Plane Crash in Buffalo, New York Felt Nationwide


Is it just me? Or does it seem like there have been way too many plane crashes lately? First, we had the plane go down into the Hudson River about a month ago. And now, we have a plane (that departed from Newark) crash into a Buffalo, New York neighborhood. Strangely, both of these flights originated in the New York metropolitan area. Should we be concerned about traveling in and out of the Big Apple?  The official report is that a Continental Airlines commuter plane (flight 3407 leaving Newark, NJ bound for Buffalo, NY) carrying 49 passengers crashed into a suburban Buffalo house late Thursday. The crash killed everyone on-board and one person inside the home. However, the mother and daughter who lived in the house made it out safely and were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board has collected the data recorders and cockpit voice equipment to search for clues as to the reason for the crash.

The details about the crash victims are just starting to come in. There was a senior adviser for the Human Rights Watch – Africa Division, Alison Des Forges; a widow of a 9/11 victim, Beverly Eckhert; and a cantor, Susan Wehle, were killed in this crash. These passengers along with the others on this flight will not be forgotten.


“It’s hard to make sense of it today, but God hasn’t left us,” New York Gov. David Paterson said at a news conference, expressing hope that people could find comfort in the few stories of survival — or luck — in the crash.

Layoffs at the Zoos?


A layoff for elephants? Yes, an expected effect of the current recession are state budget cuts that reduce crucial funding for exhibits at zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens. In New York alone, their 76 zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums will lose $9.1 million dollars in funding next year.

“We’re faced with this very difficult problem of firing the animals, as it were,” said Steve Sanderson to CNN. Sanderson is the CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium.

Taking matters into their own hands, the Bronx Zoo has created a video ( to alert people to the animal layoffs.

In this case, an animal firing means some species will be shipped off to other zoos. Or if a species dies, it will not be replaced. And the overall amount of zoo exhibits will decrease.

A spokesman for the New York State Budget Office told CNN that cuts are necessary because of the state’s financial situation. New York isn’t the only place where the state’s budget problems are affecting the zoos. Animal exhibits are being streamlined or discontinued in California, Missouri, North Carolina and Maryland.

Although there is an $819 billion economic stimulus package in consideration, funding for zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums are not included. Taxpayer watchdog groups fought to keep funding from being directed at these organizations.

I hear the elephants, giraffes and other animals at the zoo are wondering: where is their economic bailout?

Six Apart Offers Bailout Program for Journalists — Including Me

With the economy in serious trouble, automakers and financial institutions are seeking a government bailout. And the banks and financial folks got one to the tune of $700 billion. Well, The New York Times recently reported that Six Apart, the maker of Moveable Type blogs called TypePad, has created a bailout program of their own: “The Journalist Bailout Program.” (Spoiler alert—they interviewed me!)

The new initiative is designed to help journalists who recently lost their jobs get back on their feet. Once accepted into the program, Six Apart will give 20 to 30 individuals a TypePad pro blog with full technical support (worth about $150 a year), inclusion in its advertising program (which is an opportunity to earn money) and his or her blog featured on, a blog aggregator site. Six Apart’s Moveable Type software and platform is used by some great sites like Barack Obama’s campaign site, The Washington Post, and NPR—just to name a few. This is a huge gesture and generous offering for struggling journalists who may need both financial and technical help to start blogging.

About a week or so ago, I saw a Tweet about the program. (I’m a bigger Twitter user and advocate.) So, I immediately clicked on the link and saw blogger and Six Apart vice president, Anil Dash’s, blog post about the opportunity.


Obama Wins: Nov. 5th U.S. Newspaper covers

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I created a slideshow of several Nov. 5th newspapers covers of President-Elect Barack Obama’s historic win. Check it out. And if you still want to see more covers, click here.

The Caramel Bella

Osama or Obama: Freudian Slip, Intentional Jab or Honest Mistake?

According to the Albany Times Union today, Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) last name was misspelled as “‘Osama’ on hundreds of absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer Country,” New York. Is this a Freudian slip or a simple mistake?

Although the Democratic and Republican county officials claim it was a “typo” and “honest mistake,” I am personally finding this screw-up a bit hard to believe. The right wing has been trying to use Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama interchangeably as well as emphasizing the “Hussein” in Obama’s name to draw attention to his Muslim background. It is not hard for me to believe that someone wanted to underscore Obama’s “otherness” and this typo wasn’t so innocent. Besides, when does a “b” look like a “s.” And these letters aren’t anywhere close to one another on the keyboard. And for something this important, like a voting ballot, shouldn’t you have proofreaders?!

Although I am a glass half-full kind of bella, I’m not quite buying the innocent typo excuse.


The Caramel Bella

Los Angeles vs. New York

I figure I might as well stay on this PopandPolitics bent today…

New York

New York

So, my new editor of, Tricia Romano, has her own blog entitled, which I suppose highlights why she luvs LA.  As a L.A. resident currently in New York city, I found her posting on NY completely hilarious. And I recently wrote my own ode to Los Angeles. And I honestly find NYC a bit overrated. So, I had to share.

Here is a portion of the post. Be sure and check out the entire piece, “I couldn’t help myself, diatribe on New York.”

Consider: New Yorkers, who pay out the nose for rent and other costs of living, put up with an unbelievable amount of people, dirt, grime, and stress, are heavily invested in believing that they live in the “Greatest City in the World.” Because if it’s not the center of the universe, then why are they putting up with all this bullshit? I think they hate L.A. so voraciously because the public image of L.A. is an easy target, (blonde, fake, tan, insipid, shallow, ect), and also because they know in their bones, they’d actually like it better if they just tried to live somewhere outside of Hollywood or Bev Hills. It’s almost a case, of someone doth protest too much.


The Caramel Bella

New York star sighting – A.J. Calloway

Okay, so I let the cat out of the bag about my other New York city star sighting. Two weekends ago, while another friend of mine was in town, we headed down to Soho for a day of shopping and people watching. After getting our fill of spending money, we noticed a great Italian restaurant, Ciprani, with outside seating – just perfect for people watching. And the food looked soo yummy. After requesting a menu and scanning it for something to order and looking at the prices (We learned to do that in NY after sitting down at a restaurant that not only didn’t take our favorite friend VISA but also had nothing we wanted to eat.), we got a great outside table.

Well, who would you think walked by and requested a table, the gorgeous A.J. Calloway, best known for his previous job as host on B.E.T.’s 106 & Park with fly girl, Free. He left that gig years ago and now works for Extra as their New York city correspondent. Anyhoo, Mr. Tall & Handsome, sans dreads, sat down right next to us and struck up major conversation. He was so handsome that I had to remind myself – you are a married woman (LOL). (And single bellas out there, I think he is married too.) So we spent half of our early dinner chatting away with Mr. TV himself. We even joined in the conversation briefly with his two friends that arrived later on. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day in Soho. It’s funny how conversation and attention from a great looking guy makes a bella feel even more beautiful!

The Caramel Bella

West Coaster turns New Yorker….Danyel Smith of VIBE

Here is a great article on New York magazine’s blog – 21 Questions about VIBE Editor in Chief, Danyel Smith. She is a west coaster turned New Yorker. What an interesting concept! The piece is posted below. (And I must say… 42 looks good on Ms. Smith.)
Age: 42 Neighborhood: Work: Murray Hill; home: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Occupation: Editor-in-chief, Vibe magazine; vice-president/editorial director, Vibe Media Group; author of the novels More Like Wrestling (Crown, 2003), and Bliss (Crown, 2005).
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Lena Mary Calhoun Horne.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York? Fancy? Babbo. Almost always? Salmon cakes and grits at the Usual on Vanderbilt, in Brooklyn.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Ask and answer questions.
Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary? I did.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway? If I hadn’t just seen Terrence Howard in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it would be Fantasia in The Color Purple. Before that, it was waaaaaay back when Stockard Channing was in The Little Foxes.
Do you give money to panhandlers? Yes, even more, when I’m sad.
What’s your drink? A Jameson and ginger ale. With a cherry if times are happy.
How often do you prepare your own meals? More often than not. I’m from California, so even after fifteen years here, “takeout” remains a phrase for quotation marks or italics.
What’s your favorite medication? Aleve and Turner Classic Movies cure most everything.
What’s hanging above your sofa? We can see Prospect Park. Kinda.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut? When you only get two a year, you can splurge.
When’s bedtime? When does the last episode of any version of Law & Order, on any channel, end? And does my DVR count?
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? I know old Times Square only from the movies. But I do like that Dave & Buster’s.
What do you think of Donald Trump? I wish he would call me with some real-estate advice. I’d be able to really see Prospect Park.
What do you hate most about living in New York? That the subway system is not exactly like Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in Northern California.
Who is your mortal enemy? Time!
When’s the last time you drove a car? Everyone snaps on me because I’m from the West, and I should know how to, but I don’t know how to drive. That said, the last time I drove a car was seven years ago in Hollywood.
Who should be the next president? A genius pragmatist with a poet’s heart.
Times, Post, or Daily News?
Where do you go to be alone? Walking. From Barnes & Noble to City Bakery to McNally Robinson to Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery to … well, on and on like that.
What makes someone a New Yorker? Being cool with not having real space. And knowing, on the morning of September 11, 2001, in the sunny comfort of my parents’ den in California, that even if it’s about Amtrak, it’s time to get — immediately — home to Brooklyn.
The Caramel Bella

Get your read on this weekend in NYC

The HARLEM BOOK FAIR is this Saturday, July 19, 2008 from 11:00 – 6:00 p.m. The outdoor festival will be held on Saturday, July 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on West 135th Street between Malcolm X Blvd. to Frederick Douglass Blvd. I’m planning to stop by. Visit QBR for more information.

Fun and educational, what could be better?!
The Caramel Bella

Bellas still buy designer shades…

The New York Times has a great article today about the growing sales of designer sunglasses. Despite the sagging economy, consumers are still paying big dough (in excess of $250) for brand name shades.

Now I must admit, this story hits really close to home for me. Although I’ve always been a designer sunglasses bella, I have a love-hate relationship with them. Why is that the designer shades get stolen, lost or frankly just disappear but the cheapos will follow me to the grave.

NYC story number one. So, last Thursday I head to Jersey with the hubby to shop and spend time with my family. My Chanel glasses perched on top of my head in their normal resting spot. (I always wear them like a headband. They double as a hair accessory because they keep my hair out of my face.) Well after a day of shopping, mani’s and pedi’s, and dinner at Bonefish Grill (love it), the glasses have disappeared. As I am in a NYC cab headed to Penn Station on Friday, I discover that my Chanel’s are missing.

What’s any Bella to do? I turn the cab around and had back to my NYC studio. My optimism kicks in. The glasses have to be in my car or my apartment. After enlisting my husband’s searching abilities for the car, I look all around my 400 s.f. apartment. They are nowhere to be found. My heart is broken.

I know that I was way too attached to my Chanel’s. I miss them incredibly. And I honestly can’t imagine walking around NYC or LA (especially Los Angeles) without my designer shades. These $10 knockoffs just won’t do. So, now I am trying to figure out a way to replace my Chanel babies!

So, bellas, I understand your love, far and wide, for the designer sunglasses. No outfit is complete without a fabulous bag and some designer shades (Chanel, Dior or Versace please).


The Caramel Bella



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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