Most patrons expect to pay a reasonably high bill when ordering sushi. It’s pricey. But one New York City politician appears to be quite slimy over a sushi scandal. New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit against state senate majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. The suit claims that the senator misappropriated funds intended for the Soundview Health Clinic, a community development clinic.
Among the things Espada is accused of spending his money on are 650 meals for Espada himself and his supporters, averaging $120 per meal, and over 200 meals valued at $200,000 from New York sushi restaurants, where Espada often ordered take out food.
Other misuses of funds, according to Cuomo’s suit, are trips to Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and rent on a residence used to establish residency in his district.
This is not the first time that Espada’s professional ethics have been called in to question. In June of last year, Espada was seared for failing to file 7 years of campaign reports, failing to be transparent regarding the spending of campaign funds. He also is rumored to live in Westchester, despite his claims that he resides in the Bronx. Interesting to note, the take out sushi was delivered to Westchester, not the Bronx.
Something smells fishy!
New York City Horse-Drawn Carriage
New York City recently passed a controversial bill to raise the fares for horse-drawn carriage rides. Passed amidst heated arguments from both sides, the rate hike is the first the city has seen in 20 years and will also serve to improve conditions for the horses.
The rate was increased from $34 for the first half hour to $50 for the first 20 minutes. The bill also creates a provision for horse health. They must be boarded in stalls big enough to turn around and lie down in as well as vacation time. In addition, there is an age restriction on horses eligible to pull carriages; between 5 and 26 years of age.
In a time when the unemployment rate is sky high and tourism is down, many disagreed with the changes. Dissenters wondered how the bill would be enforced. The American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the main sponsor of the bill, insisted that the community would help enforcement.
It is a “fair balance between having regulations that protect the horses that are part of this industry, but keeps an industry that supports 300 families,” said Christine Quinn, ASPCA spokesperson. Opposition was so fierce, Quinn was heckled and called a “liar” as she made her case for the bill.
At last count, there are 293 licensed drivers and 68 licensed carriages in New York City. Animal rights activists have longed called for a complete ban on carriages, and the passing of the bill is their lone victory in a long campaign for change.
Fashion26 Hotel Bar
The ever-fashionable New York City has received an upgrade to its accomodations offerings. Windham, known for luxurious resort hotels in Las Vegas and other urban and tourist-centric areas, recently opened its Fashion26 hotel in the chic Chelsea district.
The hotel features 22 stories of glass and steel, and the tower is replete with an “art program” which will feature a rotation of sure-to-be-fashion-iconic exhibits. The program will feature photorgraphy from teh neighboring Fashion INstitute of Technology’s students.
Glen Coben, designer, fashioned the lobby’s receiption desk after the type of cutting-room table one would see in a fashion design house.
It goes without saying that the staff uniforms have to be up to stylistic snuff as well. Drab colors and bulky cuts were poo-pooed in favor of merino wool knits from leading designers and Kangol knit hats for the doormen.
“Fashion 26 – A Wyndham Hotel makes an exciting statement about architectural imagination, refined service and unique amenities in one of the city’s most vital and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Wyndham Hotels and Resorts President Jeff Wagoner.
The chic perks don’t stop in the lobby. The hotel has designed amenities to please the most exacting fashionista’s pallete, including cupcakes from an upscale neighborhood bakery, free wi-fi, luxurious Frette linens and terrycloth towels.
Rooms start at a fashionably-reasonable $299.