Merlino & Gonzalez August 2017

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My Most Memorable Summer Job PAELLA ON THE PATIO

Unless you’re a child actor or you join a boy band, odds are you’ll work a few different jobs on the way to your long-term career. That was certainly my experience, and a lot of the work I did while growing up and going through law school took place at restaurants. I put in time at a few places, but there was one restaurant that had a bigger

wasn’t looking for work. Nevertheless, I got a call a few days later asking me to come in. Little did I know how important that phone call would be. My first role at Carmen’s was as a busboy, but over the years, I filled just about every role there. I did food prep, made sangria, washed dishes, and waited tables, among many other tasks. Being a waiter at Carmen’s was fast-paced work, especially if you happened to have a patio shift. The restaurant was right on the water, which meant the outdoor tables were the first to fill up. The atmosphere was great, and so was the paella, which brought people out in droves. I still use the skills I learned as a waiter in my work as an attorney. When you wait tables, you deal with all sorts of different people. You are there to give them a great experience, without being the star of the show. Basically, you are a guide taking them through the meal, doing your best to make sure they have the best time possible. That’s exactly the type of relationship I want to have with my clients today. And the same way you return to your favorite restaurants because of the staff, I hope that my clients see me as a friendly face whenever they call or stop by the office. Sadly, Carmen’s was a casualty of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. For those of us that worked there, though, the place lives on in our hearts. I’m still friends with the people I worked alongside, and my kids essentially think of them as family members. I’ll never forget all the hours I spent there and how crucial it was in getting me where I am today. If you have to have a job on your way to finding a career, you can do no better than the one I was lucky enough to have.

impact on me than any other: Carmen’s of Staten Island. I worked there for 14 years, and the skills I learned there are still with me today. I can still remember how I ended up with a job at Carmen’s. One of my friends worked there, and I stopped by one summer afternoon to pick up a book I needed for summer reading. I happened to run into a manager there, and he said to me, “Don’t expect to leave here with a job.” I explained to him that I was simply there to grab a book from my friend and



Tips and Tricks to Make Your Move Less Stressful MOVE ON THE CHEAP

Moving can be a stressful experience. Buying or renting a home is expensive enough. But between the down payment or deposit and the cost of movers, the grand total can be overwhelming. However, with these tips, you can cut down on moving costs. One of the easiest ways to save money and time during your move is by selling and donating unused items in your home. And packing up and moving is so much easier when you have less stuff! “Take your upcoming move as an opportunity to make a little extra spending money when you’re decluttering your home,” says Linda Descano, women and money expert from Citibank’s Women & Co. An easy way to sell your unused items is by posting ads for them on eBay, Craigslist, or Letgo. Social media can be a great tool for getting your moving supplies for free. Make a Lighten Your Load and Use Social Media

post on your social media accounts asking for boxes and other moving supplies. People often have extras lying around.

Tax Deduction

If you’re moving more than 50 miles away, you can save your receipts for a tax deduction, says Adrian Nazari, CEO of credit and load website But you have to keep a few things in mind. In order to receive tax deductions, your move must be job related, and accepting the job would have had to increase your commute by more than 50 miles if you had decided not to move. You also must be employed full time for at least 39 weeks during the 12-month period after you move. Lastly, your employer must not be covering your moving expenses. It’s true, moving can be stressful and expensive. However, following these tips can not only save you time and effort, they can also save you a good chunk of change.


Summer means vacations and events, and while our clients come first here at Merlino & Gonzalez, we still make sure to devote a little time to a healthy work-life balance. Eva has a busy summer packed with weddings. Two of her close friends from college are getting married. Of course, they had to set dates just two weeks apart. Her weekends have been filled with showers, dress fittings, and parties — not that she’s complaining. When she has a little time to herself, hopefully she’ll be spending it on a beach. Alex’s summer is similarly jampacked with bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings. When they say summer is wedding season, they aren’t kidding! For Erin and Michelle, summer offers the chance to do a little catching up with their families. Erin hopes to make some time for a trip to Maryland to visit her sister in addition to working on her tan by Chesapeake Bay. Michelle has a long-standing tradition of spending Fourth of July on Long Beach Island with family friends. They spend some time kayaking, clamming, and surfing. Oh, and don’t forget eating too much delicious food. As for John, he’ll be busy visiting colleges with his son, who just so happens to be named John as well. They’re both really excited about it (maybe father

even more than son) and looking forward to finding the best fit. Those two, along with the rest of the Merlino family, also have a trip to Hershey Park planned. Nothing says summer fun quite like chocolate and roller coasters.

Also, Ken and his family are going on a cruise to Bermuda and enjoying backyard pool BBQ’s with family and friends. We hope you have a little time this summer to enjoy the beautiful weather with your loved ones. If you need us, though, know that we’ll be here waiting.



Buying a home is an exciting process, especially for first-time homeowners. In your haste to move in, however, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook the details of a real estate contract. Without having an experienced real estate attorney read over your contract, you won’t be sure that your interests are protected. As you know, to finance a home purchase, you’ll need to obtain a mortgage loan. The approval process for these loans is often a difficult, protracted affair beset with delays. Imagine you assume you will be approved for a loan and sign a contract, only to be turned down at the last minute. If you haven’t included a provision in your contract that explicitly states the deal is contingent upon your loan approval, you will lose your deposit with no recourse to get it back. That’s just one issue among many that can arise from signing a contract without counsel. Purchasing a home is not like buying a bag of chips.

There are many fees associated with closing on a property, and if the party you are purchasing a property from is motivated to sell, there’s a chance they will be willing to take on some or all of these fees. Your contract should also disclose any and all appliances that are included in the purchase price. You don’t want the day you move in to be the day you learn that the chandelier you loved was actually just decoration from a home stager. Equally important is holding the seller to a thorough home inspection, guaranteeing that if structural defects are found, you can back out of the deal at no cost. An attorney will make sure these and many other concerns don’t go uncovered in your contract. Buying a home will likely be the largest financial transaction of your life. Let us dot the i’s and cross the t’s for you before you sign on the dotted line.



Make the most of these last few summer weeks and wrangle the kids for this fun, easy dessert! You can even save the leftovers in the freezer for those busy back-to-school nights.


• 4 ounces dark chocolate pieces, melted

• 24 Ritz (or generic butter round) crackers • 1 pint your favorite ice cream in the center of 12 crackers. Press remaining crackers, chocolate side down, onto the ice cream scoop. 4. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap to store in freezer for up to seven days — but they’ll never last that long.


1. Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and drippy. 2. Arrange crackers, bottom side up, on a cookie sheet. Use fork to drizzle melted chocolate over crackers, then place them in freezer to cool quickly. 3. Remove crackers from freezer and place small ice cream scoop

Recipe inspired by




394 Manor Rd, Staten Island, NY 10314



Paella on the Patio Cut Down on the Cost of Moving Summer Office Happenings Don’t Close Just Yet! Ritz Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches View of a Lifetime

the middle of the path of totality. Plenty of hotels make Columbia a great viewing location for those who don’t want to camp out, and the vibrant city life means you’ll have a lot to do even when the eclipse is over. SANDHILLS, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA In the heartlands, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect viewing location than the Sandhills of western Nebraska. With wide-open skies, low rolling hills, and no towering buildings to get in the way, the Sandhills are sure to be a popular viewing spot. THE MUSEUM OF IDAHO, IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO The Museum of Idaho has been designated an Official NASA Observation Site, and the museum is hosting four days of awesome events to celebrate. Enjoy live presentations, technology demonstrations, and special exhibits as you prepare to watch the total eclipse with NASA scientists. VIEW OF A LIFETIME Where to Watch the Great American Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, the greatest show of the summer will take place in the United States: a total solar eclipse! This eclipse will be visible across North America, but the path of totality — the area where the moon completely covers the sun — will only fall in the continental U.S., leading this cosmic event to be called The Great American Eclipse. If you’re already in the United States, a day’s road trip is all you need to grab a front row seat for this rare astronomical occurrence. COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA Need a place to watch the eclipse in the southern U.S.? Then get yourself to South Carolina, where the state capital of Columbia is almost right in

Visit the official website of The Great American Eclipse at for everything you need to know about this once-in-a-lifetime sight! 4

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