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NYC’s Top 10 Parks for Reflection and Meditation

#1 – Brooklyn Bridge Park

Some city parks were built to replicate rustic fields and preserve serene woodland. Brooklyn Bridge Park, however, was not—and that’s precisely why it has become so popular. The project has transformed a chunk of the Brooklyn waterfront into a nearly 85-acre expanse; several sections house unique attractions such as Jane’s Carousel, a restored 1920s merry-go-round, and riverside esplanades with gorgeous Manhattan views. Pier 5 is complete with sports fields and a playground, and nearby Pier 2 has basketball courts and a skating rink. When summer rolls around, there’s literary readings held in the open air, and outdoor movies play at sundown with one of the best views of the city just behind the screen.

Brooklyn Heights

#2 – Central Park

Central ParkTo feel truly out of the city, head to the 38-acre wilderness area on the west side of the park known as the Ramble. The area has a storied history (as a gay cruising spot dating back to the turn of the last century, among other things), and it was even proposed as a recreational area in the mid-’50s. Thankfully, the winding trails, rocks and streams remain, seemingly waiting to be discovered. If you want plenty of sunshine and more of a social vibe, spread out a blanket at Sheep’s Meadow, where groups playing guitar and frisbee and tanning topless are sprawled out as far as the eye can see.

Central Park

#3 – Flushing Meadows–Corona Park

Flushing Meadows–Corona ParkGive the city’s second-biggest park a day and it’ll show you the world: Its most enduring icon is the Unisphere, the mammoth steel globe created for the 1964 World’s Fair. But there’s also first-rate culture and sports at the New York Hall of Science, Arthur Ashe Stadium and Citi Field (depending on how the Mets are doing). The rolling green fields also encompass a zoo, a boating lake, a skate park, a barbecue area, playfields, and a $66 million aquatic and hockey center. In 2011, wetland plants such as swamp azalea and swamp milkweed were added to better handle the park’s water runoff, improving the catch-and-release fishing in Meadow Lake.

Queens

#4 – Prospect Park

Prospect ParkUrban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who most famously designed Central Park, also put their stamp on bucolic Prospect Park. Amenities like the Long Meadow and Nethermead offer plenty of space to pull up on a patch of grass and indulge in some people-watching, and the woodland expanse of the Ravine is a towering forest within bustling Brooklyn. But we also have to give props to Robert Moses: The controversial city planner was behind some of the park’s kid-friendly offerings, including the zoo and Wollman Rink, which throws decade-themed skating parties all summer long.

Prospect Park

#5 – The Hills at Governors Island

The Hills at Governors IslandAs of 2016, the Hills on Governors Island are alive but not necessarily with the sound of music. Instead, you can hear the hum of parkgoers and their bicycles as they tool around the island’s two-plus-mile promenade, the gleeful squeals of folks slithering down one of the four massive slides and the delighted gasps of visitors ogling perfect views of the New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan. While much of the green space’s landscape has changed (and, oh, is it hilly), preexisting features such as Hammock Grove and Picnic Point (which had been closed since 2012) are still major focal points. But this new addition has us counting down the days until the island opens for the warm-weather season in May.

Governors Island

#6 – The High Line

The High LineOpened in 2009, this highly anticipated outdoor park sits on the elevated infrastructure built on Manhattan’s West Side in the 1930s. The final expansion of the park opened in 2014, and today sumptuous gardens and outdoor sculptures (that change with the seasons) adorn this magnificent walkway, which is also an excellent place to enjoy a view of the Hudson River. There’s a food court with ice cream and wine, shallow pools to dip hot summer toes in and coveted lounge chairs to recline in on lazy days.

Chelsea

#7 – McCarren Park

McCarren ParkThis Brooklyn park is popular with area hipsters, and it continues to be a family favorite, too. There are baseball, football and soccer fields; dog runs; tennis courts and more. You’ll also find a playground at Lorimer Street and Driggs Ave. It’s also home to SummerScreen—the alfresco film fest—which shows a grab bag of ’90s nostalgia picks (so Williamsburg, right?).

Greenpoint

#8 – Hudson River Park

Hudson River ParkThis strip of waterfront park stretches from Battery Park to 59th Street, allowing you to walk, bike or skate while gazing at the Hudson River and New Jersey. There are flowers, benches, piers and lots of programs—including youth sports and kayak rides in the river. On Friday evenings, you can spot everything from people at lawnside boot camps to elderly singing groups belting it out next to a waterside piano.

Chelsea

#9 – Fort Greene Park

Fort Greene ParkBoth Brooklyn’s first park and one of it’s loveliest, Fort Greene Park plays host to the Soul Summit house-and-classics get-togethers on summertime Sunday afternoons. Explore the 30-acres designed by Olmstead and Vaux, which comprises open meadows, playgrounds and a designated space for all sorts of recreational activities. If you’re simply looking for a peaceful space to contemplate the meaning of life, you’ll have no problem finding a quiet haven for your thoughts.

Fort Greene

#10 – Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill ParkThere’s a unique reward for trekking to the northernmost corner of Manhattan, where you’ll find enormous trees in the island’s last virgin forest. Much of the park has never been developed; due to its comparatively remote location, the land remained rural up until its 1916 purchase by the Parks Department, who decided to leave Inwood as natural as possible. As a result, the area remains very similar to the way the island was 500 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Time Out NY

Lyft Provides Simple Solution For NYC Seniors To Get To Their Appointments

Original Source: TechCrunch / Lucas Matney

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have always been awesome at empowering people without viable forms of transportation to get around. A key demographic that’s been left out of reaping these benefits, however, is the nation’s senior citizens.

Today, Lyft announced a partnership with the National MedTrans Network that will provide seniors in NYC a simpler way to get rides to non-emergency medical appointments. To do this, the Lyft at Work team has introduced a slick-looking, third-party web application called Concierge that allows its partners to call Lyfts online on the behalf of someone who may not have a smartphone to do it themselves.

For seniors that have a tough time getting around or are maybe staying behind the wheel a little longer than they should, Lyft could be a major opportunity for them to maintain a bit more independence. Here’s the problem, though: More than a quarter of Americans that are 65-plus don’t own a smartphone and that percentage only increases as ages do. Apps are also generally a difficult concept for some elderly people to get used to no matter how intuitive the UI is.

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In a blog post, Lyft says that around 3.6 million Americans miss or have to delay medical care because they don’t have the transportation to get where they need to go. With this effort, Lyft hopes to help seniors in NYC get used to the lingo their grandkids have been using when they talk about grabbing a Lyft. But more seriously it may also give Lyft an opportunity to see the full potential of Concierge, which could plausibly have major market potential as Lyft for Work looks to increase their partnerships.

Lyft says it’s already fulfilling 2,500 rides a week through the service, but Billy McKee, president of National Medtrans Network, details in the blog post that he plans to increase that number.

“Using transportation-as-a-service like this, the health plans and government agencies we partner with are significantly reducing fraud, saving costs, and improving the patient experience,” said McKee. “We provide over 25,000 livery trips per week in NYC, and our goal is to push all of those through Lyft.”

 

 

Wives’ Tales Debunked

Wives’ tales have been passed down from generation to generation, sharing timeless information from years past. But, how many of these tales are actually true? Here we go over some of the most popular wives’ tale, going in depth on whether or not they’re actually accurate.  

Feed a Fever, Starve a Cold

Some people say to “feed a fever, starve a cold,” while others say to do the complete opposite. But, in neither situation should you ever willingly starve yourself. One of the best things to do when suffering from a fever or cold is to eat.

When you have a cold, your body needs energy to get rid of the virus. Specifically, energy that your body receives from food. For fevers, the body’s temperature rises, causing the metabolism to increase and for more calories to be burned. Eating helps replenish calories and energy.

But, many people don’t have appetites when they’re sick, and that’s completely normal. You should never force yourself to eat if you don’t feel hungry. The most important thing to do when you’re sick is to drink a lot of fluids. When sick, the body becomes dehydrated, and the more you drink, the more your body can fight both infections and viruses.

Eat Chicken Soup When You’re Sick

So, what should you eat when you’re sick? A popular wives’ tale tells that chicken soup is the best thing to eat when sick, and it’s not wrong. Chicken soup is great to eat when you’re feeling unwell. The combination of protein and liquid both gives you energy and replenishes your body. And, the steam from the soup helps open up mucus stuffed passageways.

Carrots Improve Vision

While carrots are high in nutrients and include vitamin A and the antioxidant lutein, both of which are essential for vision health, they don’t improve your eyesight. In fact, no amount of healthy foods can improve eyesight. They can only help you maintain your current eyesight health.

So, why do so many people believe this? It actually started during WWII. During the war, the British Royal Air Force came up with a tale about how their pilots had excellent night vision due to eating carrots. The story was only propaganda, to make the air force look more powerful, but the belief stuck.

But, considering this tall tale got a lot of people, especially kids, eating their carrots over the years, maybe it’s not all that bad.

Spicy Foods Cause Ulcers

For a long time, even doctors believed in this wives’ tale. But, eventually it was proven wrong. Spicy food cannot cause ulcers, nor does eating plain or bland food cure one. All spicy food does is irritate existing ulcers. Ulcers are actually caused by bacteria, and often only cause mild pain or discomfort in the beginning stages. For many people, eating spicy foods is what makes them first notice the pain. Ulcers can only be cured by antibiotics.  

12 Amazing Uses For Baking Soda

Baking Soda is cheap, versatile, easy to use, and can clean everything and anything you can imagine; from household items to appliances to beauty supplies to skin. Here we go over 12  amazing ways to use baking soda.

Clean:

Rust off silverware. Mix together baking soda and water until you get a nice paste that is neither too thick nor too watery. Brush off any rust stains gently with a toothbrush. Rinse and wash normally after all stains are gone. Works best with stainless steel. Can also be used to shine dull silverware.

Hair brushes and combs. To get any excess oil or build-up off brushes and combs, soak in a mixture of one cup of water and one tsp of baking soda until clean. Afterwards, rinse and dry.

Greasy pots and pans. Mix together your regular dish washing soap with a generous spoonful of baking soda, then use the mixture to scrub greasy pots and pans. For really hard-to-clean kitchenware, soak in water, dish soap and baking soda first.  

Microwaves. Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean, damp sponge before rubbing down the inside of your microwave.

Ovens. For grime or baked-on food at the bottom of the oven, sprinkle and leave baking soda in overnight. Clean out with a wet sponge or rag in the morning. For the oven walls, use a damp sponge or washcloth sprinkled with baking soda. Make sure to wash out and dry thoroughly before using the oven.

Shower curtains. Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge and scrub any dirty or smelly parts of the curtain. Rinse and hang to dry. Works best with vinyl curtains.

Freshen up your:

Carpet. Sprinkle baking soda onto a stenchy carpet overnight. Vacuum in the morning to get rid of any mess.

Litter box. Dust baking soda on the bottom of the litter box before putting in the litter. Replace every time you change the litter. Sprinkle a little baking soda on top of the litter each time you clean it out.

Hands. To remove strong smells like garlic, exfoliate your hands in a mixture of baking soda and water. Scrub until smell disappears and rinse off with water.

Shoes. Sprinkle baking soda over or inside the shoes and let sit for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how smelly the shoes are. Shake off when done. Works best with sneakers, sandals, and flats.

Spice up your:

Bath. Mix in a quarter to half a cup of baking soda into your bath. Baking soda is good for calming irritated skin, especially itchy, dry, sunburnt, and rashy ailments. It’s also great for achy muscles. Feel free to mix it in with your choice of epsom salts, essential oils or other bath products.

Foot care routine. For tired, achy, swollen feet, soak them in a mixture of warm or hot water (depending on your preference) with a few spoonfuls of baking soda.   

Do Diet Programs Work?

Diets are tricky. They’re often hard to stick to, have confusing guidelines and can be extremely time-consuming. Diet programs love to take advantage of this, and often promise fast, painless, and motivational plans that are supposed to help people lose weight fast and keep it off. But, do these programs actually work? Yes and no. While sticking to reputable diet programs will help you lose weight, there is little to no guarantee that you will keep the weight off in the long-run.

A reputable diet plan will work by encouraging the participant to cut down on unhealthy aspects like sugars and saturated fats and incorporate more foods high in proteins, fiber, vitamins, etc. Some programs like Jenny Craig accomplish this by having people eat foods that are part of a pre-made menu, while others such as Weight Watchers use a rewards program, in their case points, that measures a person’s intake for the day. These type of programs tend to work only when the person is on the program. Once the program is over, that’s when the weight returns. This is due to the change in diet. While some people continue onto healthier paths, many fall back into the unhealthy eating habits they had prior to the structured instant-results showing diet plan. Even those who do stick to healthier diets afterwards can wind up gaining weight back due to the body’s natural reaction to losing weight.

When losing weight, the body’s biological structure will react in an odd way. The metabolism, which converts calories into energy, can become slower when too much weight is lost at once. And the slower your metabolism, the harder it is to lose weight. While there is no guarantee this will happen to everyone or that the metabolism will remain slower, larger weight losses in short amounts of times do have this effect. Once a person stops a diet program, their metabolism tries to compensate for the weight loss, burning less calories, which makes the person gain weight faster. The best example of this is a study done on the contestants of a popular weight loss show, The Biggest Loser. When 14 of the 16 contestants were tracked by the National Institute of Health, it was found that 13 contestants gained back a significant amount of weight within 6 years, with 4 weighing more than their previous heaviest weights. While their cases were more extreme than most, health experts agree that this happens with many extreme weight-loss situations.

This doesn’t mean that weight loss is impossible, nor that every weight loss program is terrible. Many people lose weight and keep it off. The difference is that many of those people lose weight gradually. Gradual weight loss allows a person’s body to get used to its new body weight at a steady pace. And weight loss programs that prioritize making healthy decisions and losing weight at your own pace can be a good starting point. But, the best way to lose weight is to incorporate healthy foods into your normal diet while eating less foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. This, along with exercise and a good attitude, will get you farther than any diet plan could ever take you.   

How To Keep Indoor Plants Alive During The Winter

Are You Worried About…

Lack Of Warmth?

While indoor plants have the advantage of staying warmer, your home is not always as toasty as your plants need it to be. When the heat is low or off, indoor plants can suffer from the cold, especially when placed by windows or drafty areas. While you can’t leave your heat on all day, there is a surprisingly simple solution to keeping your plants warm: Bubble wrap.

Pots can be wrapped in bubble wrap to ensure the roots of the plant doesn’t die due to frost. This also benefits the pot, especially terracotta or ceramic pots, which tend to crack due to frost. The bubble wrap should fully wrap around the pot, completely covering the sides and secured so not to unravel. The top of the pot should be left open.

If you’re worried about your indoor plants looking unsightly, then hessian wrap is a good alternative. The woven fabric gives indoor plants a more rustic look, and can be layered and decorated easier then bubble wrap can.  

Low Humidity?

During the winter, indoor heaters and heating systems create low humidity in the household, causing many plants to brown at the edges quicker than usual. There are a few different tricks to help combat this:

  • Keep your plants close together. Plants naturally release moisture into the air, so keeping them together will allow them to absorb the extra moisture.
  • Use an air humidifier near your plants.  
  • Place plants in the kitchen or a bathroom, where steam is regularly present.
  • In a shallow tray, place enough clean pebbles, gravel, or sand, so that a potted plant can be placed on top. Then fill the tray with water. The water should not rise above the gravel/pebbles. This will allow the water to evaporate around the plant, giving it extra moisture. Be sure to place the pot on top of the pebbles/gravel and not on directly in the water. Placing the plant in the water can cause the roots to rot.

Leaving The House?  

If you’re leaving your home for a few days and are worried about keeping your plants hydrated, there is a simple trick that can be done in order to keep your plants alive. After heavily watering all your plants, place them all in your bathtub or shower before you leave. The humidity of the bathroom will help keep the plants warm and hydrated for the few days you’re gone.

Simple Ways To Faster WiFi

Over 95% of Americans are connected to wireless internet, mostly through routers inside their homes. Yet, a lot of people don’t know what exactly WiFi is, or how they can get the best connection. Here, we go over the basics of WiFi and simple tricks you can do to ensure the fastest connection.

What Is WiFi?

WiFi is what connects wireless devices to the internet. Just like radios and cellphones, WiFi is transmitted through radio waves, which carries data through a network. WiFi is transmitted through a router, which generally travels short distances. This is why WiFi connection stops once a device is moved farther away from the router. The farther a device connected to WiFi gets from the router, the weaker the connection becomes. Depending on the router, this distance can vary from anywhere between 115 to 230 ft.

There are a lot of different factors that can cause WiFi to weaken. Surfaces such as wood, concrete, and metal can all hinder a router’s radio waves. Other radio waves, admitted from other devices and appliances, can also hinder the router’s waves. While slow WiFi can be a sign of more internal troubles, it can also be the effect of something as simple as the placement of a router. For faster, more reliable WiFi, try these tricks.

Place your router at the center of your home. This will make the WiFi more evenly distributed throughout your home. If a router is placed close to a corner, then the opposite side of the home will receive weaker reception.  

Don’t place the router behind closed doors or on the floor. The surfaces of doors, walls, and floors can absorb some of the radio waves. Keeping your router in a high, open area will prevent that.

If your router has movable antennas, place one vertically and one horizontally. Devices such as cell phones and computers have antennas inside the device which receive the router’s radio signals. These devices connect to WiFi best when the router’s antennas are parallel to theirs. Since laptops’ and computers’ antennas are usually placed horizontally and cell phones are often held vertically, the router can easily connect to both.

Keep your router updated. Technology advances fast. A router made in 2011 is going to work much less efficiently than a router made in 2016. Slow WiFi or continuously dropped connections may be caused by an old router.

Keep away from other radio waves. Televisions, microwaves, radios, cordless phones, and other appliances all submit radio waves which can interfere with WiFi radio waves. While it’s pretty hard to keep a router away from all appliances, try to keep routers away from spots like under a television or right next to a phone or computer.

Does Bad Weather Really Cause Joints To Ache?

Do you ever get back pain when it rains? Or headaches in the cold? Old wives’ tales have always blamed the weather for making the body ache, and now, science does too. After years of people swearing this phenomenon is true, there is now solid evidence that aches and pains worsen in certain weathers.

So, what causes this? Depending on the weather, the air pressure, or barometric pressure, shifts from high to low. When the pressure drops, as it does before and during bad weather, such as rain storms, the nerve endings in joint tissues swell, tighten and ache. People suffering from arthritis or bone diseases like osteoporosis tend to be the most affected, since it worsens their existing symptoms.

But, it’s not only the joints that are affected. Many scientists believe that changes in weather also affect migraines. Shifts in barometric pressure and temperature may cause the brain to feel pressure, making it harder for it to block out pain. Like with joint pain, many people who suffer from headaches and/or migraines have worse experiences during bad weather.

Does that mean weather is making bone or brain health worse?

It’s unlikely. The barometric pressure and temperature only have temporary effects on existing symptoms. This is why people with strong bones don’t feel aches during the change in weather. Once the bad weather passes, the aches and pains tend to go with it. If you suffer from severe pain during changes in weather, tell your doctor. Together, you can come up with a more flexible treatment that incorporates different shifts in weather.

These causes are not completely proven yet, but most scientists and doctors agree that these are the most likely causes. If you’re experiencing tightened joints due to the weather, apply heat to the affected area, using a heating pad or heating creams. Lightly stretching the affected joints also helps. If you are going to spend time outside in the cold, be sure to dress warmly and avoid any strenuous activities.

Do Hair Growth Products Really Work?

Hair loss is almost inevitable. It’s estimated that 85% of men experience hair loss by the age of 50 and 40% of women experience it by the age of 40. Because of this, many products love to claim that they can prevent or cure hair loss. Everything from shampoos to oils to vitamins to medicines and laser treatments promise to promote hair growth and put a stop to thinning hair. Unfortunately, almost all of them are complete BS. But, there are two forms of FDA approved hair loss treatments which do work: minoxidil and finasteride.

Minoxidil is an over-the-counter hair growth stimulator. It does not stop hair loss, nor is it a cure for hair loss. Instead, minoxidil helps the scalp produce more hair. Once a person stops applying the medication, hair loss will continue. The medication is applied to dry hair twice a day, and can take up to four months before it begins to produce a change. Minoxidil is also available in forms known as theroxidil or rogaine.

Pros: Minoxidil is for both men and women, and has been proven to stimulate hair growth in two out of three men.

Cons: While not limited to certain ages, minoxidil does work better for those under the age of forty, and in those who have only recently been experiencing hair loss. For those who stop using the treatments, hair loss may be more prominent than before. Side effects can include scalp irritations such as redness, dryness, flaking, or itchiness.

Finasteride is specifically for male-patterned baldness and must be prescribed. It slows and stops hair loss, as well as promotes hair growth in two out of three men. It is taken as a pill once a day and goes under the brand name Propecia.

Pros: Finasteride is extremely effective, working for 90% of men who take it.

Cons: Finasteride is only for men and can only be used for male-pattern baldness. It is also not a cure. Once you stop taking finasteride, hair loss will reoccur. In rare cases, finasteride can cause erectile disfunction.

Simple Ways to Keep Warm While Lowering Your Heating Bill

 

Find the Perfect Temperature

For every degree higher you set your thermostat to, you’re adding around a 1 to 3% increase onto your heating bill. And if you have the habit of turning your thermostat to the highest possible degree, you’re wasting a lot of money. Thermostats are meant to keep a comfortable temperature in your home. So, while setting your thermostat onto 75 degrees or higher seems like a good idea when you’re rushing in from the cold, you’ll just wind up overheating your home. Most experts agree that the best temperature to keep your thermostat at is 68°.

But, not everyone is going to be comfortable at 68°. Instead of sticking to just one degree, try setting your thermostat between 68° to 72° during the day. When no one’s home or at night, aim between 62° and 66°.

Keep the Heat Inside the House

Just because the heat in your home is on doesn’t mean it’s staying inside. Heat escapes through a variety of ways. Some simple tips to help prevent this include:

  • Making sure that all of your windows are locked and sealed. This will keep hot air from escaping and cold air from drifting in.
  • Take out any removable air conditioners.
  • If sunny out, keep the curtains and blinds open. This allows for the sunlight to help heat your home.
  • Once it becomes dark out, close any curtains. This will help seal the hot air in.
  • Place a carpet or rug over uninsulated wooden floors.
  • Keep doors closed. This will keep smaller rooms, like bedrooms, warmer.
  • Switch ceiling fans to move clockwise. The majority of ceiling fans have a switch at the base. The clockwise movement helps distribute warm air that rises to the ceiling.
  • Make sure no furniture is blocking any radiators or vents.  
  • Use under the door draft stoppers to keep cold air from seeping in.

Keep Yourself Warm

While keeping your house warm, it’s important to remember that it’s all for your benefit, especially if you live alone or with few other people. Sometimes the best option is to focus on keeping your body insulated. Simple things like wearing sweaters or sleeping with heavier blankets can easily keep you as warm as your thermostat, and it certainly helps you save money! Of course, it’s all about comfort. You should never be freezing or suffering inside your own home. Finding your own happy medium is essential to staying warm and comfortable all throughout the winter.

Cold Weather Skin Care Remedies

Winter’s a tough time for hair and skin care. With the cold weather comes cracked skin, brittle hair, and chapped lips. Here, we go through a few possible issues you may encounter this winter, and the simple DIY solutions that will help you along

Reminder: This article offers advice for occasional symptoms associated with cold weather. If you experience any of these symptoms on a constant or painful level, consult your doctor.

Dandruff

If your shoulders are covered with small pale colored flecks, then chances are you probably have dandruff. Dandruff is small flecks of dead skin that fall from the scalp. Most often, the scalp will become itchy, with more dandruff falling the more the scalp is scratched. While there are a few different causes behind dandruff , the dry air of winter weather mixed with the heat of the indoors is a common cause.

Treatments:

Many shampoos are especially made to help with dandruff and a dry scalp. These shampoos should contain one or more of the in following ingredients:

  • Pyrithione zinc
  • Coal tar (also called tar-based)
  • Salicylic acid
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole

Some hair cleaners that contain one or more of these ingredients include: Head and Shoulders,  Jason Dandruff Relief, Neutrogena T/Gel, Neutrogena T/Sal, and Selsun Blue.

For a natural remedy, try using apple cider vinegar. Dilute the vinegar with water inside a spray bottle (⅓ apple cider vinegar, ⅔ water) and spray the scalp in sections, massaging the scalp gently once done. Leave on for 15 to 25 minutes, and wash out with shampoo. Be sure to wash thoroughly, since apple cider vinegar can leave a strong scent.

Dry eyes

Cold, windy weather causes many eyes to go dry. While dry eyes can be a symptom of a larger problem, dry eyes experienced every now and then when the weather gets rough are no big deal.

Treatments

Over-the-counter eye drops like artificial tears work great for dry eyes. These can include GenTeal Gel and Systane Ultra. Never use eye drops meant to help with redness for dry eyes. They can cause irritation. If you experience severe dry eyes, avoid eye drops with preservatives, which include Refresh and TheraTear .

Chapped lips

Everyone experiences chapped lips, it’s just something we all have to deal with. But, be careful when choosing a lip balm or chapstick. Certain balms contain irritants that actually further damage your lips.

Treatments

Always look for an emollient lip balm, which is a fancy way of saying a moisturizing one. The best lip balms are the ones without many frills, that focus on just moisturizing the lips. Avoid balms that are scented with ingredients like menthol and peppermint. Instead, look for balms that contain moisturizers like coconut or olive oil and waxes. And, when in doubt, just use plain shea butter or vaseline. They’re cheap and effective.

If your lips are cracking, try this DIY exfoliant: mix together equal parts brown sugar and olive oil, then rub gently onto the lips for a few minutes. Wash off and apply lip balm immediately after for moisturized, softer lips.

Knowing Elder Abuse: The Types, Signs, and Resources

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is the intentional act of abuse towards older adults over the age of 60. Elder abuse is a large-scale problem that is more common than most people realize. In one study done on more than 7,000 seniors, it was found that one in ten seniors had experienced elder abuse at least once in the past year. And yet, it is estimated that only one out of every 23 elder abuse cases are being reported to the appropriate protective services.

Types of Elder Abuse

Many people assume that the only form of abuse is physical abuse. But, that is far from the truth. Elder abuse takes on many different forms, all of which put victims in danger. The different forms of abuse are:  

Physical abuse, which includes violent actions such as hitting, slapping, bruising, burning, or any other physical action that causes bodily harm, injury, pain, impairment, distress, chronic or acute illness, or death.

Physical abuse also includes forcibly restraining an elder and forcing unwanted and unrequited sexual conduct (both physical and nonphysical).

Psychological/emotional abuse, which includes insults, threats, neglect, isolation, name calling, and demeaning or controlling behavior that results in the victim feeling humiliated, distresses, scared, tormented, or emotionally pained.

Neglectful abuse, which includes the failure or refusal of a caregiver to provide the victim with their vital needs. These needs include food, medicine, necessary aids, hygiene, clothing, or shelter, all of which can result in jeopardizing the senior’s health and safety.    

Financial abuse/exploitation, which is the illegal or unwarranted use of an elder’s financial or valuable resources. This can include theft, forgery, or misuse of the victim’s funds or possessions, forcing the surrender of the victim’s finances or properties, refusing the victim access or use to their personal assets, and wrongful use of power of attorney (the legal act of controlling someone else’s legal and financial matters) and guardianship.   

What to do

It is imperative to seek help if you or someone you know is suffering from elder abuse. Many people will hold back from reporting elder abuse because they either notice it, but do not want to intrude on someone’s personal life or they are experiencing the abuse, but do not want to report their family or caregiver. But, without seeking help, the abuse will only continue to escalate, which will result in causing even more harm to the victim.  

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. If you or someone you know is suffering from elder abuse, call 311 to report abuse or to be connected with helpful resources. Many resources are available in order to combat elder abuse

To report Elder abuse, visit The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative here.

To learn more about Elder abuse, visit:

The United States Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative

The National Institute of Justice Elder Abuse

NYC Department for the Aging

Administration on Aging

For additional resources, visit: CDC/ Elder Abuse: Additional Resources here.

Generic vs Brand Medication: Which Is Better?

You’re standing in a pharmacy looking for a standard pain reliever when you’re faced with the choice of buying either the brand-name or the generic brand. Although the generic brand is cheaper, you decide to go with the brand-name medication because you assume it works better. But, this isn’t actually the case. When it comes to drugs, brand-name and generic name medications are much more similar than a lot of people think. In fact, when it comes to the effects of the medication, there isn’t much of a difference between the two at all.  

The truth is generic brand medications work just as well as name-brand medications. In fact, generic medications must be passed by the FDA in order to be sold. The FDA has very strict guidelines when it comes to generic brand medications. Some of these guidelines include:

  • The generic drug must have the same active ingredients as the name-brand drug. It must also have the same strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the name-brand drug.
  • Generic drugs must be bioequivalent to the name-brand drug. This means that the generic drug must have the same effect as the name-brand and must come into effect in the same amount of time as the brand-names.
  • Both generic and brand-name drugs must pass the same quality standards. These standards take into account the drug’s manufacturing, packaging, and testing sites.

In order for a generic brand medication to be passed, the drug must be almost identical to its branded counterpart. In a FDA evaluation, it was found that there was only a 3.5% difference in generic and branded drugs’ absorption into the body. In another study done on heart medications, it was found that the generic heart medication worked just as well as the brand-name drug.

Even so, generic and brand-name medications are not exactly alike. The main difference between the two drugs are the inactive ingredients ,or, the filler ingredients. These ingredients make it so that the medications can have substantial doses, since the active ingredients are rarely enough to fill a medication capsule. Medications can use ingredients that are pre-approved like starch or lactose. Because of the difference in inactive ingredients, generic and brand-name drugs can vary in appearances.

Another big factor in proving that generic drugs and name-brand drugs are extremely similar is that most drugs administered by a pharmacist are usually generic. In fact, about 8 out of 10 prescriptions are for generic brand drugs. So, even if you never bought an over-the-counter generic drug, you’ve most likely used a generic prescription drug.  

 
So, why do most prescriptions call for generic drugs? Because they’re more affordable. Generic drug prices can be as much as 80% lower than brand-name prices. As a result, studies have found that patients who are prescribed generic drugs from the start are more likely to stick to their medications.

Guide To The New York Relay Service

What is The New York Relay Service?

The New York Relay Service is a free statewide service that allows people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled who use text or voice carry-over telephones to call standard phones. This process is done through an operator, and can also connect standard phones to text or voice carry-over phones. This service is available 24/7, everyday of the year, and can make calls anywhere in the world.

The service is performed several different ways. By calling or typing 7-1-1 the caller is connected to an operator, who will then aid the conversation depending on the needs of the user. These include:   

Text Telephones (TTY) to Voice. For people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-disabled using a text telephone, an operator will read the typed conversation to the hearing person and will type the spoken conversation to the TTY user.   

Telebraille to Voice. For deaf-blind people using a Telebraille device, an operator will read the typed conversation to the hearing person and will type the spoken conversation to the Telebraille user. The Telebraille user will receive the conversation at a pace of 15 words per minute in order to allow time to read. Users can request that the speed either be slowed down or sped up.

Voice Carry-Over (VCO) to Voice. Voice Carry-Over phones allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to speak to the hearing person and read their response. An operator will type the hearing person’s conversation to the VCO user, and the hearing person will hear the VCO user speaking.   

Speech-to-Speech (STS) to Voice. This allows people with speech-disorders or impediments to be fully understood by the person on the other end line. The receiver will hear the STS user and then the operator, who will repeat the STS user. This is done on a standard phone.

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO) to Voice. Using a HCO device, speech-disabled HCO users can hear the person they called and can type back their response, which will be read by the operator to the hearing person.

Relay services are not only available in New York. They can be used in every state at 7-1-1. By federal law, all conversations are completely private and no records of any conversations are kept. There is no limit to how long a call can last. The service offers both English and Spanish operators, and also offers translations between both languages. The service is toll free, but long-distance calls may have standard charges. For more information visit, www.nyrelay.com.

The Truth Behind Diet Pills

Losing weight can be difficult, especially as we get older. As a result, many advertisers claim to have the secret to losing weight. Mostly, these claims come in the form of a pill. Unfortunately, these claims are more fantasy than fact. Here, we break down why over-the-counter diet pills don’t work, and which supplements have been proven to actually help with weight loss.

The lie: Over-the-counter diet pills/weight loss supplements/natural remedies will help you lose weight faster.

No diet pill, nor weight loss supplement, will effectively help you lose weight. The majority of them don’t work. And those that appear to work usually do so in unhealthy ways that don’t actually include losing fat. But, that doesn’t answer the question as to why there are so many natural weight-loss products on the market. This is because the FDA does not regulate over-the-counter diet pills, and weight-loss pills only need to be safe to consume to be legally sold. But, even with them being regularly sold, there is very little scientific evidence that any of them actually work.

The disappointing, yet obvious, truth is that no over-the-counter diet pills or supplements are going to help you lose weight. But, there are prescription medications that do help people lose weight. These medications come in two categories: appetite suppressants and fat blockers. They have been proven to work, but only when combined with diet and exercise. Appetite suppressants’ effects only last between one to two months, while one of the main side effects of fat blockers include having very loose, oily stool. The medications should only be used when prescribed and supervised by a doctor, since they can have very adverse side effects, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea,and loss of bowel control. If you want to know more about prescription supplements, consult with your doctor whether or not they’re the right choice for you.

What about natural remedies? Well, many natural remedies, be it for weight loss or any other number of things, rarely ever have scientific backing. But, there is one natural remedy that has been proven by the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements to actually work, and that is green tea. Green tea has been proven to have a modest effect on weight-loss. As with prescription supplements, green tea works best when combined with a good diet and exercise, and should not be over-consumed, as with anything containing caffeine.    

4th Annual Senior Concert Held at Amersfort Park in Brooklyn

On Aug. 19, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Assembly Member Helene E. Weistein sponsored the 4th Annual Senior Concert at Amersfort Park. Attendees enjoyed live music, including performances by Philip Howard NORC Senior, and the Midwood Neighborhood Steel Pan.

“I look forward to our senior concert every year,” Council Member Williams said. “The concert gives me the opportunity to get face time with the elders of our community and thank them for their contributions. Elders are the backbone of the community, and a source for a wealth of information. They remain one of the more engaged groups in the community, with them turning out in droves on elections day and community forum s. It’s important they are given the special attention they deserve.”

The concert was coordinated in partnership with Millennium Development and the Brooklyn Arts Council. The event was free and open to the public. Each year, this concert has been a way to thank elders of the 45th District, who in countless ways, have trail blazed a path for our community to enjoy the many freedoms we have today.

“I am happy to help present music in beautiful Amersfort Park, a valued recreational space for the residents of Flatlands,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said. ” It is important and mutually rewarding to provide Brooklyn’s seniors with opportunities such as these to enjoy the arts and socialize with their neighbors. As we build our borough into an even safer place to raise healthy children and families, they are the cornerstones that have provided the foundation upon which our future success will grow.”

Photo credit: Ernest Skinner, NYC Council

Trouble With Rising Rents? Then SCRIE May Be The Right Choice For You

What Is SCRIE?

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, or SCRIE, is exactly as it sounds. It is a New York City based program that allows for seniors over the age of 62, and who are struggling with rent increases in rent controlled, rent stabilized, or rent regulated hotel apartments to freeze their rent. To qualify, the senior must be the head of their household, either by being the primary tenant on the lease/rent order or by having succeeded the home from the previous owner, and must have an annual household income of $50,000 or less.

How Income is Determined

To qualify for SCRIE, the senior must pay more than one-third of the household’s monthly income. Monthly income is determined by yearly income, which includes taxable and non-taxable earnings. This does not include any money received as a gift or through inheritance. While federal, state, local and Social Security taxes are deductible when calculating income, other expenses such as medical costs, Medicare premiums, and capital or business losses are not deductible.

Income is determined by the Department of Finance through documentable proof. Non-taxable incomes can be proven by means such as Social Security, IRA/Annuity, and/or pension statements, as well as IRS Forms 1099 and/or W2. Any financial assistance received from another person must be proved by a letter submitted by the person(s) that specifies the situation and amount given.    

An easier way to see if you qualify is to complete the nyc.gov’s SCRIE eligibility quiz, available here.

How One-Third of Income is Calculated

SCRIE follows a formula on how they determine one-third of a person’s income. Once all tax and non-tax documentation is factored in, a household’s yearly income is determined. From there, the household’s monthly income is then established. Finally, it is then determined whether the household’s current rent exceeds one-third of their monthly income.  

For example: If a household’s annual income is $35,000, then their monthly income will be $2,916.67. One-third of their monthly income is $972.22. If their current rent is over $972.22, then they are eligible for SCRIE.

Application and Renewal.

To apply, the applicant must fill out the SCRIE forms and send it out with copies of necessary documents to the NYC Department of Finance. The exact address is available on the application.

To find out more about SCRIE and for more information about other rent-freezing programs such as the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE), visit here.

For information about the application process, watch the video below and visit here.

So, What’s The Deal With Data?

If you have a smartphone, there is a big chance that you are using and paying for data. Mobile phone providers seem to be obsessed with data, but what exactly is mobile data? What does it do? And is it worth the cost? Here, we break down everything you need to know about data, and whether or not you need it.

What is data?

Simply put, data is what connects phones to the internet. Different from Wi-Fi, data is not contained to one spot (as Wi-Fi only spreads around a router), but instead, allows users to use it wherever they are (provided they have a good signal). Phones use data when not connected to Wi-Fi. And data doesn’t come free. Whatever data your phone is using, you’re paying for.

If you have a smartphone chances are you use data. Even if you don’t directly use the internet on your phone, many of your apps do. Everything from social media apps (like Facebook), streaming apps (like Pandora or Netflix), and gaming apps (from Candy Crush to Solitaire) use data. If an app either needs internet connection to function or has in-app advertisements and offers, then it’s using data. Even when you’re not using the app, it can still use up data. On iPhones, even iMessage requires data to use it.

Cell phone companies offer different data plans that allow customers to either purchase a certain amount of data or an unlimited amount of data. These plans can be expensive and confusing, especially if you don’t know how data is measured.

How data is measured

Data is measured in three ways: through kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes.

Kilobytes (KB) use the least amount of data. It’s most often used in small actions, such as receiving an email or opening a web page.

Megabytes (MB) measure streaming. Streaming is the process of transmitting audio and video onto the internet. Downloading a song can take 5 megabytes, while watching a show on an app for an hour can use up to 350 megabytes.  

Gigabytes (GB) is how most data plans are measured by. One gigabyte equals 1000 megabytes, or 1,000,000 kilobytes. Data plans will offer different amounts of gigabytes, with more gigabytes costing more money.

Do you need data?

This all depends on the user. If you only use your phone for making phone calls and sending text messages, then you can likely last without it. If you regularly use apps and the internet on your phone, then you need data. While using too much data can cost a lot of money, there are simple ways to make sure you don’t go overboard with your data. Closing apps when you’re not using them, connecting to Wi-Fi when you have the chance, and turning off data usage on your phone (which you can do in your settings) are all ways to help save your data.

How One Brooklyn Senior Center is Bridging Cultures

In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, the NYU Lutheran Sunset Park Neighborhood Senior Center has been serving its senior community for over 30 years. The center offers a wide variety of free programs, activities, and support services. The center is open to seniors residing both in and outside of the neighborhood, servicing over 800 seniors each year..

The Sunset Neighborhood Senior Center prides itself on its wide cultural diversity, which strongly reflects the neighborhood’s large Hispanic and Asian population.

We have the Asian community and we have the Hispanic community, two communities with completely different cultures and languages,” comments site director Darin Martinez.

“A diverse organization is one that values people from all backgrounds,” she goes on to say “and that is how we do it here at Sunset Park Senior Center.”

Programs Offered

Sunset Park Neighborhood Center offers three main types of programs: Health and Wellness, Recreation, and Support Services.

Health and Wellness

The health and wellness programs and activities feature health professionals, consultants leading health education classes, health screenings, and exercise activities.  Additionally, the NYU Lutheran Nutrition and Dental Department staff provide presentations every 3 months.  

Crowd favorites at the center are the yoga and tai chi classes every Wednesday at 11 a.m, and traditional Chinese tai chi classes every Friday at 10 a.m. Nice weather also brings out the center’s walking club, and musical therapy brings back the best music from back in the day every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m., with live music on Thursdays.

Recreation

Recreational activities include computer classes, crafting classes and day trips.

Support Services

The center’s onsite case assistant offers support services Monday through Friday, counseling on an array of subjects and issues. The counseling allows seniors to receive confidential assistance on everything from health insurance to home attendants to immigration. Support services are available for any senior who comes to the center. Other support services include classes in different subjects, such as English Language classes.

4520 4th Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11220

Tel. (718) 210-1050

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

NYU Lutheran Sunset Park Neighborhood Center

What’s Happening To Rent Control?

It’s no secret that rent control in New York City isn’t what it used to be. In 1995, New York had over two million rent controlled apartments. By 2014, only 27,000 rent-controlled apartments remained, and the numbers continue to decline. But, why? Here, we go over exactly what’s happening to rent control in 2016, and whether it will still exist in the future.

Firstly, rent control is a NYC regulation program that keeps tenants from unfair raises in rent and unjustified eviction. Rent controlled apartments are dwindling due to the program’s guidelines. According to the NYC Rent Guidelines, rent controlled apartments “(apply) to residential buildings constructed before February 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency.(x)” The resident of the apartment must have resided continuously in the apartment since July 1, 1971 or must have succeeded the apartment from a family member. For rent controlled apartments in one- or two-family houses, the tenant must have resided in the apartment since April 1, 1953.

Once the rent controlled apartment is unoccupied, it is no longer rent controlled. But, in many cases, those apartments become rent stabilized.

Rent stabilization and rent control are similar in that they both regulate rents, but rent stabilized apartments depend on the construction of the apartments. Rent stabilized apartments must be apartments with over six units that were built between February 1, 1947 and January 1, 1974 or buildings with three or more units constructed or extensively renovated since 1974 with special tax benefits(x). Tenants who moved into the apartments after June 30, 1971 are still covered.

So, why are rent controlled apartments becoming so scarce? Well, there are two main factors:

  • Vacancy Decontrol. The falling numbers of rent controlled apartments are not an accident. In 1971, the New York State legislature began vacancy decontrol, which is the process of taking away rent control from vacant apartments. This was done as a procedure to begin enacting rent stabilization, and in replacing rent control with rent stabilization.
  • No Successor. Because of the mandatory occupation date, tenants either must have lived in the apartment since either 1953 or 1971, depending on the apartment; or they must have succeeded the apartment from the original tenent. But, not every tenant has a successor, and there are specific guidelines as to who constitutes as a successor (x). If there is no successor, once a tenant relocates or passes, the apartment will no longer be under rent control regulations.

Unfortunately, unless you currently live in a rent controlled apartment or you are a successor to one, you cannot get a rent controlled apartment. But, there are still programs that promote rent regulations. For more information visit these websites:

http://www.nycrgb.org/html/resources/faq/rentcontrol.html

http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/about_rent_control

http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/5020/2015-new-rent-regulations

Guide to Online Shopping: How To Know Your Size

One of the biggest problems people have when online shopping is sizing. Since there’s no way to try on the clothing, many people feel as though ordering clothes online is a gamble. But, that doesn’t mean you have to rely on luck each time you order. To ensure the best fit every time, do the following before ordering any clothes online:

1. Check the details. On the page where you order the exact piece you want, there will almost always be a section detailing extra information about the clothing. This can include how it fits, what the material is, and the exact measurements of each size. Sites often offer measuring charts on how their clothes are fitted, and will sometimes even add whether an item runs big or small. All of these extra bits of information can help you decide whether or not you want to make the purchase.

2016-06-13

(Source: Target: Women’s Twist Front Bandeau Tankini Top )

2. Break out the measuring tape. If the outfit you’re looking at includes a size chart, take full advantage of it. Not all clothing fits the same. You can be a medium in one brand and a large in another. Use a measuring tape to get your own measurements, then base the sizing off the given chart.

3. Check the comments. Before buying anything online, you should always check the reviews. Comments often give insight that the product’s information does not include, such as whether the attire runs too small or too big, if the fabric is comfortable, or just how the clothing looks in comparison to the picture. Some commenters even include pictures, giving potential buyers a chance to see how the clothing looks in real life.

 
4. Do a little research.  The great thing about shopping online is that you can find website reviews almost instantly. Sites such as trustpilot.com and viewpoints.com offer real-life reviews on all websites. Their reviews go into greater detail, including how consumers found the clothes, prices, customer service, and all-together experience of shopping on that site. While some comments are to be taken with a grain of salt, review sites are a great way to learn whether an online site is trustworthy, safe, and worth your time.

Tips And Tricks To Saying Cool

Don’t have an air conditioner, or just looking for ways to keep your electricity bills down? No problem. Here, we list some of the best ways to keep cool without an air conditioner during the summer heat.

Keep It dark

Light gives off heat, both natural and artificial. Keeping the lights off will noticeably cool down a room, especially if you use Incandescent light bulbs, which wastes 90% of its energy giving off heat. If you must have the lights on, try switching to CFLs or LEDs, which don’t give off nearly as much heat. And, while relying on all natural sunshine is a much better alternative to light bulbs, that doesn’t mean you should open every curtain and blind in the house. Windows let in heat. So, keeping your blinds and curtains drawn will help make a room feel cooler, especially at night.  

Keep the air moving

One of the most important things to do during a hot day is to keep the hot air away from you. Tricks such as using counter-clockwise fans (which gives a nice breeze while moving the air), keeping the doors open (which keeps hot air from being stuck in one room), and keeping on bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans (which sucks steam and hot air out of the room) all aid in creating a cool, breathable atmosphere.

Upgrade your fan

Place a shallow bowl or pan of ice cubes in front of your fan while it’s running. As the ice melts, the fan will pick up on the cold air, giving off a pleasantly cool breeze.

Revamp your nighttime routine

Lightweight cotton sheets are much more comfortable and cooling during summer nights than flannel or fleece sheets and blankets. Also, try using buckwheat pillows, which don’t hold heat and stay cooler for longer periods of time.

For really hot nights, try placing your sheets in a Ziplock bag and placing them in the refrigerator a few minutes before going to bed. Once cool, take them out and make your bed with them. While they won’t last all night, the cool temperature will help you fall asleep faster and more comfortably.

Get creative

The main thing you should focus on when trying to cool down is cooling down your body temperature. While creating a cooler environment is an efficient way to do that, there are some easier tricks that will help cool you down. Some of these include:

-Icing your feet in cold or ice water. Simply fill a bucket or a large bowl with cold water and rest with your feet in it.

-Creating a cool-down spray. In a spray bottle, add cold water and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Use it whenever you’re feeling heated.

-Making your own frozen eucalyptus towels. Find the recipe here.

-Keep your creams and lotions in the fridge. When you apply them, the cold product will help cool down your body, and can even reduce puffiness and boost skin circulation. Just be sure your products are labeled as non-edible or stored away from direct sight, especially if you live with small children.   

-If you’re looking for a really old-school trick, try doing as the ancient Egyptians did. Dampen a bed sheet in cold water then wrap it around yourself. While it may seem a little silly, it will offer a gratifying relief on the hottest of days.  

Veterans With PTSD: Ways To Help Cope With Fireworks This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is known as a day filled with barbecues, picnics, parties, and most importantly, fireworks. But, not everyone looks forward to the big bangs of Fourth of July fireworks. For Veterans suffering from PTSD, the loud cracks of fireworks after fireworks can trigger severe flashbacks of past traumatic experiences. For all of those who find fireworks more frightening than fun, here we list some of the ways you can fight back against illegal firework use, which headphones help block out the most noise, and an organization that helps with coping with PTSD.

Fireworks in New York

The use of fireworks in New York City is illegal. Although some people disagree with this law (and others completely ignore it), the law is still the law. Unlawful use of fireworks can be reported, as well as the storing, transportation, buying, and selling of fireworks.

For the reporting of current use of illegal fireworks in your area, call 911.

For the reporting of past or frequent firework use in your area, call 311.

Of course, public fireworks’ displays done professionally with permits are perfectly legal. Certain types of sparkling devices are legal in certain counties outside of NYC. For a complete list of counties where fireworks are legal, visit here.

Ways to help block out the noise

Of course, this is NYC, and illegal fireworks are bound to happen around the Fourth of July. And while reporting illegal use of fireworks is the best option, there is no guarantee that the use of fireworks will completely stop, nor does it prevent some of the illegal activity from happening in the first place. In many cases, blocking out the noise may be your best option. And the easiest, cheapest option for noise-blocking are headphones.

When dealing with earplugs and phones, there are a few different options:

Noise-canceling headphones are made for the purpose of blocking out outside noise. But, they can be very costly.
Earplugs are also good at blocking out noise, but should be used appropriately and safely to ensure the best blockage.
Earbud headphones go directly into the ear, and can be used to listen to music or other varying things to help block out noise. For some with sensitive ears or hearing issues, listening to headphones may be uncomfortable. Furthermore, when using headphones, it is important to not listen to them too loudly, which can cause damage to the inner ears.
Over the ear headphones gives a larger coverage than normal earbud headphones, and because they cover around the ear and are not directly in the ear, they are, generally, safer to use. Of course, they should still not be turned up too loudly for the same reasons as earbud headphones
Felt headphones are a great alternative for those who feel uncomfortable with regular headphones. Because they are flat and are worn as a band, they’re great to use when laying down.

Other ways to cope

Organizations such as Military With PTSD help raise awareness for veterans with PTSD. One of their most well-known programs offer signs that can be placed in front of veterans’ homes warning others to be courteous when using fireworks. They also feature other programs, including peer to peer support systems that can be found here.