When It’s Time To Ride

The Biltwell 500 Xs Eric

Source: Street Chopper Magazine: ” Poster boy for Restless American Youth: 23-year-old XS Eric. Riding with this crazy bastard is always a pleasure.”

There is no better place to feel the shifting weather than on two wheels.

The chill that used to rattle your insides going down the highway two months ago, it’s gone.

It’s no longer spring — the time when late at night the temperatures still dipped down near freezing. It’s summer.

That bit of cold you felt two weeks ago, when you road down that country road and banked into a patch of uncomfortable air, has left as well.

The leaves have their color back.

The deer are no longer darting out into your path. They no longer have to run through the night to keep warm.

In central Jersey, you can ride along the Atlantic without a jacket. You don’t even need a hoodie.

It’s fine enough to cruise along Ocean Ave. in 501 Levis, high-top Chuck T’s, mechanics gloves and a t-shirt.

Your hand dangling down at the primary. The other sitting on the throttle. Your feet kicked out in front of you. And, the breeze running up your pant leg.

Here’s to the changing of the seasons; Here’s to motorcycling weather.

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Chris Christie Is Not Nice

photo credit: Office of the Governor

Source: DailyKos.com “Christie yells at someone for something
photo credit: Office of the Governor”

New Jersey’s governor is one of the most affective in the state’s history at using the bully pulpit — the practice perfected by Teddy Rosevelt.
But instead of the podium, he’s using the platform.
In the age of social media, where sound bites are catalogued by millions on the web, Chris Christie is waging war against anyone who disagrees with him.
To some nobody with less than 500 Twitter followers:
To the outgoing New Jersey Nets:
Christie prefers the Rangers and the Cowboys, over the Devils and the Giants.
To his opposition :
He’s even using social media to do some damage control, and shape his message:
It appears, at least to me, that this brand of divisive speech and rhetoric is replacing political discourse.
It’s even more upsetting because — as a person, not a politician — Christie doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy.
But do you know what Chris Christie would say to that?
Shut Up; And, Stop Whining

A (Jersey City) Parlor

Source:Instagram

Aire Salon personifies, in a small way, what Jersey City aspires to be.

Over the past decade, the city’s once blue collar downtown has been steadily becoming a bedroom community with its residents staring across the Hudson at Manhattan.

Young entrepreneurs, often in their 20s and most without MBAs, are building restaurants and other small businesses laser focused on the city’s newest inhabitants: commuting stock brokers, bankers and office workers. Lower costs and the promise of up-and-coming neighborhoods has drawn them to the area.

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A Real Gym(m)

Update [5/7/12]: Real Gymm was mentioned in this HoopsWorld.com article.

Off the Garden State Parkway and a block away from the beach, an old clothing consignment shop has been converted into a Real Gymm (yes, with the extra ‘m’) where professional, college and top high school athletes train nearly every weekend.

The barbell club has hosted Marshon Brooks of the New Jersey Nets, Scotty Hopson of the University of Tennessee and Ricardo Ratliffe of the University of Missouri, among others.

The main entrance is at the back of an alley. Old machines dot the ground floor. Forty-five pound saucer shaped plates are covered in weight lifting chalk. Concrete stones — used by strongman athletes in a back-breaking exercise –and tractor tires and wooden weight lifting platforms fill out the room.

Workouts sometimes move to the beach, where men and women don heavy vests and run in the sand.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky.

The backdrop is Keyport, a working class suburb. Its staple is the Family Dollar across the street from the gym on West Front Street in the middle of the downtown.

The financial crisis has devastated the hamlet. A bank branch that once sat vacant in the wake of the downturn recently has been converted into a bible study. Up the road, a go-go bar on the highway sits blocks away from the high school.

This is the type of blue collar place where heroes are made and archetypal underdogs rise to the occasion. It’s the type of place where champions get better.

This gym — for me — is where I watch high school classmates and NFL caliber athletes sweating side by side.

From SLAM Magazine:

Amex Recalls NJ Gift Cards

From The Record:

Retailers are threatening to follow American Express’ lead and pull their gift cards from New Jersey stores rather than let the state claim unspent card funds under an unusual state law designed to help close a budget gap.

The Christie administration-proposed law enacted in June 2010 — apparently the only such state law in the nation — was aimed at helping to balance the 2011 state budget by raising as much as $80 million. The law allows the state to consider an unused gift card “abandoned” two years after its purchase, and to take custody of the balance, which formerly reverted to the issuer.

What I’m unsure of, as of 8 this morning, is Amex just recalling their gift cards from the Garden States’ shelves, or is it all its prepaid cards…

[Update 10:54 a.m.]

Response from Amex:

The NJ law requires zip code collection for Gift Card purchasers at the point of sale. Because American Express sells its Gift Cards through third-party independent retail partners, we are not able to ensure compliance with that part of the law. As a result, we cannot conduct any third party sales, such as those through retail locations, financial institutions, and third party selling websites, of our Gift Cards in NJ. Consumers in New Jersey can still purchase American Express Gift Cards online at www.americanexpress.com/gift. American Express Gift Cards will also continue to be accepted at locations throughout New Jersey where American Express is accepted.

[Update 1:20 p.m.]

You can see my short @AmerBanker story on the news, here.

[Update: April 5, 2012]

Prepaid distributor and marketer InComm is pulling its gift cards from New Jersey shelves, as well. Blackhawk followed this announcement with a similar release that said it, too, will be pulling its gift cards from the Garden State.

Be My Roommate?

UPDATE: I have found two new roommies — one is a scientist, the other is an incredibly kind graduate student. I lucked out

I’m in the market for a couple of well-behaved folks to move into my Hoboken apartment.

image 0

The Rent: 840/ month… That, believe it or not, is cheap for the area.

The place: It’s one bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment. Rent is $840 a month, plus cable/interwebs and utilities, usually about $70 a month. The location is amazing, right on 5th Street and Washington.

It is less than a 10 minute walk to the PATH. That means that within 15 minutes you are in midtown Manhattan.

You’d have to sign a year lease, put up first and last month’s rent, a security deposit worth half a month’s rent, and there is also a brokerage fee.

The place is newly remodeled and comfortable.

Reason why I’m the best roommate ever: I’m never around; And I will NEVER touch your stuff.

SeanSposito@gmail.com ; @SeanSposito ; Craigslist Posting

Star Ledger’s Exclusive Dharun Ravi Interview

For those that have been paying attention to the case of Tyler Clementi, it has been tragic. Not only because of Clementi’s death, but because of the the lives that have been ruined in its aftermath.

In an exclusive interview with the Star-Ledger, Clementi’s convicted betrayer, Dharun Ravi, who broadcast a tryst between Clementi and a 30-year-old man over the internet, speaks to columnist Mark Di Ionno about the events that led up to Clementi’s suicide.

Here is an excerpt:

Last Friday, after a month-long trial in which Ravi did not testify in his own defense, he was convicted of all 15 counts of privacy invasion, investigation tampering and bias intimidation. He faces a 10-year jail term, with sentencing set for May 21. Prior to the trial, he turned down a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail. But he had to admit to charges of bias intimidation.

“I’m never going to regret not taking the plea,” Ravi said emphatically. “If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie. I won’t ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it’s not true.”

Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial

John O’Boyle / The Star-Ledger

Dharun Ravi inside his Plainsboro home on March 21. Ravi, a former Rutgers student, was recently convicted of bias charges during the webcam spying trial that gained national attention. (John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger)