, ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ in 1971, recognised by the governing body of French wine, the INAO, as the first really serious mapping of the world’s wine regions, and ‘The Story of Wine’, in 1989, accompanied by a 13-part TV programme.

His Pocket Book of Wine has been an annual guide (and stocking-filler) for the last 37 years.

In the commercial world of wine, he has been president of the Sunday Times Wine Club since 1973, he was a director of Château Latour from 1986 to 2001, and co-founder of the Royal Tokaji Wine Company in 1990. In 1986, he created a collection of wine glasses and other wine-related items, with a shop in St James’s and a thriving market in the Far East.

He was awarded an OBE in 2007, for services “to winemaking and horticulture”.


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The Shoppes at Buckland Hills Welcomes Shoe Dept. Encore
The 11,589 square-foot shoe retailer will open in the Upper Level Sears Wing in December 2013.


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IWC football picked 7th in preseason poll
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July 16, 2013 11:36 AM | Read 187 times


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Kris Jenner’s Talk Show Called “Unwatchable” And Kanye West Sends Pap To The Hospital After A Scuffle At LAX
by Lauren on July 22nd, 2013

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It hasn't been a good week for those closest to Kim Kardashian , that's for sure.  Not only has her mother Kris Jenner's talk show trial run been universally panned, her beau Kanye West is scuffling with paps at the airport.  Good times!


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In the note attached to the pricey offering, Kris joked that maybe Linda could use the pen to create a "better review next time."



While Linda makes it clear that she can't accept gifts in exchange for a favorable review, she took to her column to poke more fun at the obnoxious matriarch.  She addresses Kris :  “I cannot be bought – for a pen. A pen and pencil set, maybe – but just a pen? To improve your rating, Mrs. Kardashian-Jenner , either you somehow become interesting, which given the data seems as likely as the pope turning Jewish, or you do better with the bribes.”



Perhaps Kris should buy stock in the cupcake company as a different reviewer described the show as "unwatchable" while another called it "horrible, boring, [and] self-involved."  The ratings seem to reflect this general consensus as well.



If you think that's bad for Kris, wait until you hear about Kanye's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (Alexander has nothing on the poor tiny rapper!) that happened last week.



People is reporting that the tiny rapper got into a an altercation with pap videographer Daniel Ramos as Kanye left Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.  Before lunging at the camera man, the new dad can be heard telling Ramos, "You're trying to get me in trouble so I have to pay you, like, $250,000."  Well, Kanye likely gave the poor guy his wish!



A source tells the site, " Kanye hates when the paparazzi speaks to him.  He got very annoyed with the videographer and lost it."



A spokesperson for the LAPD revealed that the paramedics were called, and Ramos was taken to the hospital.  She released a statement reading, "A police report was taken by the Los Angeles Police Department and the investigation is ongoing."



Another officers explains, "We can confirm that our detectives are handling the case, however, we're not sure if a misdemeanor or felony charge will be filed. The charge will determine if it goes to the City Attorney or D.A.'s office."



You'd think that Ramos would have learned his lesson by not…it was his SUV that received the wrath of a bald Britney Spears' umbrella back in the day…



Check out the video below!



TELL US-ARE YOU SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT KRIS IS GIFTING REVIEWERS?  PLUS, WAS KANYE BAITED BY THE VIDEOGRAPHER?



[Photo Credit: Michael Wright/WENN.com]




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Men apologise over Savile fancy dress float parade
Last updated Sat 10 Aug 2013
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Brillenmanufaktur Mykita: Knick in der Optik
Von Beate Scheder
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Eine Sonnenbrille von Mykita. Ein Accessoire, das längst basisdemokratisch jeden Träger zum Star in seinem eigenen Film macht. Foto: Markus Wächter
Eine Sonnenbrille von Mykita. Ein Accessoire, das längst basisdemokratisch jeden Träger zum Star in seinem eigenen Film macht. Foto: Markus Wächter

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Im Jahr 2003 wurde die Marke von vier Freunden aus Oldenburg, dem Brüderpaar Philipp und Daniel Haffmans sowie Moritz Krueger und Harald Gottschling, in Berlin gegründet. Philipp Haffmans und Gottschling hatten Industriedesign studiert, Daniel Haffmans Architektur. Krueger hatte gerade seinen Zivildienst abgeschlossen. In den ersten Räume, die sie bezogen, war zuvor eine Kindertagesstätte untergebracht. Der Name Mykita ergibt sich in schönstem Denglish aus diesem Fakt.

2004 stellte Mykita dann die erste Brillenkollektion vor, schon damals mit einer Besonderheit, die bis heute ihr Markenzeichen ist: ein patentiertes Gelenk, das ganz ohne Löt- oder Schraubverbindungen auskommt. Stattdessen werden die Bestandteile speziell gebogen und gefaltet. „Es ist so ähnlich wie bei dem japanischen Prinzip des Origami“, beschreibt es CEO Moritz Krueger. Eine besondere Art des Knicks in der Optik, sozusagen.

Auch Lady Gaga ist Kundin

Aus dem Projekt der vier Freunde ist in den mittlerweile zehn Jahren Firmengeschichte ein international erfolgreiches Unternehmen geworden. Nordamerika gehört zu seinen größten Märkten, nicht erst seit Sarah Jessica Parker als Carrie Bradshaw 2009 mit einer goldenen Fliegerbrille von Mykita in „Sex and the City 2“ durch New York stöckelte. Mittlerweile tragen auch Lady Gaga, Elton John und Daniel Craig Mykita. Es gibt Filialen in Berlin, Cartagena, Monterrey, Paris, Tokio, Wien, Zürich und seit Mitte Juli auch in New York. Das Unternehmen kooperiert mit bekannten Designern und Marken wie Bernhard Wilhelm, Damir Doma oder Moncler.

2006 zog man in das sogenannte Mykita-Haus um, einen Backsteinbau in der Brunnenstraße. Dort arbeiten heute 180 Menschen. Der Großteil von ihnen legt selbst Hand an die ultraleichten Brillen. Zwischen 600 und 1 000 Brillen entstehen in der Manufaktur Tag für Tag, noch immer ausschließlich in Berlin und nicht im günstigeren Ausland. „Wir glauben, dass höchste Qualität und Innovation nur dann stattfinden, wenn wir nicht nur Entwickler und Gestalter unserer Produkte sind, sondern auch unser eigener Hersteller“, meint Krueger.

Im dritten Stock des Mykita-Hauses über Lager, Designabteilung und Kundenservice, ist die Fertigung von Brillen aus Acetat und Mylon untergebracht. Letzteres ist ein selbst entwickelter Werkstoff aus Polyamid, besonders geeignet für mehr oder weniger alltagstaugliche Sportbrillen, extrem leicht, flexibel anpassbar und natürlich mit dem speziellen Mykita-Gelenk ausgestattet. Klassisches Handwerk mit neuen Technologien kombiniert – so sieht sich Mykita selbst. Und dazu passt das futuristische Material perfekt. Manche der Modelle sind vielleicht eher etwas für den mutigeren Brillenträger, aber von denen gibt es ja mittlerweile genug.

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1. Radiance Tea House & Books

tiffany jewelry outlet This is the best and only Chinese-style tea house in New York City.


tiffany and co outlet If you have ever heard the names of tea that ancient emperors used to enjoy, Radiance has them all. The owner travels extensively to select the best and most traditional teas. But experiencing quality tea isn’t just about the right leaves, brewing is equally important. Radiance uses authentic Chinese-style brewing so customers get a chance to taste the perfect brew of tea. By appointment, you can enjoy very elaborate hourlong Chinese-style tea ceremony.


tiffany outlet locations Tea originated in China. The ancient Emperor Shennoong was the inventor of Chinese medicine 5,000 years ago. He tasted all kinds of the herbs, roots, and flowers found in the mountains—some of which are poisonous. One day, he discovered that tea leaves can refresh the body and work as antidote to many ailments. Since then, tea has been a daily drink from the Emperor’s palace and ordinary families.


tiffany jewelry outlet 158 West 55th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenues Opening Hours: Mon-Thu: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. radiancetea.com


 


2. Cha An

This is a Japanese-style tea house with restaurant and bar.


In its traditional tatami tea room, every 1st and 3rd Sunday, between noon and 2 p.m., you can enjoy a half hour Japanese tea ceremony with Japanese sweets.


Traditionally, a Japanese style tea ceremony can last as long as 6 hours. Guests would come to a house, approach each item in the tea room to show appreciation, the hostess would clean each item in front of her guests, use proper fire to boil spring water, then ritualistically hand a specially selected tea bowl to her guests. In its truest form, Japanese tea ceremony is more akin to meditation than an afternoon snack.


230 E 9th St. between 2nd & 3rd Avenues. Mon-Thu: 2-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 12 p.m.-12 a.m., Sun: 12 p.m.-10:00 p.m. $20 per person chaanteahouse.com


 


3. Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel

This is considered one of the most fashionable, must-visits for the New York experience. If you ask a native New Yorker where to go on a romantic date, you’ll hear “Afternoon Tea at the Plaza.” It is so popular that you have to make reservation to secure seats during tea time. Don your finest attire as if you are going to visit European aristocracy in a grand mansion.


Known as the heart and soul of the Plaza, and originally constructed in 1907 under the name “The Tea Room,” the Palm Court is a huge space bordered by mirrored doors, marble columns, and crowned with a domed yellow-and-green skylight. It is a feast for sight.


Fifth Avenue at Central Park South Daily: 2-5 p.m. $50 – $60 per person fairmont.com/the-plaza-new-york/dining/afternoontea


 


4. The Astor Court at the St. Regis Hotel

If you like English-style high tea and enjoy European art, the Astor Court at the St. Regis Hotel is the best choice.


You’ll find typical teas grown in China, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa, like those you’d be served in London. For $55 per person, you can enjoy afternoon tea with freshly baked scones, assorted tea cakes and tarts.


With tables dressed in Porthault linens and Limoges china designed by Tiffany exclusively for the hotel, Astor Court is a quiet, high class place for an elegant tea experience. The art decor enhances the European-style experience. In the center of the room, is an enormous flower bouquet. Up around the ceiling, is a replica of Renaissance style painting conveying Greek myths. If you are musical, come when the harpist performs Wed. to Sun. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


2 East 55th St. btwn. Madison and Fifth Aves. Daily Afternoon 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. stregisnewyork.com


 


5. Franchia Vegan Cafe

This is a Korean-style tea house. To enjoy Korean tea, the room environment and decor are very important. The Franchia Vegan has heavy dark wood grating typical of an often cold Korea. The highlight of this space is a mural ceiling reminiscent of a Korean Palace.


They have traditional Korean tea as well as more modern and trendy health teas. The best from their tea menu is the wild green tea from Korean mountain. This kind of wild tea is very rare with a very fresh and gentle taste. It takes you away from the busy city to real spring. Their Korean tea ware is also enjoyable.


12 Park Ave, between 34th & 35th St Mon-Fri: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. / 4 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (last seating) Sat: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. / 4 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. (last seating) Sun: 5:30 p.m. –  9:30 p.m. (last seating) franchia.com


http://www.teaformeplease.com/ Nicole Martin

Don’t forget Harney & Son’s, Physical Graffitea, Bosie Tea Parlor and more. I live in New Jersey and I love that I’m close to all of these great tea places in NYC.


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“Silver Linings” and Other Stories We Tell About Mental Illness
July 26, 2013 By Guest Contributor 4 Comments

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tiffany jewelry There’s a scene in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook that perfectly encapsulates the movie’s tension. Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) are sitting in a diner on Halloween, surrounded by people in costumes. Pat orders Raisin Bran so that Tiffany will understand that this is not a date, a gesture that obviously bothers Tiffany. The purple, single-serve box of Raisin Bran becomes the arbitrary boundary between the two mentally ill people—it’s Pat’s way of saying, “You stay on your side and I’ll stay on my side.” He wants to keep their relationship strictly business. Later in the scene, after Pat goes out of his way to point out that he is nothing like Tiffany, she goes on a rampage, and smashes the Raisin Bran off the table, into the crowd of adults wearing disguises, and runs off.


cheap tiffany & co On his way out, Pat sheepishly pays for his cereal.


wholesale tiffany jewelry What makes this scene so important is the way it plays into the movie’s overall approach to mental illness. Russell stubbornly insists throughout the movie that mental illness is not simply a matter of positive thinking and medication. The movie pokes fun at both of these psychiatric “cures” from its beginning, first showing Pat spitting his medication into the halls of a mental institution, and later making his “positive outlook” into just another manifestation of his disease. What is really important to the story is not the need to stay positive and patient for a “silver lining moment.” What is important is Raisin Bran. What will resolve Pat’s issues with anger is dealing with those purple, single-serve boxes he erects between himself and those around him.


Much of the current public discourse about mental illness isolates the individual in the same way, so that what is abnormal might be easily diagnosed and eliminated. The shape of this discourse has been determined mainly by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which, as Talitha Stevenson writes in The Financial Times, “shapes our concept of the human mind and ‘normality.’” Stevenson’s article, written last month in the lead-up to DSM-5′s May release, examines recent scrutiny of the manual and its implications. DSM has long held canonical status in the field of psychiatry, and has given clear form to necessary abstractions like “normal” and “healthy” in the public discussion about people’s psychological lives. It is the reason that we can distinguish a “bipolar” person from a moody one.


But as useful as the DSM can be in naming the conditions of those suffering from they-know-not-what, the manual creates the illusion that what’s wrong with a person’s mind can be determined merely by observing an individual’s symptoms. Many assume that mental illness is an objective phenomenon, isolated within individual bodies that behave in abnormal ways. However, it has become more and more obvious that it’s just not that simple. “Billions of research dollars have been spent on trying to establish a link between neurotransmitters and mental disorder, and the attempts have failed,” Stevenson writes. “For all the scientific terminology, psychiatric diagnoses are based on subjective judgments.” Scrutiny of the DSM originates from the growing awareness that complex, subjective matters like grief, financial insecurity and loneliness—matters that cannot be discussed outside a person’s community—must become part of the conversation.


But how then can we talk about how a community functions for and with its mentally ill?


Let’s consider Silver Linings again, and its Raisin Bran-discourse of mental illness. What I find sneakily brave about the way Russell tries to tell Silver Linings ‘ story is that he makes the story’s resolution about more than just Pat. Don’t get me wrong: the movie’s ending is indeed hokey and a little contrived, as many have pointed out, but it is so because Russell works so hard to make the mental health of all the movie’s characters depend on one another. He tries to find a way that they can all get better together, and this requires some plot gymnastics, involving a hard to watch dance routine and an outlandish double-or-nothing bet. But what gets lost in all this narrative weirdness is Russell’s implicit suggestion that mental illness isn’t the problem of the diagnosed person alone, but one that the community around that person shares. The language of healing that the movie invokes goes beyond its pep-rally words—“Excelsior” and “silver-linings”—to retrieve more important words like “forgiveness” and “confession.” When Pat finally confesses that he really is a lot like Tiffany, the boundary between them dissolves and they can begin to experience forgiveness and love. Ditto for Pat and his family and friends, who accept him into a community where “normal” isn’t rigidly determined by a handbook, but rather is under construction. Silly though the movie’s resolution may be, it is everyone’s resolution, and it is a necessary step toward their collective healing.


As a person affected by mental illness, I really appreciate Russell’s input. For a long time my mother has been marched through diagnosis after diagnosis, from depression to bipolar to anxiety disorder to schizophrenia. And with each diagnosis and its attendant drug my family has breathed a sigh of relief. Prior to a diagnosis, my mother was just unpredictable and self-destructive; afterward, she was sick and getting treatment. Those orange bottles that filled our cabinets were the fragile pillars upon which we erected our hope. They changed the language of my mother’s behavior, gave it shape and scope. As long as we knew what was wrong and how to treat it, we knew she would get better. Eventually.


Yet the struggle goes on to this day.


Perhaps our main problem has been our collective inability to understand the function of community rituals like confession and conversation in the healing of those such as my mother. But the conversation is changing, and will continue to change so long as we tell our story alongside the story of those that we love who suffer mentally. And Russell is leading the charge. When asked on NPR’s “The Dinner Party” why he decided to make Silver Linings into a movie, he said, “I was looking for a story to tell that could make my son feel a part of the world.”


Would that we could continue to tell such stories.


Ryan Masters just finished his M.A. in English at Liberty University. There, he picked up several chronic social habits, including an obsession with existential Christian literature, Spaghetti Westerns, and pop music. He lives with his wife and newborn son in Lynchburg, VA.



Filed Under: Featured , Film , Of the Moment 4 Comments
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