Thursday, July 31, 2014


TODD RUTHERFORD was 7 years old when he first understood the nature of supply and demand. He was with a bunch of other boys, one of whom showed off a copy of Playboy to giggles and intense interest. Todd bought the magazine for $5, tore out the racy pictures and resold them to his chums for a buck apiece. He made $20 before his father shut him down a few hours later.
A few years ago, Mr. Rutherford, then in his mid-30s, had another flash of illumination about how scarcity opens the door to opportunity.

He was part of the marketing department of a company that provided services to self-published writers — services that included persuading traditional media and blogs to review the books. It was uphill work. He could churn out press releases all day long, trying to be noticed, but there is only so much space for the umpteenth vampire novel or yet another self-improvement manifesto or one more homespun recollection of times gone by. There were not enough reviewers to go around.
Suddenly it hit him. Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.
In the fall of 2010, Mr. Rutherford started a Web site, Getting Book Reviews.comGetting. At first, he advertised that he would review a book for $99. But some clients wanted a chorus proclaiming their excellence. So, for $499, Mr. Rutherford would do 20 online reviews. A few people needed a whole orchestra. For $999, he would do 50.
There were immediate complaints in online forums that the service was violating the sacred arm’s-length relationship between reviewer and author. But there were also orders, a lot of them. Before he knew it, he was taking in $28,000 a month.
A polite fellow with a rakish goatee and an entrepreneurial bent, Mr. Rutherford has been on the edges of publishing for most of his career. Before working for the self-publishing house, he owned a distributor of inspirational books. Before that, he was sales manager for a religious publishing house. Nothing ever quite worked out as well as he hoped. With the reviews business, though, “it was like I hit the mother lode.”
Reviews by ordinary people have become an essential mechanism for selling almost anything online; they are used for resorts, dermatologists, neighborhood restaurants, high-fashion boutiques, churches, parks, astrologers and healers — not to mention products like garbage pails, tweezers, spa slippers and cases for tablet computers. In many situations, these reviews are supplanting the marketing department, the press agent, advertisements, word of mouth and the professional critique.

But not just any kind of review will do. They have to be somewhere between enthusiastic and ecstatic.
“The wheels of online commerce run on positive reviews,” said Bing Liu, a data-mining expert at the University of Illinois, Chicago, whose 2008 research showed that 60 percent of the millions of product reviews on Amazon are five stars and an additional 20 percent are four stars. “But almost no one wants to write five-star reviews, so many of them have to be created.”
Consumer reviews are powerful because, unlike old-style advertising and marketing, they offer the illusion of truth. They purport to be testimonials of real people, even though some are bought and sold just like everything else on the commercial Internet.
Mr. Liu estimates that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake. Yet it is all but impossible to tell when reviews were written by the marketers or retailers (or by the authors themselves under pseudonyms), by customers (who might get a deal from a merchant for giving a good score) or by a hired third-party service.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines stating that all online endorsements need to make clear when there is a financial relationship, but enforcement has been minimal and there has been a lot of confusion in the blogosphere over how this affects traditional book reviews.
The tale of GettingBookReviews, which commissioned 4,531 reviews in its brief existence, is a story of a vast but hidden corner of the Internet, where Potemkin villages bursting with ardor arise overnight. At the same time, it shows how the book world is being transformed by the surging popularity of electronic self-publishing.
For decades a largely stagnant industry controlled from New York, book publishing is fragmenting and changing at high speed. Twenty percent of Amazon’s top-selling e-books are self-published. They do not get to the top without adulation, lots and lots of it.
Mr. Rutherford’s insight was that reviews had lost their traditional function. They were no longer there to evaluate the book or even to describe it but simply to vouch for its credibility, the way doctors put their diplomas on examination room walls. A reader hears about a book because an author is promoting it, and then checks it out on Amazon. The reader sees favorable reviews and is reassured that he is not wasting his time.
“I was creating reviews that pointed out the positive things, not the negative things,” Mr. Rutherford said. “These were marketing reviews, not editorial reviews.”
In essence, they were blurbs, the little puffs on the backs of books in the old days, when all books were physical objects and sold in stores. No one took blurbs very seriously, but books looked naked without them.
One of Mr. Rutherford’s clients, who confidently commissioned hundreds of reviews and didn’t even require them to be favorable, subsequently became a best seller. This is proof, Mr. Rutherford said, that his notion was correct. Attention, despite being contrived, draws more attention.
The system is enough to make you a little skeptical, which is where Mr. Rutherford finds himself. He is now suspicious of all online reviews — of books or anything else. “When there are 20 positive and one negative, I’m going to go with the negative,” he said. “I’m jaded.”
Trainloads of Books
“If there was anything the human race had a sufficiency of, a sufficiency and a surfeit, it was books,” the New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell wrote in 1964. He reflected on “the cataracts of books, the Niagaras of books, the rushing rivers of books, the oceans of books, the tons and truckloads and trainloads of books that were pouring off the presses of the world at that moment,” regretting that so few would be “worth picking up and looking at, let alone reading.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

REMEMBERING GINO of CAPRI ... a.k.a. Gino's

Remembering GINO'S

Dinner at GINO'S

Lexington Avenue, New York NY


Excerpt of Daniel Bellino-Zwicke 's latest Cookbook, SEGRETO ITALIANO
Secret Recipes & Favorite Italian Dishes, from Broadway Fifth Press

Segreto? It’s secret in Italian. I got the idea for the book one day. Well not the idea, but inspiration I’d say. I was thinking about one of our all time favorites restaurant, the food, the ambiance and all the fun we’d had there over the years. Many wonderful meals with family and friend, no foes. Dinners with Cousin Joe, Sister Barbara, Brother Michael, and Jimmy. Oh, the food was wonderful, all the great Italian Classics of good old Italian-American Red Sauce Joints of which this one, was one of the best. The classics, like: Baked Clams, Stuffed Artichokes, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Linguine with Clam Sauce, Chicken Parmigiano, Veal Marsal & Milanese, Chicken Cacctiatore, Ossobuco, Cannolis, Spumoni, and-on-and-on. I think you get the picture. Lots of good, affordable Italian Wine, the affable waiter, the phone booth, and the Zebra Wall Papper. If you were a regular their, from the last sentence, you the place I’m talking about. Yes Gino’s! Our beloved Gino’s of Lexington Avenue. Sadly they closed a few years ago. But we still have the memories of so many festive meals. Happy times, good eats.
      I discovered the wonders of Gino’s and first brought my cousin Joe there in 1999. The place was thrilling in that, when you walked in, you felt your were in the perfect place. Gino’s is charged with energy by its wonderful clientele, well-healed regulars who have been going there for years, they know the Maitre’d, the waiters and other customers, and likewise the waiters, bartender, and maitre’d know them. The first time you walk in, you feel that, and want to be a part of it. We did. Back then, Joe and I used to go out to eat together all the time, at least once a week. Joe knew about food, but not to the extent that I did. Joe would come in every week or so, and his driver would drive us around town. He’d pick me up early evening for a night of feasting and good times. We’d often eat at a couple different place. We’d have our main dinner and maybe a little bite to eat when we first went for cocktails to start the night off. As I said, Joe loved eating, and knew quite a bit, but as much as he knew, it wasn’t a third of what I knew about food, wine, and restaurants, and especially the restaurant, bar, and night club scene in New York. I was teaching Joe the ropes, so-to-speak, and Joe was an eager student. We had quite a lot of fun those few years, with dinners at Gino’s, Elio’s (Mondays for Lasagna), Da Silvanos’s, Bar Pitti, The Waverly Inn, Minetta Tavern, cocktails at Pegu and Temple Bar, and way too many other places to name right here. We did New York, we did it all!
   Back to Gino’s. So I had passed by Gino’s any number of times, but never went in to check it out. I was a downtowner, and that’s where we did most of our eating, with an occasional trip midtown or other local if a place peaked our interest. So I did finally walk into Gino’s one day. I had to check it out. When I did, as I’ve already said, I walked in the door and immediately felt the energy of the place. Gino’s was packed, full of life and vibrant, and I knew I wanted to be there. I didn’t eat there right then and there, I was scouting the place out, but I knew I would be back. So I called Joe up and told him all about the place. It sounded great to Joe, this type of place was right up his alley, as it was mine. So Joe said yes, let’s check it out on our next night out.
  Our first ever trip to Gino’s was a few nights later. Joe packed me up at my place in Greenwich Village. I got in the car, as usual, we had a little discussion on what we’d be doing. We mapped out the night of eating and drinking, good times. We talked and decided to head over to Otto Enoteca for a bottle of wine and some Salumi before heading up town to Gino’s and our main dinner of the night. Joe loved Otto, and I was a fan too, so we headed to Otto.
    Well, we went to Otto, drank a little wine, had some Testa, Mortadella, and Prosciutto, and it was on to Gino’s. Back in the car, and Ziggy (our driver) drove us up to Lexington Avenue, across the street from Bloomingdale’s to Gino’s. We were excited as we walked up to the restaurant and through the door. The place was packed and super-charged. We loved it. The Maitre’d greeted us with the first of many warm welcomes. We were in like Flynn. We sat down at a nice table in the middle of the restaurant. We were happy campers. As happy as can be, for we sensed a wonderful meal ahead. Our hunch would turn out to be just right. A waiter came to our table, greeted us a warm welcome, gave us a wine list and menus, and asked what type of water we wanted. As always, we got a bottle of flat water. Joe gave me the wine list as he usually does and told me to pick something out. I looked over the reasonably priced list and picked out a tried and true wine from my good friend Luigi Cappellini in Greve. The wine, a bottle of Verrazzano Chianti Classico. The waiter went to get the wine, and Joe and I looked over the menu. We were happy to see a great old school Italian menu. The Red Sauce kind of a good old classic Italian-American joint, of which there used to be many, but at this point of time, far fewer. They had; Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams, Hot Antipasto, Clams Posillipo, Spaghetti Vongole, Lasagna, Canneloni, Veal Parm, Veal Milanese, Eggplant Parmigiano, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Veal Marsala, Scampi, and all the usual suspects. We were in heaven, and it was heard narrowing down what to eat.
     One dish really caught our attention, and especially Joe, who although I love my pasta, Joe had has me beat, he’s the pasta freak. Freak in a good way that is. The dish was Pasta Segrete (Pasta w/Secret Sauce), and us intrigued.
    The waiter brought the bottle of Chianti, opened it, and we were on our way. I ripped off a piece of bread and ate it. So, we decided on the menu. We order a Shrimp Cocktail and Baked Clams Oreganata to start. We would share these two antipasto items, then move on to the Primi, the pasta course. We decided on, and just had to have the Pasta Segrete, a half order each. We both love Veal Milanese (Frank Sinatra’s favorite), and as we were having antipasto, and pasta, as well as a couple desserts, we decided on one Veal Milanese to split for the main course, thus leaving room for some tasty desserts we knew Gino’s would have. We talked with the our waiter about the menu, and he agreed that we had chosen wisely, and that one Milanese would be fine, so we could eat dessert and he’d help us pick the two best later.
    So we drank wine, and nibble on the bread, chatted and waited in anticipation for the antipasto to arrive. I love Shrimp Cocktail since childhood and don’t always eat it all that much these days, so it’s always a special treat. The Baked Clams and the Shrimp Cocktail came and were a great way to start the meal. The wine was great. Hey it’s Castello Verrazzno!
    So now, we were really excited. This mysterious Pasta Segrete was about to come out. You can get the Secret Sauce with whatever Pasta you like, Spaghetti, Raviolis, Tagiolini, Penne, Gnocchi, or Rigatoni. Joe and I both love Rigatoni, so that’s what we went for, two half portions of Rigatoni Segrete. Well, the waiter brought us our Pasta with Secret Sauce. Guess what! It was outrageous, we loved it. Joe went crazy, and could stop talking about it, and it was just a couple weeks before he’d have to go back and get another “Fix.” Yes the Pasta with the Secret Sauce did not disappoint. We loved it, and would be back for many more bowls.
     We finished the Pasta, grudgingly so, as we didn’t want the experience to end, “It was that good!” We waited a few minutes for the Veal Milanese. It came out, and we could tell just by looking at it, that it would be great. For those of you who might not know, Veall Milanese is one of Italy’s most famous a classic of all dishes. It’s a Veal Chop that’s pounded thin, breaded with breadcrumbs and fried and tipped with a Salad of Arugala and Tomato. The dish is simple, simply delicious when done right. Veal Milanese was one of Frank Siantra’s all-time favorite dish, along with Spaghetti Meatballs, and Clams Posillipo. Frank used to get it often at his favorite of all restaurants, Patsy’s of West 56th Street, just 10 blocks from Gino’s. Both old-school Italian Joints were amongst Frank’s favorites. Patsy’s was Frank’s # 1 favorite, but Gino’s wasn’t far behind, and Ol’ Bue Eyes ate there many times over the years. Anyway, the Veal Milanese was just perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, life is good at times like these.
     We finished our Veal Milanese, and it was now time to think about desserts. I love sweets and so does Joe, so he said we gotta get two. The waiter told us the Tiramisu was “The Best in Town,” and the Cheesecake was really wonderful as well, so we went with his suggestions. Throw in a couple cups of Espresso and some Anisette too, and we were still in heaven.
   Needless to say, our meal was fantastic. We loved it. We loved Gino’s and would be back for more.

 Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Get 5 STAR Amazon Book Reviews

Get a 5 STAR REVIEW of Your BOOK on and BARNES & NOBLE





Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Daniel Bellino-Zwicke's La TAVOLA and SUNDAY SAUCE in AMAZON BEST SLLER LIST TOP 100 Italian Cookbooks ... SUNDAY SAUCE # 1 BEST SELLER and La TAVOLA # 56


Read About Italian-American New York in Daniel Bellino-Zwicke 's

Ever Dream of taking a Wonderful Journey? A Journey through Italian-American New York and Italian America., complete with pots of Sunday Sauce, Ethereal Bolognese Sauce, Platters of Antipasto, Perfect Espresso, with trays of Cannoli and Sfogiatelle. Do you Dream of one day Eating the famed Christmas Eve, "Feast of the 7 Fish" or crave a perfect plate of Spaghetti Carbonara? Do you have visions of the Amalfi Coast of Lemoncello, Fiano, and a flawless Plate of Linguine al Vongole. Would you like to know how to throw the perfect Italian Dinner Party, complete with Antipasti, Pasta, Chianti, and Dolce, while the sounds of Frank (Sinatra) and Dino play along? Do you want to know which are the best; Italian Restaurants, Caffes, Pastry Shops, and Pork Stores. Would you like to know how to make the Perfect "Negroni" or pick out the perfect Italian Wine and how to make a textbook Bolognese? Where to go in Italy and what to see? If you'd like to live these things, or just read about them vicariously, then take the journey, the Beautifully Wondrous Journey of La Tavola. Eat as Al Pacino, Jake LaMotta, Sinatra, and Dino had eaten over the years. La Tavola is part Cookbook, Guide-Book. Some have said it's like a Italian-American New York version of a YEAR in PROVENCE, but with Italian Food in New York, and with Italian-Americans instead of French Food, people, and places? LA TAVOLA entertains and Inspires with stories, antidotes, and recipes of Sunday Sauce (Gravy), Sausage & Peppers, Meatball Parms, and the "FEAST of The 7 FISH" Then MANGIA BENE! Italian-American New Yorker's Adventures of the Table. With 30 Wonderful Bellino Family Recipes.


                                                   SUNDAY SAUCE

                                   WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK

                                            by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke





In STUDIO in PARIS, France

Recording SOME GIRLS










Album Covers Minus Deceased Memebers



Now Deceased



but Not RAY MANZAREK Who Sadly Passed Away

Still ALive as of Simmer 2014

ODDS & SODS Album Cover



Deceased 1977



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Steve Martorano King of Meatballs

Steve Martorano


"Yo CUZ"


aka GRAVY !


and More in SUNDAY SAUCE

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke


Saturday, July 12, 2014


Positano, Italy

Missing Positano. Yes I surely do. Positano, a small little town on The Amalfi Coast just south of Sorrento, Napoli, and the Bay of Naples is without question "One of The Most Beautiful Spots on The World." Yes it's gorgeous, just look at the picture or ask anyone who's been there. The little town, former fishing village is located in a natural amphitheater with churches, homes, and hotels sweeping down its hills to the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea (Tyrrenhian Sea) below.
The first time I went to Positano was on June of 1985 .. This was my first trip to Europe where i flew to Rome, where I was blown away by the city, the history, the Roman Forum, the fountains, the food, the markets, gelato, everything. I felt like a kid on Christmas Day, which was the same feeling I'd 3 weeks later after spending 5 days in Rome, then going up to Florence to see my high school friend JoAnn who was now living there and married to an Italian man. Spent 5 days there before heading to Barcelona to redevous with some friend from New York, go to Blanes on the COsta Brava before heading over to Nice and the French Riviera. I was in Seventh Heaven, a young man on his own in Italy, France, and Spain. Boy was that trip unforgettable.
It was then on to a couple days in Venice, and from there I was on my way down to Naple, Positano, and the Amalfi Coast.
My first trip I stayed at a little pensione called Villa Maria Antoinette, a cute little place. Positano was absolutely gorgeous. I'd got down to the beach, rent a chaise lounge, swim, drink Campari, and soak up the son, yes life was beautiful. I'd eat Pesce Spada and Spaghetti Vongole at Vincenzo's, La Cambussa, and a couple other little trattoria's around town. I met the Di Martino's who owned the hottest little Bar / Caffe in town Bar Di Martino, where everyone and everyone went, especially in the evening.
I had a great few days before heading back to Rome for a night before flying home. Wow, what a trip?
The next year I would return. I found a different hotel this time. The previous year, the Villa Maria Antoinette was nice, but there were no common rooms to hang out with other guest so I had done some scouting actually that first trip for the following years stay. I checked out Santa Caterina across from Bar DiMartino where I had had Pizza on the terrazza one night in 1985 .. I actually ended up at The Casa Albertina which was a great friend. When I walked in, Lorenzo greeted me with a warm welcome and gave me a special young persons rate at this beautiful family owned hotel. Casa Albertaina was gorgeous, with white wash walls, beautiful tile floors with tiles from Vietro Sul Mare on the Amalfi Coast. They had beautiful antique furniture and fine oil paintings on the wall. My room was quite lovely, with arched windows and door, nice appointments and a lttle balcony that looked out to Positano and the Mediterrnean below. Yes again I was in 7th Heaven. 
My third trip to Poitano and the Amalfi Coast would also find me spending a few wonderful days on the beautiful Island of Capri. I took the train down to Naples. Hopped a cab to the ferry terminal and a ferry to Capri. Took the ferry over, got a room at the Villa Tosca, and had 3 wonderful days in Capri before talking a boat over to Positano before spending afew days at the Casa Albertina, and my beloved Positano.
I had a wonderful time on that trip in 1988, in; Rome, Capri, and Positano, but little did I know that I wouldn't return for some time. 
 i still haven't been back, but I'm hoping to return at least once more. It's not that I haven't traveled. I've been around the World 3 times over, on 3 trips to Asia, in; China, Hong Kong, Thailand, The Phillipines, Bangkok, Saigon, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I've been twice to Brazil, to Havana Cuba, Columbia, Mexico, several trips to Paris, and several more to Italy, but usually taking me up north to Verona and Lago di Garda on wine-trips that included; Florence, Montalcino, Chianti Classico, and Liguria, but not my beloved Positano. Who knows, one day again, maybe. Positano, I miss you and think of you often.

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke


Cassa Albertina


Monday, July 7, 2014


Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite 
Got Any Kahlua? The Collected Recipes of The Dude


Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite 

Got Any Kahlua: Collected Recipes of the Dude by Daniel Zwike is the most bromantic cookbook I've ever read. This is not your mom's cookbook, and it certainly isn't your grandma's cookbook. You are more likely to find recipes for saucy meats and cocktails than you are to find some fancy chicken cordon bleu because this book is a DUDE'S cookbook. Never in my life has a cookbook made me laugh until I read this one. I can almost see my hick, bro, burly, manly uncle writing this one. It just SMACKS of masculinity and a lack of culinary skills which is impressive. This is a book for those on a budget, for those who aren't really that picky when it comes to calories and a balanced diet as long as it's tasty and full of meat or alcohol. I enjoyed it so much that I read it in one quick sitting! Daniel Zwike knows his audience...Dudes. Like I said, there are cocktail recipes up the wazoo, most of them variations on "the dude's" favorite varieties of White Russians. I had the opportunity to try these dude-friendly drinks when making them for my fiance's poker night, and let me tell you, they were a smash hit! While this isn't a traditional recipe book, it's got a lot of hidden gold in there and it's spelled out in a way that is easy for guys to understand. There's no complicated, ten thousand step process for each meal and/or recipe. It's all, "take a can of X ingredient, add a chopped cup of Y ingredient, and there you go!" I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and have saved a copy in my recipes folder in case I need more dude-friendly drinks and meals for my hubster-to-be!

The BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK 5 STAR REVIEW ... Barnes & Noble Book Sellers

This book is Awesome ! I Love it! And so will anyone who Loves The DUDE, The BIG LEBOWSKI, good Food and Saving Money .. The book is filled with lots of funny stories and The Dudes Recipes, like;Dudes Cowboy Chili,Maude's Metaloaf,DaFino's Meatballs,Tacos,Burritos,Burgers, Gooey Chop Meat and of Course Dudes Perfect Big Lebowski WHITE RUSSIANS .. ABIDE !!! Got aAny Kahlua? THE COLLECTED RECIPES of THE DUDE aka THE BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK .. You Gotta LOVE IT !  I Do !

GOT ANY KAHLUA? by Daniel Zwicke   5 STARS on

YOU LOVE FOOD? You Love The DUDE? You'll Love This Book  ..... Jordan b.

Dam, I saw this book on line and being a Big Fan of The BIG LEBOWSKI, Loving Food and Loving The DUDE, "I just had to get it." Couldn't wait to get my copy and when I did, I was Happy as can be. Got any Kahlua is filled with great recipes and excellent Duderly advice. Some recipes include; Dudes Cowboy Chili, Maude's Meatloaf, Gooey Chop Meat, Da Dino Meatballs, and of course the "Caucasian" and Dudes perfect White Russian recipe. Besides all the awesome recipes, the book is filled with funny quotes and awesome Dude advice and "Money Saving Tips" that will save you lots a dough, "Sweet." The recipes are well written, easy to follow, easy cook, and "TASTY As Can Be." So all I can say is "I Friggin Love This Book," and you will too if you LOVE The DUDE, Love Food, and The BIG LEBOWSKI, then GOT ANY KAHLUA, is Must Have, "Get It" and ABIDE!

Cadillac Eledorado




by Daniel Bellino Zwicke






by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Andy Warhol & Instagram

Andy Warhols Instagram


Looking Disheveled




Andy Warhol 
Jean Michel Basquiat



New York, NY


1980's NEW YORK



Andy Warhol & Jean Michel Basquiat

Andy would have loved Instagram .. He was forever taking pictures. Back then, he was The King of The Poloroid .. He had one with him all the time, and used to shoot pictures of all the Rock & Movie Stars at Studio 54 and other Nigh Clubs aroun town, The Town Of New York of course .. Any was always Starstruck and if Instagram was around in Warhols time, you can bet Andy would have been all over it, posting all the time, pictures of all his Celebrity Friends and aquantances like: Halston, Liza Minelli, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marguex Hemingway, Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, this guy and that guy. Instagram and Any, "They GO Together."  They Would have !!! ???


1959 Cadillac Eldorado