Author Archives: Andrew McDermott, GRI


Last night, I was in New York City, and it was late, and I was looking for quick bite to eat before I headed back to Staten Island.
So over at 133 East 65th Street, I found this restaurant called 212 New York City. A very trendy restaurant, and had a nice curb appeal to it. So usually menus are posted outside, however, it only had its lunch menu posted. So I figured, let me give it a shot.

Upon entering, I decided to sit at the bar, rather than waste a table. The place was semi active. The woman bartender acknowledged me, and said she would be right there. So while waiting the manager had to get inside the wine closet, and asked me to move. So then I told him I was looking for a menu. He provided me with the menu, and proceeded to open the menu to the dinner section, as well as noting their Voda selection. That is supposedly their specialty. While I was not drinking that night, I just glanced over the menu. The funny thing about the menu is that the smell of the book isthe same smell as the new car books that you get when you are looking at a new car. I guess they must use the same printer.

After the manager gave me the menu, the bartender was quick too to get a menu, and asked me what I wanted to drink. I just wanted a Sprite. I guess they ran out of glasses, because she gave it to me in the same glass that you would you for an after dinner drink.
I then told the bartender that I was going to try their salmon dish with artichoke and asparagus.
I was also given some home made potatoe chips. They were a little hot and spicy, and I was told they add red pepper flakes. There was certainly a fire in my mouth. I am not a fan of the spicy food, but it’s unique.
My dinner finally arrived, nicely presented, but the artichokes were really salty, and seemed like they came from the can. The asparagus was sparse also. I rarely eat Salmon, but it was something different. There were also some watercress greens on the top of the salmon, and some kind of sauce. I really couldn’t pick up the flavors, but it was interesting.
My only real disappointment was is that they have a nice little courtyard in the front where you can sit, but some people were smoking. At times, the smoke was coming into the restaurant. I also felt they should have their whole menu outside. It gives the person a quick glance to see if that is the best place to eat. While they seem to be more geared on the bar side, people also need to eat, and would enjoy a quick bite like I did.
I would give 212 New York City a second try. There are some items on their menu that I would give a taste to, and if I take public transportation, I can sample their bar, in which they seem to be proud of. Their phone number is 212-249-6565 and their website is There you can see their menu and pictures of their restaurant.

1st Day of Spring

Today is March 20, 2009. It is the first day of spring. It is also snowing in the New York City Area. Although the snow is not sticking, it did leave a rough commute. The National Weather Service did not see this coming.

This week we are seeing many changes. We are getting used to the time change with spring forward, getting used to the new changes of Facebook, and adding people on Twitter, and keeping up with the tweets.

Also today is Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day, which is in honor of the late Fred Rodgers, a.k.a. Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. I posted a video from Mr. McFeely — aka David Newell posted a video about it. Check it out here

March Madness is also in full force. The tournament began yesterday, and all day coverage of it can be seen on the television, your cell phone, as well as the computer. Amazing how far technology has come in that you can watch the game live on your cell phone, or just get the up to the minute scores of your favorite team.

How can I forget about St. Patrick’s Day? I had cooked corn beef the prior night to have for lunch the next day. Not only did the corn beef shrink, but it also was difficult to cut, and therefore shredded into pieces. So it wasn’t as enjoyable. I still have a few corn beefs in the freezer, and will be cooking them until I get sick and tired of it until next year. Check out my greeting on You Tube:

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Uncle Bobby Would Be Happy

On September 13, 2008, my Uncle Bobby (Robert McClellan) passed away. He spent almost four months in the hospital, and five weeks in a nursing home. The story of why he was there is long and lengthy. The long and short of the story is that he went in for throat cancer. That operation was successful. About a week after his recovery, they found a hole in his stomach, and therefore had to disconnect his stomach, and reattach it at a later time. It was a long process and my uncle was always like the Energizer bunny. He would respond well to the medicine and bounce back. He was on the ventilator, and then he was off.

My mother and I along with my father and sister became the primary caretakers for him. Going to the hospital every day, really can take a toll on everything. We knew that we did all that we could do for Uncle Bobby and couldn’t ask for anything more. When he was alert, he knew we were there, and was always thankful for it. It was also the first time I ever received a hug from him. Every hug I did get from him during his last days were so invaluable.

When he was not sedated and alert, we became closer to him, and now that he is gone, it is just so weird. It became such a routine of going to the hospital every day.

The operation was done at Luthereran Medical Center, in Brooklyn, New York. So traveling from Staten Island to Brooklyn definitely took its toll. The tolls, parking, and gas. Somehow we managed to do it, and we did it for Uncle Bobby.

At the end, when my Uncle coded, there was a lot of things the hospital was wrong with. It was more on the end of communication, and getting the proper information. All of the sudden the social worker calls, and says that we are moving him to a nursing home in Carnarsie, Brooklyn. For us, we knew that we would not be able to go there every day, and we upset that we did not have a choice, and it was said and done.

My parents went to visit him the first time. The visit went well. The second time, my father went, that same week, and came home upset. He spent the whole day that Friday, trying to get him into a nursing home on Staten Island. He had a trake, so only certain nursing homes can accommodate it. The social worker called my father persistent, but polite in trying to get him in a nursing home on Staten Island. Silver Lake Nursing Home took him in that very night. We just had to pay the ambulance, and I was the one that went there that night. Since he was not responsive, clean, it was really upsetting, and even the ambulance drivers felt bad. They felt like they were bringing in a dead person.

The nursing home did a good job of what you call “comfort care.” He was just bathed, shaved, and new pajamas, and no more poking, or torture. We just put Bobby into the hands of God, and God took him on September 13, 2008.

After his death, we wanted to sue the hospital, and after taking to a lawyer, it was going to be too much aggravation, and there wasn’t much to go after. So we decided that we would write a letter to the hospital on Bobby’s behalf, and see if the hospital responds. My mother wrote the letter to a doctor who really had a big influence on my Uncle, and was our main contact, and the one we got information from.

About a month later, we received a call from that doctor. He apologized for not getting back to us sooner because he was away. The doctor also sent his condolences and said that he was going to forward our letter to the administration.

Some time after that we did receive a letter from the hospital, and they too sent their condolences, and said that an investigation would take place and we would hear the results of it.

It took some time, and we did not hear anything. We decided that we were going to write a second letter. The second letter, we were finally able to set a meeting with some of the hospital executives because they want to correct their mistakes, and make sure that it does not happen again.

January 6th we met with some of the Executives of Luthereran Medical Center, and they allowed my mother and I to voice our concerns. They listened, and admitted their mistakes. While they cannot bring Uncle Bobby back to life, they can take the measures to make sure that it would not happen again.

One thing they did implement is this Rapid Response Team. The day my uncle coded, my dad said he looked funny. The nurses didn’t think much of it, and some time later he coded. Now family members can call this team, and they will look at your family member and tell you what the real story is. They are a step below the code team. I give the hospital credit for taking that initiative, and I hope the families realize that service is available to them.

The Executives ended saying that they were going to take our suggestions, and correct them. They were not going to act it out, and take it seriously. I hope to read about them, and the good that the hospital has done in their improvements. I told them that if Healthcare is so bad, they should be the model hospital, and that other hospitals should follow their lead.

My mother and I felt Uncle Bobby’s presence there, and we know that he was pleased with the outcome. We were able to vent out, and the hospital listened to us. It was also closure for us, as we were able to put this to rest, and know that Uncle Bobby too can rest in peace, and watch over us now like he has been.

I miss Uncle Bobby so much, and cannot wait until the day I meet him again in Heaven.

To Rent or not To Rent

Rentals at Clove Lake Realty have become a hot commodity lately. Rentals are the ability to live at a desired place for a period of time or for a short time. Rentals come in all shapes and sizes (in the housing world that is.)

Clove Lake Realty specializes also in providing rentals to students from St. John’s University, Wagner College, as well as the College of Staten Island. Clove Lake Realty receives calls from landlords looking to cater to those who are looking to live off campus.

In order to get a rental from Clove Lake Realty, the following items are necessary. Solid employment (2 years), good credit history, as well as references. Clove Lake Realty does run a credit check for a fee. By doing the credit check, the landlord feels confident that the person who is renting will be able to provide the owner with stability.

Finally, Clove Lake Realty charges one month’s rent as the service fee. Also due is one month’s security (which is usually the monthly rent amount,) and the first’s month rent. 

The process is rewarding for someone to rent. Especially those who are in college, or looking to move out of their home. It also gives the person the ability to see what home ownership could feel like in the future. Rentals also provide a safe haven for those moving into a new house, renovating or someone who is going to become an empty nester.

Clove Lake Realty has turned many renters into buyers, and has turned renters into buyers who didn’t know that it was possible.

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, an assist people like yourself, with a rental, or a purchase of a new home.

Clove Lake Realty is conveniently located at 1267 Clove Road, near Victory Blvd. Clove Lake Realty is open 7 days a week, and by appointment only, but if you are in the neighborhood, you are welcome to stop in and say hello.

When Should I Buy?

People always ask is this the time to buy? Sure it is. If you are ready to do so. So many people question the economy and this and that, but the right time to buy is when you are ready.

There is an inventory of homes as well as buyers. There are many combinations in the type of home you can chose. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, helps people like yourself, with those questions and many more.

To buy a home, you need the following: a solid work history, good credit score, and great with budgeting. A home is a great investment, and since it would be your own, there are many things that you will be able to do with it.

What about the mortgage industry? Well if you read the papers, and watch the news, you saw that the housing market went a little crazy. Now that the garbage is gone, the mortgage business is back on its feet now. 

The governments FHA loans have become a hot item. since they are backed by the government, there is stability. The same goes with some of the larger banks. You need to get a loan you will feel comfortable with, and know that it will be able to be paid for on a monthly basis. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, offers consultations with people all the time. I answer those many questions you have, and then some.

Clove Lake Realty is located at 1267 Clove Road, in Staten Island, New York. It is at the intersection of Victory Blvd.

Pasticceria Bruno

The other day I had lunch at Pasticceria Bruno located at 676 Forest Ave., in Staten Island, New York. Its cross street is Bement Ave. Across the street is the Staaten, and next door there is a Chase Bank.

I was very impressed with the decor of the restaurant. It also is a bakery as well. Upon arrival I was greeted warmly by the waitress, and seated.

We were presented with a menu, and got to see the vast amount of choices, all some many to choose from!

Upon final choosing, the waitress took our order, and within a reasonable amount of time the appetizers were brought out. Prior to that a fresh basket of bread was brought out. It was presented very well, and the bread was definitely made fresh.

After enjoying the appetizers, the main course arrived. Presented very well, and everything was cooked just right.

The entire wait staff was on their toes, looking for empty drinks for refills, or taking away a plate of food that is finished with. The staff was not gossiping with one another and were communicating quite well.

Since there was no room for desert, I cannot comment on it. The desert menu was vast, and sort of like a bakery dreamland. I hope to stop by again and finally try some desert. It was so picture perfect in the display case, and could only imagine what it tastes like.

Pasticceria Bruno has a website at, and is the perfect stop for lunch. I also learned from their menu they offer a Sunday brunch. It seems that their main location is in Manhattan, and this place on Forest Ave., is definitely Manhattan quality, but with a Staten Island Address. The are also located at 1650 Hylan Blvd., in Dongan Hills. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, in Staten Island, New York, wrote this article based on opinion. I was not endorsed by Pasticceria Bruno, but only did this as a way to comment on some of the places to eat on Staten Island.