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East Side Observer

BY ARLENE KAYATT

The tipping police — Imagine getting a notice from your credit card company telling you that you’re a “great” tipper. That’s what they emailed me after they noticed I had left a tip that far exceeded the percentages recommended by the tip meisters who say the high-end tip should be 20 percent of the bill (there’s disagreement as to whether that includes tax or not). So? That was my thought. Like why is it anybody’s business what tip I give? Maybe, like Bill O’Reilly in his heyday, they are just looking out for me? Or maybe the bartender inflated the tip? Give me a break. Not sure that credit card companies should be getting into the nitty gritty of customer spending practices. They might consider working on other issues that impact consumer credit and online access to credit information. And take into consideration privacy of consumers. Forget it. That was another lifetime. I’m sure if the credit card company asks the tip-averse Danny Meyer, he might tell them to pass the tip along to the boss who will somehow figure out how to increase prices to accommodate generous tipping. At the end of the day, credit card companies should focus their resources and stop scrutinizing tips. There are some things that should be left to customer discretion as well as their ability to complain about charges they didn’t make.

Ordering protection — It continues to boggle the mind (mine at least) that Christine Quinn’s WIN (Women in Need), which has been providing housing and services for homeless women and children for over 30 years, will not provide round-the-clock, or almost any, security for the WIN supportive housing being built on East 91st between First and Second Avenues. These are at-risk families. Many of the women, their children and their pets have been subjected to domestic violence and, at one time or another, have gotten an order of protection from the court. Without sufficient security, these women and children will live in fear of their abuser having access to them — their abuser will be able to harass them by trying to gain entry to the building premises; by hanging around the building; by approaching the children and the women when they come and go from the building. There is a school in the building. However, the children who live in the supportive housing may attend other schools. During the day, there is activity in the building — there are support services on premises. And there is an open space on an upper floor which is accessible to anyone who enters the building.

WIN believes that by having cameras in elevators and in other areas in the building there is sufficient security. I disagree. That kind of security is insufficient. When WIN made its presentation to a Community Board 8 committee last year, the committee capitulated. One board member was heard to say, “Why should they (WIN residents) have (security) when other buildings on the block don’t?” And another board member expressed fear that “It won’t be built if there are too many demands.” First things first. Women and children who have been homeless and who have been subjected to domestic violence deserve to have a safe place to live and not have to live in fear that their abuser will gain entry to where they live because there is no human security to confront and turn the abusers away. Cameras are effective after the fact.

Late night moves, make that movies — It was a Sunday, 11 p.m. Just finished dinner. On the way home passed Two Door Tavern on Third and 89th. They are now showing a weekly late movie. A great way to end the night and start the week. This particular Sunday it was Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and the next week’s showing was “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.” No cover. Just pay for drinks. Popcorn’s on the house. Nice way to end the week and good way to generate late-night business.





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