Ford Fusion

For about a year now, I have been driving a Ford Fusion. While this car was not on my original car choices, it ended up becoming the best choice for me. I am rather impressed with the car.

I really believe Ford is trying to put themselves back on top with this car. The features in my car are superior to the ones found in a luxury car. While some people say you can’t compare this car to a BMW or Benz, the Ford Fusion really stands out. It certainly made an impression on me.

The second thing about my car is that I never expected to get a white car. I thought it would have been hard to keep clean or maintain, but it hasn’t. My only difficulty is when I go to wax the car. It is really hard to wax a white car! But I think I have been successful, because once it is done, it glows brighter than white teeth.

The other part I like about the car is that it is a four door car, and not a two door like my prior car. So it is easy for family and friends to get in and out of the car, as well as enough “leg room.”

I leased this car from Island Ford. I dealt with Mike Mattei, a long time Island Ford salesman. Island Ford is located on Staten Island, about a block away from the Staten Island Mall. When I first called Mike, he really pushed the Fusion on me, and I don’t think I was going to go for it.

When we went to the lot to see the inventory, my white Fusion with the black interior was a home run. I was even impressed with the lease price. It was cheaper than from what I am paying and I am getting more goodies. So that is always a plus.

Some of my new goodies are leather seats, heated seats, moon roof, satellite radio, and MP3 input jacks. I also have 17’ wheels as well, with tire pressure sensors.

The only bummer of my car is the tire pressure sensors. They are truly sensitive and I have taken it to the dealer a few times, thinking that the senor is malfunctioned. They said no, and that it is a safety item to make sure the tires are at the correct pressure. I just find it annoying. When the alert goes off, you think your tires are going to blow. Thankfully, they haven’t.

The trunk on my car is rather spacious. It was a big help to me when I was moving to my grandmother’s house. I was able to pack a lot in the trunk.

Fuel mileage it does very well with saving gas. It is only a 4 cylinder car, and sounds like a monster when it drives. It has good horsepower, and no glitches.

Overall, the Ford Fusion has won my approval has been a very reliable, safe, and fun to drive car.

NJ Nets

On October 16th, I traveled to the NJ Nets practice facility in East Rutherford, Ne Jersey. I attended this event with my father. It was in a real secret location, and surrounded in a nice corporate part setting. The only reason you knew it was the Nets facility was because of the sign outside. Otherwise, you would never know that the actual Nets practiced there.

There was a networking even hosted there by the North Essex Chamber of Commerce. Brett Fisher, Senior Director of Premium Seating of the NJ Nets was our host. There were sandwiches, chips, and soda, as well as some NETS basketball goodies.

When I first arrived, I expected to see the players practicing. When I learned that they were gone and getting ready for their game against the Celtics, I was rather disappointed. It would have been nice to see the players practice and see the teamwork, and see them in their own home.

The NETS facility is rather impressive. The whole NETS family really comes together in this building, and its really changes from a building to a home for the NETS.

Brett Fisher realized we were disappointed in not seeing the player practiced, but promised to take us behind the scenes, and show us how the NETS get ready for a game. I got to see their video room, weight room, as well as their locker room, and their game room where they go to just relax just before a game or practice.

The NETS locker room is where they get ready for the game. At the IZOD center at the Meadowlands is just where they play their games.

When I went to the player’s locker room, it was amazing seeing their stuff and their sneakers! These sneakers were the biggest I have ever seen in person, and I never knew a sneaker could have been made this large.

A personal chef is also at their facility to cook for the players and to ensure that they have the best meal prior to the game.

While I was touring their facility, I felt like a little kid in a candy store seeing their whole operation and it really was impressive. Their gym really portrays teamwork with the signs posted throughout. I took pictures of them, and will post some of them.

So at the end of the event, Brett Fisher offered us some tickets for the game, and I was able to see the NETS play the Boston Celtics. The seats were really nice, and it was my first NJ Nets game as well. Seeing the players warm up, and all the pre-planned activities prior to the game was really amazing, and well orchestrated.

So, if you are looking to purchase season tickets for the NJ Nets, give Brett Fisher a call. Brett will be the one to give you the nest seats, as well as not drain your wallet at the same time. I hope to one time again meet with the NETS at their facility, and see them practice, and maybe even eat with the team. They did have a video game console in their lounge. So it would be fun to play with them as well.

About this blog


This blog is written by:

Andrew McDermott
Licensed Associate Broker
Clove Lake Realty, Inc.
1267 Clove Road
Staten Island, New York 10301

Joseph Runfola, Jr.
Broker/ Owner

To Rent or not To Rent

Rentals at Clove Lake Realty have become a hot commodity lately. Rentals are the ability to live at a desired place for a period of time or for a short time. Rentals come in all shapes and sizes (in the housing world that is.)

Clove Lake Realty specializes also in providing rentals to students from St. John’s University, Wagner College, as well as the College of Staten Island. Clove Lake Realty receives calls from landlords looking to cater to those who are looking to live off campus.

In order to get a rental from Clove Lake Realty, the following items are necessary. Solid employment (2 years), good credit history, as well as references. Clove Lake Realty does run a credit check for a fee. By doing the credit check, the landlord feels confident that the person who is renting will be able to provide the owner with stability.

Finally, Clove Lake Realty charges one month’s rent as the service fee. Also due is one month’s security (which is usually the monthly rent amount,) and the first’s month rent. 

The process is rewarding for someone to rent. Especially those who are in college, or looking to move out of their home. It also gives the person the ability to see what home ownership could feel like in the future. Rentals also provide a safe haven for those moving into a new house, renovating or someone who is going to become an empty nester.

Clove Lake Realty has turned many renters into buyers, and has turned renters into buyers who didn’t know that it was possible.

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, an assist people like yourself, with a rental, or a purchase of a new home.

Clove Lake Realty is conveniently located at 1267 Clove Road, near Victory Blvd. Clove Lake Realty is open 7 days a week, and by appointment only, but if you are in the neighborhood, you are welcome to stop in and say hello.

When Should I Buy?

People always ask is this the time to buy? Sure it is. If you are ready to do so. So many people question the economy and this and that, but the right time to buy is when you are ready.

There is an inventory of homes as well as buyers. There are many combinations in the type of home you can chose. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, helps people like yourself, with those questions and many more.

To buy a home, you need the following: a solid work history, good credit score, and great with budgeting. A home is a great investment, and since it would be your own, there are many things that you will be able to do with it.

What about the mortgage industry? Well if you read the papers, and watch the news, you saw that the housing market went a little crazy. Now that the garbage is gone, the mortgage business is back on its feet now. 

The governments FHA loans have become a hot item. since they are backed by the government, there is stability. The same goes with some of the larger banks. You need to get a loan you will feel comfortable with, and know that it will be able to be paid for on a monthly basis. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, offers consultations with people all the time. I answer those many questions you have, and then some.

Clove Lake Realty is located at 1267 Clove Road, in Staten Island, New York. It is at the intersection of Victory Blvd.

Pasticceria Bruno

The other day I had lunch at Pasticceria Bruno located at 676 Forest Ave., in Staten Island, New York. Its cross street is Bement Ave. Across the street is the Staaten, and next door there is a Chase Bank.

I was very impressed with the decor of the restaurant. It also is a bakery as well. Upon arrival I was greeted warmly by the waitress, and seated.

We were presented with a menu, and got to see the vast amount of choices, all some many to choose from!

Upon final choosing, the waitress took our order, and within a reasonable amount of time the appetizers were brought out. Prior to that a fresh basket of bread was brought out. It was presented very well, and the bread was definitely made fresh.

After enjoying the appetizers, the main course arrived. Presented very well, and everything was cooked just right.

The entire wait staff was on their toes, looking for empty drinks for refills, or taking away a plate of food that is finished with. The staff was not gossiping with one another and were communicating quite well.

Since there was no room for desert, I cannot comment on it. The desert menu was vast, and sort of like a bakery dreamland. I hope to stop by again and finally try some desert. It was so picture perfect in the display case, and could only imagine what it tastes like.

Pasticceria Bruno has a website at, and is the perfect stop for lunch. I also learned from their menu they offer a Sunday brunch. It seems that their main location is in Manhattan, and this place on Forest Ave., is definitely Manhattan quality, but with a Staten Island Address. The are also located at 1650 Hylan Blvd., in Dongan Hills. 

Andrew McDermott, Associate Broker, with Clove Lake Realty, in Staten Island, New York, wrote this article based on opinion. I was not endorsed by Pasticceria Bruno, but only did this as a way to comment on some of the places to eat on Staten Island.