Sunday, November 2, 2014

Toddler dressed as Holly Golightly gets half a million "Likes"

This little girl was later photographed by Brandon Stanton of the popular Humans of New York (HONY). It was dubbed “Audrey Hepburn.”

The pic has received 492,025 likes as of this writing and well over 3,300 on the mother’s website.

I don’t know if any of the people who have “liked” the photo with comments about how “sophisticated and classy” her costume is know this is really Audrey Hepburn in costume as Holly Golightly who was in costume for a day in her life as a call girl.

Perception is everything.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Hello Kitty Note Left on My Doostep from Ira Riklis, by Kirby Sommers

One seemingly normal day 2 years ago I opened the front door of my apartment to make a quick run to the supermarket. On my doorstep was a book. A bare book with no cover sat on my doorstep. The book had a note someone scotch taped to it that read:

“Another night,
another dream,
but always you.”

Being in a rush, as I usually am, I tossed the benign looking book onto the small kitchen cart where it landed on top of about a dozen pieces of unopened mail.

A few hours later while on the phone with a friend I asked him if he had lft the book on my doorstep. “No, of course not. I’m in New Jersey. Maybe one of your neighbors left it.”

I then quizzed some of my neighbors and a new man I’d been dating for a couple of months.

No one I knew left any book on my doorstep.

Perplexed I decided to look at it a little closer.

The first thing that caught my attention were some of the words on the book jacket:

“A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis…”

The words “real estate,” “trophy wife with a past,” “survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack,” “mobsters and moguls,” made my pulse race.

I reread every word several times and became even more afraid.

I’m in the real estate profession. I was a “trophy wife with a past.” I too, survived a narrow escape from a brazen attack when I was held hostage at knifepoint in my apartment 20 years ago. And, the words “mobsters and moguls” were too familiar as I have been continuously writing about the Riklis family (moguls) and their ties to the mob for a long time.

While looking at the book I noticed a strong scent. Someone had sprayed a familiar perfume over the cover.

And the note seemed odd. The words went round and round in my mind:

“Another day
Another dream
But always you.”

I decided to put them into a google search.

And what I discovered made me as afraid as I was when that intruder broke into my apartment 20 years ago.

The words are from a song “Another Night” by Real McCoy.

Ever morning right before stepping onto my treadmill, I play that song. It is part of a 1990s mix I work out to. (Or used to work out to because after that, I haven’t been able to listen to it anymore).

I suddenly realized that whoever left the book with the note wanted me to know they were as close to me as a couple of inches. Close enough to know I played this song every morning.

It also meant whoever it was had stood in front of my door many times, not just once to leave the book, but enough times to know what my favorite song at that time was.

Whenever I have been scared, it has pushed me to go further.

Scared but with a strong desire to find out more I examined the book as if I were a skilled detective.

The pink Hello Kitty notepaper stood out as another oddity.

Not being of the Hello Kitty generation, I googled “Hello Kitty.”

Two things alarmed me:

First, Hello Kitty has no mouth. Therefore she cannot speak.

The second and even more terrifying was a reference to the “Hello Kitty murder” – yes, there is a “Hello Kitty murder” (just goggle it).

The Hello Kitty murder happened in 1999 in Hong Kong. A woman was kidnapped and tortured in her apartment for one long excruciating month. After her abductors killed her she was decapitated and her head was stuffed into a Hello Kitty doll.

The “kidnapped and held in her apartment” thing had also happened to me.

So, I called my then boy friend and asked him to come over to my apartment. I asked him to stop by Chloe on Fifth Avenue and pick up a sample of their classic Chloe perfume.

When he arrived in my apartment, and I filled him in on the book and all the things I’d discovered, he looked even more terrified than I felt.

I immediately grabbed the sample of Chloe and opened it.

The scent on the book reminded me of Chloe.

We both smelled the book and the perfume.

It was a match.

“How did you know it was Chloe?” he asked me.

“Because all of this,” I explained as I held the book in my hands “….all of this has to come from the Riklis people. When they owned Elizabeth Arden he gave me a lifetime supply of one of the two fragrances.”

“You mean Chloe?”

“No, his wife Diana chose Chloe. I liked the other one Narcisse Noir de Caron.”


For 2 years I haven’t really talked about this episode other than to tell Max, Ira’s attorney whom to date has never responded to my inquiries about the book and it’s strange appearance on my doorstep.

Copyright 2014 Kirby Sommers

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ira Riklis's Continued Attempt to Thwart my Book and my Business, Kirby Sommers

Due to my ongoing problems with Ira Riklis, I often google myself. You can imagine how surprised I was to find that the woman photographed is supposed to be me. The article was planted by Ira Riklis's team who continue to try to thwart any attempt made by me to either a) have an on-going business; or b) publish my book.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Secrets of New York: City Hall Station Closed in 1945

City Hall Station, situated on a loop of track in front of City Hall, was the original southern terminal of the Interborough Rapid Transit subway. The site of the 1900 groundbreaking, this station was designed to be the showpiece of the new subway. Unusually elegant in architectural style, it is unique among the original IRT stations. The platform and mezzanine feature Guastavino arches and skylights, colored glass tilework, and brass chandeliers.
The curved platform is about 400' feet long, which is the length of a five car IRT train minus the front and rear doors as was the IRT's standard design for a local station when it was constructed. In the center of the platform is an archway over stairs leading to the mezzanine. On each side of the stairway, there is a glass tile "City Hall" sign, and a third is on the archway above the stairs. No other signs like these were placed in the other IRT. stations of the era; the lettering is quite unique, as is the deep blue and tan glass tiling. The arched ceiling of the platform area has simple brass light fixtures along its length.
When City Hall Station opened, plaques were hung on the track-side wall commemorating the Interborough Rapid Transit company and honoring the Rapid Transit Subway Construction Co.. The plaques listed the directors, engineers, and financiers, including August Belmont, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. McDonald. These plaques were removed when the station was closed, and relocated to the Brooklyn Bridge station, where they hung near a token booth until 1995. As of early 1996, the plaques are back in their original positions on the trackside wall. Contrary to popular rumor, there was no plaque here honoring Alfred Ely Beach's early pneumatic subway.
The mezzanine featured a wooden ticket booth and two stairways to the street. The ticket booth is long gone. The complex green, tan, and white tiling pattern on the ceiling meets in the four corners of the vault over the mezzanine.
City Hall Station opened along with the rest of the Interborough's first subway line on October 27, 1904. It was immediately clear that expansion of the subway system would be necessary and additional lines were built. But ever-increasing ridership eventually required the Interborough's five-car local stations to be lengthened to accommodate longer trains, and so the IRT underwent an extensive program of station lengthening in the 1940s and early 1950s.
City Hall, due to its architecture and its being situated on a tight curve, was deemed impractical for lengthening. The new longer trains had center doors on each car, and at City Hall's tight curve, it was dangerous to open them. It was decided to abandon the station in favor of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station, and so City Hall was closed to passenger service on December 31, 1945. The street entrances were sealed and the skylights covered over.
City Hall Station was never really an important one in terms of passenger use even when it was open; the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station was heavily used as it served both local and express trains, and the Brooklyn Bridge streetcar terminal was above.
While the station may be closed, and very few straphangers have actually seen it, the track on which City Hall Station is located is not abandoned. The #6 trains still pass through it on their way northbound, reversing direction using the loop for the journey back to the Bronx. In fact, to get to City Hall station, one must ride on an out-of-service #6 train. To get out, the motorman would key open a a single end door to allow visitors to step carefully out onto the platform. First-time visitors are awe-struck at the station's huge glass and brick arches and tiling. From time to time the NY Transit Museum has tours of this station, but these have been suspended due to perceived security risks in the area around City Hall.
Plans to open the station as an extension of the New York Transit Museum were mostly shelved due to recent security measures restricting access to the areas around City Hall. (These measures were in fact in place prior to 9/11/2001.) The station was spruced up for the October, 2004 IRT Centennial celebration. The skylights were uncovered, lighting fixed or replaced, and a stairway to the street reopened. A VIP ceremony was held there on October 27, 2004, and for a few hours after, the station was open to the public once again. It has remained closed since.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Sentencing of Teresa and Joe Giudice

Yesterday, I did a live post of the Giudice Sentencing which you sort of had to be there and on top of things to be able to follow. Also it’s getting to the point where we need a fresh place to comment so I am going to do a chronological post summary of yesterday’s events now that I have time to sort this all out.

First, Tre and Joe rolled up to the courthouse in their giant white Mercedes SUV replete with bodyguards. Tre was in full face camera ready makeup with a couple extra heads of other peoples hair sewn in. Her hair was down so she could use the hide your face technique. Court began at 10 am and immediately it was obvious that the judge was pissed off. Reporters in the courtroom had many of the same issues as those of us outside the courtroom. When was a good time to sneak to the bathroom to tweet? Thanks to ‘s @VickiHy we were able to get the gist of what was going on in the packed courtroom.

First we need to remember how exactly these criminal masterminds found themselves in this situation. They lied. The falsified W-2 forms to support their lies. They lie to dozens of banks to receive dozens of mortgages on their properties. If you missed it, the first 39 counts are outlined here.

For those who think it was all Joe, Teresa knew exactly what she was doing. She lied about being a real estate agent who made $15,000 a month. She lied about several other jobs. They spent all the money and then thought they would just file for bankruptcy once the fun was over. This was their biggest mistake. They went to bankruptcy court and lied some more. They lied about assets. They claimed they had no rental property and did not include the income, but checks were signed by Teresa and deposited into her Fabilicious account. They lied about many other things. The Feds eventually indicted them on 41 counts. Because the stole millions of dollars and lied.

Twitter: Tre and Joe rolled up in white Mercedes, parked right in front. Was this one of the vehicles they forgot they had?
Twitter: Tre and Joe rolled up in white Mercedes, parked right in front. Was this one of the vehicles they forgot they had?

So imagine how happy Judge Esther Salas was yesterday to have the lying liars who lie show up in court with their attorneys to review their pre sentencing documents and discover that….wait for it…they lied ON THEIR PRE-SENTENCING documents. Both of them, separately lied about things like cars, RVs, furniture, jewelry, handbags, clothes, construction equipment and Lord knows what else. They lied about the value of the things they did claim and did not even stick to the same lies they lied on their bankruptcy forms. The prosecutor pointed out all the lies to the judge and then the judge spent the next couple of HOURS lecturing their dumbasses, asking for clarification, hammering their individual attorneys and asking for explanations. What she got were excuses. Joe’s dad died. The accountant is super busy. They forgot they had all that stuff. They didn’t think it was important. So for the first few hours all we were hearing was that Judge Salas was really, really mad. We also found out that the reason the sentencing had to be postponed was because they were four months late getting these forms in to the probation officer. It took an extra four months for them to come up with these ridiculous lies.

Then Joe’s attorney made his plea to the judge for leniency. A lot of his position was based on deportation. He presented his case to the judge as if Joe is sure to be deported after all of this is over and the family would be forever separated. Oh, this guy. His attorney said that the Joe you see on RHONJ is not the real Joe. It’s all fake! He tried to get them off the show but they refused because they had “no other source of income.” That is interesting. Or another lie. We have eyes, we see the huge house. We see the expensive vehicles. We even see Joe driving them without a license. The drama is fake but all that expensive shit got in that house somehow. He also said that Joe going to college would traumatize the children. Joe’s attorney said that Joe’s attempt to exonerate his wife show what a great guy he his. He read the now infamous letter from Juicy’s soon to be homeless mama stating Joe should just get “a slap on the wrist.” Joe read the following statement, “I stand here humiliated before the court and my family and society. I disgraced many people, including my wife and four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person.” Those present in the courtroom felt the judge wasn’t buying at all.

Joe got 41 months in jail (3 1/2 years) followed by two years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine plus $414,000 in restitution. I don’t understand how the judge arrived at the $414,000 figure but that money will likely be divided between the banks who are federally insured. It seems like a very low amount in restitution, so the lies on the forms must have actually helped them get that figure down.

Joe and Tre RHONJ

Is it me or are we in hot water? It’s fine Joe, just smile, smile, smile!

Then the judge took a very brief break before sentencing Teresa. You know by this time her meds were wearing off and she was really sweating it.

Teresa’s attorney asked Judge Salas to downgrade Teresa’s plea deal sentencing range according to reports. It was reported that the judge declined to downgrade. At that point we assumed she was still looking at 21-27 months. My understanding now is that related to home confinement more than length of sentence. At some point her attorney argued for home confinement. The tweets seemed to indicate that happened after the judge already ruled. It was a bit confusing because no one wanted to leave the courtroom to tweet and miss Teresa’s sentence.

At some point, Teresa read a statement to the court. The order of her statements may not be exactly accurate as I was following a half dozen twitter feeds who were tweeting different things. The gist goes like this, “I’m blessed, but today I am also humbled. I fully take responsibility for my actions. This is not how I was raised. I am more sorry than anyone will ever know. My four daughters are my life. I don’t care about the TV show. I’m scared, I’m not going to deny it, I’m really scared. It’s time for me to wake up … my daughters are my life that’s what keeps me going. I’ve done so much crying.I don’t care about the TV show or materialistic things … we lost my father-in-law and that was the first grandparent we lost.Now I have even more to give. I will take this experience and continue to do the right thing. I know in my heart everything happens for a reason and I’ve found my reason. I will make this right.” (She may not have repeated things, again there were multiple tweets combined in the quote above.)

The prosecutor’s response was , “she thumbed her nose at the court…now she wants sympathy. It’s business as usual.”

The judge eventually gave Teresa 15 months plus two years supervised release, plus an $8,000 fine. The $414,000 in restitution is shared between Tre and Joe which means Teresa will be paying it by herself. That’s probably another reason restitution was so low. Plus they have all of the other creditors still coming after them. The judge said that “her gut” tells her that Teresa needs to be in prison. The judge also said that the Giudices do not seem to understand or respect the law. She lectured them against future offenses. At this point everyone reporting was exhausted and there was not as much detail. Just a lot of people tweeting that Teresa was sobbing and crying and hysterical when the sentence was handed down. Those tweets continued for a good while. Teresa left wearing her sunglasses and her hair covering her face.

Teresa will serve her sentence first beginning on January 5, 2015 at a federal penitentiary that will be selected by the Federal Bureau of Prisons folks. I just read that the Judge admitted she extended the time for Tre to self-surrender so they could all be home for Christmas. Joe will follow after she returns. His attorney is asking for alcohol rehab in prison so hey, he may end up in Kentucky with Apollo! If he is granted the alcohol program, just like Apollo, it will knock some time off of his sentence.

Do you think the sentences were fair? Too long? Too short?

The Counts, Documents and Salaries for Teresa and Joe Giudice and all other RHONJ housewives

Photo Credit AP

Photo Credit AP

Teresa claimed to be employed as an executive assistant for Modern Era Investment Corp making $3,750 a month. At the time (September 2001), she was actually unemployed. Both Teresa and Joe are charged with falsifying federal documents (a HUGE no no) including income tax returns and fake w-2 forms as well as fake pay stubs. Based on the falsified document, they obtained a mortgage loan for $121,500.

But wait, there is more. In June of 2004, at another bank, Teresa claimed she was the owner of G&G Stucco and made $14,750 a month and had made that amount for seven years. Based on that line of bullshit, she was given a mortgage for $20,200. How dumb do you have to be to break a Brazilian federal laws for $20K? Teresa was unemployed at the time.

Gif Credit: T. Kyle RealityTVGifs Who the hell would take these four girls to raise?

Gif Credit: T. Kyle RealityTVGifs

Who the hell would take these four girls to raise?

But wait, there is more. In March of 2005, at yet a third bank, Teresa provides false documents again stating she is the self-employed owner of G&G Stucco, and that she makes $12,100 a month and has been employed in that capacity for six years. Despite still being unemployed, she was given a loan for the amount of $151,550. That’s a lot of shoes and leopard attire.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, today’s “additional counts stem from a $361,250 mortgage loan that Teresa Giudice obtained in July 2005. In the course of obtaining the loan, she and (her husband) prepared a loan application which falsely stated that Teresa Giudice was employed as a realtor and that she had a monthly salary of $15,000. Teresa Giudice was not employed outside the home at the time.”

But wait, there is more. In November of 2005, based on more falsified federal documents including w-2s and income tax returns, the two Einsteins obtained. from yet another bank a Builders Loan for $800,000. My mind is boggled. You might could get out of ONE of these with remorse and a very expensive attorney with probation, restitution and a year or two of time. But these two are going DOWN.

But wait. There is more. In December of 2006, the morons falsified all sorts of paperwork AGAIN and received a home equity line of credit. Between December of 2006 and February 2009 the two withdrew $251,360.

But wait, there is more. They once again wandered into Wachovia in February of 2007. Using fake W2s and fake tax returns, they got ANOTHER home equity line of credit for $170,252.

But Wait, There is more. In February 2008, since things seemed to be so easy, the two idiots wandered into another bank and got a construction loan for $1,770,000. This was the year before the show aired but may have been filming at this time.

But wait, there is more. In July of 2008 they made up more fraudulent paperwork including federal documents and claimed they had $500,000 in the bank. In September they received ANOTHER construction loan for $1,720,000. Remember in season one when Teresa was paying cash for things like furniture and big ticket items? Now we know why she was so into paying with cash.

But wait, there is more. October 29, 2009 The two apply for bankruptcy. They can’t pay back all that money! Both testified under oath, under penalty of perjury as to their assets and liabilities. Both bankruptcies were denied. However, despite the bankruptcies not going forward, it was found that Teresa lied under oath. Teresa failed to disclose her business TG Fabulicious LLC as an asset. Joe also lied. Apparently he has a company called Name Brand Clothing an LLC. That he failed to mention. But wait, there is more… Joe also had another LLC called 1601 Maple Avenue which was a property (gas station) that he collected the rent on. Joe also had a corporation called Turbo Fuel that was solely his as well. All four of these companies had their own bank accounts which were also concealed during the bankruptcy proceedings. Teresa also bought a rental property (residential) in Lincoln Park. Joe signed a rental agreement and the tenants paid them $42, 968 from April 2009 to January 2012.

From June of 2008 until October of 2009, TERESA MADE $110,677 in total income from RHONJ, Fabulicious, and Magazine interviews and appearance.

For Season TWO Teresa and Joe (husbands not really paid, the wives check is the couples contract) signed a contract for $110,000.

Count One: Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Counts Two-Six Bank Fraud
Counts Seven-Eleven Loan Application Fraud
Count Twelve Bankruptcy Fraud
Counts 13-18 Bankruptcy Fraud- Concealment
Counts 19-24 Bankruptcy Fraud- False Oaths (count is for both of them, two are solely against Teresa, three are solely against Joe).
Counts 25-34 Bankruptcy Fraud -False Declarations
Count 35 Failure to make a Tax Return
Joe made $243,919 in 2004 but did not file taxes.
Count 36 Failure to make a Tax Return
Joe made $323,481 in 2005 but did not file taxes.
Count 37 Failure to make a Tax Return
Joe made $26,194 in 2006 but did not file taxes. This is not a typo on my part, what the heck happened in 2006? Maybe it’s a typo in the document?
Count 38 Failure to 2make a Tax Return
Joe made $377,423 in 2007 but did not file taxes.
Count 39 Failure to make a Tax Return
Joe made $25,442 in 2008 but did not file taxes.

The Season One contract didn’t have Joe on it. I have always heard that the husbands “get paid through the wives.” (From a reliable Bravo source) I didn’t think they actually signed a contract. If Joe did sign a contract on Season Two agreeing to be on a certain number of episodes, that would make sense that in 2009 he suddenly started filing taxes. Sort of. It seems to me that the husbands sign RELEASES but not CONTRACTS.

So that is it in a nutshell. I think both of them will be doing jail time. Who will take the kids? Melissa?