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Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

WebMD – How to Avoid Gaining Weight When You Quit Smoking

Posted by 4love2love on July 26, 2011

By Peter Jaret
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Many smokers worry that they’ll gain weight if they try to quit. Some even use that concern as a reason not to quit.

“That’s a bad idea for many reasons,” says Scott McIntosh, PhD, associate professor of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester in New York and director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center. “Not every smoker who quits gains weight.” Even those who do, he points out, gain on average just 4 to 10 pounds.

Indeed, for many ex-smokers, putting on a few pounds is healthy. Research shows that smoking actually makes some people unhealthily thin.

Still, if you’re worried, remember this: a few simple strategies can help limit weight gain while you kick the habit. Once you have successfully broken the addiction to tobacco, you can work on losing any weight you’ve gained.

Smoking and Metabolism

Research shows that nicotine from tobacco boosts the body’s metabolic rate, increasing the number of calories it burns. Immediately after you smoke a cigarette, your heart rate increases by 10 to 20 beats a minute. The unnatural stimulant effect of nicotine is one reason smoking causes heart disease.

When smokers quit, metabolic rate quickly returns to normal. That’s a healthy change. But if ex-smokers keep getting the same number of calories as before, they put on pounds.

Be Smart About What You Put in Your Mouth

When smokers quit, nicotine isn’t all they crave. They also discover that they miss the habit of lighting a cigarette and putting it to their mouths. Many smokers turn to food to satisfy this so-called need for “oral gratification.”

That’s fine if it helps you to quit. But by choosing low-calorie or zero-calorie foods, you can avoid putting on weight. Some smart alternatives include:

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free hard candies
  • Celery or carrot sticks
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Slices of jicama

Experiment to find which alternatives work best for you. Research shows that some smokers who quit experience a sharpened “sweet tooth.” They’re better off finding foods sweetened with artificial sugar. Some smokers really miss the oral gratification of smoking. They do best finding alternatives that require unwrapping something and chewing or sucking on it, such as sugar-free gum and hard candy.

Another trick is to brush your teeth frequently throughout the day. This can satisfy a passing craving for oral gratification. When your mouth is fresh and clean, you may have less of an urge to smoke.

Avoid Crash Diets

Choose healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories whenever you can. But experts advise against radical changes in how you eat. “Quitting is tough enough without adding the stress of extreme dieting,” says Steven Schroeder, MD, director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of San Francisco.

Be Realistic in Your Expectations

Many smokers do gain some weight. It’s fine to resolve to do everything you can to keep your weight down. But don’t make weight a make-or-break issue. “It’s important to tell yourself right at the beginning that it’s OK to put on some weight,” says McIntosh. “Don’t be too tough on yourself.”

Stay Busy

To distract yourself from the urge to smoke, fill your day with things to do that don’t involve eating. Physical activities — walking, gardening, doing chores — are a great choice. They burn calories, of course. And research shows that they also have a positive effect on mood. But any kind of distraction from the urge to smoke will help. Examples include:

  • Watching a movie
  • Attending a concert
  • Going to the library to read
  • Visiting a local museum
  • Calling a friend
  • Volunteering

“Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find smoke-free places to go these days,” says Schroeder. “That trend has helped to make it easier for smokers to quit.”

Talk With Your Doctor

A variety of products and medications are available that have been found to help smokers quit. Several also appear to help quitters keep weight off. In a 2009 review, researchers found that the antismoking drug buproprion and the antidepressant fluoxetine, as well as nicotine replacement therapies and cognitive behavioral therapy, helped limit the amount of weight that smokers gained while quitting.

Keep Your Health in Perspective

If you do gain extra pounds while you kick the habit, don’t let that derail your efforts. “By quitting smoking, you can add years to your life — and years of being in good health rather than sick and disabled,” says McIntosh. “Those extra pounds are a small price to pay.” Once you’re tobacco-free, you’ll have plenty of time to get into shape and achieve a healthy weight.

Reviewed on January 24, 2011
© 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD – FDA Warning – FDA: Repairing Pelvic Organ Prolapse With Mesh Risky

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

Risks Include Pain, Infection, Need for Additional Surgery
By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Surgical clamps in tray

July 13, 2011 — The risks of placing mesh through the vagina to repair pelvic organ prolapse may outweigh its benefits, according to the FDA.

Risks include mesh protruding out of the vaginal tissue (erosion),pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, organ perforation from tools used in the mesh placement, and urinary problems.  Additional surgeries and/or hospitalization may be needed to treat the complications or remove the mesh.

During pelvic organ prolapse, the internal structures that support the pelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus, and bowel drop from their normal position and “prolapse” into the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse surgery can also be performed through the abdomen or vagina with stitches or surgical mesh to reinforce the repair and correct the anatomy. Surgical mesh is also widely used in hernia repairs and to treat stress incontinence.

In 2010, there were at least 100,000 pelvic organ prolapse repairs that used surgical mesh, and about 75,000 of these were transvaginal. These are the only procedures that the new FDA mesh warning applies to.

The FDA first issued a safety communication in 2008 after they received reports of adverse events associated with the transvaginal placement of mesh. Since then, the number of adverse events has increased, although they don’t always differentiate between transvaginal and abdominal procedures. The group also reviewed the literature on the use of mesh for this procedure.

Now, the FDA will convene an outside panel of experts in obstetrics and gynecology to meet in September 2011 and discuss the safety and effectiveness of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

FDA: Risks Outweigh Benefits

“We do not see conclusive evidence that using mesh for the transvaginal approach to pelvic organ prolapse improves clinical outcomes anymore than transvaginal procedures that do not use mesh,” says William Maisel, MD, the deputy center director for science at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in Silver Spring, Md. “These devices appear to expose patients to greater risks.”

“Mesh is a permanent implant, and complete removal may not be possible and may not result in complete resolution of complications,” he says.

“This is not an indictment of surgical mesh,” he says. “We are talking about a very specific use of surgical mesh.”

There may still be a role for mesh in certain transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse procedures, he says.

“Some clinicians believe that the use of mesh for transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse is appropriate and is the best treatment option for selective patients such as those with severe pelvic organ prolapse,” he says.

Women who have had surgery for pelvic organ prolapse need to understand whether or not their procedure involved mesh. “For someone considering having a procedure for pelvic organ prolapse, speak with a doctor and understand if the surgery is going to use mesh, and ask about the benefits and why the decision was made,” he says.

Many Support FDA Action

Elizabeth A. Poynor, MD, a pelvic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, has never used mesh for transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse and likely never will.

“I don’t use mesh in my practice because I have seen a significant number of complications from other surgeons, and have seen how mesh erosion can be devastating for patients,” she says.

As to why use of mesh implants for this surgery took off in the first place, she says it may have a lot to do with the complexity of the procedure.

“This is one of the most detailed and complicated surgeries that we do and unless it is done correctly, it can have a significant chance of failing,” she says. Some surgeons believe the mesh boosts the chances of a successful surgery.

“There has been the general feeling that repairs are better and sounder if mesh is used, but mesh may not be better than the proper surgical correction,” she says.

“Women who are considering prolapse surgery should review the risks, benefits, and alternatives with their surgeon to make sure that it is the right choice,” Poynor says.

“This has been a long time coming,” says J. Eric Jelovsek, MD, a staff physician in the Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Women’s Health Institute of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Mesh placed transvaginally for pelvic organ prolapse does have some anatomical benefit, but that is it, he says. “Quality of life is no different if mesh is placed or not, and women have a higher risk of complications,” he says.

“This doesn’t mean that you should never have mesh placed transvaginally. It means you have to have an in-depth discussion with your surgeon of the options,” he says.

For women who have had the procedure with mesh, “if you are feeling fine and doing well, there is no reason to come in and get this checked out, but if you have question or concerns, then come in,” he says.

Most of the complications will occur in the year or two after the surgery, but others such as vaginal bleeding, pain with sex, and severe pelvic pain may develop later on.

Robert F. Porges, MD, MPH, director of the division of pelvic reconstructive surgery and urogynecology and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, seldomly uses mesh during transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse repair.

But, he says, “in some severe cases where the muscles of the pelvic floor have been severely damaged or failed to develop, replacing the muscle with mesh may play a role,” he says. “Most women deserve an attempt to repair the prolapse using their native tissues and unless it is a failure or a repeat failure, using the mesh may not be as valuable as made out to be,” he says.

In a written statement, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists applauded the FDA’s efforts. “The College supports FDA’s upcoming initiative to convene an advisory committee, the Obstetrics Gynecology Devices Panel, to discuss the safety and effectiveness of [mesh] and notes with appreciation FDA’s willingness to reconsider how it clears mesh products for marketing.”

© 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD – Chefs’ Diet Secrets

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

How top chefs manage their weight.
By Lisa Zamosky
WebMD Feature

If you think managing your weight is tough, imagine if your job was to spend all day cooking, thinking about, and tasting food. That’s the challenge professional chefs face each day when they go off to work. In spite of being around tantalizing food all the time, however, many professional cooks manage to keep themselves in great shape. How do they do it?

WebMD talked with three working chefs to learn about their weight management strategies, and with one nutritionist to determine if these methods make sense for those of us cooking at home.

Managing Hunger

How is it possible to eat all the time and still be hungry? Most chefs say they taste small amounts of food all day long but rarely sit down to a full meal.

Chef Dale Talde, director of Asian concepts for the Starr Restaurant Group, which is based in New York and owns many restaurants on the East Coast, says it’s a requirement of his job to taste every dish that leaves the kitchen to make sure it’s up to standards. Talde, who has been featured on the Bravo’s Channel’s Top Chefs and Top Chef All-Stars, figures that amounts to eating thousands of calories each day.

“But you never eat a full meal,” he says. “You’re not hungry but you’re not totally satisfied either.”

Talde works nights and says he’s lucky to get home before midnight. By then he’s ready to eat. “It’s that sense of a hard day’s work finished off by a meal,” he says.

Over the past two years, Talde has packed on about 30 pounds. His blood pressure has risen, too. This has caused him to get creative in finding ways to reduce his caloric and salt intake, but still perform his duties as a chef.

One of his biggest tricks is making sure he doesn’t let himself get too hungry.

“I don’t [usually] like to eat before noon, but now I wake up earlier to get something healthy in – some cottage cheese with salsa and arugula, for example – that way I have something in my stomach before I go to work. It’s easier to maintain what you’re eating when you’re not starving,” Talde says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: Talde’s approach is smart, says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, assistant director of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition.

“The night is over and it’s not even a question that they’re famished at 11 p.m. or midnight,” Bowerman says of chefs working the dinner rush. “It’s how they unwind at the end of the day.”

For chefs and home cooks alike, scheduling time for a good breakfast — with some protein (such as a protein shake or some protein-rich cottage cheese) and healthy carbohydrates such as fruit — helps keep hunger at bay, making us less likely to overeat. The key is to fuel up adequately and make sure you’re getting nutrients earlier in the day.

Limiting Alcohol

Drinking fine wines and liquors often goes with the territory of being a chef. “It’s often 2:00 in the morning when we get out of work, so there’s not much else to do but go to the bars,” Talde says.

For many chefs, fine wine – and plenty of it – is the natural accompaniment to a good meal. But alcohol adds a lot of calories to your day. Half a bottle of wine, for example, is approximately 250 calories, Bowerman says. Drinking also loosens one’s resolve to eat well.

Talde says he recently began alternating a glass of wine with a glass of sparkling water at dinner to cut back on the calories. He also found that drinking water from a wine glass made the experience feel more special. “Then I really don’t notice and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on anything,” Talde says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: “Alternating an alcoholic beverage with a calorie-free beverage is a tip I always make for people,” Bowerman says. And putting the nonalcoholic drink in a wine glass is a great psychological trick that for some can make sparkling water just as satisfying as drinking wine. “The wine glass idea makes sense,” Bowerman says. “It may be something just about feeling the stem of the glass that elevates the meal to something more special.”

If drinking only half the alcohol you normally would with each meal seems unsatisfying, take a different approach. Bowerman suggests adding up the total number of drinks you have in a week and then cutting it by a third. “Can you cut out one night, rather than cutting back every single day?” she asks. For some people, that approach is more successful.

Keep It in the Bowl

Chef Nikki Cascone was a contestant on the Bravo Channel’s fourth season of Top Cheftestant and owns Octavia’s Porch, a restaurant in New York. She’s among the lucky few with a naturally fast metabolism that has kept her slim for most of her life. But after having a baby four months ago, managing her weight has become a new challenge.

Like Talde, Cascone finds that the chef’s lifestyle makes it difficult to eat well. “You’re never really off when you get to a certain level, especially when you own a restaurant. There are late-night hours and it’s a very tense environment. You’re dealing with the public, high stress, and high temperatures. I’ve had to train myself to eat healthy,” she says.

One trick that’s worked well for Cascone is keeping all her meals confined to one bowl, and consciously filling the bowl with lean protein, such as chicken, legumes, seeds, and vegetables. Packing it full of healthy foods helps her to feel satisfied. Limiting the meal to one bowl helps her to not overeat.

The Nutritionist’s Take: “She’s practicing portion control,” Bowerman says of Cascone. The size of the container we eat from can determine how much we eat, according to Bowerman, and for the average dieter at home, that’s a great tip.

But if you don’t care for the idea of eating every meal from a bowl, control your portions instead by using a smaller plate. “It’s about the visual impact of looking at a full plate of food,” Bowerman says.

Swap Ingredients

Diane Henderiks, RD, is a personal chef and culinary nutritionist who frequently appears on Good Morning America. Her goal is to raise the culinary bar for healthy cooking. “I switch up ingredients to maintain the integrity of the dish without fat and sodium,” she says.

Henderiks’ motto is that any dish can be made healthier. She cooks with fresh and dried herbs, citrus juices, and nectars to make dressings that are lower in fat and sugar. Ground turkey substitutes for ground beef, applesauce or yogurt are used in place of butter, broth or wine instead of oil, and she uses marinades and rubs to add flavor to meat without adding calories.

Similarly, Cascone uses a balsamic vinegar reduction (balsamic vinegar cooked on the stove top until it’s reduced to a syrup) for a very low-calorie salad dressing, and has replaced all table sugar with agave syrup as a way of eliminating refined sugars from her diet.

The Nutritionist’s Take: For the home chef, these are great techniques and they all add up, Bowerman says. “Cutting fat and calories becomes habit.”

Just be careful when replacing sugar with natural sweeteners like agave syrup, because “you’re not saving any calories,” Bowerman says. Still, she concedes it could be a small change that works for some people because the taste of agave syrup is more complex than table sugar, and it often blends better in things like ice tea. “Sometimes these replacements, although not saving calories, are more satisfying, and so people use less of it.”

Focus on Grains

Cascone says when she’s building her bowl of food she grants more space to grains than to protein. “I’m big on grains like quinoa. That’s a priority over fish or meat,” Cascone says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: Whole grains (as opposed to refined grains) are a very important part of our diet, Bowerman says, and few of us get enough of things like barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, popcorn, or wild rice.

Still, she says, protein is the most satisfying type of food when it comes to keeping hunger in check. Whole grains are high in fiber and filling but can be high in calories too, so it’s important to watch portion size carefully. “When I have people look at a plate of food, one-third should be filled with lean protein. The rest of the plate should be vegetables and salads,” Bowerman says.


©2005-2011 WebMD, LLC.

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NY Times – For Soda, the Genie Is Out of the Bottle

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

Left, Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times; right, Phil Kline for The New York Times

CLASSICS Eric Berley, left, makes a cherry phosphate soda. At right, a sundae at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain.

Published: July 5, 2011

WHO killed the soda fountain?

Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

A milkshake is inhaled at Franklin Fountain.

Was it Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, allowing American adults to return to saloons and bars?

Or one J. G. Kirby of Dallas, who opened the first drive-in restaurant in 1936, sparking a new national craze?

“Some people say it was the guy who invented the bottle cap,” says Jeff Reiter, the owner of Blueplate in Portland, Ore., a soda fountain updated for the modern century. (William Painter, who patented the crimped metal bottle cap, ultimately made fortunes for companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Royal Crown.) “Once you could buy soda at the gas station instead of having it mixed in front of you at the fountain, soda wasn’t special anymore,” Mr. Reiter said.

A small group of modern soda jerks (they wear the term proudly) are trying to change that. Places like Blueplate, the Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain are leading a revival that is bringing up-to-date culinary values — seasonal, house-made, ripe, local — to ice cream sodas, sundaes and egg creams. In the process, they have unearthed forgotten, delicious and possibly risky flavors like sassafras, phosphoric acid and teaberry, and have brought back taste combinations worthy of the most avant-garde chefs.

“Even pineapple and banana were exotic once,” said Ryan Berley, an owner of the Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia’s Old City, where the Maple Leaf Rag sundae pays homage to Scott Joplin’s 1899 composition with maple syrup, walnuts, crushed pineapple and house-made banana ice cream.

When soda fountains were at their peak, around the turn of the 20th century, commercial food transport and refrigeration were still in infancy. By default, soda fountains made their own syrups and toppings. Fresh milk and cream were trucked in daily, every drink was mixed to order, and those who made them were trained professionals: soda jerks, named for the jerking motion used to pull the taps. A thriving monthly magazine, Soda Fountain, encouraged individual jerks to submit recipes for concoctions like the Peppered Cow or the Iron Cross — chocolate syrup, grape juice, sweet cream, malted milk and a whole egg.

“These were quick meals for working people, not just drinks,” said Darcy O’Neil, a historian of American drinking and the author of a book on the golden age of the soda fountain, “Fix the Pumps.”

Contemporary soda fountains are trying to restore fresh ingredients, creativity and dignity to the craft. Blueplate, for instance, stocks house-made syrups, locally grown hazelnut and huckleberry shakes as well as chai-flavored soda.

“I consider myself as much of a chef as anybody else,” Peter Freeman, the founder of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, said last week. (His words were slightly undermined by his T-shirt, which had the word JERK emblazoned across the chest.) The Farmacy opened last year in a long-closed drugstore in Carroll Gardens, stocking locally brewed kimchi and barbecue sauce on the shelves alongside the ointment tins from the 1940s and antipsychotic medications from the 1970s that Mr. Freeman couldn’t bear to throw away when he took over the space.

“I source my own ingredients, I take pride in my mise en place, I care about plating and presentation as much as anybody else,” he said. Mr. Freeman’s extraordinary strawberry egg cream is proof of that: made with syrup from Long Island strawberries, fresh milk from the Hudson Valley that is mixed with ice (making it much colder than refrigerator temperature) and cold seltzer from the gooseneck taps that he keeps cranked up to the maximum pressure. “Big bubbles, baby,” he said, rushing a foam-topped egg cream to a table so it could be drunk before the fizz level dropped. “That’s what it’s all about.” The Farmacy is one of few places that make cola syrup, taking on Coca-Cola with a bright brew of cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender and citrus peels.

In New York, a top-notch egg cream is required for anyone revisiting the fountain tradition, including the Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm. At Eleven Madison Park, one of the more rarefied dining rooms in Manhattan, Mr. Humm has engineered an egg cream course, served to every table between dinner and dessert. It is mixed tableside from vanilla-malt syrup, organic milk from the Catskills, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and New York seltzer squirted from old glass siphons. (This being a New York Times four-star restaurant, the sticky, scratched siphons — delivered weekly by one of the two remaining services in the city — are cleaned and polished before being allowed in the dining room.)

“The foam on an egg cream should only last for about 30 seconds,” Mr. Humm said. “It’s like a little instant pleasure.”

He is not the only high-end chef to revisit the fountain. “I have the same standards for soda that I have for everything in my restaurants,” said John Besh, whose new Soda Shop opened Monday in the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Mr. Besh’s sodas reflect local agriculture and local tastes, with pineapple-lemon grass and watermelon-mint flavors. The Soda Shop even makes nectar soda, an old New Orleans combination of vanilla, almond, cream and egg white.

Phil Kline for The New York Times

SWEET SPOT The Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain was opened last year in a long-closed drugstore in Carroll Gardens. It is one of few places that make their own cola syrup.




Phil Kline for The New York Times

The Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain.





Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

Eric Berley in the Franklin Fountain.





Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

PURIST APPEAL Ryan Berley, left, and Eric Berley, right, in the Franklin Fountain, are reviving the flavor and aesthetics of the soda fountain era for a younger generation.




One thing all neo-jerks agree on is that a true soda fountain must have a carbonator and taps. Not the soda gun seen behind bars, not the mixers provided by companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi and definitely not the two-liter bottles of club soda amateurs rely on. None provide the crisply popping, lively bubbles that fanatics consider essential.Before the 1890s, when the technology to carbonate water became commercially available, fizzy water was an imported rarity. It was considered medicinal, so the first commercial carbonators were installed in pharmacies.

At first, pharmacists added only mineral salts like potassium, calcium and magnesium to replicate those in naturally carbonated water. But soon, they got notions of making the stuff even more palatable — and profitable — with cream and sweet syrups like chocolate. (Not all the additives were so benign. Soda was also spiked with cocaine, alcohol and other exciting formulations, some of them genuinely addictive.)

Later on, mass-produced branded syrups in spectacular colors like Cherry Smash, Green River (a vibrant green lime) and Ward’s Orange Crush took over at the taps. Canned pineapple, artificial flavorings and commercial ice cream became the norm, and “the whole sad story of American food in the 20th century came to the soda fountain,” as Mr. Reiter put it. Although popular culture now identifies the 1940s and 1950s with soda fountains, purists say that the quality had already gone hopelessly downhill by then.

“I think soda fountains died because they didn’t keep up with American food,” said Anton Nocito, a chef who owns the P & H Soda and Syrup Company in Brooklyn, making moderately sweet all-natural syrups in flavors like lime, ginger and hibiscus. Similarly, bottled artisanal sodas like the ones made by GuS and Boylan’s have taken off, and homemade soda is on the rise, too. Last year, sales of sleek Sodastream home carbonator systems in the United States were at 370,000, up almost 300 percent from 97,000 in 2009, according to the company.

“Soda should be special,” Mr. Nocito said. “Coke and Pepsi killed it for everyone, in my opinion.”

For Mr. Reiter, 1925 was the golden age of the soda fountain, and he designed his menu for Blueplate accordingly. Mr. Berley sets the high-water mark earlier, around 1910.

“That was the end of the Romantic period in aesthetics,” Mr. Berley said recently, gazing fondly at the shop’s 1905 onyx fountain with solid brass spigots, topped with a Tiffany-style glass lamp; he believes it is the oldest working fountain in the country.

Mr. Berley and his brother Eric, who also is an owner, wear traditional soda-jerk whites and period-appropriate facial hair and are relentless purists. They cook hot fudge sauce in open copper pots, harvest mulberries as an homage to Benjamin Franklin (who tried to cultivate the trees and whose original printing press was across the street) and churn ice cream in antique flavors like teaberry.

“It’s the berry of the wintergreen plant, which is the flavor of Pepto-Bismol,” he said, acknowledging that teaberry ice cream’s pretty ballet-pink color can’t always overcome the stigma of the flavor. The brothers’ extensive repertory of fountain drinks includes rickeys (authentic with fresh lime juice, not lime syrup), raw egg drinks and classic phosphates.

Phosphoric acid, one of the ingredients in Coca-Cola, makes drinks tart, tasty and brisk. The Berley brothers buy phosphoric acid solution from Mr. O’Neil, who is also a bartender and chemist. In his lab at the University of Western Ontario, he concocted an acid solution with magnesium, potassium and other mineral salts that is similar to the one used by 19th-century jerks.

Side by side, I tasted a cherry soda made with syrup and soda water, another one with a dash of citric acid (another common additive when tartness is desired, it has a lemony flavor) and a third made into a cherry phosphate by the addition of a few dashes of phosphoric acid solution. It was an eye-opening experience. Only the phosphate combined the sweet pleasures of a soda with the rasp of a martini, bringing a thirst-quenching tartness and breathtaking dryness that balanced out the sweetness of the syrup.

If phosphates are an example of the gems buried in soda fountain history, I can’t wait to taste flips, fizzes, ades, yips and floats, not to mention malts, rickeys and cows, all within the purview of an expert jerk. (Gregory Cohen, the owner of Lofty Pursuits, a classic soda fountain in Tallahassee, Fla., has managed to lay out an extraordinary taxonomy of fountain drinks, color-coded according to ingredients and techniques.)

Peter Freeman of Brooklyn Farmacy admits he has little knowledge about fountain history, and does not necessarily want to learn. He and his sister, Gia Giasullo, run the Farmacy with a strict sense of quality and a vision for the future: the modern soda fountain as all-purpose neighborhood hangout, market for local artisans and corner store for local produce and flowers.

Like the other modern jerks, Mr. Freeman is determined to avoid running a retro or theme restaurant selling nostalgia without content.

“When the older people come in here and start talking about the sodas they used to get, I almost want to say, ‘I don’t care about your memories,’ ” he said. “Don’t screw this up for these kids by putting it in the past. This is happening now.”
© 2011 The New York Times

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NY Times – How 10,000 People Keep a Secret

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

Diner en Blanc De Paris

POP-UP The Dîner en Blanc, or impromptu “dinner in white,” in the Cour Carrée at the Louvre in Paris. New York is having its own.

Published: July 5, 2011


THERE are picnics, and then there are picnics.

Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

DRESS CODE Notre Dame was one of two sites for Paris’s Dîner en Blanc. Guests, all in white, brought their own tables and food.


Three weeks ago, in the golden light of an early-summer evening, thousands of Parisians dressed entirely in white converged on two of the city’s most picturesque locations — 4,400 of them in the plaza at the cathedral of Notre Dame; 6,200 in a courtyard of the Louvre — for a feast that was neither advertised nor publicly heralded. They had brought along not only their own epicurean repasts but also their own tables, chairs, glasses, silver and napery.

At midnight, after dining and dancing, they packed up their dishes, stowed their empty Champagne bottles in trash bags brought for that purpose, stooped to pick up their cigarette butts from the cobbles and departed. The landmarks were left immaculate, with no traces of the revelry of the previous three hours.

This annual event, called the Dîner en Blanc — the “dinner in white” — is like a gustatory Brigadoon, equal parts mystery, anachronism and caprice. Now attended by thousands at some of the best-known Parisian spaces, it began humbly in 1988. That year, François Pasquier, now 67, returned to Paris after a few years abroad and held a dinner party to reconnect with friends. So many wanted to come that he asked them to convene at the Bois de Boulogne and to dress in white, so they could find each other.

But while in certain circles in Paris, everybody knows about the Dîner, many Parisians have never heard of it. And despite the precision that goes into its planning, it retains an air of surprise.

For the first time, New York will have its own Dîner en Blanc, on Aug. 25, rain or shine. A thousand people — half invited, the others drawn from an online waiting list ( — will participate in this refined flash-mob feast, at an as-yet undisclosed location in Manhattan.

The New York event is being spearheaded by Mr. Pasquier’s son, Aymeric, who lives in Montreal, where he inaugurated the Canadian version of the Dîner en Blanc in 2009. But can brawny Manhattan, with skyscrapers from top to bottom, innumerable regulations and a dearth of public spaces on a Parisian scale, possibly approximate the romance of the French pique-nique? The New York organizers, Daniel Laporte and Alexandra Simoes, are hopeful.

“The emphasis is on spontaneity, but we are making absolutely sure to be completely in accordance with all city rules,” said Ms. Simoes, an elementary school director at the Lyceum Kennedy, who volunteered for the Dîner organizing job. “But we don’t want the guests to be impacted by our concerns. The guests should only be concerned about the dress code, and the tables they’ll carry, and what kind of food they will prepare.”

Mr. Laporte, a Canadian-born architect whom Aymeric Pasquier asked to participate, said: “Everything is extremely carefully organized, because to seat a thousand people at the same moment you need a lot of planning. But the most important thing is for everyone to have the best memory of the night.”

In New York, as in Montreal, the Dîner en Blanc is being conducted openly, facilitated by Facebook and Twitter and other online aids, and coordinated with municipal authorities. But in Paris, despite the tacit approval of government officials, the Dîner is private — a massive demonstration of the power of word of mouth, and the strength of social connections. The guest list is made up entirely of friends, and friends of friends. And despite the dinner’s vast and visible attendance, it has remained discreetly under the radar. Paris is still a class-stratified society — “It’s horizontal, whereas Montreal is vertical,” Aymeric Pasquier explained — so unwritten rules of privilege have allowed secrecy to surround the event. Nobody is sure who decides, year in, year out, which people are invited to create tables for the evening.

François Pasquier calls the party-list formation a “pyramide amicale,” a friendly pyramid; trusted friends invite their own trusted friends. The event’s exclusivity was evident just before the Dîner en Blanc in Paris on June 16. As I hurried with my dinner companions along a bridge to Notre Dame last month, passersby stopped us.

“What’s going on?” a man asked. “Haven’t you heard?” joked my friend Aristide Luneau (who had invited me). “It’s the end of the world.”

One tourist asked, “Do they do this every night?” If only.

At 8 o’clock, clusters of diners emerged from the Metro or chartered buses to gather at rallying points, where they had been instructed to meet their “heads of table,” the organizers who had invited them. The site is revealed at the last moment, both to avoid gate-crashing and to preserve instantaneousness. The guests, decked out in white suits, dresses, skirts, feather boas and even wings, carried heavy picnic gear and delicacies like pâté de foie gras, poached salmon and fine cheeses — each table brings its own meal.

At about 9, with the sky still light, the site was announced. Guests hurried across bridges and side streets to reach their destination. By 9:30, all the tables had been deployed in orderly rows, according to diagrams in the possession of the heads of table, with men all along one side, women along the other. The guests quickly covered their tables with white cloths; laid out the crystal for Champagne, wine and water; the plates for hors d’oeuvres, main course and dessert; and began tucking in.

As night fell on Notre Dame, a clergyman appeared and blessed the throng, and church bells rang out overhead; at the Louvre, opera singers serenaded the diners. At 11 in both places, diners stood on chairs and waved sparklers — signaling the end of dinner and the beginning of the dancing (to D.J.’ed music at Notre Dame, and to a brass band at the Louvre). An hour later, the frolickers switched off the merriment and packed up their tables to depart, like Cinderella, on the stroke of midnight.

Needless to say, New York presents its own challenges. As in France, the organizers have created a fleet of “heads of table” who will collect picnickers at various meeting points around the city and shepherd them to the location. But some differences will apply. For one thing, it’s likely that Champagne will not be permitted, if the Dîner is held in a public location. For another, the proceedings are expected to end at 11.

“Even if we can’t have Champagne, it will be nice still,” Ms. Simoes said.

Mr. Laporte said, “After this year, the city will know the beauty of the Dîner,” adding, “We can show them that a big group can be very respectful.”

As in Paris, guests in New York will have a strong incentive to uphold the code of conduct. If they misbehave — for example, by bringing uninvited guests, getting too rowdy or not showing up or helping to clean —  they will receive a punishment worse than any police fine: being barred from future dinners.

“Any guest who doesn’t respect the rules of behavior will be put on a blacklist and never invited back again,” Aymeric Pasquier said.

Initially, Mr. Laporte and Ms. Simoes worried that New Yorkers would find these rules too demanding.

“But the more we talked to our New York friends,” Ms. Simoes said, “the more we realized that they were fascinated by the idea that it was difficult and special, and that you have to build your own dinner and bring your own table.”

Mr. Laporte added: “Our first impulse was to rent tables for the event, so people wouldn’t have to carry them.  But we realized that would change the spirit of the dinner too much. Part of the event is the journey there.  To think ahead, to get ready, to get the table, to prepare your picnic, to choose your outfit.  Not making it easy is part of the allure.”
© 2011 The New York Times

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ABC News – Casey Anthony Trial: Caylee’s Mom Created a World of Made-Up People

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011


July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony‘s imaginary life had more drama and made-up people than a soap opera.

The nearly dozen people whom she created with her ornate lies changed addresses, contracted cancer, got married. One even died in a car crash.

Much of her make-believe life was built around a job as an event planner she claimed she had at Universal Studios. Anthony stuck to that story until police investigating the disappearance of daughter Caylee insisted she take them to her office.

Casey Anthony confidently led police through the gates of Universal Studios, through a lot, into a building and down a corridor until she finally stopped, turned and conceded, “I don’t work here.”

Many of Anthony’s lies were told to her mother, Cindy Anthony, who tearfully recounted how she discovered that each of these people were fictional characters.

The biggest whopper was the babysitter, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. She was, according to Casey Anthony, a beautiful woman who once dated Casey’s ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Hopkins.

“Zanny the nanny” was from New York City, had moved to Florida for college and had stayed in the area. She had a mom named Gloria, and moved three times while living in the Orlando area.

Casey Anthony’s World of Make Believe

Casey Anthony gave her mother a detailed description of Zanny’s newest address. She also told her mom when Zanny got her long hair cut short, and mentioned that Zenaida drove a Ford Focus.

When Caylee was taken from her, Casey Anthony introduced a new relative of Zanny’s. She claimed that Zenaida’s sister, Samantha, held her down while Zenaida took Caylee away, saying Casey Anthony was a bad mother.

Zanny also had a roommate named Raquel Ferrell, she told her mother.

Jeff Hopkins, according to Casey Anthony, was once her boyfriend and he had a son named Zachary who was the same age as Caylee’s. The kids often played together. During Caylee’s disappearance, Casey Anthony claimed that she was visiting Hopkins in Jacksonville, Fla., and was trying to rekindle her romance with him.

Hopkins supposedly was wealthy, worked at Nickelodeon, had moved to North Carolina and then back to Florida. Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, testified in court that she found a picture of a man and a boy on her daughter’s cellphone identified as Hopkins and filed under “boyfriend.”

Casey Anthony, 25, also told her mother about Hopkins’ mom, a woman supposedly named Jules who had cancer. Cindy Anthony even baked a cake for a Christmas season meeting with Hopkins and his mother, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute.

When Casey Anthony was being pressured by her mother to produce Caylee, Casey Anthony claimed they were staying in Jacksonville, Fla., for Jules Hopkins‘ surprise wedding.

There was a real Jeff Hopkins but, he told the court, he only attended middle school with Casey Anthony and had run into her in a bar once.

Eric Baker was another person in Casey Anthony’s murky life story. She claimed to her mother that Baker was Caylee’s father, although no one in the Anthony family ever met him.

Cindy Anthony told the court that her daughter claimed that Baker was married and had another child, meaning Caylee had a half-brother.

Cindy Anthony also told the court how she received a distraught phone call from her daughter one day, sobbing that Eric Baker had been killed in a car crash. Casey Anthony claimed to have an obit on Baker, but lost it.

Investigators never tracked down an Eric Baker who was associated with Casey Anthony and it has never been confirmed whether someone named Eric Baker is the father of Caylee. Caylee’s father is still unknown.

While supposedly working at Universal Studios, Casey Anthony had to contend with a boss named Thomas Manly, and had become close friends with a colleague named Juliette Lewis. Lewis had a daughter named Annabelle.

None of them actually existed, but Cindy Anthony heard a fleshed out version of Juliette Lewis. Lewis, she said, was involved in volunteer work.

Casey and her mother, Cindy, went to help Lewis with a fundraiser, but after waiting for about 90 minutes, Lewis didn’t show up, Cindy Anthony testified. Lewis, Casey Anthony told her mother, later moved back to New York.

© 2011 ABC News


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WebMD – Why Some Smokers Have a Harder Time Quitting

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

Study Shows Variation in Brain May Give Some Smokers More Pleasure From Nicotine
By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

smoker and double helix overlay

May 16, 2011 — Quitting smoking is never easy, but some smokers have an even harder time kicking the habit, and now new research suggests that they may derive more pleasure form nicotine.

The new study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may also help foster the development of more effective quitting strategies for certain smokers.

Researchers used PET scans to capture images of the number of “mu-opioid receptors” in the brains of smokers. Smokers with greater numbers of these receptors seem to derive more pleasure from nicotine, and as a result may have a harder time quitting.

“The brain’s opioid system plays a role in smoking rewards, and quitting smoking and some of the variability in our ability to quit among smokers is attributable to genetic factors,” says study researcher Caryn Lerman, PhD, director of Tobacco Use Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“The ability to quit smoking is influenced by a number of psychological, social, and environmental factors, but also genetic factors,” she says. “For some people, genetic variations may make it more difficult to quit than for someone else who smokes the same amount for same amount of time,” Lerman says.

The study findings are more applicable to quitting smoking than becoming addicted in the first place, she says.

New Quitting Strategies/Tools Needed

There may be a role for personalized medicine when it comes to smoking cessation, Lerman says.  Personalized medicine takes the trial and error out of matching treatments by making decisions based on genetic profiles.

“Based on a person’s genetic background, we can select the optimal treatment,” she says. “It is a two-pronged approach of developing new medications and being able to make the best choice for a particular person based on existing options.”

Importantly, even diehard smokers should not take these findings to mean they can’t quit, she says.

“Don’t become fatalistic,” she says. “You may need particular approaches tailored to you,” she says. Going forward, “we hope to study this pathway in more detail to understand whether examining genetic background and the numbers of brain receptors can help us choose the right treatments for the right individual.”

Raymond S. Niaura, PhD, an associate director for science at the Schroeder Institute of the American Legacy Foundation, an antismoking group based in Washington, D.C., says that “there are genetic influences involved in becoming addicted to nicotine and tobacco and on how hard it is to quit smoking.”

The new findings provide “a peek into the genetic and underlying brain processes responsible for nicotine addiction,” he says.

Daniel Seidman, PhD, assistant clinical professor of medical psychology and the director of Smoking Cessation Services at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, agrees.“There are a lot of smokers and everybody gets lumped together, but there are a lot of patterns like with other types of addiction.”

This paper “points to a biological or genetic substrate which predisposes some people to have a hard time,” he says. Quitting smoking can be emotionally charged, he says. Symptoms typically include irritability, anger, and sad mood. “Some people are able to rally more and some may not bounce back as well because they have a harder time finding alternative sources of pleasure,” he says.

Agreeing with Niaura, Seidman says that some smokers seem to need nicotine replacement for longer periods of time. “When they come off nicotine patches or gum, it doesn’t feel right and it may be related to this subtype,” he says. “This is not a problem because nicotine replacement doesn’t cause cancer or go into yourlungs.”

People with this particular genetic variation may benefit from extended treatment, he says. “They may have a certain kind of sensitivity to nicotine, which could explain why they became addicted in the first place and why they may need to use nicotine replacement for a longer time than others.”


© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

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NY Times – Recluse Left Bulk of Wealth for Art Charity and to Her Nurse

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Published: June 22, 2011

For the past several decades, Huguette Clark, a wealthy copper heiress, had largely been a mystery to the public. She cloistered herself in hospitals in New York, and saw only a small number of visitors. She had no children and no close relatives.

Associated Press

Huguette Clark in 1930. Though healthy until near her death last month, she lived for decades in a hospital, even while healthy.

Her fortune was clearly huge — including a 42-room apartment on Fifth Avenue; an oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and a country manor in New Canaan, Conn. — but her net worth was not clear.

So when Mrs. Clark died last month at age 104, it naturally raised questions: How much was there to be inherited, and who would get it?

Some clarity was provided on Wednesday when a lawyer filed a will in Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan that Mrs. Clark had executed in 2005.

Mrs. Clark’s estate is worth about $400 million, and is made up of an art collection with works by Monet, Renoir, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase; her real estate and financial investments; and a vast doll collection, from porcelains to Barbies, said John D. Dadakis, a lawyer at the firm Holland & Knight, who filed the will.

Mrs. Clark’s nurse and close friend, Hadassah Peri, is the individual who will benefit most. She will get Mrs. Clark’s hundreds of dolls, potentially worth millions of dollars. Ms. Peri will also receive 60 percent of the various assets, worth about $40 million, including investments and much of her real estate holdings, not specifically bequeathed in the will. Mrs. Clark’s goddaughter, Wanda Styka, will get 25 percent.

Most of Mrs. Clark’s assets will go into a foundation that will be established to promote the arts. It will be directed in part by the man who drafted the will, her New York lawyer, and her accountant, both of whom Manhattan prosecutors are investigating for how they handled Mrs. Clark’s money. The foundation, according to the will, will receive her Santa Barbara estate, most of her art collection, all of her musical instruments and her rare book collection.

The will, dated April 19, 2005, leaves $1 million to Beth Israel Medical Center, where she lived in her final years, even while in good health, and where she died; $500,000 to her assistant; and $100,000 to a physician. A 1907 original from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series — kept from public view for more than eight decades — is given to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

Perhaps the most notable provisions in the will are those that will leave $500,000 each to Mrs. Clark’s New York lawyer, Wallace Bock, and to her accountant, Irving H. Kamsler, and the section that states explicitly that no family members were beneficiaries because of her minimal contact with them.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating how Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler have handled Mrs. Clark’s money, according to a person briefed on the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Bock drafted the will that was filed on Wednesday, even though professional rules generally prohibit lawyers from drafting wills in which they are beneficiaries. Exceptions can be granted, however, if the lawyer provides the surrogate’s court with facts showing that the person legitimately wanted to give him the gift, said Ira Bloom, a trusts and estates professor at Albany Law School.

Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler also stand to gain significant commissions because the will names them the executors of Mrs. Clark’s estate and it names them to the board of the new foundation.

Mr. Dadakis, who is representing Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler in the surrogate’s court proceeding, said that both men had done what Mrs. Clark had asked of them, and that she left them money because they were close to her.

“When you understand who Mrs. Clark was,” Mr. Dadakis said, “I think you clearly see that this is a lady that was very strong willed. This will speaks for that being strong willed, the way she was.”

Robert J. Anello, who represents Mr. Bock in the criminal investigation, said the will was evidence that his client had acted “consistent with her wishes and he’s done that remarkably well.”

While it is too early to tell whether anyone will object to the will, some of Mrs. Clark’s distant relatives have in the past questioned whether Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler acted in her best interest and said they blocked visits from the relatives.

© 2011 The New York Time

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New York Times – Serial Killer in L.I. Case Is Seen as Versed in Police Techniques

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Uli Seit for The New York Times

Police searchers concentrated this week on an area of Long Island where four sets of unidentified remains were recently found.

Published: April 8, 2011
Whoever killed four prostitutes, and possibly four other people, and then dumped their bodies in heavy underbrush along a beachfront causeway on Long Island appears to have a sophisticated understanding of police investigative techniques, according to people briefed on the case.

A series of taunting phone calls made to the teenage sister of one of the victims — calls that the police suspect came from the killer — were made from in or around some of the most crowded locations in New York City, including Madison Square Garden and Times Square, according to the people briefed on the case and to the mother of Melissa Barthelemy, that victim.

The locations, detectives say, were probably chosen because they allowed the caller to blend into crowds, so that if investigators pinpointed his location from the cellphone’s signal, they would be unable to pick him out of the crowd using any nearby surveillance cameras, one of the people said.

This fact, as well as the killer’s use of disposable cellphones to contact the four victims who have been identified — women in their 20s who advertised their services on Craigslist — suggested to some investigators that the killer was well versed in criminal investigative techniques, gleaned either through personal experience or in some other way, and could even be in law enforcement himself.

“He is a guy who is aware of how we utilize technology,” one investigator said. “Frankly, people are thinking maybe he could be a cop” — either one still in law enforcement or one who has moved on.

“Without question, this guy is smart, this guy is not a dope,” the investigator continued. “It’s a guy who thinks about things.”

Also, the caller kept each of his vulgar, mocking and insulting calls to less than three minutes, according to the dead woman’s mother, Lynn Barthelemy. The caller made about a half-dozen calls over roughly five weeks to the victim’s sister.

One investigator said the brief duration of the calls thwarted efforts by the New York Police Department to use the signal to pinpoint the caller’s location and find him, something Lynn Barthelemy said they told her they tried to do four times.

New York investigators began those efforts about a week after Melissa Barthelemy, a 24-year-old who lived in the Bronx, disappeared around July 10, 2009.

The investigator, and several others, emphasized that the idea that the killer could be an active or former law enforcement officer was just one theory being examined by homicide investigators in Suffolk County, where the bodies were found.

The Suffolk Police Department’s chief of detectives, Dominick Varrone, would say only, “Our investigative team is considering many theories and all possibilities.”

The police commissioner, Richard Dormer, said in a statement late Friday that “no suspect has been identified in the Gilgo Beach homicides.”

Ms. Barthelemy’s body was one of four uncovered over the course of three days in December in the thick undergrowth along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach, in the town of Babylon. All were dumped in burlap sacks.

It is unclear whether the county medical examiner’s office, working with its counterpart in New York City, has determined the causes of death in the four cases.

The discovery marked the third time in two decades that a serial killer of prostitutes had stalked Long Island.

After the snow melted, the Suffolk police intensified their search in the area. On March 29, a Marine Unit officer discovered a fifth set of remains, and two days later, three more sets of remains were found, more than a mile east of where the first bodies were found clustered.

Two officials briefed on the case said it appeared that those additional sets of remains had been dumped many years prior to those found in December, and there were no burlap sacks.

They said there were other differences that set them apart from the four bodies that have been identified, but they would not describe them.

Both of the officials suggested that the differences raised the possibility that remains found in the past two weeks — the police have yet to identify them or even say whether they have determined the gender of the dead — were unrelated to the four Craigslist women.

But they also said the differences could be ascribed to the development of the killer’s technique over time.

On July 10 nearly two years ago, Ms. Barthelemy saw a client and then deposited $900 into her bank account, her mother said. That night she called an old boyfriend, but he did not pick up. Then she disappeared.

Melissa Barthelemy’s teenage sister, Amanda, was preparing to fly to New York from Buffalo and visit with her sister, but the trip was called off because the family could not reach Melissa. Concerned, the Barthelemys pleaded with the New York police to help find her.

Then Amanda began to receive calls, about one each week, from her missing sister’s cellphone. The voice on the other end was calm and bland, and never yelled or laughed, her mother said.

Lynn Barthelemy would not say what was said in those calls. She said the authorities told her not to disclose details so that they could use that information, which they believe only the killer would know, to weed out false confessions.

The family’s lawyer, Steven M. Cohen of Buffalo, said the caller had made remarks that were “disparaging of the sister, because of her lifestyle.”

“We can’t for certain make the leap that the person who called the sister was the killer, although I believe that to be the case,” Mr. Cohen said. “If you accept it was the killer calling, he certainly had feelings of anger towards prostitutes.”

Lynn Barthelemy said detectives had told her they rushed to several locations during the calls, which never lasted more than three minutes, but were unable to identify a suspect.

In one instance, the police learned that Melissa Barthelemy’s phone had been turned on near Massapequa, on Long Island, and that someone had gained access to her voice mail, the victim’s mother said, but that happened only once.

The caller did not ever say that Ms. Barthelemy was dead or suggest that she was alive, Lynn Barthelemy said.

“He kept us hopeful,” she said.

She still wonders what prompted the calls. It was as if he was “trying to finalize things,” she said.

Al Baker contributed reporting.




© 2011 The New York Times

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