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Each year at Christmas, Paul Tudor Jones orchestrates a holiday spectacular on his front lawn, spreading cheer far and wide. People travel from all over to see the display (set to music) and the tradition, which last two full weeks, is much cherished among the residents of Greenwich. As discussed last week, Jones-A-Palooza 2010 is expected to “rival those of past years,” with the possibility for Rockettes, chicken and PTJ dressed as the big man. Anyone who goes will surely have their mind blown and all are welcome, free of charge because Tudor is a very generous man. And yet, according to one Greenwich elected official, he’s not giving enough when it comes to celebrating the birth of Christ.
Today’s Greenwich Time brings the news that the town’s light display has fallen on hard times, a sad scene the paper can’t help but juxtapose with the one in PTJ’s driveway.
While a billionaire treats the populace to a Christmas display of epic proportions in one part of town, the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce is admittedly struggling to raise money to light up the downtown, Byram, Cos Cob and Old Greenwich business districts for the holidays because of the recession. “I can tell you these last couple of years the total number of contributions has dropped significantly,” said Mary Ann Morrison, the chamber’s president and chief executive. “There is no doubt about that.”…In contrast to the situation in the shopping areas, hedge fund manager and philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones II flipped the switch on his holiday lights at his Belle Haven mansion Friday, a display that reportedly costs several hundred thousand dollars and has become a legend.
“Maybe we can get him to donate some for (Greenwich) Avenue,” Selectman David Theis suggested, laying the guilt on thick. Except that, you know, PTJ is already doing his fair share of spreading Christmas spirit. What’s next, he pays for everyone’s gifts and personally bakes them fruitcake, too? Does he take on all of Christ’s events? Does he cover the costs of rabies shots for the Easter Bunny? Where does it end? Sure, he could buy them some lights, but beyond a box or two from Home Depot, that doesn’t really seem fair. Especially when we’re talking about town filled with billionaires, many of whom aren’t pulling their weight in the Xmas department. How about, given that Jones is doing his display, we get Biff Basness to cover Greenwich Ave?