NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Affordable Housing is the New Rent Stabilized

I moved to Brooklyn twenty years ago; my family thought it would be a good idea for me to move into my Grandmother's rent controlled apartment in Greenpoint. It wasn't ideal: the windows needed to be replaced, there were roaches and mice; it was on the fourth floor of a walk-up building, which wasn't wired for A/C...Then there was my Grandmother, who thought she had to babysit me, even though I had a full-time job in Manhattan at the time. She complained about me on the phone to my mother weekly. My share of the rent in 1996 was a mere $88.00 a month, which left me plenty of spending money to go out with my friends and explore NYC.  I muddled through a less than ideal situation to establish succession rights; so when my Grandmother had to be moved to a nursing home, the landlord had to continue to rent the apartment to me at a substantially reduced rate.

I stayed there for six years, until I stumbled upon my current rent stabilized apartment in Park Slope. I actually met my Landlady at a workshop for people who had been laid off by Macy's...My current apartment is larger, two bedrooms, I use the smaller of the two as my home office, is pest-free and can accommodate my air conditioner! I've lived here for the past 14 years, but the place is worse for the wear. I had to buy a space heater for my office two years ago because she's too cheap to replace the window. She plans to sell the building soon, so I've applied to several apartments in affordable housing in Manhattan and Brooklyn! It will mean downgrading to a one-bedroom apartment, but somehow I'll manage! These buildings actually have amenities, like a doorman, laundry in the building, etc. I applied to a building in Manhattan nine months ago and am still waiting to hear...I've applied to several other buildings since then. Fingers crossed!

  • Current Mood: determined determined
NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Bidding Farewell to Tekserve...

Heartbroken to learn that Tekserve, the MAC Experts will be closing forever at the end of the month. I've been a customer for 20 years, relying on their expertise for replacing worn out keyboards and mice, transferring files from Zip Disk to CD-ROM. Remember those?! These guys know their stuff. I was so impressed, I bought my new iMac there last December. They will be sorely missed...

  • Current Mood: sad sad
NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

The Future of Banking

Looks like bank tellers have reason to be concerned...The other day, I went to a new branch of Capital One Bank located in Union Square to deposit a rather large client check. Much to my dismay, this location had no bank tellers...Luckily, there was a helpful employee on hand to walk me through depositing my check via the ATM. It was quick and easily. And while I did use the mobile app to deposit a check when I was out of town, I'll miss the human interaction of bank tellers. I blame the Millennials...

  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Lubbock, Texas Tourist Kelli McGowen Creates a  Scene at 9/11 Museum in New York City

Kelli McGowen

Tourist Kelli McGowen of Lubbock, Texas causes scene at 9/11 Museum in New York City.
July, 2016 A crazed woman from Lubbock, Texas allegedly came to the 9/11 Ground Zero Museum in New York City, harassed the Museum’s founder Gary Suson and screamed obscenities in the Museum, which at the time of the incident, had 9/11 family members and kids present. Tourist Kelli McGowen from Lubbock, Texas was visiting with her family when she apparently realized Gary Marlon Suson, who was the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the FDNY Fire Unions and the Museum’s Founder was present.

Suson is not at the Museum often and moments after she met Suson, she snuck away into a corner to Google him on her smartphone. Apparently Kelli McGowen, not too press savvy, stumbled upon on a decade-old fake story on Gary Suson from a tabloid (whom Suson sued for millions) believed it and felt she had been duped. She then came back to the area that Mr. Suson was standing and talking to small children in and began screaming at him loudly. Some 9/11 families, parents and staff asked McGowen to cease acting like this but to no avail.

Gary Marlon Suson

Acclaimed Photographer Gary Marlon Suson

Harassed at 9/11 Museum by Tourist.

His work at

“She was loudly accusing Mr. Suson of horrible things,” said one eyewitness.

After guests felt unsafe, Police were summoned to the 9/11 Museum to escort a screaming Ms. McGowen from the premises.

Reached for comment in NYC, Suson said, “It goes to show you that some people will believe whatever they read. It even shows you the power of silly tabloid journalism. It’s sad.”

Gary Marlon Suson is disabled with pulmonary injury from spending 7 months at the World Trade Center, lives in New York City and takes zero salary as the Director of the 9/11 Museum. Ground Zero Museum Workshop is the only 9/11 Museum in Manhattan that has raised charitable funds for 9/11 and FDNY Charities.

Ground Zero Museum Workshop NYC

The Kid-friendly Ground Zero Museum Workshop
in the Meatpacking District, NYC.

The Museum’s website is at:

Kelli McGowen was unreachable in Texas for comment.

NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Bad Apples and Good Eggs

I've been a full-time freelancer surviving on one income for over seven years now. There are times business is slow and because I have no boyfriend or husband to rely on, I've previously taken on clients who were not willing to pay my reasonable rates. Case in point, I had a woman who found me via LinkedIn; we had not one, but three calls about my SEO and social media services. She had lots of questions, understandable, but every time we spoke, she'd ask me the same thing over and over...That was red flag number one. Red flag number two was her balking at my reasonable rates. The clincher: Despite emailing her a detailed proposal outlining goals and my rates, which I lowered by $10.00 per hour for social media, she told me she was shocked when she saw my most recent invoice. I guess she had a slow month. Not my problem...As soon as she pays, I'm kicking that bad apple to the curb! Never again will I take on a client who questions my very reasonable rates.

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of clients who are good eggs. They're open to my suggestions for blog, social media and website updates; they refer new clients; and even though I haven't raised my rates with clients I've worked with for 6 years or more, they continually give me challenging, exciting projects that keep me engaged!

NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Need to Downgrade to a One-Bedroom Apartment

After eight months, I received an email informing me that my application for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan has been randomly selected for further processing. I've spent much of the day printing out 1099s and tax returns. The timing couldn't be better, since my lease ends in October and my landlady is selling the building...

I currently use the second bedroom in my apartment as my home office. If I wind up in a one-bedroom, part of the living room would become my office; either that or the bedroom. With that in mind, I've started de-cluttering, throwing out items I either no longer have any use for or never used in the first place! Tomorrow, I'll search the depths of my closet to see what unknown trash/treasures lurk within...

  • Current Mood: determined determined
NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Things I'll Miss About Park Slope

There's a good change I won't be able to stay in Park Slope, where I've lived for the past 14 years when I move in October...I've got a few leads on apartments in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

I'll miss all of the great restaurants where I've become a regular; Prospect Park and Celebrate Brooklyn; Ballard Pharmacy; the corner deli; the friendly bank tellers at my branch.

There are a few things I won't miss: my drafty home office--I had to buy a space heater a few years ago--and it doesn't always help. The filthy water--I had to buy a Zero Water Pitcher because the water looks like milk straight from the tap--it's that dirty! My drafty bedroom--I had to sleep with a hat on all winter. My noisy neighbors--they have their TV so loud I wound up buying a white noise machine to drown them out!

So there you have it: the good, the bad and the ugly...Onward!

  • Current Mood: disappointed disappointed