Celebrating 6 Months at New Jersey Isn’t Boring!

Although every milestone should be celebrated…I’m very excited to be celebrating SIX MONTHS of doing something I love, which is writing about my home state. THANK YOU for reading and visiting this website!

A lot has changed over the course of six months. The website got a completely new look and I’ve added more and more content. Can you believe this was my first post? What a dork!

When I first started this blog/website I thought it would just be a fun side project, something that I would enjoy doing in my free time that maybe a handful of people would see. Instead, it became something I work on almost full time (I need help) and that a lot of people seem to be reading it. I get emails and comments from people I’ve never met before letting me know that they enjoy what I’m doing. People have been using my site as a reference on what to do in New Jersey, which was my intention when I started it! I can’t even tell you how much all the positivity has meant to me.

One of the best ideas I had since I’ve started doing this blog was introducing an Etsy Store of the Week. I have met and spoken to so many amazing artists, crafters etc who have fantastic products. I hope they have made some sales during the week their store has been highlighted, or hopefully more people are aware of them. I have them all listed in my Past Etsy Stores of the Week section. The holidays are coming…so check them out! Also, if you want to be the Etsy Store of the week, all you need to do is email me at newjerseyisntboring@gmail.com. It’s FREE. I swear!

This has led to two awesome events: A Small NJIB Art Show on Oct 19th and a Big NJIB Art Show in March of 2015. If you’d like to submit to the art show in March, you can submit here. The deadline to submit is Nov 30th.

NJIB logo

Another thing I added since started the site was a weekly “Events of the Week” to check out, which I post every Tuesday at 6pm. Although this is the most time consuming thing I do each week, it is also the most rewarding since I get to research some awesome events I might not have known about it before. I now have those event link posted every Wed morning at the top of the website under “New Jersey Isn’t Boring Events”.

Things I have been consistent about since the mere beginnings:

- Diner reviews every Sunday at 6pm. I have every diner listed on my site, and if I reviewed them I will put the review right under the diner info. I also have them all together on Pinterest.
– Craft beer events. I update this every week
– Wine events. Also, updated every week.
– Food truck events….yes, updated every week.

Highlights in the last 6 months include having a chat with Cory Booker about my dog:

View the blog post about that HERE

I have also written about and been tweeted by Jaime Primak Sullivan from Jersey Belle. This exchange made me super excited:

All and all, the last 6 months have been great and I am so excited to have more amazing opportunities coming up. Hopefully (fingers crossed) I can make this a full time, money making career rather than a side project in the NEXT 6 months!

Lastly, I leave you with this advice for anyone else who is too nervous to start their own project that they’re passionate about:

Thanks for reading! Tell your friends about me!

- Cyd, New Jersey Isn’t Boring


The School for Wives Opens Tonight at Two River Theater – Read My Review!

My Review:

Last night I got a chance to see “The School for Wives” at Two River Theater Company in Red Bank. The show officially opens tonight!

The show takes places in the late 1950s in France. The plot revolves around the main character, Arnolphe, who has been “raising” the perfect wife, a girl named Agnes who he has been keeping as his ward from a very young age. Arnolphe has been keep Agnes hidden from the word, uneducated to make sure that when they marry she will only be devoted to him and would not be smart enough to do anything outside of their marriage. What could go wrong? (ha!)

The thing I liked most about the show were actors. All of them really brought the show to life. I recognized Robert Stanton, who plays the main character immediately, most recently from Orange is the New Black. Phillipa Soo, who played Agnes, went from being a character you pity and ends up becoming someone who respect (not easy to do). Korey Jackson, who played Horace, was extremely charming on stage and actually spoke to the audience before the show began in the lobby to give us a background on the show. The house servants, played by Bree Elrod and Carson Elrod (a real life brother and sister), were hilarious and made the audience laugh every time they were on stage. All I’ll say is there was a scene where they were cleaning vegetables…

Although it would appear from the plot line that the show seems a little bit sexist towards women, it is anything but. In fact, if anything I think it proves that even if a woman is uneducated and kept in the dark, she can still out smart a pompous man. Or at least that’s what I got out of it….

I have seen a few shows at Two River Theater and I am always impressed with the company. For starters, the building itself is gorgeous and clean.

Their set design is always impeccable, as you can kind of see from this picture:

The actors they hire always have eclectic resumes and are very talented. You really should see this show, if only to see how impressive it is that the cast memorized this very detailed, complicated and hilarious script.

Overall, I thought the show was witty and funny, and although the show was written in 1662 (!!) it still holds up.

I highly recommend seeing this show, and visiting Two River Theater in general. Check out their upcoming 2014-15 schedule HERE

About the Show:

Molière’s classic comedy about a rich, middle-aged man named Arnolphe, whose plan to groom his innocent young ward into the “perfect” wife goes quickly awry. Can this pompous bachelor really be a match for rival suitors, inept servants, and the wit of his soon-to-be bride? This true classic, written by the master of French farce, is not to be missed!

  • Robert Stanton (Arnolphe) is best known for his role as the father in the 1993 film Dennis the Menace. More recently, he has been seen in Orange Is the New Black.
  • Also an actor, director Mark Wing-Davey has appeared in such cult classics as Absolutely Fabulous and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in his native England.
  • This production is set in France in the late 1950s, with a production design inspired by the films of Jean-Luc Godard and the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Dates: NOW —OCTOBER 5, 2014
Address:  21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ
Like them on Facebook and Follow on Twitter @TwoRiverTheater
For more information on Two River Theater, visit their website.
View their upcoming schedule Here

Official Press Release:

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the full cast and creative team for its production of Molière’s classic comedy The School for Wives, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur and directed by Mark Wing-Davey. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, September 13 and continue through Sunday, October 5. The opening night performance is Friday, September 19 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The lead production sponsor is Monmouth University.

Two River will open its season with Molière’s classic comedy about a rich, middle-aged bachelor named Arnolphe (Robert Stanton), whose plan to groom his innocent young ward (Phillipa Soo as Agnès) into the “perfect” wife suddenly goes awry. Can this pompous bachelor really be a match for a rival suitor (Korey Jackson as Horace), inept servants (real-life sister-and-brother Bree Elrod and Carson Elrod as Georgetteand Alain), and the wit of his soon-to-be bride? Rounding out the company of this French farce are Billy Eugene Jones (Chrysalde), Steven Rattazzi (Enrique/Notary), and Keith Reddin (Oronte).

Director Mark Wing-Davey’s production will be set in France in the late 1950s, with a production design inspired by the films of Jean-Luc Godard (one of the leaders of the French “New Wave” film movement) and the influential street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Wing-Davey first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop. Since then he has worked extensively in New York City for NYTW, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and The Public Theater. Also an actor, he has appeared in such cult classics as Absolutely Fabulous and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in his native England. He is Chair of Graduate Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The creative team includes scenic designer David Gallo; costume designer Emily Rebholz; lighting designer Michael Chybowski; composer/sound designer Brandon Wolcott; and wig designer Mary-Kay Yezerski-Bondoc. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffith & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is James Latus.

“Director Mark Wing-Davey is a theatrical maverick,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “He is rigorous about language and text, but he brings a fresh and bold take to his productions of the classics—and his staging of The School for Wives is sure to be an adventure. He has assembled a company of masterful clowns who will revel in this French farceur’s brilliant silliness.”

Ticket Information
Ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River
Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

Molière 101 with Artistic Director John Dias: Thursday, August 21 at 7:30pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library
Ever wonder how American theater artists tackle the neo-classical fun of Molière’s plays? Artistic Director John Dias will explore how actors make his language accessible to audiences (there may even be a few rhyming couplets!) and discuss how directors and designers make choices about sets and costumes.

Open Rehearsal, Thursday, September 4 at 7:30pm in the Rechnitz Theater
Director Mark Wing-Davey and cast members from The School for Wives will explore select scenes from the play in this free event, which will be followed by dessert and coffee in the lobby.

Book Club: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman, Sunday, September 21 at 5:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library (following the 3pm performance)
Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman’s 2013 novel about a man trying to find the perfect woman in contemporary Brooklyn.

Audience Extras
Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about Molière in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, September 24 at 7 pm; Sunday, September 28 at 3pm; and Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm.

Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, October 4 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Friday, September 19 at 8pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, September 20 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, September 21 at 3pm
Wednesday, September 24 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, September 25 at 8pm
Friday, September 26 at 8pm
Saturday, September 27 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, September 28 at 3pm
Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, October 2 at 10 am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, October 3 at 8pm
Saturday, October 4 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, October 5 at 3pm

The lead production sponsor for The School for Wives is Monmouth University. Inside Two River is sponsored by The William T. Morris Foundation. The Before Play series is sponsored by Zager Fuchs, PC.

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, Brookdale Community College, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Meet Saurabh Abrol – A NJ Entrepreneur and Founder of WineChateau.com

This week I got to interview Saurabh Abrol, a 29-year-old graduate from NJIT who has created a popular online liquor site called Winechateau.com. As a boy, Abrol worked in his father’s liquor store and combined his knowledge of computer science and liquor store retail into a very successful, new business. After only being open for four years, this year he expects revenue to hit $15 million. The site has all different kinds of liquor, but wine is by far the big online attraction, accounting for 72 percent of WineChateau.com’s business.

You can find Wine Chateau on Facebook

You can follow the Saurabh Abrol on Twitter @Mr_Abrol and the store on Twitter @winechateau

Here are some questions I had for him:

1. How did you get started in the wine business?
My father, Arun Abrol, started the wine business in 1994. After graduating college in 2002, I joined forces with him and started our first internet website called WineChateau.com. From the success of the dot com, we expanded our brick & mortar locations. Now we have three store locations and an online presence.

2. Do you have a favorite kind of wine?
I love a great Napa Valley Cabernet. This full-bodied red is extremely enjoyable with a meaty dinner.

3. Do you have any recommendations on wine for a special occasion?
Usually for any type of special occasion or an event, you want to go with a wine that will appeal to a larger group of guests. Italian red blends work quite well for that type of scenario.

4. As a Jersey guy, do you have a favorite vineyard in NJ?
Laurita Winery is a beautiful family owned winery that I’ve personally enjoyed before.

5. What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Pay much more attention than I did. Focus on your long term goals and use your coursework to prepare yourself and to build
the skills you’ll need to accomplish your dreams.

6. Have you ever made your own wine? If not, are you interested in doing so and what would you call it?
I have never made my own wine as I know I would be terrible at it. However, if I did, I would name is Mehak which is my wife’s name and the name means ‘beautiful bouquet’.

Mercer County FALL Food Truck Fiesta – Saturday, October 18th

Hosted by Surf and Turf Truck, this event features great food trucks, children’s activities, wine and beer, music, fire pits, mobile fashion trucks, Salvation Army’s Food Truck for a free demo tour and more! Event is Rain or Shine!!

Click HERE to see what trucks will be attending!

Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2014; 11am to 7pm
Address: Mercer County Park Festival Grounds; 334 S Post Rd, West Windsor Township, NJ
Cost: $5 Admisssion

Official Press Release:

Mercer County Park hosts area’s best gourmet food trucks for the 2nd time!

Fall is upon us and it’s time to celebrate! There are not many places where you can indulge in delicious lobster rolls, rosemary marinated steak sandwiches, empanadas, gourmet sliders, fried Wisconsin cheese curds, slow smoked barbeque ribs & pork sandwiches, chili, crepes, yak burgers, wood fired pizza, Mexican tacos; vegan salads and smoothies, tater tots; Korean BBQ, Crab Cake Sandwiches, crepes, cake in a cup, schnitzel, gourmet cupcakes, tacos, and melt in your mouth, made on the truck donuts all in one place.

The area’s best food trucks are scheduled to roll into Mercer County Park for the 2nd time this year, for the FALL Food Truck Fiesta on Saturday, October 18th from 11am to 7pm. (Rain or Shine). The event will not only offer delicious food, but also a variety of children’s activities, such as a portable rock wall, bounce houses, pony rides, petting zoo, human hamster balls, and an all-ages interactive art installation.

Hopewell Valley Winery will be bringing some of their great varietals of wine to pair with the delicious food. A Beer truck will be serving our favorite beers on tap including perhaps an Octoberfest.

New to the event is Mobile Fashion Boutique’s Smak Parlour and Grassroots who will be bringing their fabulous Fashion on Wheels where you can browse and buy.

Another new attraction is The Salvation Army’s 40ft long disaster relief Food Truck. It is the largest in the United States, capable of turning out 10,000 meals/day, and will be on site for all to tour.

Live music for the 2nd Food Truck Fiesta will feature local band Kindred Spirit, DJ Jim Smith as well as headlining band, The Sensational Soul Cruisers. So whether your choice of beverage is wine, beer, or a soft drink, make sure to enjoy the music with your gourmet food.

Food trucks that are participating in this year’s event include the following: Surf and Turf Truck, Bonjour Creperie, BrazBQ, Cow and the Curd, Cupcake Carnivale, Empanada Guy, Flying Deutschman, KAMI Philadelphia, Kevin’s Salad Station, Dark Side of the Moo, Laughing Crab, Oink and Moo BBQ, The Outslider, I Love The Pizza Wagon, Pura Vida Dogs, The Tot Cart, Underground Donuts, Whirly Pig, and Wonderland Cakes.

Bring your appetite and the family and toast your buns by the Fire Pits!

There is a $5 admission (children 2 and under Free), of which proceeds benefit Friends of Mercer County Parks and local schools. All children’s activities are included in the admission, Food, Drink and Fashion are pay as you go!

For Mercer County Park FALL Food Truck Fiesta updates and information, please visit: www.foodtruckfiesta-nj.com

Follow us on twitter @surfturftruck

RSVP on Facebook: Surf and Turf Truck, Fall Food Truck Fiesta


12 Events to Check Out this Weekend – Now – Sept 21

Cape May Food and Wine Festival – Now –Sept 21

Indulge in good food, fine wine, and all types of culinary delights and events during the 18th Cape May Food & Wine Celebration, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Tickle your taste buds while sampling the best of the best and find out why the New York Times has dubbed Cape May “the restaurant capital of New Jersey.” Visitors can enjoy winery tours and tastings, a beer tasting dinner, a Harvest Food & Wine Tasting, luncheons at some of Cape May’s best restaurants, Chefs’ Dine-Arounds, and more. Most festival events cannot accommodate children.

Dates: Sept 13th – 21st, 2014
Address: Tastings and Tours all over Cape May
Cost: Depends on location. Download Brochure Here

Uncorked and Uncapped: Wine, Beer and Food Festival – Sept 18

Enjoy an evening of fine wines, craft beers and interactive food stations at the 2014 Uncorked and Uncapped – Wine, Beer & Food Fest. Be sure to stop by and cast your vote for the home brew competition. All event proceeds will benefit The Arc of Essex County.

Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2013; 6:30pm
Address: Westminster Hotel: 550 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Livingston, NJ 07039
To Get Tickets Click Here

Summit Wine and Food Fest - Sept 19 – 21

The Summit Wine and Food Festival brings together leading chefs and wine makers from around the country to celebrate and advance public knowledge of and appreciation for great wine and food, while supporting charitable organizations. The Festival provides a diverse range of interactive and educational epicurean experiences while showcasing the area’s unique and rich culture and history, and promoting local businesses

Dates: September 19th – 21st, 2014. For a full schedule click HERE
Address: Various places in Summit. See website
Cost: $45+. Get tickets HERE

37th Annual Festival of the Sea – Sept 20

Vistors sample dishes by area’s finest restaurants, from Clam Chowder to Lobster, to Steak, even Desserts! Arts and Crafts, pony rides, hundreds of vendors attend this festival. Kiddie games, live entertainment and more. Voted Best Seafood Festival in Ocean County by the Asbury Park Press Readers Year after Year! Rain Date: 9/21.

Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014; 10am to 7pm
Address: Arnold & Bay Aves., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Cost: Free

Valenzano Wine Fest – Sept 20 & 21

Dates: Sept 20 & 21, 2014; Noon to 5pm
Address: Valenzano Winery, Shamong
Cost: $15 advance, $20 at gate. Buy Tickets Here

28th Annual Crystal Springs Oktoberfest – Sept 20 & 21

Get your lederhosen out for the #1 Oktoberfest in the Northeast! Enjoy tons of carnival rides and games, along with whacky contests, pony rides and sumo wrestling. Feast on delicious roast pig and knockwurst paired with authentic German beer. Kick up your heels to 18 Time Grammy Award- Winner Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra with Special Guest Chris Caffery of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Dates: September 20th & 21st, 2014
Address: Mountain Creek; 200 McAfee Vernon Rd., Vernon, NJ
Cost: $7+. Buy Tickets Online Here

Lakewood Lions Renaissance Faire – Sept 20 & 21

The Lakewood Lions Club and The Society for Creative Anachronism will host their 33rd  Annual Charity Renaissance Faire. It features Shane Adams, host of History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting and The Knights of Valour whose jousters will compete in full combat armour. The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) will present Knights in combat, sword fighting, archery competition, soccerers, belly dancers and magicians. On Sunday a King and Queen of the Faire will be chosen from children ages 10 and under dressed in period costumes. This event will take place at 2 pm on the main stage. Plenty of crafters, merchants and food vendors to please every taste and thirst. This event is used by the Club as it’s main fund raiser. Proceeds will go to support many of its charitable causes ie: Lehman School (Ladacin Network), scholarships for high school seniors, eye exams and glasses for the needy and many others.

Dates: September 20th & 21st, 2014; Opens at 10am
Address: Lakewood Pine Park;145 Country Club Dr., Off West County Line Rd. (Rt.526) at Hope Chapel Rd., Lakewood, NJ
Cost: $10 adults, $2 kids in advance. Buy Tickets Here

New Jersey Highlands Coalition Festival – Sept 20 & 21

The 2nd Annual Festival at Waterloo is an environmental festival celebrating local food, music, arts, history and cultural and natural resources of New Jersey. This rain or shine event will benefit the New Jersey Highlands Coalition while providing attendees with the opportunity to not only enjoy the Festival, but also the activities and attractions of Waterloo Village. This event will host performances by 20 NJ musicians/bands, a Local Food Court, Crafts and Fair Trade Marketplace, a Living Green Expo, workshops, an art show, Lenape Village activities, canal rides, kayaking, and guided nature hikes.

Dates: September 20th & 21st, 2014; Begins at 11am
Address: Waterloo Village; 525 Waterloo Rd., Byram, NJ
Cost: $15+. Buy tickets in advance Here

Grand Harvest Wine & Music Fest – Sept 21

The 7th annual Grand Harvest Wine & Music Festival offers guests an opportunity to TASTE AND LEARN: Sample and learn more about outstanding, award-winning wines produced by Four Sisters Winery and those of our invited guest, Brook Hollow Winery. Tour the grounds and enjoy the music of Electric Gumbo, Michael Long, Steve Kirchuk, and WNTI Public Radio’s Nine of a Kind – guaranteed to get you on your feet and dancing in the field! BREAKING NEWS! We are pleased to announce a special appearance by The Devyl Nellys!  Rain or shine!

Date: Sunday, September 21st, 2014, 12 to 5pm
Address: Four Sisters Winery; 783 County Road 519, Belvidere, NJ 07823
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Buy Tickets Here

COMIC ART CON – Sunday, Sept 21

The First Exclusive Comic Art Convention. NO COMIC BOOKS! No fan boys! No hustle and bustle of the big cons! This is a gathering of Comic Art collectors in a friendly venue to buy, sell, trade, network and talk about comic art . . . and only comic art! Vendors and collectors gather from all over the country for what is truly a comic art collectors dream – a jammed packed room with wall to wall comic art. If you collect comic book art then this is the convention for you!

Date: Sunday, Sept 21, 2014; 10am – 4:30pm
Address: Empire Meadowlands Hotel by Clarion; 2 Harmon Plaza, Secaucus
Cost: Adult admission $10. Children are FREE. Free parking

Champion of the Grill BBQ & Blues Fest – Sept 21

11th annual event! Enjoy an amazing day full of great eats and melodic blues!  Sample each competitor’s grilled food and vote for the one you think should win People’s Choice!

Date: September 21st, 2014; Noon to 5pm
Address: Sussex County Fairgrounds; 37 Plains Rd., Augusta, NJ
Cost: Free

22nd Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival – Sept 21

Come celebrate New Jersey’s 350th birthday with entertainment by more than 40 NJ storytellers, surrounded by amazing sculptures.  Exercise your imagination with tales of inventions, innovations, and intrigues as you stroll through a park, highlighting its founder’s 50 years of work.

Date: September 21st, 2014; Noon to 6pm
Address: Grounds For Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton Twp., NJ
Cost:  The festival is free with park admission: $15 Adult, $12 Senior, $10 Student Under 5 Free.

Why You Should Be Watching “Jersey Belle” on Bravo

Let me just preface this by saying no one is paying me to promote this show. I just want to let “ya’ll” know about it in case you weren’t watching it already.

As you may already know, there have been some awful reality shows promoting NJ people in an unflattering light. It seems like everyone outside of NJ thinks of NJ residents as loud, obnoxious partiers who only wear leopard print and drink excessively. It has bothered me for so long and I feel like I’m constantly defending my home state. I was born and raised in New Jersey and I do not think I fit ANY of the stereotypes that I have seen on TV.

So needless to say, when Bravo was promoting a new show called Jersey Belle, I thought to myself – ugh, another show to make us look like jerks. Well, shame on me for assuming this show would be just like the others. I was very happy to be proven wrong.

The show’s premise centers around Jaime Primak Sullivan, a Jersey Girl who married a man from Alabama and uprooted her life and her business to live there. It’s a very fish out of water TV show. Jaime’s friends, who are mostly Southern belles, all adore Jaime but she always seems to be able to shock them. I absolutely love the interaction between Jaime and her friends (Especially Arden). It seems like she rubs off on them in a good way. It still weird me out that her friends don’t know what a cannoli is…

Jaime is smart, confident, direct and she’s a great wife, mother and friend. FINALLY a good representation of someone from NJ who loves New Jersey as much as I do. She wears a NJ state necklace (like me!) and even has a NJ State tattoo.

In last weeks episode, Jaime took her friends to NJ and I was happy/surprised to learn that she’s from the next town from me, Freehold!  I was born and raised in Manalapan, but basically on the Freehold border. In the episode she went to Federici’s (one of the best pizzas ever) and the American Hotel. I actually met my husband in between both of those locations, at the Court Jester. PS. Downtown Freehold is an awesome place for restaurants in general. I had my bridal shower there too.

It was great seeing her friends out of their Alabama environment, having a great time in New Jersey.


Ironically, the day after it aired I saw on my Facebook feed that one of my mom’s best friends was at the premiere party for that episode. Turns out her daughter (who was actually in the episode) is good friends with Jaime. Small world! I always thought she’d looked familiar when watching the show. I wonder if we have other weird small world connections…

Jersey Belle airs TONIGHT on Bravo at 10pm!  You should definitely watch it or at least DVR it. Like Jersey Belle on Facebook too!

Like Jaime on Facebook and Follow her on Twitter @JaimePrimak. She and I follow each other, so that’s pretty awesome.

Diner Round Up – Americana Diner in Shrewsbury

photo 4

There aren’t too many 24 hour diners in Monmouth County, but luckily I found one in Shrewsbury on Route 35.

The Americana Diner has a classic diner look, from the outside to the inside. It’s clean, it’s welcoming and our waitress was fantastic. It was definitely a great spot to grab a meal and I would definitely recommend it.

They have a great menu. It’s a little on the pricey side but you can definitely find something affordable.

photo 1

I decided on getting a French Onion Soup (I was craving it) and a salmon burger.

My soup was really good. It definitely hit the spot. It was super cheesy and was a great portion side. It was a meal in itself.

photo 2

My salmon burger was fresh which was definitely a plus. Not too many diners will offer a salmon burger on their burger list, so I definitely took advantage of it. The presentation wasn’t great…but it was my choice not to go deluxe.

photo 3

Overall it was a great diner experience and I will definitely return. My only regret is not purchasing a big chocolate chip cookie to bring home.

Basic Info
Address: 1160 Rte 35, Shrewsbury Township, NJ
Phone #: (732) 542-1658

To see their menu check out their website.
Like them on Facebook

Diner Facts:
24 Hours –  Yes
Parking Lot – Yes
Liquor License – No
Salad Bar – No
Homemade Desserts – Yes

Call to Artists – New Jersey Isn’t Boring Art Show!

Okay…here is my exciting news that I’ve been hyping for a while now…

There’s going to be a “New Jersey Isn’t Boring” art show to be held at Arts Guild New Jersey in Rahway, March 22nd – April 16th, 2015.

Right now there is an OPEN CALL  TO ARTISTS for this show. It’s FREE to submit. Deadline to submit is November 30th, 2014.

NJIB logo

Details on the Art Exhibit:
If there is one thing that all New Jersey residents know to be true it’s that New Jersey it’s that people who live in it love it, and outsiders have a bad impression of it. Years of terrible reality television shows have tarnished the reputation of the great, Garden State. It’s time for people to get back to appreciating a state that is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, great food, eclectic culture and so much more. New Jersey is becoming a stereotype and it’s time for things to change.

What most people don’t know about New Jersey is how much there is to do – including a big art scene all throughout the state. Many artists work and live in New Jersey, participating in local art shows, street fairs and craft shows. This is a chance for artists to display their art work which will represent New Jersey in a new, exciting way.

It’s time to prove that New Jersey Isn’t Boring!

The intention of the exhibit is to provoke a new audience to take a new look at New Jersey. Artists must be residents of New Jersey and their art work must reflect some aspect of New Jersey. The exhibition is open to all visual artists working in any media.  Artists must be a minimum age of 18 to enter. Artwork must have been completed in the past 5 years, and may not have been exhibited previously at the Arts Guild New Jersey.

You can submit to the show via this link or by visiting www.agnj.org. Remember, the Deadline is November 30th, 2014.

Also, don’t forget about my other, small but still awesome art show on Sunday, October 19th. To RSVP to that event click HERE.

About Arts Guild New Jersey:

Arts Guild New Jersey is a non-profit center for the arts located at 1670 Irving St. at Seminary Avenue in the Downtown Arts District of the City of Rahway.

Arts Guild New Jersey presents a yearly program of fine art exhibitions as well as three semesters of multi-week art classes for adults, teens and children, one-day workshops for adults, summer art workshops for kids and teens, and a variety of secondary art and cultural events, such as lectures and seminars.

The Art exhibits at the Guild focus primarily on the presentation of works by notable emerging New Jersey artists. We feature a wide range of mediums (painting, prints, photography, mixed media collage, construction/assemblage, sculpture, etc.) and a broad range of styles from photo realism to complete abstractions. Our exhibits aim to present an overview of current or enduring trends and directions in the contemporary art of New Jersey’s arts community.

It is the mission of Arts Guild New Jersey to present high level arts programs for the benefit of residents in Central and Northern New Jersey. We promote a broad range of the arts and the value of the arts for all people. Since 1999, the Guild has provided an increasing range of art events, activities and programs for a multi-county audience.

Address: 1670 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ 07065
Contact: (732) 381-7511 or info @agnj.org
Website: www.agnj.org
Like them on Facebook Arts Guild New Jersey and Follow on Twitter @ArtsGuildNJ

Mana Contemportary Presents “Ken Price and Harvey Mudd: The Plain of Smokes” : Sept 14th – Dec 19th

Dates: Sunday, September 14th – Saturday, December 19th, 2014; M – F 10am to 5pm
Address: 888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Cost: Free, donation is recommended

RSVP to the opening reception on September 14th, 1- 7pm HERE

Find them on Facebook  and Twitter @ManaContemp

Official Press Release:

Mana Contemporary and Gary Lichtenstein Editions at Mana present Ken Price and Harvey Mudd: The Plain of Smokes, an exhibition featuring thirty original silkscreen prints Price created to illustrate a 75-page poem cycle written by Mudd. On view from September 14 to December 19, 2014, the exhibition is presented in Mana Contemporary’s 2nd floor gallery.

Published by Arabesque Books in 1981, The Plain of Smokes is an ode to the Los Angeles that shaped both the artist and the poet. The process, which began in 1978, of conceptualizing, developing, and creating The Plain of Smokes, has been described by many, including its author, as the true definition of the word “collaboration.” Mudd and Price continually motivated revision in each other’s work, resulting in a thought-provoking visualization of the dialogue between two artists.

Arabesque Books asked Gary Lichtenstein of SOMA Fine Art Press in San Francisco to print Price’s multilayered paintings featuring pencil, gouache, watercolor, and india ink for the book. In order to translate every last nuance of color relationship and texture from the original work into printer’s ink, Lichtenstein deconstructed Price’s work layer by layer. The most complicated image in the series, “Club Zebra,” required 28 color separations and nearly 5,000 passes through the hand press to print 186 copies. The prints’ “painterly” qualities are a stunning testament to Lichtenstein’s mastery.

Ken Price (1935-2012) emerged in the 1960s with a group of Los Angeles-based “surfer artists” that included, among others, Ed Ruscha, Robert Irwin, and Larry Bell. Price is known principally as a ceramicist yet throughout his career he has commanded a unique position between sculpture and painting. An artist who is celebrated for challenging conventional ideals and definitions, Price is a technical master of form, color, and surface.

Harvey Mudd (1940) is a writer, painter, and photographer. His first of four books of poetry was published in 1976, and the third, The Plain of Smokes, was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Poetry Prize. New Mexico was Mudd’s primary home for roughly 20 years and it was there that he met Price.

About Gary Lichtenstein Editions at Mana
Gary Lichtenstein Editions at Mana is a publisher and printer of limited fine art silkscreen editions housed on the 2nd floor of Mana Contemporary. Over the course of his remarkable 40-year career, Gary Lichtenstein has printed for industry legends including Karl Benjamin, Robert Cottingham, Bob Gruen, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, and Ken Price, as well as Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Richard Meier. Lichtenstein’s work has been exhibited and collected by, among others, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Chicago Art Institute, the Butler Institute of American Art, the College of Art & Architecture at the University of Tennessee, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Silvermine Arts Center and the International Print Center NYC. For more information, please visit www.garylichtensteineditions.com.

About Mana Contemporary
Mana Contemporary is a leading arts destination with locations in Jersey City and Chicago. Studios, exhibition spaces, art services, and programming provide an unparalleled environment for creating and experiencing art. By exposing and exploring the artistic process, Mana Contemporary offers an exciting way to discover and learn about art while artists are enabled to experiment and collaborate across all disciplines, forms, and media. Mana Contemporary is home to the Richard Meier Model Museum, Gary Lichtenstein Editions silkscreen studio, the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, the Middle East Center for the Arts, Shen Wei Dance Arts, the Keating Foundry, and more. For more information about Mana Contemporary, please visit www.manacontemporary.com.

Union Township Chamber Plans Fourth Annual Mayor’s Day 5K Run – Saturday, Sept 20


Official Press Release:

Get up, get active and join the Union Township Chamber of Commerce again this year at its Fourth Annual Mayor’s Day 5K Run on Saturday, September 20, 2014. Club Metro USA has signed on again this year as Event Sponsor.

Held rain or shine, the event will start at Union High School on Cooke Drive. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the actual race commencing at 10:00 a.m. Participants will traverse a USATF – certified course beginning and ending at the high school.

“This event is a proud part of the always popular community-wide Mayor’s Day, featuring the 5K Run in the morning and the Festival on the Green in the afternoon,” said Chamber Executive James Masterson. “We are grateful to the Township of Union Board of Education for generously hosting this event, and to all of our sponsors and volunteers.”

Prizes will be awarded for various categories, and t-shirts and gift bags will be distributed to the first 400 participants.

Masterson added that a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit a local resident, three-year-old Aiden Khi Shanklin of Union, who was diagnosed with several neurological conditions a few months after his birth. Aiden’s daily care and medical needs can be quite costly, but he continues to make strides, thanks to intensive physical, occupational, speech and developmental therapies.

Aiden Khi Shanklin

Aiden Khi Shanklin

“We are so pleased that Union Mayor Clifton People shared Aiden’s story with us, and we are thrilled to be able to help him in some way through this event,” Masterson said. “We encourage our community to come out in support of this incredible little boy and his family, while enjoying a fun day with their own families as well.”

Fourth Annual Mayor’s Day 5K

To register, go online to www.runsignup.com, and enter Mayor’s Day 5K. Further information is available by contacting the Chamber directly at 908-688-2777, visiting www.unionchamber.com or emailing the Chamber at executivedirector@unionchamber.com.

The day will also feature a Kid’s Run for grades K through 5 at the high school’s Cooke Memorial Football Field. This event will begin at 9:00 a.m., with registration from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The cost to participate is $5.00, payable at the gate. There will be no preregistration – all participants must register that morning.

In addition to Event Sponsor Club Metro USA, the following is a listing of local businesses who have signed on so far as sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Ray Catena of Union; Kids Run/Gold Sponsor: Gateway Family YMCA; Gold Sponsors: Northfield Bank and Bayada Home Health Care; Silver Sponsors: JAG Physical Therapy, Union Municipal Drug Alliance, Sunburst Gymnastics, Chick- fil-A , Buy-Wise Auto Parts, Spencer Savings Bank, Jeannette Grauer,DDS; Overlook Medical Center, Investors Bank, Union Animal Hospital and Maplecrest Ford Lincoln; Bronze Sponsors: Hehl and Hehl; Batteries Plus Bulbs, PSE&G, New Providence Chiropractic, Liberty Payroll Solutions, Walgreens of Union, Unity Bank, Citibank and Bagels and Beans; Friends of the Chamber: The MAX of Springfield, Major Printing Company, Precious Pearls Pediatric Dentistry of Springfield, Roselle Glass Company, NJ Hair Studio and Spa, The Theater Project, City Fire Equipment and Egglrock Nutrition; Supporting Sponsors: Township of Union Board of Education, Sneaker Factory, AVE, Road ID, Joel Simpson Photography, Underground Ugent Entertainment and Cozy Corner Deli and Caterers.

Businesses wishing to become a sponsor may contact Masterson at executivedirector@unionchamber.com for a listing of the various levels of support. All sponsorships include a table at the event for businesses to showcase their companies.