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“Crack my head on the steering wheel and I ain’t even dead. If I could go through all that and still be breathing, …I’m here for a reason.” “SCHOOL SPIRIT” BY KANYE WEST


It was a tough six months of business since the last Rothman’s Magazine. We do think that the worst is over, and we do believe that “we are here for a reason”. This period has shown us that New Yorkers still want a men’s clothing store that has a great selection, a knowledgeable staff, and the ability to provide an efficient and cost effective shopping experience. We pride ourselves on our independence, our understanding of men’s fashion, and our ability to offer you an edited selection that represents the best value and taste level. We also try to do this with sense of humor, being completely aware that we are just selling clothes. We are also incredibly grateful for the loyalty that so many of you showed to Rothman’s during a period when your attire took a back seat to other issues in your life. Many of you decided (understandably) that clothing was not at the top of your “hierarchy of needs,” and our business reflected that feeling. We were prepared for a downturn, although we were probably a bit surprised by the severity and duration. It did force us to look internally to examine all of our business practices, employment levels, advertising, and of course, our clothing suppliers. We do come out of this process energized on many levels. We are big enough, and have been around long enough, and have enough credit with our suppliers to handle these types of downturns. Also, our strength and long history have allowed us to make some unprecedented deals with the brands that you know so well (check out some of the sale prices in store now). We also know that these economic times are ultimately good for independent, family owned businesses. As a consumer, you want accountability, and we are always here to listen, and to hear your concerns and recommendations. We are also nimble and flexible enough in our planning, to respond quickly to changes in the landscape. One example of this is our recent agreement to bring Lubin’s of Westchester (one of the most famous boy’s clothing stores in the country) into our Scarsdale store in August 2009. Their expertise in the boy’s business surpassed ours, and we are excited to bring Lubin’s under the Rothman’s umbrella. We might expand the boy’s concept to New York as well in the future. This is issue #4 of Rothman’s Magazine. We still look to you, our friends and customers, to provide so much of the content. Inside we have a bit of humor, some valuable information, some personal stories, and the amazing tale of our great uncle, Arthur Giddon, who celebrated his 100th birthday by being the honorary bat boy for the Red Sox recently. He had been a bat boy for the Boston Braves in 1923 and met Babe Ruth. His story was picked up by network news, ESPN and newspapers across the country. We do hope that you enjoy our magazine as we are still having fun putting it together. Perhaps it is because we like telling people that we have a magazine, but it is really because it gives us one more opportunity to sincerely thank you for your support. In economic times like these, we are honored and appreciative when you choose to shop at Rothman’s. Sincerely,

Jim and Ken Giddon


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The Pop/Classical Divide


Got Some Good News and Some Bad News


NBA Cares


A Real Life Rothman’s Man?


Set Sale


Lubin’s at Rothman’s


Some Thoughts About Birthdays


Special Offer from Rothman’s


The Way We Roll


“La Boost” or The Bust?


A Real Life Rothman’s Man? Now at bat boy for the Red Sox: No. 100, Big Pappy, Arthur Giddon.


Editors Note: In addition to being a Rothman’s customer, Andrew Shapiro is a classically trained composer fusing popular and classical flavors into his own distinctive

The Pop/Classical Divide by Andrew Shapiro

sound. Originally from Larchmont, NY, Shapiro lives in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. His most recent album, “Numbers, Colors and People,” was released in March.


A few weeks back, after flying out to L.A. for a few solo piano concerts, I went straight from the airport to the Steinway dealer-

ship where I was performing the next evening. After figuring out which of the 50 or so pianos I wanted to use, the artists relations representative introduced me to their in-house piano tuner who said he would “touch it up” for the concert. The conversation went something like this: Artist relations representative: “This is Andrew Shapiro, he’s putting on a concert

here tomorrow night. The piano tuner taking a long look at me: “Who’s the artist performing?” Andrew: “I am!” The piano tuner seemed at least slightly taken aback. I guess my old hoodie with a Depeche Mode patch, torn jeans and an old pair of Vans (a tried and true fashion of my neighborhood) didn’t give me the look of someone who performs on pianos that cost $150,000. But maybe the tuner has an outdated view of what a classical musician should look like?

“Classical is a four-star restaurant; exclusive and expensive. Popular music is a burger and fries. So what am I?” Andrew Shapiro

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1 800 222 94 77 - CORNELIANIUSA.COM


In any case, it got me once again thinking about what I’ve often thought about since my music school days. The division of what we call “classical” and “popular” music: 1) Classical music speaks to a loftier, philosophical mindset while pop speaks to a more common emotional plane. 2) Classical chamber music, for instance, takes a musical education to understand its subtleties while part of a popular music education is learning which band trashed which hotel room. (Why do we tend not to think of someone like Mozart passed out on a pool table?) 3) Classical music often contains complexities that make it hard to sing along to while pop, if it’s done right, is totally digestible and able to be sung along to. 4) Classical is a vocalist singing with full vibrato filling up a concert hall while pop is purring into the microphone. Perhaps the triumph of popular music was achieving intimacy that classical music never achieved? Aside from the definitions of the terms themselves, how an artist packages himself is important too. While the stereotypical classical musician performs in a tuxedo, pop is obviously much more casual. Classical is a four-star restaurant; exclusive and expensive. Popular music is a burger and fries. So what am I? I’m in between. When I got to Oberlin to study composition, I was exposed to a lot of so-called “contemporary” classical music, much of it not particularly pleasant to listen to. And while some of my professors and classmates had some interesting ideas for this type of music, it just wasn’t my idea of a good time. It seemed writing music people actually enjoy listening to was discouraged! And this took a toll on me; as a result, upon graduation, I wasn’t allied to either the classical or pop world. Rather, I had one foot in each genre. After reading about a McDonald’s near Wall Street with a grand piano in New York magazine, I called the owner and got a job playing my music on Sunday afternoons. There is probably no place on earth more accessible than McDonald’s.

Performing solo piano at Cafe Absinthe, Gdansk, Poland.

Yet what I’m playing is much more high-minded then expected. Some people are shocked (after all, who’s thinking they’ll see someone playing a grand piano when they walk into a McDonald’s?) and some may snicker, yet by juxtaposing these two completely different cultures it appears I am capturing peoples’ imaginations. And the result is that the pop/classical divide is resolved by McDonald’s itself. I provide music as a backdrop for their everyday experience. An article appearing in The New York Times soon after I started entitled “Quarter Pounder With Keys”(!) did a pretty good job of explaining the complex absurdity of the whole arrangement. The friction of the divide continues to fuel me. While a new batch of songs I’m working on for my next album have a glossy, pop sheen, my latest album release of solo piano music is by and large classical. While I often still don’t know how to catagorize my music, I’m worrying about this less and less with each passing day. And lately, I was comforted by an intern who told me there’s actually a genre of music at college radio stations called “Doesn’t Fit Into Any Genre!” Here’s something I do know. I’m writing shorter vignettes of Classical music about the length of a pop song. Pop songs are cool, they’re four minutes, poppy and fun. Why can’t classical music be the same? This is my challenge. I care about my audience and strive for accessibility. While I don’t want my music to be sugar water and be appreciated solely on a superficial level, I also don’t want to overwhelm someone into having to spend half an hour trying to figure out what I’m trying to say. I’m meeting people halfway. The week I spent in L.A. was a great one. I performed a solo piano concert in front of 400 people stuffed into a warehouse, in an intimate setting at the Steinway dealership and had one of my songs, “Detectors in the Eyes,” was played on KCRW, a major L.A. radio station with a cutting-edge pop music format. Even further, while at a music conference I hung out with country, classical, hip-hop and other musical artists and learned from each and every one of them. There’s a lot of room in the middle ground. And while it may not always be the easiest place to live, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Editorial note: To hear music by Andrew Shapiro go to WWW.ANDREWSHAPIRO.COM

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Got Some Good News and Some Bad News


Editors Note: Our friend and customer Avinash Karnani is co-founder of Thrive, a start-up company that dispenses free financial advice to people in their 20's and 30's. Below is an account of the harrowing days when the team worked to sell their concept to a larger financial company.

By Avinash Karnani

The whole team was celebrating other news while the plane was falling.

Thrive (, the free online financial adviser for Gen X and Gen Y that they had slaved over, was being featured in Fast Company magazine and Matt Wallaert, their Lead Scientist, had just returned with an armful of copies. Thrive is based in Chinatown and it turned out that the only newsstand that stocked English-language publications had recently closed, so he had spent the last hour frantically trying to find a Barnes & Noble that had received their shipment of the magazine. And there they were, co-founders Avi Karnani and Ori Schnaps, digitally enhanced and standing in front of a computer-generated burning car. It was truly a crowning moment for a company that had stretched every last dollar to build a product that actually helped people. After a lean winter, they had just finished meeting with a three-man team from LendingTree that had flown up from Charlotte to vet them while deciding whether or not they

Matt Wallaert, Lead Scientist

wanted to acquire Thrive. Everyone felt good about the tone of the meeting and they were in print; it was hard not to feel jubilant.

And then the plane went down. On January 15th, just before 3:30pm in the afternoon, Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger made the decision to land his crippled plane in the Hudson River. "Having a successful ditching is a very rare event," Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board said after the crash. Which makes Darren Beck, Chief Marketing Officer for LendingTree, a very lucky man. Only minutes before the crash, Beck had barely heard the flight attendant give him instructions on what he's supposed to in the event of a crash. "No one listens to what they say before a takeoff!" he said. But he was certainly paying attention when he slipped his Blackberry into his chest pocket before exiting the plane on the front raft. His colleague Don Norton

Avi Karnani, Co-founder

was the first to open the exit-row door and started helping people onto the wing of the crashed plane. "I lifted it the door up and honestly, it was disturbingly light for a thing that keeps a plane airtight in the sky." The Thrive team first heard about the plane crashing from an employee's wife. After a quick search to determine when their friends had taken off, they realized that the downed plane was, in fact, carrying their potential new colleagues and they frantically started calling, emailing, and texting their new friends. "It was a huge moment of internal conflict. We were feeling the best we felt in months, and then there was this blank panic," said Wallaert. "You just had lunch with these guys, you bonded with them through days of long meetings, you formed a relationship on the assumption that they were going to be your new partners, and then you're wondering if they're dead."

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Ori Schnaps, Co-founder


Fortunately, Beck had his Blackberry. "Plane crashed. Am OK. Will call later" came back to Wallaert and as he read it out loud, the whole team sighed in relief. People were safe. They could breathe again. Thrive's website had only launched four months earlier to the public, but the team had been together working on for year and a half and were as close as a family. The service provides free financial advice to people looking to improve their financial life, and helps them spend less and save more through budgeting, personalized, and a Financial Health score that breaks down their financial behaviors into an easy-to-understand score. Thrive currently helps people manage over half a billion dollars by connecting daily to banks, brokerages, and credit unions then consolidating their personal information with an up-to-date financial picture. Running the company and trying to grow with limited capital was a monumental task for the young partners. The venture capital market was lean and the whole economy had taken a beating, so the future seemed uncertain for the small team that had struggled so hard to help people. And then they found LendingTree. One of the first companies to help people make better financial decisions for free and over the web, LendingTree had previously worked mostly in the mortgage space, helping people compare mortgage offers from different lenders. They were interested in Thrive because of the fledgling's startup's success in getting the attention of people in their twenties and thirties who felt they needed financial guidance that their banks just weren't providing. Preliminary talks had gone well, and the Charlotte-based LendingTree had agreed to send up a small team to evaluate a potential acquisition of Thrive. For three days, the team met with the entire Thrive group and planned out a future together. "It was exciting to talk to people who understood what we were trying to achieve and who were genuinely interested in helping people," said Karnani. "There are so few companies out there that shared our commitment to a vision of service, so to find a committed company like LendingTree was important for us as a team." And so the team's emotions had come full circle. A great launch, a bad economy. A great meeting, a bad crash, then safety for their friends. "But you had to ask yourself," said Wallaert, "when all the emotions has settled: what does this mean for us? You came to see us, you crashed into the river - is that something that anyone can get passed, or will we always be the company you crashed for?" But sometimes, a little shock to the system just makes things clearer. Once he got back to dry land, and after a week getting his bearings and spending time with his wife and three sons, Beck came back supporting the acquisition with fervor and at the end of January, Thrive became one of New York's first Internet deals in 2009. "I think people realize today that it is clear that we all need help to deal with our finances. LendingTree andThrive are committed to providing that help in a way that many institutions aren't, and we're proud of that." After all, Beck jokes, "I almost died for this company!"

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NBA Cares By Kathy Behrens

The collective efforts of the NBA Family are captured under NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility initiative which was created in October 2005 and which builds on our tradition of community service and social responsibility. NBA Cares supports a variety of initiatives at the league and team level, including programs that focus on education, youth and family development and health and wellness and we have raised over $105 million dollars for charity, provided more than 950,000 hours of hands-on community service, and built over 415 places for kids and families to live, learn or play. Our teams, players and employees understand that the NBA's unique position in society obligates us to be responsible citizens and find ways to give back. This yearround commitment to serving others comes in many forms, whether through the creation of places for children to live, learn and play, school and hospital visits or public service announcements that raise awareness about important social issues. Innovative programming and socially responsible partners help drive the league's outreach efforts. Basketball's growing global popularity allows our teams and players to extend a helping hand well beyond the local communities in which they live and work. We align ourselves with some of the leading non-profit and recognized community organizations in the world to provide the support and expertise necessary for NBA Cares to achieve its goals.

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Editors Note: While the NBA showcases and celebrates some of the world's best basketball talent, many of their most significant efforts actually take place off the court. With the media so focused on the misdeeds of famous athletes, it is nice to hear the quieter story of all the good that can come from their fame. Our longtime friend, and Rothman’s customer, Kathy Behrens, joined the NBA as Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs in September of 2000. Prior to joining the NBA, Behrens served as Executive Director of New York Cares. Before joining New York Cares in 1995, Behrens served in the administration of former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo. Kathy was also quite a basketball player in college, and can still school any Rothman’s employee on the hardwood. For Rothman’s Magazine, Kathy describes some of the great NBA programs in our communities.


The 2008-09 season tipped-off with six NBA teams traveling overseas to play exhibition games in front of international audiences in Europe and China. Aside from displaying amazing skill and athleticism on the hardwood, players from the New Orleans Hornets, Miami HEAT, Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks taught basketball fundamentals to Special Olympics athletes in Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Beijing. In addition, New Jersey Nets players, coaches and executives joined Special Olympic athletes in the dedication of a newly refurbished outdoor basketball court at a local park in London. At the same time in NYC, New York Knicks guard, Chris Duhon, joined more than 1,000 volunteers to help plant trees at a local park in the Bronx. In addition, at the start of the season, the NBA Coaches Association, Athletic Trainers Association and the Boys & Girls Club of America, joined with us to announce a new initiative called Coaches for Kids, which provides at-risk youth in all NBA markets with tickets to see NBA games and meet with the coaching and training staff. Thanks to their generosity, over 28,000 youth attended games this past season as part of the program.

During the winter, players, coaches and team staff ensured the holidays were a little brighter for families in their local communities by serving meals for the homeless, hosting


and canned food

drives, visiting patients in local hospitals and hosting shopping sprees for underprivileged children. By the end of the holiday season, the NBA players had provided food and supplies to more than 30,000 families.

An important part of social responsibility programming involves learning to adjust to the changing world around us, and the NBA is no exception. Recognizing that the environment is an important and limited resource, the NBA marked April 2-10 as our inaugural NBA Green Week. In partnership the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the league and all 30 teams developed creative programs and events to generate awareness and funds around protecting the environment. A major highlight included the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat announcement that their arenas would be the first in the United States to receive the prestigious LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Like many other companies, our challenge now lies in finding ways to make greening initiatives a daily practice throughout the year. In the NY area, one of the outstanding local volunteers is NJ Nets point guard and NBA All-Star Devin Harris, who was awarded the NBA's Monthly award for community service. Devin was recognized for his work with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Devin also hosts the Passport to Fitness program, which encourages youngsters to be fit and make healthy eating choices through a variety of monthly activities including rock climbing, cooking classes and more. The NBA continues to provide fans with amazing highlights - exciting plays, highflying dunks, heroic last-second shots, dramatic losses and euphoric wins - but perhaps our most impactful moments involve opportunities where we use basketball, a game growing in popularity and enjoyed globally by fans of all ages, to make a positive impact in our world each and every day. Through NBA Cares, NBA and WNBA players are improving the lives of children and families and it may be the best assist we can make.

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I S N ’ T





WE .

AG E .


A real life Rothman’s Man? Now at bat boy for the Red Sox: No. 100, Big Pappy, Arthur Giddon.

The year was 1922 and Arthur Giddon was about to experience one of those life-changing moments for a 13-year-old, “Hi ya, young fella,” said Babe Ruth then a New York Yankee. Young Arthur, with eyes wide open, chatted briefly with The Bambino for a short while before getting back to the business of preparing bats and polishing spikes on that sunny afternoon at Braves Field. But Arthur’s favorite player to watch? The incomparable Ted Williams. Eighty-seven years later, on Saturday, April 25th, Giddon reprised his role for his now-beloved Red Sox — as a special 100th birthday present from the team. Arthur served as the team’s honorary bat boy prior to the game against the rival Yankees and the wore a special jersey: No. 100, Big Pappy. Prior to the game, he sat with Boston slugger David Ortiz, who’s known as Big Papi. “It's neat,” said Ortiz, who had his arm around Giddon and gave him an autographed bat. His trip to Fenway came almost by accident. His daughter Pam mentioned his love of the game to the CEO of his assisted living complex. Next thing this Red Sox fanatic knew, he was headed to Boston for his birthday. Giddon spent most of batting practice on a bench where Red Sox manager Terry Francona sits at the top step of the team’s dugout. When Francona walked over to say hello, Giddon wished the manager a happy birthday - he turned 50 on Wednesday. “When I was 50 you probably weren't playing baseball,” Giddon said. Mr. Giddon now resides in Bloomfield, a suburb of Hartford, CT. Giddon recalled how he felt when the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years back in 2004. “I went crazy. My wife thinks I'm going to go insane,” Giddon said. "We have a huge TV and I'm screaming and yelling." “Baseball itself is a celebration of generations, and a celebration of bringing them together,” said Susan Goodenow, the team’s vice president for public affairs. “The ability to bring someone here who has such a history in the game, such a unique experience, it’s just great.” Giddon’s father, Abram, was in the horse business — commercial hauling ones, the type soon to be replaced by trucks — but Arthur was more interested in baseball. After classes at Brookline’s Edward Devotion Grammar School, he would walk 10 minutes up Naples Road, Commonwealth Avenue and Babcock Street to the home of the Braves. “You could walk in if you got there early,” Giddon recalled. “I got to know the workmen at the clubhouse. I’d run errands for the players — I got a job picking up tonic bottles and putting them in the case. One day they asked me if I wanted to be a bat boy, so I said sure.” What a time to be a part of major league baseball! All the National League greats came through town: Rogers Hornsby, the .401 hitter from St. Louis; the Cubs ace Grover Cleveland Alexander; and Giants Manager John McGraw. And on one day in 1922, Giddon met two prominent baseball figures at once: Babe Ruth and baseball’s first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. What was Ruth — then with the Yankees of the American League — doing in Braves Field? Giddon isn’t sure, but Ruth’s being there with Landis suggests it was during the first six weeks of 1922, when Landis had suspended Ruth for barnstorming the previous October. Giddon ended up talking with Landis more. It was Landis who suggested The story was picked up young Arthur go to law school and become a by media outlets throughout the country lawyer. and appeared in the following: Giddon stopped being a Braves bat boy after 1923. Later, he attended Harvard Law School, and became a successful lawyer in Hartford. He retired in 1985. Only recently did he move into an assisted-living facility with his wife of 61 years, Harriet. That Saturday, Giddon handed the Red Sox their bats, just as he did with those Boston Braves almost nine decades ago. “It was exhilarating,” Giddon said.

18 rothman’s magazine

“We are proud of Arthur Giddon, our great uncle who was a bat boy for the Boston Braves in 1922 and 1923. The Red Sox made him “honorary bat boy” on April 25th and his touching story was picked up by newspapers and TV stations across the country. –Ken and Jim Giddon

To view the story on video go to:



by di ana m. he chl e r

$et $ale

N e w Tr a v e l B a r g a i n s f o r a N e w E c o n o m y


The global economy has transformed many Americans into thrifty, spending-averse, non-consumers – and with good reason. But if ever there was a time to rethink your travel plans, this is it. 2009 is turning out to be a wonderful time to pack up your suitcase and hit the road. Hotels, cruises, safaris, and entire foreign countries are all on sale. While Uncle Sam still wants you, apparently so does everyone else. Imagine that you are a proud father of 3. You’d like to broaden your kids’ education with a visit to Italy. See the Coliseum, Venice, and Pompeii. Eat well. Enjoy a little vino. No group tour for you; you need a plan tailored to your specific interests. You can fly to Rome, and immediately travel south to Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. You’ll check into a cliffside hotel for 3 nights, where your room will overlook the beautiful Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The following morning, you’ll hop on a local train for 30 minutes, before arriving at the entrance of Pompeii. The next day will find you on the hydrofoil for a quick trip out to beautiful Capri where the sun always shines, even when the mainland is covered by clouds. EmperorTiberius retired here and although the tales of his debauchery are pretty grim, you can salute his taste in islands. Next, you’re off to Rome by train for 3 days and the beautiful Via Veneto with its elegant and stately hotels. Nearby, you can cavort in the Trevi Fountain for a little Dolce Vita or shop in the fashion district at the foot of the Spanish Steps. The Coliseum and the Roman Forum will take up a good half-day of your visit. Another morning will find you across the Tiber at the Vatican, marveling at the sheer size of St. Peter’s and the exquisite artistry of the Sistine Chapel. Mix in a little Pantheon, Bernini sculptures at the Villa Borghese museum, Piazza Navona at night, a lot of hazelnut gelato and your biggest difficulty will be deciding what to skip. One more train ride will bring you up to Venice. There is only one Venice in the world and it may be perpetually crowded and touristy, but it must be visited. The central Piazza San Marco gets my vote for the most beautiful public square in the world. Try to stop by at night for a special moment. Venice doesn’t require a lot of explaining. You’ll be happy with 2 or 3 days here, visiting the Doges’ Palace and the beautiful Basilica, watching the glassblowing on Murano, and just soaking up the local ambiance.

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The good news is that a 10-day independent adventure for a

Luxor, further south on the Nile, offers the incredible Temple

family of 5 staying in very nice hotels in 2009 will probably save

at Karnak which is rivaled only by the tombs in the Valley of the

you about $3,000 over last year’s costs. The exchange rate is

Kings across the river. Aswan features the beautiful temple to

much improved from 2008 and coupled with lower airfares, major

Isis at Philae and via a short flight, offers access to Abu Simbel

discounting from the hotels, and lots of “extras” like breakfast

and the garguantuan statues of Rameses II. The best tours also

or hotel credits, your savings will be significant.

include a few days on the Nile on a comfortable or luxurious

Keep in mind that European hotels generally do not accom-

riverboat. And these are just the highlights; countless other

modate more than 3 people in a room. We Americans are accus-

monuments and relics of the world’s first great civilization dot

tomed to finding 2 double beds with space for a roll-away. Not

the landscape. A good tour will probably require 10 or 11 days

so, abroad. Rooms are generally designed for 2 people and even

once you have arrived in Cairo.

adding a 3rd person generally requires either a supplemental

Summer months, of course, bring the heat to Egypt and pric-

fee or a higher category (i.e. bigger) room or both. So, plan to

ing is always lower than in the winter. But depending on exact-

reserve 2 rooms for your family of 5.

ly when you travel in 2009, if you pick one of the very best travel

Empty-nesters will also find wonderful travel deals in 2009. A

companies, you will probably spend about $2,000 per person

voyage through the Baltic Sea (Scandinavia) is a steal this sum-

less than last year. Single travelers can enjoy another benefit;

now is the time to go!

mer. This part of the world really lends itself to traveling by

the penalty for traveling solo is about 25% of the overall price

water, since Stockholm and Copenhagen and Helsinki are not

this year, instead of 50% and higher as is common. In some

as accessible as Rome or Paris is. Best of all, you’ll visit St.

cases, tours will impose NO single supplement at all.

Petersburg with its echoes of Peter the Great, Catherine the

I haven’t even mentioned Alaska cruises, the Galapagos

Great, and the trappings (good, bad, and indifferent) of Tsarist

Islands, and African Safaris. Everything you can dream of is on

society. The summer palace at Peterhof justifies the whole

sale right now. The more flexible you can be, the better your

expedition in itself. Peter very much wanted fountains to rival

opportunity for savings.

those at Versailles – and he got them.

Seize the opportunity to create unique and lasting memories

A voyage to this region can easily incorporate 2 for 1 pricing

for you, your family, and your friends. A colleague of mine put it

this year on various upscale cruise lines. Other benefits include

very well: “While I have a hard time remembering very many of

free coach air with very reasonable upgrades for business

the presents I’ve received over the years for holidays and birth-

class, free shore excursions, and sizeable ship-

days, I can remember countless details of the travel experi-

board credits, depending on exactly which

ences I’ve shared with my family and friends.”

cruise line you travel with and which voyage you reserve. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Egypt?

You’ll want to visit

Cairo to see the Pyramids and



Egyptian (current

home of King Tut), of course.

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Diana M. Hechler is President of D. Tours Travel in Larchmont, NY. D. Tours Travel is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2009. Telephone 914-833-9411



Lubin’s at Rothman’s Venerable Boy's Clothing Store to Join Rothman's of Scarsdale It is with great pleasure that Rothman's announces that Lubin’s, one of the most famous boy's tailored clothing stores in the country, will be joining us in our Scarsdale store in August 2009. Rothman’s has been carrying boy’s clothing in Scarsdale for about 5 years, and we hope that we have done an excellent job of working with you and your young men. However, when given the opportunity to work with Lubin’s, and their unparalleled expertise and selection in boy’s tailored clothing, we knew we had to make this happen. The fact that Lubin’s owner Barry Kirschner, known to many as the “King of Boy’s Clothing” will be operating out of our store, is a tremendous benefit to our customers. We are always striving to make our store the most complete shopping experience in Westchester, and now we believe that we have taken another big stride forward. By way of background, Lubin’s was founded in 1954 by Gene Lubin, Barry Kirschner’s father-in-law. For more than 50 years, with locations in Yonkers, White Plains and now Greenburgh, Lubins has been outfitting boys, teenagers and young men of the tri-state area. Bar-mitzvahs, confirmations, communions, graduations, job interviews or any occasion where smart dress is desired, are the life events that Lubins helps to make memorable. By focusing primarily on boys and young mens dress clothing, Lubins has earned the reputation of being able to fit any young man no matter what his size requirements. Their extensive collection includes regulars, slims, huskys, and stouts for boys. They even feature suits in hard to find 36 and 38 long sizes for young men. And of course they have a large selection of accessories including shirts, ties, belts and shoes to complement the clothing. I hope that you join us in welcoming Barry Kirschner and his talented staff to Rothman’s of Scarsdale beginning on August 1st.

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for fun


Some Thoughts about

By Jon Sawyer

I have a birthday coming up soon. I am not really one to worry about aging, but one week before, I start getting a little tense about mustering the fake happiness upon receiving a gift from my wife. My wife is not a great gift giver; in fact she comes from a long line of not-great gift givers. In the first four years of our marriage, her parent’s birthday gifts to me were the following: in order 1) tube socks, 2) mittens and 3) a knit hat and 4) monogrammed handkerchiefs. Great gifts all, if I was a Build-a-Bear, but I am not. Furthermore, the whole monogrammed handkerchief thing is very bizarre to me. Why does the piece of cloth that you blow your nose in, and then put back into your pocket, need your initials? “Hey great nose blow, I better monogram that so everyone knows its mine!” Last year, my in-laws and my wife got together on a gift. They were buzzing around like they had just found the answer to some mystical riddle; the holy grail of gift giving, the gift of the century. I actually started to believe that it might be. They were high fiving as I eagerly unwrapped the 8 miniature glass dog figurines. That is right, 8 miniature glass dog figurines. I don’t even have to put a joke here, right? I mean it is already funny. Did they think I had some friend somewhere with 8 glass cats, so I could bring over my dogs, and my GI Joe, and we could have a play date where they married his cats and his Barbie. Look, here is the point. If you have a son-in-law that actually wants a figurine of anything, then you and your daughter have much worse problems than what to buy him for his birthday.

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When we were first married , the best gift I received was “birthday sex.” Sometimes I would even get to throw in something a little kinky. Unfortunately, all the birthday means now is that I get to hold the TV remote when we are fooling around. Like I said, the birthday stuff does not make me worry. It makes me a bit introspective, like maybe I am running out of time to answer some of life’s riddles. I still have questions that need to be answered. For instance: • What happens in these new modern automated public bathrooms during a blackout? I would not be able to wash, dry or even flush. I mean you have to stand up just to initiate a courtesy flush, and I got to tell you, I’m not that courteous. • Where the hell did Tilapia come from? There was no Tilapia when we were kids. I think we should have the security of knowing that when we go to bed at night, there will be no new fish when we wake up.. Don’t even get me started on potato bread • Why does Crazy Glue work in the commercials, but never for me? I mean it. I am 0-for my lifetime in Crazy Glue. The only thing that gets stuck together is my fingers, and the thing I am gluing just falls apart. • Why do we have Button fly jeans? We invented the zipper, and that was progress. Button fly jeans are a four button commitment, when I am limited to a two button attention span. So Happy Birthday to All!

Jon Sawyer is a Rothman’s customer and a columnist for the Larchmont Loop.

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w w w. d i o n n e c k we a r. co m


by g a r y wol l enhaupt

The Way We Roll Collector cars currently offer one of the best investment vehicles around


There’s not much thrill in revving the engine on a tax-free muni bond or polishing the chrome on a no-load mutual fund. Shell-shocked investors, looking for a safe haven for their portfolio, have turned their analytical eyes — and gearhead enthusiasm — toward the collector-car market. Once the province of backyard hobbyists and Packard-driving nostalgia lovers, car collecting has grown into a multimillion dollar business driven by hours of live auction coverage, a plethora of print and online media, and, like so many other things, the baby boomer market. Barrett-Jackson Auction holds one of the largest collector car auctions in the world each January in Scottsdale, Arizona. Via dozens of hours of live coverage on the SPEED cable channel, car buffs and investors across the country joined 200,000 visitors on site. During the 2009 event, Barrett-Jackson sold 1,100 collector vehicles for $63 million. The company holds several other auctions throughout the year, as do many other auction houses. Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, said that 35 percent of the registered bidders at the 2009 auction were first-time bidders, purchasing 70 percent of the cars. While Jackson doesn’t expect people to create a portfolio full of collector cars, he does encourage people cars to make an investment in something they can enjoy. “Most of the people buying cars from us truly love cars, and they figure they don’t know where else to park their money and have fun while they’re doing it,” he said.

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“Most of the people buying cars from us truly love cars, and they figure they don’t know where else to park their money and have fun while they’re doing it,” he said. Craig Jackson Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson


Blue-chip returns Jackson’s organization has tracked the rise of collector car values during some of the recent tumultuous economic times. He created a collector car index in 2003, which consists of representative cars that reflect the diversity seen in the collector car market. These cars span 1957 to 1970 and are primarily European and American sports cars and U.S. muscle cars. The cars used in the index are the 1957 Thunderbird, 1967 Jaguar XKE, 1967 Shelby GT500, 1970 Camaro Z/28, 1970 AAR ’Cuda, 1965 Austin Healy MK III, and 1967 Corvette 427/435. As of October 2008, the value of the cars in the Barrett-Jackson mini-index grew by a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent from the first quarter of 1998 to the first quarter of 2008, which included economic and political upheaval stemming from major events ranging from the invasion of Iraq, the dot-com bubble crash, and 9/11. During that same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) grew at a compound 5 percent rate annually, while the S&P 500 Index grew 4 percent. The price of gold grew a compound 11 percent in the same period. “Collector cars have proven to be one of the soundest investment vehicles in the global marketplace over the past ten years,” Jackson said. “It’s rare that a hobby and someone’s passion has the potential of being a great investment.”

Noel Grace, owner of Performance Plus, a muscle-car dealership in Cincinnati, Ohio, points to Chevrolet Corvettes as the equivalent of a bluechip stock market investment. He specializes in 1967 427/435 Corvette convertibles. He recommends cars with original documentation and the original engine. Those that draw top dollar have been inspected and certified by organizations such as the National Corvette Restorers Society, which issue certificates attesting to a car’s originality and completeness. Even with the tough economic times, “the good cars are still trading hands,” Grace said. “The investors know the real cars with paperwork will always do the money.”

Know the market What makes a car collectible? One benchmark is a vehicle that sells for more now than it did when it was new, adjusting for inflation. Some cars are clearly highly sought after, drawing bids of half a million or more compared to a four-figure sticker price back in the ’50s or ’60s. Rare cars are the most valuable, although rarity doesn’t guarantee current value. For example, run-of-the-mill family sedans from the ’60s are in short supply today, but that’s because they weren’t worth saving in the first place. And a 1979 Chevrolet Chevette, no matter how low the miles, won’t be worth much on the open market. For the most part, cars that baby boomers lusted after in high school or that their fathers and uncles drove retain their value while providing loads of fun as well. Cars that were rare and valuable in their own time will be valued today, such as a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible. Only 11 were produced, and during the height of the Hemi mania, one sold at auction for $2.2 million. Considering the car sold new for about $5,000, that’s not a bad return on an initial investment.

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Grace typically sells two restored Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson’s Arizona auction. “That’s the show to bring your cars to, and they did quite well,” he said. Cars from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s appeal to a broad group of buyers, including younger people whose parents may have had a similar car in their youth. He’s sold 1960s Corvettes to people in their 20s who simply love the style and performance of the cars. Baby boomers who grew up around the cars want to own one as well. “They know it’s a good investment, but what continues to drive the market is that people love those automobiles,” he said.



by ba rba r a e. cohen

“La Boost” or The Bust? Should tipping go the way of the dodo?


When it comes to tipping, confusion rules. So, should we do away with the practice entirely? Gratuities American-style Most Americans tip between 15 percent and 20 percent of the bill in a restaurant. But you can get into trouble trying to stretch one mathematical solution to every situation. For example, Thomas Dillon, writing in the Japan Times, recounts how a waitress in Japan, where tipping is perceived as an insult, chased him down the street to return 100 yen he’d left “by mistake.” In contrast, a waiter in San Francisco confronted him for leaving less than 15 percent for a dinner in which both the food and service were sub-par. Dillon admits he is “fed up” with the whole tipping scenario, and he’s not alone. Most Americans stumble about the proper amount to leave as a gratuity, with additional confusion over the proper time and place to tip, according to posts on food and etiquette blogs like Chowhound and Yelp. The Wall Street Journal and other business publications have tried to provide guidance, especially for international business travelers who need a ready reference as they move between countries and cultures. But suggested amounts to tip and appropriate places to offer gratuities vary widely.

Although many people believe tip is an acronym for “to insure per-

Why tip? One response to the headache has been to suggest doing away with tipping altogether. Last October, Paul Wachter explored the custom of tipping in the pages of the New York Times Magazine. Discussion over the pros and cons of tipping blazed on in the blogosphere for weeks afterwards. Wachter wondered aloud why Americans are tied to a practice with troubling social and economic implications. He interviewed the owner of a small San Diego restaurant who eliminated tipping largely to improve workplace harmony. The restaurateur cited historical evidence to show that tipping was once vehemently opposed as an aristocratic practice imported from Europe that had no place on democratic American soil. He hoped that by removing the discretionary system, he could improve waiters’ attitudes about work shifts and table assignments and reduce discord between kitchen staff, who didn’t share tips, and servers.

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formance,” the word — meaning “to share




appeared in the English language of shady underworld characters. In 17th-century



described a monetary or verbal bonus shared by petty criminals. Some contrarians continue to think of tipping as a kind of picking of our collective pockets.

Peer_031009_Rothman.indd 1

3/10/09 4:26:37 PM


Consensus on tipping eludes Americans Although one business owner has been able to convince his staff of the benefits of a no-tipping policy, few other restaurants have followed suit. The only consensus so far: tipping remains a bewildering custom for everyone involved. Some people are willing to suffer the scorn of waiters and bellhops by eliminating tipping one transaction at a time. But as rather succinctly sums it up, in America, “skipping out on a tip is not frugal. It’s cheap.” At the moment, forgoing the tip in an American restaurant is a rude gesture, not a political one. Bloggers like Ethan T. on Chowhound believe people tip out of ignorance or guilt. For example, people tip for poor service because “they don’t know that the amount of tip should be directly related to the level of service received, or they understand about tipping but would feel too guilty leaving a low tip, even when appropriate,” he wrote. Another writer voiced compassion for the wait staff: “The reason I tip, even when service is poor, is twofold. First, bad service is not always the waiter’s fault. Many times it is the fault of the proprietor for understaffing in order to save a buck; it can also be the fault of the cooking staff or mere happenstance (such as a big crowd at an unpredictable time). I see no reason to punish the waiter for reasons that are not his/her fault.” Even Wachter admits that his research into the topic hasn’t parted him from the practice of leaving 20 percent. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Today, residents of many other countries have abandoned the discretionary gratuity in favor of a service fee automatically added to restaurant and other types of service-related bills. For example, in Europe, hotels and restaurants add a fixed service charge, and no additional money is required. If no service charge is included, leave 10 percent. In Asian countries, your well-meaning gesture may be taken as an insult. “If you are unsure, it is best not to tip,” according to Magellan’s Worldwide Tipping Guide. “If possible, observe the locals and follow their lead.” What to do until tipping is finally outlawed There are three reasonable criteria about when and how much to tip: if the person went above and beyond regular service, to show your gratitude, and to ensure great service. While a grassroots movement seems to be growing in the United States toward replacing the discretionary tip with a fixed service charge, until that day arrives, here are some suggestions: • Housekeeping at a hotel: Leave $2–$5 per night in an envelope market for housekeeping. • Massage therapist: Reward services with 10–20 percent of the total cost. • Baristas: Where these types of establishments have tip jars, leave spare change after payment. When a barista starts your regular order as soon as you walk in the door, tip a little extra. • Hairstylist:Tip 15 percent of the cost of the haircut, except for salon owners, who as business owners are not customarily tipped. Still not sure how much to leave? Then consider the advice of Ken Gross: “I do not twist my brain, seeking some perfect balance between cost and expectation, or weight the consequences of missing the mark. No, mine is an easier solution to settling accounts: I simply overtip.” Or avoid the guilt that comes from rewarding someone for bad service by redirecting the money to a worthwhile cause. creates stickers that include a printed explanation to the server that the withheld portion of his or her tip will be sent to a charity, such as the American Red Cross, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, or Doctors without Borders.

COI 373 Broadway St., San Francisco, CA: The name of the eclectic Coi (pronounced “kwah”), an old French word for tranquility or calm, reflects the zenlike nature of the intimate 30-seat dining room. The design is central to the experience, with details like an aquarium display of long mossy twigs, textural sea grass wall panels, and lighting blurred by rice paper. Chef Daniel Patterson offers four- and eleven-course tasting menus with dishes ranging from asparagus with ravigote sauce to breaded pigs’ feet medallions stuffed with herbs and fried crisp. The varied wine list leans heavily to regional European selections.

O N E O F T H E T O P 1 0 R E S T A U R A N T S I N N O R T H A M E R I C A - G A Y O T. C O M

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Travel Twill

Rothman's Summer '09 Magazine  
Rothman's Summer '09 Magazine  

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