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7.21.2014

Selling a 1958-Released 'Lady Sings The Blues' Book Online


I continue to get surprised every time a book buyer buys a book from among my listings in my online storefronts, which I myself would have second thoughts of buying for myself. This refers to the recent sale I made through my Amazon.com storefront, which has made me happy, as well. Only someone who knows what (s)he wants would buy books like this one, which I said and described to be really in a 'delicate copy' and in a foxed condition at that. I had to tape the spine together as the pages are getting detached from one another. I wonder if this copy would still manage additional handling from more readers. Oh, well, I'm taking chances that the buyer would decide to keep, read the book, preserve it, or even share it with someone when (s)he's done with it. I'm sure I won't feel bad if (s)he decides to return it and get refunded with the payment (which would affect my rating as an online seller with Amazon.com, I suppose)....But I do hope (s)he won't think like I took advantage of the sale online...I was upfront and honest with my description when I listed the book in my Amazon.com storefront in early 2011. I originally got the book from one of my walks in the streets of Brooklyn. The book stayed listed until this sale came through. And I'm grateful for that.

6.21.2014

Of Knowing A Filipino Who Has Really Made It Rich Here In NYC

I've been here in New York City (NYC) for over 8 years now and I am happy to share that I've met and known some Filipinos who have made it rich in this city. Additionally, I've met and known so many other rich people here, some of whom I've worked for as I've done part-time gigs with them to eke out a living in this very expensive city to live in. I've met some who are actually billionaires but they behave very ordinarily like normal individuals. I realize that NYC's set of structure and regulatory environment allows such lives to thrive here, and the narrative I'm sharing here is repeated regularly in many other individual lives in this city. He will remain nameless here to protect his privacy as I've not asked his permission to write about my thoughts on the friendship he and I have. We normally see each other with some other common friends, and I'm grateful to have known him better each time I see him.

He's someone who has owned and managed at least 11 units of condominium units located right in Manhattan, if I recall the number right. Do your research and you'll see he's easily a millionaire. I understand that most of these properties are 1 or 2 bedroom units in walk-up apartment buildings. He's a very hardworking fellow, single, and happy with what he's been doing with his assets. In fact, he and I would talk about our respective businesses, and I see that he's got an empathetic heart as well as a really good pair of hearing ears. He really listens to you, even if you get a sense that he's always busy --- he's got 3 cellphones that he uses for different purposes. During our talks, he would excuse himself, take calls, and do texting. And he would come back to me and just go about talking with me as if there were no earlier interruptions that had come and go. 

Of course, he's also a tightwad, which trait is nothing extraordinary among really rich people. I see that as a common trait among these people, and it's something that I have to practice all the time myself. He would do his food shopping for really cheap food items at the right locations in Manhattan at times when these food items are sold at really bargain prices, i.e., when they're already been the leftovers from those most buyers have chosen from early in the day. 

He would still be doing part-time jobs even when he has already owned and been renting out at least 11 condominium units in Manhattan (I know they're mostly in the east side of the island). I think it's mainly for cashflow reasons, as you know very well that ups and downs in business can be a challenge to manage. He would hire specialists and helpers so that his condominium units would be cleaned, maintained, and in their spick-and-span state for renters. He tells me that he has to get them rented out all the time so he would have cash flow from them---it's a very serious and complicated business to own and run real estate properties here in Manhattan where you'll see some of the most expensive properties in the whole world. In fact, a lot of owners would hire the services of real estate firms to manage their properties for them. Such is not the case with my friend, who is always up and running in managing his properties. 

He's also one of the few guys I met who knows and understands that real and hard cash in NYC are in the hands of a few well connected individuals, some of whom live in Staten Island. He's dealt with some of them when he needed to borrow some cash to help him bridge some of his monthly financial obligations---such loans are normally not available through banks, and would just be loaned out to those who have the assets to back up such amounts of money. I know he's paid off the the lender, and has since then been focusing in growing the size of his portfolio.

He would tell me in one of our conversations that a lot of people here in NYC are not used to dealing with landlords of these Manhattan-based apartments whose looks look like him and who are from the Philippines. He has to assert his interests and take action so people would take him seriously and would do what he wants. He's got his share of problems, which are common in situations in life that are worth pursuing for long term gains and benefits. He continues to deal with court cases that he has to attend to personally so his side would be heard clearly and right by the judge and the members of the juries for each of these cases. I have to know more about the details of these cases some other time.

He gives encouragement to me mainly in the form of his presence and his friendship. He tells me that he used to do several full time jobs many years ago. He's got his heart where his personal interests lie -- in his very intelligent and practical mind honed by experience in NYC, which asset I seldom see these days from most people I meet here.

6.10.2014

On Getting Complimented Because I'm Strong

Strength training is integral to the overall upkeep of the state of your health. It's even a must that you do strength training as you grow older, or else, your muscles will die sooner. I take all the chance to work out so I'll have a stronger body, at least. I'm seeing, too, that to do this is never easy.

And I dislike getting complimented for being strong, which could have been a result of my genes and my constant efforts to work out whenever I can. This is true even if the compliment is delivered sincerely and coming from a good person who delivers the line in a non-malicious tone. I know I'm strong and I enjoy, still, being one. I know this strength won't last my lifetime, and since I'm still relatively young (and I take time to take care of myself), I remain strong.

This post was inspired by thoughts that came to me while helping out in moving and throwing away items like queen size mattresses, mattress boxes, cabinets, bookcases and the like from the third floor apartment in the house where I live. My landlord, who is also one of my roommates, owns the building and was unable to get help from those he contacted on Craigslist.org to help out. I can understand why those guys won't help out. This kind of work sucks. And no matter how big the payment amount for such types of work, you don't feel compensated well. And what's very annoying about it is that the one who used to live there probably planned things out to turn this way---she knew it would take more efforts other than hers and her close friends to bring those heavy stuff from that upper floor apartment. It's a common behavior I've been noticing from people who have led relatively privileged lives and who have no appreciation for real, physical hard work (hence, they choose to do other types of jobs and in the process, look down on jobs that call for physical strength to be completed every work day).

You'd see people who have been mainly leveraging their relative strengths to make money (and make a living in the process). And you can't help but see the contempt from others who despise these types of work just to make a living. Other than the measly pay rates given to these people, you must have noticed how these people are just considered mere additional materials so certain despicable projects would be finished? No wonder people who are in the various trades like to get themselves unionized whenever they get the chance----leaders and influential take advantage whenever they get the chance. It's how the system has worked ever since.

Of course, you can always say it has to be done with a good team, especially with heavy works like these that need the combined strengths of persons so the project would be completed. But who, really, appreciates that? Such work can only appreciated if done with majority of the members who volunteer from a community (or a small group, or a neighborhood), with every one giving share without getting paid money-wise when the project is over.


For now, I rather keep my strength and use it to help out whenever I get the chance or whenever I'm asked to provide help. You don't need to pay me but keep in mind that I reserve the right to refuse to handle works that I dislike doing. Just say 'thank you' and keep away from complimenting me for my strength. This strength always has to be seen in the context of time, and its main purpose in making me lead a beautiful, meaningful every day life in this part of the whole wide universe. 

6.04.2014

Happy for Developments Happening in my Borough, Staten Island (Special Reports - SILive.com)

Special Reports - SILive.com:



'via Blog this'

I've been living in Staten Island for over 4 years now, and on the overall, the experience has been pleasant. I'm adventurous and I like different events happening all at the same time, personally and in all those situations surrounding me wherever I go. However, that's not happening in Staten Island all the time, which, if you've lived in Staten Island, is an understatement. If you like such a dynamic situation, you can find such to be happening in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. I'm not that familiar with the Bronx, although I have many business partners who live and work there. The situation there is different, in the sense that the Bronx is actually part of mainland USA, which is unlike all the other boroughs of NYC that are all found in different islands. And I have to add that I find the Bronx to be interesting, too, just like the rest of NYC.

But it's not good experiencing from others I've met who have been dismissive of Staten Island, for one reason or another. It's as if people here live in the boondocks. Actually, that's partly true. The boondocks here, to say things more positively, would afford you the highest elevated views of the Atlantic Ocean. Staten Island has hills with elevation levels that give residents fabulous views normally not seen on regular TV shows. I just shake my head whenever some people I've met have notions on SI that reveal how limited their thoughts about NYC; their notions are amusing.

However, I've lived in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, so whatever views and notions I've had about this borough (SI) has been primarily based on what I've seen in my neck of the woods. I've grown to love being in this borough, honestly. A lot can be desired by someone like me, especially because I get to visit the other boroughs a lot of times every week. For example, I've noticed there's really no Chinatown here in SI, which is not true with the other boroughs. And I'd love to have more subway infrastructure put in place here in SI.

I know SI is really located some distance from Manhattan, although it's close enough to Brooklyn, which I supposed was the reason why Brooklyn and SI are linked physically mainly through the Verrazano Bridge. And given the fact the New York City (NYC) is really Manhattan-centric, there's really no way that SI could be physically linked any time soon with Manhattan, unless the politicians decide to finance the construction of a train system like the PATH (that connects Manhattan and Jersey City) now. Oh, well, that's the ideal, but I believe it won't be happening anytime soon (I hope I'm mistaken). In the meantime, I do hope the northshore commuter's rail system here in SI will start running again; I've been seeing parts of it along the western side of SI but they're not functioning as of now. I can also wish that a light railway could be built from SI to New Jersey. This will really go a long way in getting more businesses relocating themselves here in SI, which can result to more prosperity in this borough.

I'm grateful that developments are now taking place here in SI, a preview of which you can read in the link at the start of this posting. I'm excited to talk about these to every body in my network. Of course, they're usually surprised, especially if they've not heard much about SI except when Sandy visited and killed SI residents who lived a few blocks from each other. They're not even aware that  SI's at least 3 times bigger than the over-rated Manhattan Island. I guess, I'll start using 'Staten' rather than 'Staten Island' to help de-emphasize in other people's awareness that this borough is found in an island, which is just the same as that of Manhattan that is actually located, too, in a much smaller island.






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