Westchester Chronicles

Affordable athletic shoes; local alpacas; the traffic ticket you might not have expected; and more


Westchester Chronicles


Shoe Gazing


Head over to foot locker for athletic sneakers, and youll be sure to find Lebron James's basketball shoe for $110, Michael Jordan's for $150, or a pair of Adidas for $250. Head over to Steve & Barry's in the Palisades Mall, however, and you'll find the Starbury One, the sneaker launched by New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury for a little less than 15 bucks. What gives? Marbury, a Purchase resident, explained that he doesn't want kids to feel the pressure to spend lots of money to look good, so he launched his apparel line through a discount retailer at a much, much lower price point. It's no slap-dash, cheapie shoe, either. Though it will cost you less, it's not because Marbury skimped on materials or design. Break it down into its component parts, and the Starbury One, designed by Rocketfish, is as well made as the shoes that cost 10 times more. To prove the point, Marbury has been wearing his own shoes on the court this season. It seems there could be only one thing missing from the Starbury One (one that would drive up the price of the shoe): hype.




According to Rocketfish, the shoe's designer, the Starbury One's synthetic leather, foam package, sock liner, laces, and tongue mesh are
the same as other
high-end sneakers.


The designer maintains that the rubber used on the bottom of the sneaker is the same as the rubber used in the best sneakers
on the market.


The logo incorporates a star (as in Starbury), the number three (as in Marbury's on-court number), and the initial "M" turned on its side.



How do we know the Starbury One is as tough as other shoes? It was dreamed up by the exact same minds that have created some of the most famous sneakers out there. Rocketfish, a design agency, has created shoes for Nike, Reebok, and Converse, and Erin Patton, former director of the Jordan Brand at Nike, collaborated with exclusive conveyer Steve & Barry' on the design of the Starbury One.


ªMarisa LaScala




The Fleecing of Westchester


How alpaca fleece goes from Waccabuc onto your back




Ever wonder how your super-soft alpaca blanket
came to be? Dee DelBello, who currently breeds 12 alpacas on her Waccabuc farm, can tell you. Co-owner of Alpaca Brands, LLC, she and her two partners, one from Florida and one from upstate New York, shear the animals and send the fleece, which is warmer than cashmere and stronger than wool, to the alpacas' native Peru, where local women knit the fabric into items such as mittens and sweaters, which the company then plans to sell on its website. Here's how it happens.



An itinerant shearer from Maine travels to DelBello's farm every spring to shear her alpacas. While the animals lie down, the fleece is clipped in large layers, the softest coming from babies and the bellies of adults. The process does not harm the animals.



The fleece is then sent to Peru, where DelBello and her partners employ dozens of knitters to both hand- and machine-knit in their homes. After the fleece arrives, it is washed and sorted by color and texture and hung out to dry. Once the fleece is dry, the women either spin it into yarn for hand-knitting or on looms for fabric. Typically, it takes the Peruvian women anywhere from one day to six weeks to create each order.



The finished products, which include hats, scarves, sweaters, and gloves, are then sent back to DelBello, where they are sold under the label Ideuma Creek Alpaca Knitwear. The products are found currently only on their website, www.alpacabrands.com, but DelBello and her partners hope to sell the items retail to high-end stores in the near future. Prices vary with each product, and have not yet been decided since DelBello and her partners are still developing the line.                                


ªMarisa Iallonardo 





Peekskill Prima Donnas


Margot Fonteyn danced for the Queen of England and formed the curriculum for the Royal Ballet School. After years of fame and accomplishment, the living legend pined for one elusive prize: Peekskill (well, sort of).

Apparently, Fonteyn wanted to found a dance academy. She entrusted her vision to Ken Ludden, whom she met when he was just a 15-year-old ballet student. "Margot wanted to find a location that was close enough to a major metropolitan area for the students to be exposed to the finest artistic resources available, but removed from the stress and chaos of a large city so they wouldn't be distracted," Ludden says. Peekskill proved to be the perfect place. The Margot Fonteyn Ballet Academy is now open. For more information, call (914) 788-8885.


ªKate Denoyer




By the Numbers


A numerical look at Spring Break



Number of alcoholic drinks a
male Spring Breaker averages per day: 18.  Average number for women: 10


Number of drinks it takes to get you drunk enough to fling off your bikini top: 4 (for a 120-pound female)


Percent of students under age 21 expected to drink on Spring Break:

97. Percent of high school students who have consumed alcohol: 78


Average annual labor cost due to hangovers per working adult: $2,000


Average number of minutes it takes to get a sunburn: 10 to 15 for a person with a very fair complexion; 20 to 40 for a person with a medium complexion.


Year the Spring-Break craze began: 1935 (The Colgate University swim team went to Florida during the break to practice so that its members wouldn't get out of shape. The rest is history).


Year MTV aired its first Spring-
Break special: 1986 (from Daytona Beach, FL)


No. 1 destination for Spring Breakers in 2006: Acapulco, Mexico.  No. 2 destination: Cancun, Mexico


Average cost of a plane ticket and hotel to Acapulco (7 days, 6 nights): $900. Parties and
drinks: $300


Number of Westchester public high schools that offer community service-based alternative Spring-Break options: 5 (Briarcliff HS and Bronxville HS to New Orleans; Byram Hills HS, John Jay HS, and Ardsley HS to Nicaragua)




That's the Ticket


If you're one of those drivers who likes to park rear first-or tail-in-you
may want to reconsider your preference. The reason? In some Westchester towns, backing in is a parking violation.

Dr. Anthony Turiano, 50, of Andover, Massachusetts, who was visiting family in Rye, found that out the hard way: he got a $15 ticket while parking in the City Center garage in White Plains. "I thought I was being a role model to my sons by parking rear first. At an advanced driver-training course in Massachusetts, my sons were taught parking rear first reduces the likelihood of fender benders because you have better sightlines when you pull out of the spot."   

That may be so, but not according to Albert Moroni, commissioner of parking in White Plains. "If you pass a spot, then back in, it creates a traffic backflow," says Moroni.

Never heard of such a regulation? That's because it's not a regulation in every municipality, and it is hardly enforced.  Below is a chart of Westchesters six cities to help you know how much it may cost you.

And as for Dr. Turiano and his experience in White Plains? "Such ticket policies don't do much to attract people to the downtown," he says. Commissioner Moroni likely agrees because, at press time, he tells us that the parking rear-first regulation, while still on the books, is being reviewed.     


City                             On the Books             Enforced                     Fine

Yonkers                      Yes                              Yes                              $30

White Plains               Yes                              No*                             $15

Rye                             Yes                              Infrequently                $25**

Mount Vernon            Yes***                        Yes                              $15

New Rochelle             Yes****                      Infrequently                $15

Peekskill                     No                               No                               N/A



* Regulation enforcement being reviewed as of press time.

 ** If paid within 24 hours, ticket is reduced to $15.

***A violation only in municipal parking garages and signage must be posted of said violation

****Signage must be posted of said violation in municipal parking garages; also a violation for angled on-street parking but no sign required 






From D.A. To T.V.



It's a shame that Jeanine Pirro's proposed court show failed to get picked up at the programmers' convention in Las Vegas. The former Westchester DA pitched a show called Celebrity Jury, where she would preside over small-claims court cases decided by ex-TV stars. We still think there's a place for her on the small screen, though. Perhaps she should follow the footsteps of Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, or, let's think big here, even the mighty Oprah, and retool her program as a daytime chat show. We even went so far as to come up with a few possible episodes:


«ª  How to Tell If He's Cheating Without Illegal Wiretapping


«ª  Get Organized! Never Lose Page 10 of Your Speech Again


«ª  Care and Maintenance of Pot-Bellied Pigs


«ª  Beauty Tips from People's Most Beautiful People of 1997


«ª  Manage Your Finances: Read Those Tax Forms BEFORE You Sign


«ª  Turn Your Jewelry-Making Hobby Into a Profit-Making Side-Business


«ª  Defensive Driving (Special Guest: Al Pirro)






















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