Merlino & Gonzalez - April 2020

April 2020

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IN A MANOR OF SPEAKING

PASSION FOR WHAT WE DO

the week because it’s what I love to do. And I only work with people who also have passion for what they do. That’s how I came to work with Ken Gonzalez and John Merlino. My clients are primarily homeowners who need help selling their homes. Whenever a legal matter arises during

Diane LaFronza is a Real Estate Associate Broker from Neuhaus Realty and a friend to everyone here at the office. We’ve had the pleasure of working together with Diane almost as long as our office has been in existence. Diane is a seasoned professional who always puts her clients first and is willing to go the extra mile to get the deal done. Her warmth and sincerity are evident from the moment you meet her.

A lot of people know me as “the purple lady.” It’s my favorite color, and I make

the process, I always refer my clients to Merlino & Gonzalez. That’s not only because they’re the best at what they do, but they also bring a passion for their work into client relationships. They actually pick up the phone when clients call; they don’t hand it off to assistants or secretaries. They are completely honest, operate with the utmost respect, don’t rip people off, and follow up with the smallest of details. They’re a rare luxury you don’t find often in this business, and that’s why I’ve always kept them close. I don’t usually make outside recommendations to clients — I let them make important legal decisions on their own. But when it’s appropriate, I will recommend Ken Gonzalez every time because I know we work and operate the same way. Ken and his team are passionate about what they do, and they aren’t afraid to show it. They’re the kind of people who make their colleagues want to do their work better, and they give their clients an easy decision for future legal services. I imagine that if Ken and John had been on the playground with me the day I first wore my purple shoes, they wouldn’t have been laughing. They would have stood right there next to me, ready to be friends with the like-minded kid who showed passion for something they loved.

that fact well known by the clothes I wear. But this article isn’t about why the color purple is great. It’s about what made me like purple so much, how that plays a role in what I do every day, and how it led me to working with Merlino & Gonzalez. When I was in fifth grade, I always wore black and white sneakers to school, like all the other students. But when I was out shopping with my mother one day, I saw a pair of purple sneakers in the window that I couldn’t live without. She bought them for me, and I proudly wore them to school the next day. But the other kids made fun of me for wearing purple sneakers, and I cried and told my mother I couldn’t wear them anymore. That’s when my mother told me one of the most valuable lessons of my life: I should never let anyone dictate what I should or shouldn’t be passionate about. I took that to heart and never looked back. I’m passionate about the work I do, and I always have been. I’m an associate broker for Neuhaus Realty, but I wear a lot of different hats that keep me busy. I’m also a property manager, a paralegal, and a notary. Before any of those, I worked a corporate job in Manhattan for many years. I’ve sat on, and still sit on, a handful of boards and committees that revolve around realty and law. I work every day of

-Diane LaFronza

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LEARN TO BREATHE BETTER

Holistic Methods for Taming Seasonal Allergies

Poke Them Away Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand-alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion. Drain Them Away Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!

The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help. Eat Them Away Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. ( Warning: Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.) Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease inflammation and swelling, while quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages.

DID YOU SEE IT? 3 of Hollywood’s Best Movie Easter Eggs

This April, many kids will search excitedly for Easter eggs, but aside from the holiday treat, the term “Easter egg” has a fun alternate meaning when it comes to media. In this context, an Easter egg refers to a hidden surprise or message, and people often enjoy trying to find as many as they can. This spring, turn on some of these classic movies and see if you can spot a few of Hollywood’s Easter eggs yourself. DISNEY ROYALTY’S FAMILY TREE At the beginning of Disney’s “Frozen,” released in 2013, Elsa and Anna’s parents leave to journey across the ocean. Their destination is unknown, and sadly, a treacherous storm sinks their ship. Three years later, their eldest daughter, Elsa, is coronated, and guests arrive at the castle. If viewers scan the crowd of visitors, they will see Flynn and Rapunzel from the 2010 Disney movie “Tangled.” (Notice the time difference?) The theory, confirmed by filmmakers, is that Elsa and Anna’s parents were traveling to Flynn and Rapunzel’s wedding. The connections continue with claims that the shipwreck in “The Little Mermaid” was their ship, and some even think that Tarzan’s parents were actually Anna and Elsa’s parents, who survived the wreck. FRANK ABAGNALE ARRESTING ‘HIMSELF’ At 15 years old, Frank Abagnale Jr. started his career as one of the U.S.’s most prolific con artists. Abagnale scammed the government out of money, impersonated pilots and doctors, and swindled banks, making his story seem like a Hollywood plot. In 2002, “Catch Me If You Can,” starring

Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, created just that. The movie follows the life of Abagnale, who briefly appears in the movie himself to arrest DiCaprio, who plays a young Abagnale. Today, Abagnale serves as a security consultant and teaches courses for the FBI. INDIANA JONES AND HAN SOLO TEAMING UP No movie franchises are as prolific as George Lucas’ “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” but they also share another Hollywood connection. Both series feature Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones and Han Solo, and the franchises make references to each other, including hieroglyphics in “Indiana Jones” that feature R2-D2, C-3PO, and Princess Leia, as well as a club named Club Obi Wan. Though “The Empire Strikes Back” was filmed before “Indiana Jones,” Lucas had Ford in mind for his next great story and gave Han Solo a bullwhip in reference to Indy’s famous go-to tool.

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SPRING-CLEANING YOUR PAPER TRAIL WHAT TO KEEP AND WHAT TO LET GO

As you progress through life, you accumulate important documents that can start to take up a lot of valuable storage space. In spirit with the season, now’s the time to do a little bit of spring-cleaning and sort through your documents to see what might finally be safe to get rid of. Here are the important categories to keep in mind. Rarely Need You might have old originals of a variety of important documents depending on your history and background. These documents were important to secure when you got them and are extremely important to keep, but you should rarely need to use them once they’ve served their purpose. Items like adoption papers, citizenship papers, lawsuit documents, and military discharges can be kept in a safe deposit box but should never be discarded. Sometimes Need These are original documents that, again, were very important to secure at the time and are very important to keep, but you shouldn’t need them often. For that reason, store them in a fire- and burglar- resistant safe in your home. These are items like birth certificates, real estate deeds, diplomas, health records, marriage certificates,

passports, retirement plans, vehicle titles, Social Security cards, trusts, and wills. If you receive new versions of these at any point, feel free to shred the old versions. Temporarily Important These are documents that need to exist only for the duration of time they’re relevant. After they’ve served their purpose, they can be shredded. These are things like college financial aid documents that have been paid off, old credit reports, old employment contracts, old financial statements, old receipts, old vehicle repair documents, and old vehicle registrations. Tax Documents The best practice is to not shred any tax documents until seven years after they’ve been issued. These include items like bank statements, canceled checks, credit card statements, tax return documents, and home improvement documents.

And if there’s anything you’re unsure about, take it to a trusted professional for guidance. Better safe than sorry!

EASY DEVILED EGGS MICHELE’S RECIPE CORNER

take a break

While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving.

INGREDIENTS

• Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste • 12 large eggs, hard-boiled • Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 2 tbsp milk • • 1/2 tsp dill weed • • 1/2 tsp ground mustard 1 tsp dried parsley flakes 1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.

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718-698-2200 | realestateplanninglaw.com WE KEEP YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Having Passion Is Never a Bad Thing Fight the Sneeze With These Holistic Remedies Did You Spot These Movie Easter Eggs? Spring-Clean Your Documents Easy Deviled Eggs The History of Libraries in America

THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA A Story of Many Firsts

What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial

in the United States. Members of subscription libraries could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789. BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax-supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children. Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”

Peterborough Town Library

Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons. COLLEGES AND THE CLERGY Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400- book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological. A FEW MORE FIRSTS During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library

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