Archived Posts from "'Everything Else'"

Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani jewelry now available in Hoboken

New and exclusively at W. Kodak Jewelers in Hoboken: Alex and Ani jewelry products.

We feel this is unique (and extremely popular) for several reasons: They have a very accessible price point, a positive image, a loyal following in the younger demographic – and “Made in the USA.”

Alex and Ani Hoboken NJ W Kodak Jewelers

About Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani (briefly) is: “A Positive energy company that creates products of quality and beauty while promoting consciousness and unity.”

Alex and Ani is located in nearly 100 other locations throughout NJ (like at the shopping mall), but only one place in town.

They’re also available in all 50 states, about 20 other countries, ranked 53 in the Inc. 5000 list – and have nearly a quarter-billion in sales! Not too shabby.

So if you’re looking for something for Mother’s Day without breaking the bank – this is one fine option!

W. Kodak Jewelers is located at 60 Newark Street (201)710-5490.

Uptown Starbucks renovated (again)

Starbucks has the dough to keep on renovating!

Starbucks is one amazingly profitable corporation! It seems that every five years they perform a costly renovation to almost all their locations! This happened uptown a few weeks back (we didn’t notice because we broke the Starbucks habit a couple years ago).

So even without our $5 grand a year, they still have plenty of cash to upgrade. Not that anything was wrong with the space before. Now it wraps around a bit, has a little bar area, some upscale backsplashes and not much else in terms of functionality.

Perhaps more people will think about these cushy appointments as they repeatedly drop $10 or $20 a day?

Uptown Starbucks Renovated Hoboken NJ 1

Uptown Starbucks Renovated Hoboken NJ 2

See how it looked when they renovated in 2009…

Chains or not to chain?

Chains or not to chain – that is NOT the question!

Okay – with today’s announcement of two new “chains” coming to Hoboken this year (Athleta and Francesca’s), I guess it’s time to figure out why. And is it a “problem” or a necessary evil?

For one, did you see what Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop wants to do to “combat” the invasion of chains? He wants to limit the chain rentals to no more than 30% (of stores which have 10 or more locations within 300 miles of Jersey City.) So fucking wrong.

While we prefer “mom and pop” type stores over chains, I still think it’s up to the property owner to decide who he will rent the space to (including “red light district” type operations).

The minute we “cheer” local governments for DICTATING what property owners should do with their property – we got some serious problems. And it will only get worse if people keep allowing this to happen. If a small business (i.e., an income-generating property owner) is now restricted in how much earning potential they have – this is the same as telling a bar owner how much they should charge for a pint of beer.

Anti-free market.

The same way we have stupid “equal opportunity” laws dictating how properties are sold and rented – the over-reaching governments should abide by the same for landlords.

Even better, get rid of those laws as well. If I owned an apartment complex, I’d much prefer to choose to rent to people I’d think wouldn’t trash my property.

Never support any “politicians” that want to meddle in the private business affairs of those who pay their salaries (and exorbitant benefits).

chains in cities like Hoboken and Jersey City NJ

But is there a solution?

If you support free markets and minimal government nanny state – but also kind of hate the whole “strip mall” chain environment, how would you plan on keeping it in check?

Partial answer is – you cannot. Not instantly, at least. Which is why chains blow up like this, and expand to enormous sizes.

Another reason is the economy as a whole. The disparity between “big businesses” and “mom and pop” is growing. From sweetheart deals for large corporations, tax loopholes and more – “mom and pop” are at a huge disadvantage (because chains can afford higher rents). Not to mention the value of a dollar keeps going down the more they “print.”

I suppose it’s up to the individual property owners. Some are just out for the bottom line – and don’t care about the types of tenants. Which is fine. But others do have more visionary approach to building a unique and diverse community (think the Pilsener Haus area – with owners like Hany Ahmed…)

It’s also up to the communities themselves. Sure, let the Baby Gap’s and other chains come. If they don’t have enough customers – the stores would eventually go away on their own. But there are not enough people that feel like that to support such a change. To most, the chains (like Walmart) provide the things they want at a substantially lower price. Many local shops just can’t compete.

Isn’t it better to show support with your wallets rather than some stupid politicians? How lame!

Restricting the types of businesses is just wrong – and shouldn’t be done. Let things even out naturally – without government intervention.

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Available in Hoboken: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

The other day I was at Hoboken Daily News at 5th & Washington, and I had the privilege of witnessing a delivery of “goods” from a company called Prairie City Bakery out of Chicago, Illinois. They brought a pile of packaged baked goods (cookies, etc.) to Andy’s store. Included in the batch was a few “bars” called “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.”

Recalling my days of indulgence towards “bars” like that (think: blondies, etc.), I asked the delivery man about these products I saw for the first time – and if they tasted good. The driver responded, telling us that there are other stores in the area that order thousands of these “Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes” because some of their customers love them so much that they buy them BY THE CASE each month!

So I bought one to “share” with others that are more tolerant to decadent carbohydrates than I am.

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Hoboken daily news

So what is the verdict on Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes?

I shared my (relatively) interesting story about the brief conversation I had in the middle of a commerce-based transaction in Hoboken. I mentioned how some customers are hooked as if they’re on “crack cocaine,” and that these buttery delights do not let anyone down.

And then I presented the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake to my recipient.

Three words: Eyes Rolled Back.

Yeah, apparently these “treats,” despite being processed God knows how long ago, and packaged in plastic – were beyond belief tasty. Yes, I had to try 1/16th of a bar to see if the pleasure was warranted, and I have to say it tasted “fresh baked” regardless if I knew where or how it was made. It had a smooth, buttery consistency, and satisfying “swallow.” The thing could be highly addictive if not eaten in a controlled manner.

They figured it out.

Luckily, I am conscious enough not to be swayed by products or tastes like this. I understand they are “pleasurable” to the palette, but “destructive” to nearly everything else. But I have to say – if you’re “in the mood” to screw around with evil treats one way or another – I’d probably recommend these. Eat them slowly, perhaps with a rich espresso-style drink. Maybe enjoying this with another person would be your best bet, as it will “control” your feeding?

Check these out today!

Decadent Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Hoboken NJ

(Note: anyone caring about their blood-sugar should NEVER even think about putting this product in their mouths!)

If you really want to know…

Cornys puffed corn snacks

Invented in Hoboken: Cornys puffed corn snacks

Wow, the hits keep coming in Hoboken! Another innovation to come out of Stevens Institute of Technology is: Cornys corn puffs.

Cornys corn puffs invented in Hoboken NJ

What are Cornys corn puffs? Why?

Five students at Stevens (“The Cornys Team” consisting of Jasmine Mina, Anthony Montufar, Laura Garbarini, Andreas Eisenmann and Nayad Manukian), created the concept for the “Innovation Expo” project. The project teaches promotion, market research and branding – as well as actually coming up with decent products to sell which are unique and have potential staying power with customers.

Besides the “healthy” aspect of these puffed corn snacks – the team also embraced “transparency” – literally. With most snack bags being 80% air these days, the Cornys team opted to show customers exactly what they’re getting by using clear bags not hidden by strategically placed logos.

The air puffed corn snacks are not fried, and only have 70 calories per bag.

Cornys are available in five flavors: Honey, Zesty Tomato, Lime & Chili, Cheese and Peanut. Order yours here.

The Cornys website is www.getcornys.com and you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Read more about Cornys on the Stevens website here – www.stevens.edu/news/howe/cornys

cornys corn puffs 70 calories

Take Back The Night

End Sexual Violence with “Take Back The Night”

Take back the night Hoboken NJOn the evening of Tuesday April 21, 2015 – A very brief “event” in Hoboken called “Take Back The Night” will take place. Starts at 6:00pm at Stevens Institute, followed by a “march” towards Pier A Park, then a little less than an hour of speeches and songs. The event will conclude at 7:50pm.

As the press release indicates, Take Bake The Night is a worldwide event and a non-profit (of course) entity that is “committed” to ending sexual violence towards women. Over the years, they’ve “refined” their cause to include sexual assault, sexual abuse (what’s the difference?), “dating” violence and domestic violence (as opposed to violence “abroad” such as unwarranted wars of aggression). It appears that sexual violence against men have no place in this vigil.

Events like this now take place in several dozen countries each year.

As with most (if not all) social justice type events, there will be “chants,” awkward moments of silence and speeches from survivors.

They invite everyone to be “a part of the solution” (to help draw more attention and money to this 501(c)3 foundation).

Freedom to choose and support

As a reminder – we think it’s perfectly okay that organizations like this exist, as they have every right to in our (for the time being) free country. The fact they have “supporters” speaks volumes on their ability to effectively communicate their message.

Just the same, we also think it’s perfectly okay to discuss subjects and foundations like this in a critical light. Just because the “cause” may be a sensitive or even sad situation – does not mean the same standards of challenge (cui bono?) cannot be applied. No need to tip toe around some subjects but not others.

That said…

Why single out one type of “violence?”

To get at the “root cause” of problems humanity face is a very difficult nut to crack. And almost always humanity causes their own problems (with the exception of some natural disasters).

But the thousands of organizations that are “committed” to solving the individual problems is the equivalent of attempting to solve the disease on one low-hanging piece of fruit instead of what’s systemically hurting the entire tree.

And sexual violence is a very tricky subject matter to try and “group” into one. I can imagine most cases of sexual violence have a myriad of reasons for transpiring – that can hardly be lumped together as similar. Or that can be solved by “awareness.” We could go on and on about some of the causes (beyond just mental illness). Like proper parental upbringing (and how in today’s welfare society – no one is seeing how that epidemic isn’t causing a million other problems). Or the economic sham that requires both parents to work (thus destroying the single most important factor that kept America in check – a strong family unit). And how that has now led to the battle between sexes in the name “equality.” Or “the drug war” (both “street” and “pharma.”) Or how there is NO shame in displaying highly sexual images in every movie, tv show, magazine and commercial.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Covers Then and Now 2015

Everything is sexually based now – doesn’t that play a role?

As we just said – don’t you notice how practically everything is “sexy” in some shape or form? The line “sex sells” is absolutely true most of the time – and it’s disintegrating many traditional values and actual “intimacy” (both physical and emotional).

You can’t even buy a jug of milk at an ordinary supermarket these days without being bombarded with some kind of sexual imagery on magazine covers. Take a look again at those Sports Illustrated covers above. Back in the 90′s – that picture of Tyra Banks was “racy” as hell!

But it’s not even good enough now, because the bikini bottom has to get even lower to the “sweet spot.” So low, they probably even photo-shopped “the goods” out of the picture. Heck, it appears that one member of the board at Take Back The Night is an anti-porn activist – and couldn’t stop this “almost porn” from gracing magazine racks worldwide.

Look at this – I mean how close to naked can this be? But it’s there for all to see!

2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit crotch no imagination

Any violence is bad

While groups like these plea for support to help various individuals and their individual problems – most seem to look the other way when it comes to the violence that has perpetrated on planet earth over the centuries.

Literally hundreds of millions of people dead in “wars” or other acts of territorial or financial aggression. Makes these sexual violence issues pale in comparison.

It makes you realize that the human race is simply flawed beyond repair. All the evolution, technical and medical advancements, and so on isn’t helping one bit. In fact, it’s making the problem that much harder to correct.

In the end – it really can be remedied most of the time by the individual themselves. By simply avoiding situations that may pose a risk to yourself or your family. Women in particular could start by not “showing off’ their bodies by wearing provocative clothing. Just because you can express your freedom doesn’t mean you should ignore what we know is a flawed species. You think someone enraged by hormones can think rationally?

But yeah, violence does suck – and we do not support it unless it is for reasons of defending yourself, family or property.