"Re-examine all that you have been told, dismiss that which insults your soul." Walt Whitman
I'm a writer who grew up in New York City. I was a commercial real estate broker with a fancy office on Park Avenue. Just before Labor Day on 2005 I was about to embark on a much needed long weekend when Hurricane Katrina hit the Golf Coast. The moment I walked into my apartment on Wednesday, August 29th I tuned in to watch the news. Images of stranded Katrina victims with haunting looks of despair immediately made me want to help. That night from my livingroom floor, armed with a computer and a phone, I created what was to become known as Katrina Home Drive. With the help of volunteers across the country we helped to find new homes and resources for thousands of survivors.
It didn't take me long to realize that renters in New York City were in need of help too. And so I started Landlord Links (which can still be found here). These became the first landlord directories with links to landlord websites (where renters could bypass broker fees). Landlord Links paved the way for my AptStar Program -- which I continue to do. I have created a life for myself where I help people. And I love it.
AptStar: Revolutionizing the Rental Industry in New York City
Press Release: Friday, August 16, 2013 The process of renting an apartment in New York City is overwhelming even for seasoned renters. [Read More]
AptStar: The Apartment Matchmaker (documentary)
Tedx Talk: The Time I Was Featured on a Tedx Talk
During the summer of 2015, via my AptStar Program, I helped a wonderful couple, Justin and Dahlia Constantine who were relocating from Washington, DC find their new apartment in New York City.
Once they got settled Justin asked me if he could share my backstory with him for his upcoming Tedx Talk. The premise behind the Ted Talk platform is simple -- ideas worth sharing.
The title of Justin's talk is 'You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are.' I was flattered and from my perspective didn't think I even remotely fit into the category of heroism on the battlefield. [Read More]