Northeast's Blog

A photographer on vacation New!
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The following was written by Marne.

Being the Northeast photographer with no coin images to share with you is quite frustrating! Though not coins, I would like to share with you some photos from my honeymoon trip to New Zealand this past October/November. It was a colorful autumn here, and a sunny springtime there. The flight was long, but the food and flight attendants on New Zealand Air were wonderful. We were kept full on champagne and snacks most of the flight there.

New Zealand is known as 'The land of the Long White Cloud', and it's easy to see why when the clouds stretch in long strands across the snowy volcano formed mountain peaks.

Our first adventure was a cross country train ride from Auckland to Wellington. It’s hard to get photos from a fast-moving train, even a sightseeing one. We did enjoy meeting many people who had been keeping the bar car busy during the long trip.

The hills looked like soft velvet, and the views looked like landscape paintings.

The next day we ferried to the South Island on the fancy InterIslander. This is where I learned to order my coffee as ‘flat white with 2 sugars’, and that beans in tomato (pronounced Ta-Mahh-Toe) sauce was served with breakfast. The shore arriving looked like something out of a dream.

The South Island was full of beauty, lots of sheep, charm, and character. We quickly had to adapt to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road AND other side of the car! We searched for Kiwi but had to visit a sanctuary where photos were not allowed in the Kiwi habitat. We made friends with the other birds there as well. We visited wineries in the infamous Marlborough region, and stayed in unique AirBnBs!


Once back on the North (big) Island, we went to the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour. I am a huge fan of the Hobbit, and it was amazing and fun to be immersed in that fantasy world! We even found a farm stay nearby that resembled a hobbit hole! Starting a coal stove is NOT easy! The pond had a loud screeching water fowl resident that surprised us, and the stone shower was amazing. Running water but NO electricity, candles only! It was incredible.

We had a most magical time, and even though we are all stuck at our homes right now, I hope these memories of mine took you there and you enjoyed them!


Created by: TimMoore on 04/28/2020

Beautiful pictures. What an amazing trip to visit the Hobbit movie set !!

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Shipshape New!

The following was written by Christy.

Greetings from my remote shipping department. In the Before Times, even with a small crew here at Northeast, there was never a dull moment. Between the ever-present game of What- is-Brian-Eating, or keeping a running tally of every time Tom says “Tom,” and trying to decode my cryptic emails, it was always bustling and busy with orders to get shipped out. These days I do as much as I can remotely, and believe me, my bosses have tried really hard to make this possible for me. Sometimes we have to get creative and I have to write a blog post. These are truly tough times, people.

Working at home is just as strange as it is interesting, though. Instead of getting sidetracked by office banter, I now find myself chasing after my dog at a moment’s notice because he got into the laundry again. Have you ever tried working from home with a high-energy dog? They don’t like losing your attention. He’s learned about four new tricks ever since I started working from home, so I guess you can say he also puts in a good shift every day.

As the saying goes, you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone. I didn’t realize how much of the little things in the office I would miss until I wasn’t in there with the rest of the team. Running jokes just aren’t the same through messenger, and now it’s so quiet I’ve started responding to myself when I think out loud just to fill the silence. There are some perks to working from home though. Namely, I have access to my air fryer. My questionable wardrobe choices aren’t subject to the judgment of my peers, and I’m now testing the boundaries of how much coffee is too much coffee. I’ve also discovered just how much wildlife lives in the woods outside of my home. I didn’t know we had turkeys!

Throughout all of this, I am happy that we’ve managed to go through the changes that keep us safe and healthy, as well as busy! We hope you are all doing the same and finding creative ways to keep yourselves busy. Feel free to comment on this blog and share with us what you've been doing during all of this.

On the Road Part 2 - By Jack Karysnack New!

I now turn the conversation to my favorite subject: food!

There’s no doubt that you’ve been curious from time to time just what exactly it is that we eat at these coin shows. “What does Brian eat?” has unquestionably been a nagging question for you readers. Well, I’m hoping I can answer this burning question and any others you may have. 

Breakfast is relatively easy as many options are available either inside the hotel or on the walk to the convention center. However, getting in meals at these convention centers, let alone nutritious meals, can be quite the daunting challenge. We try to let the trade show coordinators know that those little snack packs that are included on our table at some shows...well, sometimes that is lunch for three people, so keep ‘em coming. When it is crazy busy, we don't often have time to pick up a lunch, never mind eat it. With the shows going sometimes until 8:00 PM, this can be a long time going without sustenance. Insert pitiful violin music

While there are indeed other 'options' available at coin shows (many of them which are chosen much to my astonishment by throngs of people), it seems better for you (and the environment for that matter) to not eat at all. I’ll bet a Nathaniel’s foot long is great if you’re on Coney Island or at a BBQ at home, but the ones that roll around on those hot grease-laden tubes for days on end make me want to start a Dalai Lama-style fasting on the double. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced at some convention centers is a policy of not allowing outside food or drink onto the bourse floor. While I have never seen the drink rule enforced*, I (and many others) certainly have been stopped trying to bring in boxes of food, which apparently, is a major crime. Let’s take a look at some of the major criminals of our time:

1)    Al “Scarface” Capone - tax evasion (some hint that he was involved in other unlawful activities as well)
2)    Ted “The Unibomber” Kaczynski – responsible for more than a dozen terrorist bomb attacks that killed three people and injured 23 others
3)    Brian “The Mule” Alty – apprehended carrying unlawful and possibly nutritious contraband into known convention centers with intent to consume/distribute.

Now, there is a way around this (do not try this at home): one can simply get an unmarked bag large enough to put the illegal lunch items in and stroll right past security (think Andy Dufresne from the Shawshank Redemption walking into the Bank of Portland to withdraw the warden’s money). I can’t help but feel a little like Jason Bourne steadfastly avoiding the convention center Polizei. “They can’t search the bags without a warrant” I remind myself as I smugly traipse through their thin line of defense and across the goalmouth of the Bourse floor to victory!!!

I then deliver the goods to the fine people at Northeast Numismatics (and sometimes Bill Shamhart). 

So, this ended up being a teaser. Tune in next time and I’ll regale you all with what and how we eat at these shows (and even at our office). It’ll be sure to put a smile on your face. 

For now, be well, be safe, be informed and try to help others!

*I defy anyone including weapon-toting law enforcement to take away my morning cold brew iced coffee (two creams, no sugar if you’re buying next time). They would have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. Think Michael Douglas/Falling Down on steroids.  

The Road Less Traveled New!
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The following was written by Brian.

I miss the road. There, I said it. 

We’re already (or should I say only?) two coin shows down due to COVID-19 and we’re not out of the woods yet. This could be the summer that wasn’t. 

Before this whole mess started, it was a fairly grueling road schedule; Winter Fun in Orlando, St. Louis Show, Mid America Show in Illinois, followed by Long Beach Expo, followed a couple days later by the ANA in Atlanta. For this very busy January/February schedule we *should* have been rewarded with the Whitman Expo in Baltimore followed by Central States. Those two shows, as you may well know, have been cancelled. If the Summer Fun and Whitman Shows are cancelled (not to mention the many smaller shows we attend in between), we are talking half a year worth of shows cancelled. And I already miss it. 

I miss getting up earlier than usual and going to work and then going straight to the airport and straight to the hotel and straight to bed and then waking up and going straight to the show for 10 or 11 hours - lather, rinse, repeat for 5 days. I actually miss that.

I’m the guy at Northeast that hits the bourse floor with suitcases full of great coins to sell while Chris and Tom are busy manning the table and buying as much as possible.  I miss the rush of selling a bunch of coins to someone I didn’t expect to sell any. I miss the thrill of finding that new dealer and forming a relationship in which the potential for years of business will develop. I miss skipping lunch* to hit as many tables as I can.  I miss the camaraderie, the laughs and the stories of all my dealer friends, many of whom I can truly call good friends. 

I miss seeing fresh material and interesting coins for 10 hours a day. It’s funny, I am told by collectors (with other vocations) that I am lucky to be able to go to all these shows and see so many great coins. To that I say, you’re right! I am lucky! And I miss it. 

I miss collectors coming up to our table with their ‘1943 copper cent’ asking us to verify its authenticity**. I miss getting room service instead of going out somewhere nice all because I’m too tired from the long show***.  

Joking aside, this challenging time certainly puts a lot into perspective and one thing I know for sure - I am lucky to do what I do. I sure do miss the shows and I can’t wait to get back to it. 

* I don’t miss this at all. 
** I don’t miss this at all. 
*** I don’t miss this at all 

Created by: davidrhorer on 04/10/2020

Brian, You've written an unusually effective piece. Many of us out here can relate.

In These Challenging Times (ITCT) New!
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Greetings everyone. I sincerely hope every one of you is safe, healthy and getting through this mess with as little hardship/inconvenience as possible.

And as little *boredom* as possible.

Me? I'm the furthest thing from bored right now. There's always plenty to do at Northeast even if we're not in the building, so hopefully I can alleviate some of your boredom with a Northeast-style 'day in the life' of the sales director.

I've been filling my days with a boatload of social media, customer correspondence, dealer networking and washing my hands. I could fill literally months’ worth of posts, whether on Instagram (@nencoin) or Facebook ( alone. Please follow us on both if you're not already! Thanks to a robust inventory, it would take years for me to run out of items to talk about and showcase. And though I'm quite busy with all of this, I welcome your input as to what you think an online coin company can be doing ITCT. 

Perhaps more interesting than the above work/task tidbits is how it all plays out in a work from home (from here out 'WFH') environment. First off, setting work/home life boundaries when WFH is easier said than done. Pre-COVID, I would typically rise each morning early due to a fairly long but not unreasonable commute. Now, I get up and immediately start in on what I didn't finish the night before (which went much later than a 'normal' workday because I had no commute home and I'm not going anywhere anyway any time soon). We're on week two of the state-mandated lockdown and already days are blending from one to the next, but it's not all that bad because I'm pretty sure it's Friday. My guess is that by the time I have a solid WFH daily routine/schedule, it'll be time to go back to the office (God-willin' and the creek don't rise!), but it's a fluid situation and we shall see.

Secondly, it has occurred to me that some things that naturally occur at the office don't necessarily translate to WFH; for instance, drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Hearing our "bubbler" (as we New Englanders like to call it) or water cooler (as everyone else in the country calls it) elicits a Pavlovian-type response to get up and go refill many times throughout the day, but the absence of that at home results in having to set reminders throughout the day to drink more water or else become dehydrated. It's a fluid situation.  : )

There are many other relatively minor concessions that are made in the WFH environment (to go along with, admittedly, decided advantages), and though I'm not quite ready to pull out what little hair I have left, I will concede that separate work and life spaces is probably for the best. I'm already welcoming a return to the office and seeing my mates and looking at actual coins again! 

Until next time, remember, we're all in this together, separately, in these challenging times.

Brian Alty

Director of Sales

Created by: TPG on 04/01/2020

You are not the only place that calls it a bubbler. Here in Wisconsin it is also known as a bubbler and some of the best pizza around can be found at a bar in Bay View (within the city of Milwaukee) called "The Bubbler".

We stand corrected! Perhaps we should have said that here in New England, or at least in the Boston area, we call it the Bubblah. R's don't always flow off the tongue here.  : )