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Spring 2010 SPECIAL WEDDING SECTION GOLF, HULA HOOPS, SPOTLIGHT: PAULUS HOOK, FISHING & MORE
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FEATURES 30 THE OPPOSITE OF WEDDINGS Avoiding divorce court 34 FAIR WAYS Golf on a budget 40 THE PLAY’S THE THING Homegrown theater
WEDDING 18 COVER BRIDES’ BEST FRIEND David Tutera to the rescue
21 TIERS OF JOY Dream cakes
23 POPPING THE QUESTION Remember that proposal?
24 SNAP DECISIONS Wedding photographers’ best shots
26 THREADS David Tutera’s gowns “Cameron” - B119 Diamond White Two-Piece. Short, Sexy Sheath with Detailed Silver and Pearl Beadwork. Detached From a Full Multi Layer Tulle Skirt with Wired Hem Detail. See Full Ensemble Gown, Page 29.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID TUTERA BY FAVIANA
DEPARTMENTS 5 LETTERS 6 CONTRIBUTORS 7 EDITOR’S LETTER 8 WATERWAYS Restaurants with river views 10 IN GEAR Fresh air fun 12 FUR, FINS, AND FEATHERS Fishing off the walkway 14 SPOTLIGHT ON PAULUS HOOK 16 GREEN SCENE Paulus Hook parks 32 CHILD’S PLAY Hula Hoop dreams 36 BACKYARD ADVENTURE Red Hook, Brooklyn 38 WEEKEND GETAWAY Hyde Park history 41 QUIXOTIC The sunken ships of Bayonne
WHITE DRESS PRODUCTIONS (Doug Lohmeyer and Mark Leslie) I took this image of my bride on my own wedding day. How could I not? Love her attitude in this shot. —Doug Lohmeyer whitedressproductions.com
42 HOME ON THE HUDSON Grand Victoriana DISH 44 Honshu 45 Listings 48 IN PERSON Merchant marine Alison Ferrie 50 DATES
LETTERS I’m a big fan of Palisade Magazine and pick up an issue whenever it comes out.
yet very much unknown to the general public. I will be pinning the article to the wall here in the Information Travel Center.
ANDREI GIRENKOV North Bergen I have a copy of the fall 2009 issue of Palisade Magazine, and I wish to say that I’m very much impressed with your article, “Naturally, the Meadowlands,” which highlights four wonderful parks which are so close,
Keep up the good work!
ELVIRA VALDES Tourist Information Center Vince Lombardi Travel Plaza New Jersey Turnpike Ridgefield SPRING 2010
ARLENE PHALON BALDASARRI
ROBERT E. CALEM
ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI has worked as an actress, for a literary agency and book publisher, and in the restaurant industry. She lives in Hoboken with her husband Mike and daughter Sophie. ROBERT E. CALEM has covered technology and business for more than two decades. He was a founding editor of This Week In Consumer Electronics and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He writes extensively about automobiles and is a regular contributor to Palisade’s In Gear department. He lives in Hoboken. AMY HAND is an event photographer with more than 20 years experience. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an emphasis in still life and fashion photography. “Photography allows me to express my passion for composition and color as well experience many different people,” she says. Amyhand.com MARIE PAPP specializes in wedding, portrait, and event photography. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her wedding work has been featured in at least 30 regional magazines and she has been a “Best of Wedding Pick” by The Knot for three consecutive years. Marie also loves photographing babies and children. mariepapp.com DIANA SCHWAEBLE is an award-winning reporter and the former managing editor for the Hudson Reporter Newspaper group. Her series of stories, “Home Sweet Hoboken,” won second place for feature writing in 2006 in the competitive New Jersey Press Association statewide contest. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories. AL SULLIVAN has been a staff writer for the Hudson Reporter newspaper chain since 1992. He was named journalist of the year in 2001 by the New Jersey Press Association, and photographer of the year in 2005 by the Garden State Journalists Association. In 2001, Rutgers University Press published a collection of his work, Everyday People: Profiles from the Garden State. TRICIA TIRELLA is a staff writer for The Hudson Reporter. She currently lives in Jersey City. 6
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Itâ€™s coming up on the wedding season, and Palisade is on the case. Amid the dizzying array of reality wedding shows, David Tuteraâ€™s My Fair Wedding stands out. David took a break from the action to give us some tips for stellar weddings. Read about the fabulous wedding he planned for a Jersey City couple at the Westin. Also, wedding photographers share their favorite shots. And whereâ€™s the last place you want to see the happy couple? Divorce court. We discussed whether to talk about divorce in an issue highlighting weddings but then decided that this useful story might be essential reading for anyone contemplating marriage. Thereâ€™s much more in our wedding section to please the eye and the palate, so read on. Iâ€™ve always thought that one of the best things about living along the Hudson is dining along the Hudson, but sometimes itâ€™s hard to think of just the right restaurant with the right view. At last, we offer you a list of the eateries with the best water views. If youâ€™re looking for a theatrical evening on this side of the Hudson, check out Hobokenâ€™s Mile Square Theatre. We profile the theater and the man behind the scenes. For a hauntingly satisfying experience, visit the sunken ships of Bayonne. You need to be adventurous to find them, but theyâ€™re well worth the effort. And if you really love the maritime, our Backyard Adventure takes you to Red Hook, Brooklyn, where you can shop at Ikea or explore the cobblestone streets of this once-industrial waterfront community. At this time of year, if your thoughts are turning to outdoor sports, we tell you where you can play golf without breaking the bank, and if you want to fish, cast your line from just about anywhere on the Hudson River Walkway. Visit palisademagazine.com to comment on stories. Thank you for taking your spring break with us.
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WAT E R WAY S
Feasting on River Views Where the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline are your dinner companions BY DIANA SCHWAEBLE
or a city dweller, nothing beats the first sign of spring. The emerging green, the flowers in bloom, and even the smell of the brackish Hudson River are all signs of life. The warmer weather brings with it longer days that seem to stretch into longer evenings. Gone are the snow boots and take-out. Thoughts turn toward baseball, walks along the water, and spring clothes. But the first thought on everyone’s mind is “let’s go out!” Nothing’s better than sitting on the river while sipping a cocktail and enjoying the magnificent view. And any savvy New Jersey resident will tell you—ours is the best. After all, we’re looking at Manhattan. So go outside and enjoy the view. We’ve compiled a list of restaurants along the Hudson that promise to tantalize your tastebuds while you soak up the sights and sounds of the season. Whether you’re looking to indulge in a four-course meal or belly up for a beer, choices abound. The list below offers something for any budget, from the four-star restaurant or trendy lounge to the casual eatery or neighborhood bar. While the food in some is
downright casual (fried eggs or burgers) others offer high-end fare (elegant sushi, succulent crab, filet mignon) but what they all have in common is pristine views along the Hudson. Restaurants in Jersey City offer views not only of the spectacular Manhattan skyline, but also of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Guys looking to impress a date would do well at the Pointe or the Liberty House, which are two fine dining places with breathtaking views. Or on a quiet Sunday afternoon, watch a sailboat tack in the harbor. In many of the more casual restaurants at Exchange Place, guests can drink a beer while enjoying a burger. Hoboken will put you in an Empire state of mind, particularly if fresh fruit and spices are your thing. While most the Manhattan views from the Mile-Square city are only a mere sliver compared to other spots along the Hudson, what a sliver it is, with the Empire State Building front and center. Known for its nightlife, Hoboken caters to the cocktail connoisseur. Guests are encouraged to lounge while sampling the latest martini or mojito infusion. Those looking to make a night of it could dine and dance the night away at The W Hoboken or at 3 Forty Grill.
EDGEWATER Crab House 541 River Rd. (201) 840-9311 crabhouseseafood.com Matsushima 595 River Rd. (201) 945-9450 yelp.com/biz/matsushima-edgewater Outback Steakhouse 539 River Rd. (201) 840-9600 outback.com
HOBOKEN The Crepe Grill 525 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 792-7373 crepegrill.com Lua 1300 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 876-1900 luarestaurant.com
The Melting Pot 100 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 222-1440 meltingpot.com The Quays 310 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 656-2521 thequayshoboken.com 3 Forty Grill 340 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 217-3406 3fortygrill.com
Liberty Park Café 14 Burma Rd. (866) 484-4590 libertyparkdiner.com The Liberty House 76 Audrey Zapp Dr. (201) 395-0300 libertyhouserestaurant.c om
Trinity 306 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 533-4446 hobokentrinity.com The Turning Point 1420 Frank Sinatra Dr. (201) 222-3797 theturningpoint.biz Zylo at the W Hoboken 225 River St. (201) 253-2400 starwoodhotels.com
C-Side 34 Exchange Pl. (201) 915-3663 csiderestaurant.com
Michael Anthony’s 502 Washington Blvd. (201) 798-1798 mar-jc.com The Pointe Restaurant 2 Chapel Ave. (201) 985-9854 thepointeatport liberte.com
WAT E R WAY S The Vu Lounge at The Hyatt Regency 2 Exchange Pl. (201) 469-1234 jerseycity.hyatt.com
The Harbor Bar at the Sheraton 500 Harbor Blvd. (201) 617-5600 starwoodhotels.com
Houlihan’s 1200 Harbor Blvd. (201) 863-4000 houlihans.com
Frank’s Waterside 7800 B River Rd. (201) 861-0700 watersiderestaurant andcatering.com
Ruth’s Chris Steak House 1000 Harbor Blvd. (201) 863-5100 ruthschris.com
WEEHAWKEN The Chart House Lincoln Harbor, Pier D-T (201) 348-6628 chart-house.com
The Future Looks Bright at Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club 5% off for new members before April 1st, 2010
If you’ve ever rowed on the Hudson, you might feel the pull in Weehawken, where you can catch the Weehawken Rowers on certain late afternoons as they row across the river. Tucked in the Lincoln Harbor area are several eateries offering enticing views. Locals will tell you the elegant Chart House has the best view of Manhattan. And indeed, from the glassenclosed restaurant the city seems to unfold like a film shot. But Weehawken isn’t all high-end dining. The laid-back bar crowd is sure to enjoy sipping drinks in the large outdoor bar at Houlihan’s. But what about breakfast? For a quick bite, Liberty Park Café tucked in Liberty State Park or the Crepe Grill in Hoboken both serve satisfying breakfast bites that won’t break your budget.—PM
Dock and relax in a calm, quiet, and safe world-class marina. In addition to the 250 floating docks, impressive views of the NYC skyline, four restaurants-including Ruth's Chris Steak House, the Chart House, Harbour Bar and Houlihan's, a 165-suite Sheraton Hotel, a mini-mall, ferry service and easy access to Manhattan right outside the gate, Lincoln Harbor Marina and Yacht Club also confidently boasts the following amenities:
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• Professional staff to assist with docking 24 hours a day • Crew-friendly marina • Excellent security, including TV monitoring • Cable television available • Conference room and business services • Mini work-out center • Yacht detailing and mechanic services available • Winter storage • Access to Hudson River Walkway • Tennis courts and running track nearby SPRING 2010
Fresh Air Fun From open trails to the open road—or a picnic in the park with friends— the great outdoors beckons. Spring is the perfect time to try this cool new equipment. BY ROBERT E. CALEM
Flowing Clear Filter your tap water as you drink it on the run, with an Applic a Clear2G o water b ottle ($16). This ordinary-looking sport bottle features a replaceable filter that screws into the lid and removes 99.9 percent of microbial cysts including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. One filter cleans up to 100 gallons of water, and replacement filters cost $13 for a two-pack. The bottle holds 24 ounces and is available now in four colors: blue, green, red, and grey. A new fashion line of bottles is planned, featuring different colors and styles.
Clean and Flavorful Pour filtered and flavored water at your next picnic. The P U R Flavor Options pitcher ($30) uses interchangeable flavor cartridges in the lid—strawberry, grape, raspberry, or lemon—and a simple push of a button while pouring adds the flavor to the filtered water, one squirt at a time. A set of two single-flavor cartridges costs $10. An LED on the lid indicates when to replace the filter, which cleans up to 40 gallons of tap water, removing lead, 99.9 percent of microbial cysts, and more than 96 percent of identified pharmaceuticals. Pitcher capacity: 56 ounces. Replacement filter: $11.
Sweet Sound Grab a friend and listen to some cool tunes in a hot car. The new Aston Martin D B S Volanté (starting at $282,500) boasts BeoSound D B S, a 1,000-watt, 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system that automatically adjusts the sound stage for driver-only or driver- plus-passenger, based on seatbelts fastened. It also senses when the soft top has been retracted and automatically compensates for wind noise—so all you hear is your favorite music. Or switch off the tunes and listen to the outstanding sound of the engine, adjusting the volume with your right foot.
Touch and Go Hit the road with the Cobra X RS 9 970G radar detector ($380), the world’s first with a touch-sensitive display—a 1.5-inch OLED (organic LED) screen that shows full color graphics. It detects all laser and radar guns, and also warns about speed and red light cameras, known speed traps, and dangerous intersections, thanks to Cobra’s built-in AURA Driving and Camera Database. (Lifetime free database updates are included.)
F U R , F I N S & F E AT H E R S
PHOTO BY KATE ROUNDS
Casting Call No boat? No worries. Fishing off piers, causeways, and jetties is a Hudson County tradition t’s that time of year, time to think about baiting that hook with something relatively slimy, casting your line, and hauling in, well, something. Fishing the Hudson near our urban communities
could net you a beer can or a rubber boot—or you could land a striped bass, bluefish, fluke, sea bass, catfish, or blue crab—if you’re fishing with some raw chicken in a trap.
And if you’re worried about being a scofflaw, don’t. By law, you can fish “any tidal water no matter where it is,” says the aptly named Gil Hawkins, environmental director, Hudson River Fishermen’s Association. “It’s a God given right.” You’re in luck. “Spring and fall are the best fishing seasons on the Hudson River, especially the lower Hudson,” says Hawkins. “These are the migratory seasons when fish are moving through the river, up to spawn or out of the river for protection or to school up and move down the coast as striped bass do.” But don’t worry, you can fish any time of year. “In summer you can catch just about anything,” Hawkins says, “but there are no blue fish or week fish in winter.” AN D YO U CAN CATC H S O M E pretty big fish. Hawkins says most stripers
F U R , F I N S & F E AT H E R S
PHOTO BY JOSH DEHONNEY
can weigh as much as 25 to 50 pounds. “Larger stripers are probably solitary,” he says. “Stripers have a tendency to school up when in the five- to 15-pound range.” Blue fish can go up to 20 pounds, fluke and flounder up to ten pounds, and week fish, upwards of ten to 15 pounds. If you’re having a vision of catching a fish so big it will pull you into the water, think again. “Unless you catch a water taxi, a submarine, or a passing boat,” Hawkins says. “You’ll be using 50-pound test line which will break before then.” But there are rules about size, so you might want to visit state.nj.us/dep/fgw before you put a bunch of little fish in your bucket. Currently, you don’t need a license for saltwater fishing, although that may change. But “you shouldn’t have to pay for the use of the waterways,” Hawkins says. “There are two categories of fishermen,” says Hawkins: Catch-and-releasers and subsistence fishermen. “People have the drive to go out and catch or harvest the bounty from nature,” he says, “but it’s a problem when that bounty is unhealthy.” When you’re fishing off the Hudson River Walkway, which runs from the Bayonne to the George Washington Bridges, watch for signs warning you not
RESOURCES New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife state.nj.us/dep/fgw/
Hudson River Fishermen’s Association hrfanj.org
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection state.nj.us/dep/
Moe’s Bait & Tackle Shop 10 South St. Jersey City (201) 795-2529 moesbaitandtackle.com
New York Department of Environmental Conservation dec.ny.gov
Outdoorsmen Ltd. 529 Anderson Ave. Cliffside Park (201) 945-7335
to eat the fish you catch, and visit state.nj.us/dep/ and dec.ny.gov for more information. H E R E’S S O M E G O O D N EWS: If you don’t own a fishing rod, you can pick one up for as little as $15. Check out the resource box above. Wondering what to put on the hook? “Get advice from the owner of your local bait shop,” Hawkins advises. “And if you’re fishing off a pier in Hudson County, find out what they’re doing, know what local
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fishermen are using for bait.” Here are some possibilities: bloodworms, bunker, clams, eel, and frozen squid. “You have to know what the fish are eating,” Hawkins says, “and it depends on the time of year. In summertime they’re feeding on smaller fish, bunker, menhaden, small herring, in the fall stripers like eel.” Bloodworms and sandworms are also used for bait. “Mud is a very nutritious place for animals to live,” says Hawkins. “The river is muddy and has a lot of nutriFISH
Paulus Hook Jersey City’s oldest section offers charming shops, fine dining, authentic architecture, and a strong sense of history. The name comes from the Dutchman Michael Pauw who bought the land in 1630. The Dutch word “hoeck” means “point of land.” Today, it is bounded by Montgomery, Hudson, Essex, and Warren Streets. Not surprisingly, the waterfront sections of Paulus Hook are where the high-rises have gone up. Goldman Sachs, the tallest building in New Jersey, can be seen for miles around. It is especially visible from many spots along Manhattan’s western shore. Modern office buildings have risen all along Hudson Street. As you move away from the waterfront, you come to the historic section. In 1776, colonists built a fort at Paulus Hook. A key Revolutionary War battle was fought there, and in 1903 a monument was erected in its memory. The Light Horse Tavern, which was built in 2002 on the corner of Washington and Morris, is named after “Light Horse Harry” Lee III, who captured 400 British soldiers in the battle of Paulus Hook. When the light rail tracks were laid along Essex Street, many residents protested. However, the train has proven to be a boon for the neighborhood and for commuters from Bayonne and other towns in New Jersey. The stop at Essex Street boasts views of the water and a strip of stores, including the Green Cow and City Vino. Other restaurants in Paulus Hook include 95 Green, Amelia’s, Baja, O’Connell’s, John’s Pizza, Liberty Wine and Deli, Presto’s, the Flamingo, the Iron Monkey, the Kitchen Café, Komegashi, Lisbon, Triumph, York Street Tavern, Two Aprons, the Grand Banks, Village Thai, and the restaurants in the Hyatt Hotel.
Walk down the tree-lined streets and enjoy the old brownstones with an occasional shop—such as Life clothing store, Citi Roots, Betty’s Bassinet, and Giggles ’n Barks—tucked between. In the warm months, pick up fresh produce at the farmer’s market near the Colgate clock. The area overlooks the Morris Canal. On summer days, it’s alive with all kinds of boats entering and leaving the harbor. The Sugar House, also along the canal, is a gorgeously renovated factory, featuring high-end condos. Paulus Hook is a transportation hub. In addition to the light rail, there are two ferry terminals and the Exchange Place PATH station. Visit Paulus Hook, and you will find yourself in a vibrant neighborhood with a diverse citizenry: young parents pushing strollers, old folks walking their dogs, and everything in between. It’s a small, walkable neighborhood. Relax in a local café and drink in the ambience.—Kate Rounds
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ents floating in it. Understanding what’s in the mud is what the bait is about.” Buying the right lure is another thing a local bait shop can help with. “Lures are meant to mimic the natural animals in the river,” Hawkins says. “Plastic worms look like sandworms,” and shining metal lures mimic fish scales sparkling in the sun. Ironically, one of the toughest challenges for local fishermen is parking. “Many municipalities have limited or metered parking,” says Hawkins. “You go with your family to enjoy a couple of hours of fishing and you come back and you have a parking ticket.” Great fishing spots along the walkway include Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, in front of the Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City, and just about anywhere off Liberty State Park. Some of these fishing spots offer cleaning stations, so you can clean your fish on the spot. Be sure to avoid marinas. Boat traffic and fish are not a good mix. Visit the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association website at hrfanj.org for more information on other great fishing piers. Before there were walkways, fishermen found their way to industrial sites and just walked down the bank. Times have changed, but the lure of fishing has not, whether you catch a catfish or a cat box. “That’s why they call it fishing and not catching,” Hawkins says.—Kate Rounds
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PHOTOS BY KATE ROUNDS
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Paulus Hook Parks Paulus Hook is a very small area, but you can easily find patches of green. The biggest is the point of land that extends behind the Colgate Clock. Technically it’s the Lib erty State Park Historic Morris Canal Section, but locals have called it the Peninsula and Brick Beach because of the piles of bricks that wash up on the shore and are there for the taking. Amazingly, there are no guard rails, walkways, or bulkheads. You can still walk down to the beach, sit on the rocks and watch the boats. It’s a haven for dog walkers, and in fair weather, volleyball players are out in force. The farmer’s market also sets up its stands nearby. Paulus Hook Park is one of those classic little city parks that seem to be carved from the urban landscape. On this spot was a fort held by the British during the Revolution. — Kate Rounds
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Brides’ Best Friend TV wedding guru David Tutera to the rescue
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID TUTERA BY FAVIANA
rom Bridezillas to My Big Redneck Wedding, reality mania has gripped that special day. Wedding planner David Tutera descends like an action hero to put taste into the tasteless, buzz into the boring, and create order out of chaos. Tutera’s hit TV series My Fair Wedding airs on We on Sunday nights. He has partnered with the special-occasion dress house, Faviana, to create a luxurious line of wedding gowns (p. 26), and his latest books are The Big White Book of Weddings and Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. Palisade talked with Tutera about, well, weddings.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES BRIDES MAKE? In terms of food, they don’t have enough! Whether this is because of budgeting or just improper planning, it’s one mistake that couples should never make. It’s so important to take care of your guests, and this includes menu planning. In terms of theme, many brides make the mistake of getting too kitschy and literal. I prefer to create a wedding “style” that may have influences of a vineyard, or a touch of 18
tropical, without going overboard and creating the atmosphere of a kid’s party.
CAN YOU GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A TRULY TASTELESS IDEA AND HOW YOU FIXED IT? One of the sweetest brides on my show wanted to have a winter wedding in the middle of spring. While not tasteless, it didn’t make much sense and I quickly changed the ceremony to a winter wonderland “style” complete with birch trees, blue lighting, and faux snow. This was followed by a stunning spring reception with tall cherry blossom centerpieces and gorgeous pink décor. This made sense for the time of year and also represented a new chapter in their lives, which was an added bonus. [See sidebar p.19.]
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A BRIDE TO LEARN GOOD TASTE IN THREE WEEKS OR IS IT LIKE 50 FIRST DATES? After three weeks with me, my brides are able to better understand good taste when it comes to the elements of their wedding. I don’t just come in and move their wed-
ding, design a new cake, and change their dresses for fun. … I explain the reasoning behind these changes, and in the end they agree. They carry the knowledge forward with them and apply it to other things, as I still keep in touch with most of them and they share that with me.
THERE’S A STEREOTYPE THAT JERSEY GIRLS DON’T HAVE THE BEST TASTE. I don’t think brides in New Jersey or any other state in particular have bad taste. Each bride is unique, and it is my honor to work with brides from all over the tri-state area on My Fair Wedding.
YOUR DAVID TUTERA BY FAVIANA LINE OF GOWNS FEATURES “RED CARPET FASHION TRENDS.” WHAT ARE SOME RED CARPET DISASTERS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO AVOID? I aim to avoid being overly trendy. I want all my gowns to feel timeless so that the brides wearing them will love them now, and 50 years from now when they look back at their pictures.
Quiana and Michael at the Westin Jersey City. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MY FAIR WEDDING
IN THE BIG WHITE BOOK OF WEDDINGS YOU OBSERVE THAT BRIDES SHOULD BE “THOUGHTFUL.” Brides should be thoughtful when it comes to the guests at their wedding by making them as happy and comfortable as possible. This also applies to the special touches throughout the day, from personal notes in the program, to playing an important song to really customized favors. This is what sets the wedding apart. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE
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My Fair Jersey City Wedding
I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I first heard about the wedding David helped plan for Jersey City bride Quiana Morgan—the woman he references in the second question in our interview. The trailer for the episode snarked about her plans to buy flowers and a cake at the “grocery” store. Quiana is a beautiful and smart woman, and I was afraid that she would feel badly because, for reasons beyond her control, the local supermarket had become her bridal supply store. The episode starts with David walking down a typical Jersey City street. He knocks on the door of a typical Jersey City house. Quiana answers. Her two sisters and her fiancé Michael are also there. Michael exits, and David is in his element—talking to women about their weddings. As events unfold, my respect for David grows. He succeeds in doing the impossible: expressing lighthearted shock at almost all her choices—from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the boutonnieres—while gently steering her in the right direction, all with kindness and generosity of spirit. When David tells me, “After three weeks with me, my brides are able to better understand good taste when it comes to the elements of their wedding,” I’m skeptical. But watching Quiana’s attention to detail and astute observations, I’ve become a believer. Her sisters hate their turquoise dresses: Gone in favor of subtle lilac with flowing
lines. Boutonnieres fashioned from plastic beads as well as a gold fishnet backdrop— gone. David takes Quiana to select her gown. Gone is the floor sample with stains and a tear. When it comes to the flowers and the cake, she loves the bouquet with subtle yellows and the red velvet wedding cake. At the linen store, they sit at a table with elegant settings and practice napkin etiquette: where to put it and how to daintily wipe your mouth. In every instance, he gives her three or four choices. She states her preferences but doesn’t know until the day which he has selected. David saves the biggest surprise for last. The venue she’s chosen is not only monumentally drab—with horrifying stains on the chairs—but hopelessly bereft of possibilities. The solution? The Westin Jersey City, the sparkling new property in the Newport section of town. David notices that if Quiana says something is “nice,” it’s a nogo. There’s nothing “nice” about the Westin. Quiana uses the only appropriate word: love.—KR
DO GROOMS HAVE INPUT OR ARE WEDDINGS MOSTLY PLANNED BY BRIDES?
FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
YOU ALSO SAY BRIDES SHOULDN’T BE “TIPSY.” DO YOU HAVE A GREAT BOOZY-BRIDE STORY? Drinking too much on your wedding day can be disastrous. And I don’t know how any bride would want to risk forgetting even one moment of her biggest day.
WHAT’S THE PLOT OF DISNEY’S FAIRY TALE WEDDINGS? It’s a collection of beautiful weddings that embody a little bit of Disney magic. Many take place on Disney properties, and others give classic fairy tales a very mature and beautiful new spin. It’s full of amazing photos featuring a variety of wedding styles.
WHAT’S THE HOTTEST NEW TREND?
Grooms are increasingly involved in every element of wedding planning— sometimes more so than the brides. It’s about time, too, since a wedding is about the unity of two people, two families, two heritages, and two traditions. … Why shouldn’t both be involved to make it as special for both as possible?
Destination weddings are still going strong, as are after parties. Joint bachelor/bachelorette parties are popular too and a great way to eliminate awkward situations, while celebrating the occasion with all the closest friends of the bride and groom. Smaller trends include the bride changing from her gown into a party dress for the reception, and ethnic menus are gaining speed as well.
WHAT IF THE GROOM IS A LOT SHORTER THAN THE BRIDE?
WHAT IS THE OLDEST BRIDE YOU’VE WORKED WITH?
I would suggest that the bride wear a beautiful pair of flat shoes.
I’ve done a few second weddings, with most of the brides being over 50. I love to use the opportunity to have a less traditional wedding and really have some fun with the décor and the party itself.
IS THERE TENSION BETWEEN THE FAMILIES OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM WHEN PLANNING? There are couples whose families try to run the show and they are fine with it! There are grooms who dominate and brides that are fine with it. Most families I’ve dealt with are just excited about the day and are a pleasure to work with.
ARE YOU TOO CRITICAL TO ENJOY WEDDINGS? I love going to weddings! CONTINUED PAGE
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Tiers of Joy The second-most ogled? You guessed it! If you’re a bride researching cakes, don’t let on that you don’t know what fondant is. For the record, it’s a kind of sugar paste for coating cakes. “It gives it that polished look,” says Jennifer Bunce, owner, The Hudson Cakery, currently an Internet-based company. “It looks better and is much more upscale than butter cream.” Reality shows about weddings and cakes have spawned the new sophistication in cake design. “The media has shined a light on wedding cakes, and people expect bigger and better,” Bunce says. Brides “are shying away from the simple cake with one flower. They want things like very detailed figurines of the bride and groom.” Bunce does her baking in Jersey City. “Cake delivery is the most stressful aspect,” she says. “I secure the cake in a big van and then hold my breath and pray, especially in Hudson County, which is no stranger to potholes.” Charmaine Jones is the Cake Diva. In the 25 years she’s been working out of Hoboken and New York City, she’s seen it all. “A girl a while back worked for Nabisco and wanted a three-tiered cake in the shape of Oreo double stuffed cookies,” she says. “She was getting married in a very posh place catty corner from the Plaza, and I had to tell the people overseeing the wedding that this is what she ordered—they were kind of stuffy.” Jones says she’s “worked 25 years to change the world to see cake as art,” and now it’s happening. She’s made the Taj Mahal, busts of Einstein and Michael Jackson, and a can of Diet Coke. And if you’ve ever wondered what Beyonce’s favorite cake is, the Cake Diva has the answer: pink champagne.
The Cake Diva PHOTOS BY CHARMAINE JONES
PHOTO BY TONY KNIGHTHAWK
EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE 1114 WASHINGTON STREET HOBOKEN 201.217.1200
Cakes made by Palermo’s Bakery in Ridgefield Park have been featured on WEtv and TLC. The price range is $8$30 a slice, and they’ve made cakes as tall as six feet, which would be seven tiers, according to owner Joanne Bruno. A cake like that, she says, you “build” at the reception. Though she says classic white is very elegant, the seasons sometimes determine color—pastel beach themes for summer, brown and ivory for fall, and spring flowers. “I have no pet peeves,” she says, “as long as you watch
for allergies. A peanut butter filling has high allergens. But people can have whatever they want as long as they pay for it.” Goehrig’s Bakery in Jersey City has been in business for 100 years, and Joseph Gigante has been plying the trade since 1971. He says that in the down economy a lot of brides are staying home but splurging on the cake. “They get ideas from the Internet, WEtv, Ace of Cakes, and they see what’s possible,” he says. Sculpting flowers with gum paste is all the rage. “That’s edible modeling clay to produce flowers with a botanical look,” he says. “It’s tedious to a degree most people will never know” He’s sculpted 100 flowers, each with 16 leaves. “You have to have an eye for design, style, and the ability to interact with people.” Gigante says the groom’s cake is increasingly popular. “This is something personal the bride gives the groom,” he says. “They order poker tables, cigars, football jerseys, helmets, Rolex watches— and even a ball-and chain.” Bunce of The Hudson Cakery was asked to make a groom’s cake shaped like a bucket of beer with all the relatives coming out of it. The most important ingredient in any wedding? It just may be a sense of humor— Kate Rounds
RESOURCES CAKE DIVA
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324 Monroe St., Hoboken (201) 216-0123 cakediva.com
Hudson Cakery PHOTO BY JENNIFER BUNCE
CARLO’S BAKE SHOP 95 Washington St., Hoboken (201) 659-3671 carlosbakery.com
GOEHRIG’S BAKERY 475 Central Ave. Jersey City (201) 659-4513 goehrigsbakery.com
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Popping the Question Readers share their proposal stories. BY ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI
Robert and Angela de Zeeuw I met my wife on a Dutch dating site in December, 2006. She came to JFK to meet me on Valentine’s Day two months later. We dated for three years before marrying. I live in Weehawken and she in Amsterdam until she gets her green card. We were married on February 20, 2009 by the mayor of Weehawken and again in my mom’s church in Heemstede, Holland, on July 21, 2009. We have more than 8,000 pictures of us: in Amsterdam, London, New York City, and Paris. I’m a member of a rowing club, and the evening of our engagement we rowed from Weehawken to New York City. It’s really a love story that has no ending.
Felipe Pinto and Valentina Soto-Pinto Felipe and Valentina had been dating for a year in Colombia when Valentina moved to Boston to attend university. Nine months later Felipe followed to pursue his own studies, but when he was offered a job in New York, Valentina decided to stay put. An avid runner, Felipe entered the Boston Marathon, carrying a ring in his pocket for 26 miles. In the middle of Copley Square, he proposed and Valentina said yes. The Boston Marathon will always remind them of their commitment in the long run of marriage.
PHOTO BY ROGER DERIKX
PHOTO COURTESY OF HARTSHORN PORTRAITURE
Lisa and Rob McIntyre I had a romantic, traditional proposal. Rob asked my dad first, a secret from me. Later, in a beautiful New York City restaurant, he got down on one knee. Poor guy, he couldn’t bend down to tie his shoe without me screaming “I do!” Afterwards, we took a horse drawn carriage through Central Park and stayed in a hotel. The next day we told Rob’s mom and sister in person. Rob said, “We’ll officially have a new addition to our family!” His sister ran over to rub my belly. We had to clarify that I was not pregnant!
PHOTO BY LYN HUGHES
Arlene and Mike Baldassari On my birthday, as Mike and I were leaving for vacation in Hawaii, he gave me a large box. Inside was a giant plastic “diamond ring” and a bunch of carrots (read carats). As I stared, uncomprehending, he got down on one knee and proposed, explaining that he’d had a nightmare that he dropped the real ring in the sand in Mau! I appreciated his creativity even more when he revealed how hard it was to find carrots with the greens attached. We’ve been trying to keep a sense of humor in our marriage ever since. SPRING 2010
WHITE DRESS PRODUCTIONS (Doug Lohmeyer and Mark Leslie) Love the emotion in this shot. He turned to her just before they drove off and grabbed this kiss. Right place, right time. whitedressproductions.com
Snap Decisions Wedding photographers pick their best shots REENA ROSE SIBAYAN This moment was completely spontaneous and unexpected but the elements came together to show the bride and groom, who were just walking back to the limo from a portrait session at The Conservatory Garden in Central Park in New York City, waving back to tourists who were cheering them on from aboard a double-decker bus that just happened to be passing by. I had to react quickly to get this shot of a unique, fleeting moment on the bride and groom’s wedding day. reenarose.com
MARIE PAPP This photograph has a personal meaning for me, having lived in Hoboken for 25 years. The couple also lives in Hoboken so I figured why not put them in front of the mural? It has some really rich oranges and blues, and I like the way her blue sash plays off the blue in the mural and the naturalness of the couple sharing a laugh. mariepapp.com
TERRIANN SAULINO BISH I was grateful that the lighting came out the way it did because it was one of those shots that if I stopped to fiddle, the moment would have been gone. tbishphoto.com
WHITE DRESS PRODUCTIONS (Doug Lohmeyer and Mark Leslie) This shot is all about emotion. Not everyone’s big day consists of sunshine and light. Nighttime and rain can be equally beautiful. whitedressproductions.com
BLACK DOG PHOTOGRAPHY Living on the waterfront, I often take our amazing view of New York City for granted. The reflection of the sunset in the buildings was the perfect setting for this genuine moment, shot at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City. —Emily from Black Dog Photography. www.bkdog.com
THREADS “Marcia” - B148 Ivory Chiffon with Empire Waist and Beaded Lace
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THREADS “Scarlett” - B136 Ivory Tulle Halter Dress with Empire Seam, Detailed Embroidery and Beadwork with Crystal and Feather Accented Flowers
THREADS “Gwenyth” - B132 Ivory/Champagne Tulle Sweetheart Neckline with Cascading Charmeuse Panels with Champagne Ribbon Trim, Empire Seam and Champagne Crystal Beading
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and procedures are the ones that stay together. If your expectations and others’ expectations are laid out, that’s the best.” Enter the pre-nup.
The Opposite of Weddings
WEDDINGS REALLY ARE THE HAPPIEST OF EVENTS, BUT sometimes it doesn’t take long for those tears of joy to become tears of rage. Everyone wishes the best for newlyweds, but with the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in this country, it’s time to take a clear-eyed view of marriage. W I LL YO U MAR RY M E? AN D W H I LE Y O U’R E AT IT, how about signing this pre-nup? It may not be the most romantic proposal, but some think it could be the most prudent. Once bank accounts and country homes are entwined it’s hard to untangle the mess should it turn out that the match was not made in heaven. Judith Bielan, founding partner in the firm Bielan, Miklos, and Makrogiannis, is a certified matrimonial attorney and the incoming president of the Hudson County Bar Association. With offices in Bayonne and Hoboken, the all-woman firm handles its fair share of divorces. When couples are contemplating divorce, you “get people at their worst,” Bielan says. “You want to convey to them that they are in good hands, you keep abreast, know what’s going on at all times, and offer a little bit of solace.” After 20 years in the business, Bielan has some thoughts on marriage. If you get married, she says, “Treat it as a partnership with everyone crystal clear what is expected in writing. Usually partnerships that spell out policies 30
I F O N E S P OU S E HAS P R E MAR ITAL AS S ETS that he or she does not want to share, Bielan has some words of advice. If one partner owns a home as an investment property, you can avoid the divorced spouse getting his or her hands on it by taking these precautions: Keep the house in your name only; never use it as a marital home; if you rent it, keep good records; and do not use marital funds to renovate. In fact, these precautions apply to any asset, whether it’s a savings account or retirement account. In short, don’t “comingle” or put anything in the spouse’s name. One word that can strike fear in the hearts of divorcing couples is “alimony.” While it conjures up an era when women didn’t work and needed their husbands’ money to survive, the concept is still alive and well in the modern world, but with a twist. “My observation is that now you have women who work
(l.-r.) Sotiria Makrogiannis, Judith Bielan, Ilene Miklos, and Annureet Grewal
and make more money than their husbands,” Bielan says. “She’s also the one taking care of the kids, watching them, making dinner. The husband makes an income, but in the traditional way he defers to the wife, and in a divorce he’s eligible for alimony. She’s the super woman, pays the bills, manages the affairs, gives her paycheck, and he watches TV or goes to the gym. I see it over and over, and women go out of their minds.” H OW AR E AS S ETS U S UALLY D I V I D E D? Says Bielan: “Most courts, with a long-term marriage, slam the assets down 50-50. She’s a saver, putting money away, working eight- or nine-hour days, she’s cleaning house, doing laundry, and she gives half the assets, the money she’s earned.” Why do judges do it? “They just do. Not always, but most of the time, and you wind up going to trial and spending a lot of money on counsel fees.” This happens, she says, even though New Jersey is not a 50-50 state.
Another piece of advice? “Remain aware,” Bielan says. “More women come in to me, some of whom know better, and say they never saw the divorce coming. Don’t be so naïve. Never be one of those women who say, ‘I didn’t see it coming.’ Know your spouse’s character. Things can happen to you or your spouse that you never anticipate: the loss of a child, a car accident, somebody loses a parent and within a year that person wants a divorce. They’re reevaluating their mortality. Do they want to be with this person for the rest of their lives?” In the case of a life-altering event, Bielan advises “giving it a year to absorb it all.” She’s even heard instances of one spouse getting a brain tumor and not being who he was anymore and the other spouse wanting a divorce. ONE S ILVER LI NING F OR F OLKS G ETTI NG DIVORC ED in Hudson County: “The judges in Hudson County, the family part, are excellent,” Bielan says. “They’re hands on and really move cases along.” An advance in New Jersey law is irreconcilable difference as grounds for divorce. “Most of the divorces are irreconcilable differences,” Bielan says. “It used to be extreme cruelty, which starts off negative right away. We sometimes use it when we have domestic violence.” Bielan’s firm is very diverse. Partner Sotiria Makrogiannis is fluent in Greek, while Associate Annureet Grewal, who is incoming vice president, young lawyers, Hudson County Bar Association, is fluent in Punjab, and Partner Ilene Miklos, who was Hudson County Bar Family Lawyer of the Year in 2007, is gay. The firm is “very much in favor of same-sex marriage,” Bilean says. Same-sex partners in New Jersey currently can file for civil unions, which is just another name for marriage, according to Bielan. “Why call it something else?” she asks. “Why allow the courts to differentiate?” Bielan says she’s had clients who have come to her firm for their second divorces. She often recommends marriage counseling:
“Go to therapy. Find out why the marriage failed, so you don’t make the same mistakes again.” The bottom line? “Marriage doesn’t turn on love,” she says. “It turns on respect. If one person lacks respect the marriage is over.”—Kate Rounds SPRING 2010
C H I L D ’ S P L AY
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WHAM-O, INC
Hoop Dreams BY ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI
During the Healthy Kids Fair on the White House lawn last fall, First Lady Michelle Obama again attracted the world’s attention—this time for spinning a Hula Hoop a respectable 142 times. Though she also walked a tightrope, talked about nutrition, and ran an obstacle course barefoot, the media’s focus was on her swivel. Headlines proclaimed, “Hooping is Back!” Your kids would tell you something different: that it never went away. The Hula Hoop has been around for a long time. Throughout history, children have thrown, twirled, and spun hoops in the air, around their bodies, and propelled them along the ground with sticks. The ancient Greeks used hoops made of reeds and vines for exercise. The word “hula” to describe hip rotation emerged in the early 1800s, when British sailors first witnessed native Hawaiian dancers. In 1948, the fledgling WhamO company trademarked the name and started manufacturing a plastic version, selling the $1.98 toy on playgrounds in California. Within a year, it had sold a reported 100 million hoops worldwide. Along with Annette Funicello and Beach Blanket Bingo, the craze became emblematic of the 1950s, and Hula Hoops were a staple of every garage. Wham-O went on to introduce such classics as the pogo stick, the Frisbee, and the Slip ’n Slide. Today, health clubs offer adult hoopdance fitness classes using specially weighted hoops. World Hoop Day organizes hooping enthusiasts across six continents to hoop together for fitness and to fund donation of hoops to children in need. Programs are out there that use hooping as meditation, for therapeutic use in treating post traumatic stress disorder, and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For many of us, the Hula Hoop remains a symbol of childhood, when the best reason to do anything was for the sheer joy of it. So next time you’re sweating through another workout at the gym, try to remember the last time exercise was fun. Rather than punishing yourself, grab a few hoops and head to the park with the kids. After all, what goes around comes around.
RESOURCES bettyhoops.com worldhoopday.com hooping.org 32
Fair Ways Where to play golf without losing your shirt
BY DIANA SCHWAEBLE
erhaps P.J. O’Rourke said it best when describing the nation’s fascination with golf: “Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick.” And it also gives friends the chance to spend time together. Quality time with good golfing buddies is priceless, but really, how many can afford certain private clubs in New Jersey with membership fees as high as a quarter million? Golf, which was first created in Scotland and flourishes worldwide, is a game that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, and pros will
tell you that it’s a life’s work just to finesse your swing. But where can you go locally without spending a fortune? We’ve compiled a list of courses that won’t break your budget and are open to the public. These courses are open to the average duffer looking for a place to play with friends. Most of the courses listed have 18 holes (Orchard Hills has a 9hole course) and have reasonable fees for residents (between $22 and $45) and even manageable fees for nonresidents (many starting as low as $45). The novice golfer can even practice on the putting green on Bergen County courses for $5. Other fees such as cart rentals vary.
RESOURCES Driving Range Edgewater Golf Range 575 River Rd. (201) 840-4001 edgewatergolfrange.com
Rockleigh County Golf Course 15 Paris Ave. Rockleigh (201) 768-6353 (6354) Valley Brook Golf Course 15 River Vale Rd. River Vale (201) 664-5886 (5890)
Passaic County Passaic County Golf Course 209 Totowa Rd. Wayne (973) 881-4921
Darlington County Golf Course 277 Campgaw Rd. Mahwah (201) 327-8770 (8778)
Essex County Golf Course 1100 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange (973) 736-2306
Orchard Hills County Golf Course 404 Paramus Rd. Paramus (201) 447-3778 (3782)
Hendricks Field Golf Course 220 Franklin Ave. Belleville (973) 751-0178
Overpeck County Golf Course 273 East Cedar La. Teaneck (201) 837-3020 (3029)
But what about your swing? If you’re looking to put a little more oomph into it or correct a slice, a few area driving ranges offer a great way to practice. Open year round, Edgewater Golf Range has 88 heated and wind-proof stalls with bucket fees starting at $7 and offers club rentals for a nominal fee. It also offers lessons and sells equipment. Guests can get their aggression out by hitting buckets of balls all while enjoying gorgeous views of Manhattan. The driving range offers group or corporate events. Contact the club for more details. For a list of area public courses, see the resource box.—PM
Weequahic Park Golf Course Elizabeth Ave. and Grumman Newark (973) 923-1838
Union County Ash Brook Golf Course 1210 Raritan Rd. Scotch Plains (908) 756-0414 Galloping Hill Golf Course Kenilworth Blvd. and Galloping Hill Rd. Kenilworth (908) 686-1556
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B A C K YA R D A D V E N T U R E
PHOTOS BY KATE ROUNDS
A Waterfront Enclave Past and present meet in Brooklyn’s Red Hook ewcomers to Red Hook, the Brooklyn community that hugs the shore behind Governor’s Island, like to say that they discovered it. In fact, the area was settled in 1636 by the Dutch, taking its name from the land’s red soil and the shape of the peninsula that extends into the East River. Red Hook’s profile soared when Ikea, the Swedish big box store, opened there in the summer of 2008. But folks who land in Red Hook just to buy a $9 stick lamp without exploring the neighborhood are really missing something. Though you can get to Red Hook by subway and bus, the best way is by boat. The journey starts at pier 11, the ferry terminal just south of the South Street Seaport. The boat ferries shoppers to and from Ikea. Be sure to check the schedule. During the week, the first ferry is at 2 p.m. The fare is $5 one way. Save your receipts if you shop at Ikea because you can get a break coming back. The voyage is short, so don’t waste it with your head buried in the newspaper. The views of the harbor and the Brooklyn and Manhattan shorelines are beautiful. As you pass behind Governor’s Island in the Buttermilk Channel, if you’re lucky you’ll see the massive Queen Mary 2 tied up at her Brooklyn berth. Within minutes you’ll pass between the pier and the breakwater leading into Red Hook’s Erie Basin. The ferry docks right in front of Ikea but it’s an easy walk to Red Hook proper. Before you set out, you might want to take a look at the outdoor exhibits that document the port’s maritime past. There are big yellow bollards, coils of thick line, various shipyard tools, engraved cement counterweights marking the ships that have docked there, and helpful printed material on lecterns protected by glass. As you walk toward the residential section, you’ll pass a factory that now is home to a key lime pie baker, glassmakers, and other
artists. Not to be missed is the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, the authentic Lehigh Valley railroad barge built in 1914 and now functioning as a classroom, showboat, and art exhibition space. It’s all shipshape with both rough and beautifully varnished woods, fully restored by David Sharps, president and executive director of the museum. Within spitting distance of the barge is a Fairway supermarket. For the pioneers who live in Red Hook, this is a godsend, though some residents contested its opening in spring 2006. Both Ikea and Fairway are blatant reminders of how our cherished historic communities can be quickly overtaken by the modern world. In fact, as you walk Red Hook’s cobblestone streets, you can be overwhelmed by nostalgia for the past and even a kind of anxiety that it will disappear altogether. I first visited Red Hook more
B A C K YA R D A D V E N T U R E than a decade ago, arriving by water in a tiny 14-foot sailboat. At that time the huge funnel from an old sugar refinery was still there, its industrial geometry starkly beautiful. I was shocked, upon entering the port on the yellow water taxi to discover that it is gone. Along Van Brunt Street you’ll find art galleries, bars, bakeries, and restaurants, all of them comfortably at peace with their surroundings, tucked between brownstones and untamed garden lots. A couple of outdoor garden centers cater to folks who want to maintain these colorful patches of urban earth. We had an early supper of cheese steaks and beer at the Hope & Anchor—like the name implies, an entirely unpretentious watering hole with locals reading alone at the bar or enjoying good, plain food with friends. If you want your visit to Red Hook to be entirely aquatic, start at one of the ferry slips on the Jersey side. You can get to pier 11 from Port Imperial, Hoboken South, Paulus Hook, Liberty Harbor, and Port Liberte ferry terminals. A couple of words of advice: Go now. —Kate Rounds
RESOURCES New York Waterway nywaterway.com New York Water Taxi nywatertaxi.com Baked 359 Van Brunt St. (718) 222-0345 Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition 499 Van Brunt St. bwacgallery.wordpress.com Chelsea Garden Center 444 Van Brunt St. (718) 875-2100 Fairway Market (and dining patio) 480-500 Van Brunt St. (718) 694-6868 Fort Defiance 365 Van Brunt St. (347) 453-6672 The Good Fork 391 Van Brunt St. (718) 643-6636 Hope & Anchor 347 Van Brunt St. (718) 237-0276 Ikea ikea.com
Kentler International Drawing Space 353 Van Brunt St. (718) 875-2098 Liberty Sunset Garden Center 204 Van Dyke St. (718) 858-3400 Red Hook Ball Fields Latin American food stands (summer) Clinton and Bay streets Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies Pier 41, 204 Van Dyke St. (718) 858-5333 Sunny’s 253 Conover St. (718) 635-8211 Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge 290 Conover St. at pier 44 (718) 624-4719
VISITORS CAN VISIT A GARDEN CENTER, AN ART GALLERY, AND THEN RELAX WITH A BEER AT A LOCAL EATERY.
W E E K E N D G E TAWAY
A Historic Haven Hyde Park is steeped in Americana and offers stunning views of the Hudson STORY AND PHOTOS BY TRICIA TIRELLA
ranklin D. Roosevelt believed that the national parks represented the democratic ideal of a country that belonged to the people. It’s fitting then that his homestead—Springwood, where he and his children were raised—is now part of the National Park Service.
Touring Roosevelt’s home is just one of the many reasons to visit Hyde Park, N.Y., a serene Hudson Valley town overlooking the Hudson River. National park rangers lead tours year round through F.D.R.’s home, sharing stories and imparting bits of wisdom. “Roosevelt was the most
W E E K E N D G E TAWAY
significant president of the 20th century,” says Ranger Victor Pennes, “our only handicapped president, and the only president elected to four consecutive terms to the White House.” After Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Eleanor had “life rights” to the house, which meant that while she was allowed to live there, she would not own it. Feeling that the home really belonged to her mother-inlaw, she turned it over to the National Park Service. Nicknamed the “Summer White House,” the property was witness to countless historic events. Standing on the spot where they actually took place is a thrilling experience. Pennes tells us that when King George VI visited in 1939, a few months before World War II, Roosevelt’s mother Sara asked for the many military cartoons that had poked fun at British Royalty to be removed. Roosevelt did not remove them, and when the king saw the cartoons, he remarked that Roosevelt had many in his collection that he did not. “Mother also thought we should have a pot of hot tea waiting for your arrival, but I thought a tray of cocktails would be better,” Roosevelt said. The king joked that his mother might have proposed the same thing. TH E F R AN K LI N D. R O O S EV E LT Presidential Library and Museum is also on this site. Roosevelt made all his writings as president public before his death and anyone may arrange to go upstairs and peruse them. History buffs can also tour Eleanor’s home, Val-Kill. Eleanor, who was a luminary in her own right, operated her furniture company out of Val-Kill (pictured on p.38) during the Great Depression and after Roosevelt’s death made it her primary residence. This was the only home Eleanor, who was orphaned at eight years old, ever owned. In her dining room, which is historically accurate and furnished with Roosevelt heirlooms and tableware, you can truly
imagine what a holiday dinner might have been like. At Top Cottage, a hideaway three or four miles away from Springwood, Roosevelt escaped the crowds or hosted picnics for royalty. It’s open spring through fall. Roosevelt Farm Lane, now a hiking trail, links all these locations. Other hiking trails and recreational opportunities—like kayaking, biking, and camping—are available throughout the area. The Vanderbilt Mansion, which was the fall and spring home of Frederick Vanderbilt, the railroad tycoon from the Gilded Age, also hosts tours. The estate was sold by Vanderbilt’s niece to Roosevelt for $100 in 1938 and became part of the National Park Service. Ranger Jared Wagner says Roosevelt often rode his horse to the estate as a child because he admired the trees. “It’s believed to be the oldest intact estate landscape in the National Park System,” says Wagner. “The mansion is just the icing on the cake.” Ogden and Ruth Mills’ more lavish mansion is just north in Staatsburgh, N.Y., boasting 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms and featuring the original 16th century French furnishings. A few miles south in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, which spans the Hudson River close to the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Originally the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, it was abandoned after a fire in 1974. Last October it reopened as a park and now offers a spectacular new perspective of the river. TH E C U LI NARY I N STITUTE O F America is also located in Hyde Park, providing tours and five award-winning restaurants. American Bounty offers cuisine representing all 50 states. Reservations are recommended for some Culinary Institute restaurants.
Cranberry’s at Tilley Hall is a favorite local coffee shop on the site of the former Hyde Park Hotel. Across from the F.D.R. estate is the Hyde Park Brewing Company and Steakhouse. In addition to offering delicious micro-brewed beers, it’s a good spot to talk with locals to get suggestions on visiting sites in the region. Local bed and breakfasts, inns, and guest houses also provide unique experiences. The Belvedere Mansion offers accommodations in a 1760 estate furnished with 19th century French and Italian antiques. Hudson Valley Hideaway cottages are available May through October. These period outbuildings once were part of the Vanderbilt estate. Le Petit Chateau Inn on a 40-acre, 100year-old estate, and Costello’s Guest House, located in the Historic District, are also good lodging choices. Visiting the area is best by car, but the National Park Service introduced the “New Deal” program last year. A ranger picks up visitors from Metro-North’s Hudson Line at Poughkeepsie Station, drives them to the F.D.R. estate, and brings them back that evening. Pennes says they hope to expand the program. The region has much to offer, and rangers like Pennes make the trip to Hyde Park a rewarding and memorable experience—PM
RESOURCES Hyde Park is located about two hours from New York City. Take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Exit 18 and follow 299 east to 9W south. Follow signs to the Mid-Hudson Bridge and continue to Route 9 North. Hyde Park is about five miles north. Call Amtrak at (800) 872-7245 or MetroNorth at (800) 638-7646 for more information on public transportation. Cab service is available from the Poughkeepsie train station to Hyde Park. The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce’s website provides a comprehensive visitor’s guide that lists all the information for the places included in this story, as well as other historic sites, restaurants, recreation opportunities, and lodging. hydeparkchamber.org/tourism.htm# guide.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Chris O’Connor, Sinatra Park
The Play’s the Thing Regional theater gets top billing in Hoboken t’s hard to imagine a bigger challenge than creating a vibrant theater organization across the river from the world’s most theatrical street. But that’s exactly what Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre has done. Until 18 months ago, MST was without a home, playing in various venues around town and staging its popular classics at Sinatra Park in summer with New York City as a spectacular backdrop. This summer you can see Two Gentlemen of Verona. MST has now found a home at the Monroe Center for the Arts, which has the raw, energetic feel of the independent arts community. Upstairs it’s barn-chilly with wide factory corridors, bulletin boards, and kids’ art. In fact, the Hoboken Children’s Theatre also uses the facility, and you can hear them rehearsing behind closed doors. Founder and Artistic Director Chris O’Connor is just finishing a private session with a kid who wants to study acting in college. His assignment is from Two Gentlemen of Verona. O’Connor tells me something I already know: “There’s a lot of pressure, a lot of competition.” O’Connor is compact, soft-spoken, and serenely focused. An actor in regional theater with hundreds of acting and directing credits, he spends a lot of time fundraising. The theater operates on a budget of $26,000. “A drop in the bucket for Off Broadway, but we get a lot of bang for the buck,” O’Connor says. The company has snagged Equity actors, as well as Guiding Light star and Emmy winner Tom Pelphrey, who starred in the MST production of My Italy Story.
Ticket “donations” are about $25 but no one is turned away, and you can buy a ticket for $5. Often, the theater institutes a Pay as You Will policy. “We want to be accessible to seniors, people on fixed incomes, and young people,” O’Connor says, “and we want to have a full house.” O’Connor puts MST solidly in the professional camp. “No others are producing at our level,” he says. “We get coverage in the Times and the Star Ledger.” The company is well known for its Seventh Inning Stretch, an annual festival of original 10-minute plays about baseball. Since 2003, 41 new plays have been produced, some by well-known playwrights such as Neil LaBute. The 8th annual Seventh Inning Stretch is slated for March 13. The Mile Square fosters a true community feeling, developing a “conversation with the local audience” and holding post-play discussions. “The theater is connected to schools,” O’Connor says, offering “study guides and discussion questions after every kids’ show with the actors on stage.” O’Connor says that despite the “greatest theaters in the world” across the river, Mile Square is getting a lot of buzz and provides the total theater experience at lower prices. Audiences have “heard about us, seen the reviews, they can walk to the theater, and then stay in Hoboken for dinner.”—Kate Rounds Mile Square Theatre @ Monroe Theatrespace 720 Monroe St. (201) 208-7809 milesquaretheatre.org
The Sunken Ships of Bayonne STORY AND PHOTOS BY AL SULLIVAN
t the southeastern corner of Bayonne rests the wreck of the Estelle Krieger, a 1,172-ton passenger schooner built in 1899 but left to rot along the piers of the Port Johnson coal docks along with the five-masted barkentine Macerata. While a path exists along the shore from an area near East Fifth Street to the former Port Johnson dock, these two ships, along with two other smaller boats, are largely invisible from the shore. The vessels are listed on the New York Harbor “ship ruins tour.” At low tide, they rest in the mud flats at the end of the path. A small marker stands at the observation post at the far end, listing their names. The path, which runs for about three quarters of a mile along one of the most remote portions of Bayonne, was overgrown and used by city workers to access a storm water pipe and maintenance shed and by kids wandering to the waterfront after dark. Last year, thanks to a gift from the local chemical company IMTT, the path was widened, weeded, and opened to the public as the newest member of the city’s park system, open from 8 a.m. to dusk each day. IMTT also planted 10 maple and walnut trees, joining the cluster of birch trees already lining the path. Some of the plants are typical of wetlands, making the park a natural preserve. The path also features 26 lights powered by solar panels, as well as benches built from recycled plastic. From the park you can see a tiny Venice-like community of cottages, where residents tie off their boats in front of their homes. This is the exclusive Atlas Boat Club, a throwback to
the 19th century when Bayonne was known as a yacht haven and summer resort of New York City’s social elite. Mark Twain and other luminaries occasionally visited here for a rest and a sail. Nearby are the remains of the old Johnson Coal Yards. Oil tanks and other emblems of industrialization would soon engulf this idyllic spot.—PM SPRING 2010
HOME ON THE HUDSON
PHOTOS BY AMY HAND
The House the Butcher Built This grand Hoboken home has seen 130 years of domesticity
or one house-hunting couple, a long search for a home in Manhattan ended happily in the Mile Square City.
“We looked at scores of places in the city,” the husband relates. “A friend in Hoboken showed us a place there we liked, and on the way back to the PATH, we saw pictures of this place in a realtor’s window and went in and looked at it. We were overwhelmed.” The house is a huge brownstone built in 1880. But what overwhelmed them is what they found inside. “There was lots of Queen Victoria style, dark velvet curtains, it was very formal,” the
ON THE HUDSON
husband says, pronouncing it “froofy” (read frou-frou). They continued looking in Manhattan until they decided to do some “financial modeling” on this house. Using the building’s carriage house as a rental unit, they figured, “It was more affordable than initially anticipated.” And the rest is history. They closed in August 2004, and have been living there during the renovations. They stripped back some wood and removed a couple of “gaudy” mirrors. Their overall philosophy was that it was OK to
remove things that were “not original to the house,” but “We tried to keep the house as we got it.” For example, they did not open it up by removing walls. Among the spectacular details of the house are intricate carved ceilings and other carved wood. The house was built for Michael Smith, an Irish immigrant who was a butcher. In the formal dining room, a large builtin unit features fine carvings of game and other animals. You get the impression that being a butcher in Hoboken at the turn of the last century was a pretty lucrative business. The original banister has a newel post with the butcher’s initials carved into it, and a local Hudson County artisan is building another newel post to match the original. A completely renovated bathroom manages to fit perfectly with the rest of the house while sporting new fixtures and a modern look and design. The kitchen was remodeled the year before the couple bought the house: “They did a great job. It looks like an old style farmhouse, not terribly modern but it has modern amenities.” Between the main house and the carriage house is a small garden. “We practically live out there in summer,” they say—Kate Rounds
Honshu Sushi and Noodles Lounge BY DIANA SCHWAEBLE
Spring is a terrific time to sample lighter fare and enjoy the fresh flavors of the season. Honshu Lounge in Jersey City—with its beautifully crafted sushi rolls and plethora of appetizers—easily fits the bill. Tucked in the heart of downtown, this second-floor eatery on Montgomery Street is a quiet retreat for those looking to unwind with friends. Honshu is also a great spot to take a date. With low lighting and candles on every table, the mood is relaxed and intimate without trying too hard. It’s also terrific for those on a budget. As a bring-your-own liquor establishment, guests can save on pricey cocktails and bring a favorite wine or beer. On a recent Wednesday night, my date and I brought a bottle of Pinot Grigio that the staff corked and iced. We started with two staples—the beef negimaki and gyoza— and were not disappointed. The grilled beef and scallions was sufficiently seasoned and rolled into bite-sized morsels. The minced pork and vegetable dumplings with a soy vinegar sauce had a nice spicy bite and weren’t at all greasy. Next, we sampled the rock shrimp dish, which was delicious. The lightly fried shrimp were served over a bed of mixed greens and came with a satisfying tangy sauce. Then onto the rolls! One can’t visit a sushi restaurant without sampling the fresh fish. We decided on the signature Honshu roll, the lobster roll, the tuna tartar, and a few servings of sashimi. While I’m somewhat of a sushi novice, preferring the rolls to the larger slabs of sashimi, my date dove right into the tuna and slices of blue fin and baby yellow tail. He described the fish as fresh and flavorful, which is exactly what one wants when eating raw fish. He also loved the tuna, which was molded into three artsy looking trees resting in a colorful spicy sauce. 44
The lobster roll was stuffed with thin slices of lobster, avocado, cucumber, and white seaweed. This is a milder roll for those who don’t like spice. It also had a surprising crunchy texture. The Honshu roll was a delightful mix of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and avocado and came with the Chef ’s special spicy sauce. We split the chocolate lava cake that was as pleasing to the eye as it was tasty. While my date noted that the cake failed to erupt—no melting chocolate inside—it was still deeply satisfying with layers of chocolate cake, raspberry sauce, and creamy vanilla ice cream topped with fresh mango puree. Although we arrived close to closing, the service was impeccable. We were never rushed by the staff and were given ample time to savor each dish. The staff was courteous but never hovering. Although all tables are set with chopsticks, silverware is happily provided to those who need it. While the food is a draw, the atmosphere is sure to bring people back. Lacquered black tables accented by white walls and eclectic art give the restaurant a hip feel. And the comfortable high-backed booths let you relax while savoring a meal. Just make sure you go there hungry. With over two dozen rolls to choose from, traditional noodle dishes, soups, salads, and appetizers-aplenty, you’ll want to try several items. Honshu is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and can also be rented out for private parties. Go online to find out more.—PM Honshu Lounge 31 Montgomery St., Second Floor Jersey City (201) 324-2788 honshulounge.com
restaurant highlights along the hudson
american BOULEVARD DINER 9201 Bergen Boulevard North Bergen (201) 861-2006 The folks at this family restaurant and diner have more than 40 years in the restaurant business. Open 24/7, Boulevard Diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day and also features daily specials. Ample parking is available in its spacious parking lot. AMEX, MC, V, D, $, ,
Rated by Zagat NJ’s Top Steak House and one of America’s Top Restaurants
ch Serving Lun & Dinner
WATERSIDE RESTAURANT AND CATERING 7800 B River Road North Bergen (201) 861-7767 www.watersiderestaurantandcatering.com Located on the Hudson River across from Manhattan, The Waterside offers dramatic views of the New York skyline, impeccable service, the best steaks and seafood on the water, and fine wines in a wide range of prices. The restaurant, which is under new management, has just been completely redesigned, combining contemporary energy with classic elegance. Enjoy live entertainment Thursday through Sunday. Valet parking is available. AMEX, MC, V, $$$, ,
nu Bar Only Me pm 00 1: -1 11:30 am s until 12am) ay rd tu Sa & s ay rid (F E LIV sliders, Friday featuring Kobe Entertainment ” Platters, e se g n ee u the “lo Artisanal Ch & Saturday in esar Salad”, PM “Mixed Grill Ca starting at 9:00 d much more r appetizers an uvres pe oe su d' rs ho ith ur w Cocktail Ho SUSHI 4—6pm ay SUSHI SUSHI id Fr yda Mon u prepared en New sushi m . hours h c n own sushi chef lu r d ou e d Expan to order by ay Monday-Saturd m 11:30 am—5p www.riverpalm.com
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other locations Mahwah & Fair Lawn
201 -2 24-2013
1416 River Road, Edgewater
AMEX (American Express) D (Discover) DC (Diners Club) MC (Master Card) V (Visa)
$ (under $15) $$ ($15 to $25) $$$ (Over $25)
(No Liquor License)
TOUCH OF SPICE 4114 Park Avenue Weehawken (201) 472-9735 www.touchofspice.com
24 - 69th Street (1/2 block from Boulevard East) Guttenberg (201) 861-6588 www.gpsrestaurant.com
One of the newest restaurants to open on Park Avenue is Touch of Spice, which serves home-style Indian dishes in a cozy ambience at very reasonable prices. A local hit, the allyou-can-eat lunch buffet provides a variety of options to tantalize the taste buds. BYOB service and ample street parking are available. All credit cards are accepted. Price range $8 to $15. AMEX, MC, V, D, $$
737 Newark Avenue Jersey City (201) 795-2750 www.casadante.com The new Casa Dante retains its classic charm while featuring a modernized, more cosmopolitan style. The new bar, lounge, and revitalized interior create an atmosphere that combines live music, dancing, and of course, the finest Italian cuisine—and valet parking. AMEX, MC, V, D, $$, ,
Serving traditional homemade Italian/American food for more than 30 years, GP’S is a local favorite. Its Greek house salad and hearty family meal keep customers coming back year after year. One important detail … GP’S has valet parking! AMEX, MC, V, $$, BAR AMEX, MC, V, $$,
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Jersey City’s premier dining experience, offers steak, seafood and more, with an elegant flare. Tucked into a brownstone in Historic Downtown Jersey City, Edward’s is comfortably upscale. Edward’s two well appointed dining rooms and classic Prohibition era bar provide the perfect venue for intimate evenings and larger gatherings. New Jersey Monthly Magazine recently awarded Edward’s Steakhouse “3 stars” in recognition of the highest quality cuisine and service. Edwards’ Wine Spectator Award winning wine list offers over 130 selections to please the wine lover. Edward’s serves lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and is open for dinner Saturday evenings. AMEX, MC, V, $$, 8,Ç
187 Hackensack St., Wood-Ridge (201) 939-2000
www.edwardssteakhouse.com 239 Marin Boulevard, J.C. (201) 761-0000
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Rated The Record 2/25/2005. “If it's good enough for Britney Spears, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blidge, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Martha Stewart and executives of the world's top companies, then Martini Grill in Woodridge might be worth checking out.” Live Jazz Friday and Saturday.Minutes From Teterboro Airport. Extensive Martini Menu and Wine List. Restaurant • Bar • Lounge.
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AMEX (American Express) D (Discover) DC (Diners Club) MC (Master Card) V (Visa)
$ (under $15) $$ ($15 to $25) $$$ (Over $25)
(No Liquor License)
DISH MARTINI GRILL 187 Hackensack Street Wood-Ridge (201) 939-2000 The restaurant received three stars from the Bergen Record. Bergen Health & Life Magazine awarded it the best chef, best martini, best wine bar, and best calamari. The Record Readers Choice awarded it the best martini and tapas menu. Drink specials are offered Monday-Friday, noon-7 at the bar. Enjoy live entertainment WednesdaySaturday. The Martini Grill is just minutes from Teterboro Airport. If it’s good enough for Britney Spears, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Martha Stewart, and executives of the world’s top companies, then it might be worth checking out. Live jazz Friday and Saturday. AMEX, MC, V, D, $$, ,
japanese KOMEGASHI 103 Montgomery Street Jersey City (201) 433-4567
KOMEGASHI TOO 99 Pavonia Avenue Jersey City www.komegashi.com (201) 533-8888
R E S TA U R A N T & C AT E R I N G
THE BEST STEAKS AND SEAFOOD ON THE WATER
BREATHTAKING NYC SKYLINE VIEWS AMAZING Wine List ENTICING American Menu OUTDOOR LIVE Entertainment Thursday –Sunday PERFECT Location For Your Catering Event from 50-210 People with customizable menus
Outdoor Dining for Lunch and Dinner on the Water’s Edge (weather permitting)
7800 B River Road North Bergen, NJ 07047 www.watersiderestaurantandcatering.com
Outside Bar for Cocktails under the Starlight
Fresh, beautifully presented sushi and traditional Japanese fare is the order of the day at two of Jersey City’s favorite restaurants. Komegashi too sits on the waterfront with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline, while the original has been serving the financial district for 15 years. AMEX, MC, V, D, $$,
steakhouse EDWARD’S STEAK HOUSE 239 Marin Boulevard Jersey City (201) 761-0000 www.edwardssteakhouse.com
OPEN TUESDAY - SUNDAY / CLOSED MONDAYS
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Edward’s Steak House offers steak, seafood, and other sumptuous fare with an elegant bistro flare. Tucked into an historic townhouse in downtown Jersey City, Edward’s is comfortably upscale. The menu includes all the classic steaks and chops—aged prime sirloin, porterhouse, filet mignon, and more. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or stopping by for a steak sandwich at the bar. AMEX, MC, V, $$, ,
THE RIVER PALM TERRACE 1416 River Road Edgewater (201) 224-2013 www.riverpalm.com In addition to its tender, prime, dry aged beef, sparkling fresh seafood, farm fresh salads, extra thick chops, homemade desserts, and an award winning wine list, the River Palm also serves a full sushi menu prepared by its own sushi chef. AMEX, MC, V, D, DC $$,
PHOTO BY MARIE PAPP
Questions for Alison Ferrie BY DIANA SCHWAEBLE
Discipline and patience don’t typically spring to mind when speaking with a 23year-old, yet that is exactly the kind of stuff it takes to become a river pilot. Other words come to mind about Hobokenite Alison Ferrie: grit, passion, and persistence. Ferrie graduated from SUNY Maritime College in September 2009 as a merchant marine. Her unlimited license enables her to work on large ships of any size. That would be enough for some. But not for Ferrie, who plans to continue her training to become a river pilot—a program that takes a grueling 12 years to complete. River pilots help ships safely navigate to port. The work is in her blood. When she completes her training she will be the fifth generation of river pilots in her family on her father’s side and the first Ferrie woman with that distinction. Although not the first woman river pilot, she will be one of the few in the area. 48
As a merchant marine, what kind of work will you do?
I would like to ship out and work on preferably a tanker or a container ship, but I’ll take anything I can get. Then I’m going to apply for the Sandy Hook’s pilots program, which is a New York- New Jersey harbor pilot license. The application process is about one and a half years, so I want to ship out before I become an apprentice, which is for five years and then I’ll be a deputy pilot, which will be another seven years.
out that need a pilot are calling you. You have deck hands on the boat and a motor boat that is alongside the station. The motor boat is the one that runs out to wherever the ship is coming from—either from one of the anchorages or coming from the sea. Another week you are “riding ships.” You have to get the experience of riding the river itself—coming in from sea or leaving one of the anchorages. At the end of five years, you have to be able to draw the charts by hand.
What do river pilot apprentices do?
So you’re tested on your ability to draw harbor charts?
For one week, you’re the captain of the floating boat, the boat that drifts out by Ambrose channel. You’re in charge of the radio. So the ships that are coming in or
You’re drawing in all the little buoys in their exact spots. You have to know the characteristics of each buoy—its shape and how many times it flashes. All the
land will be there, but you have to draw in the shoal lines. You have to know all the main anchorages and the channels going into New York. You need to get a 98 percent. That’s what everyone dreads when they want to become a pilot. But after five years, it’s easier. My uncle is a pilot now and he probably could do the chart with his eyes closed.
What would you be doing as a deputy pilot?
You’re a pilot at that point, but you’re limited in size. They do the smaller ships, so you wouldn’t be bringing in the 960-foot container ships into the harbor. We bring the boats in or out. Everywhere you go in the world, you’re required to have a local pilot bring you in.
Would a major storm affect bringing a ship in?
Believe it or not, a storm doesn’t really affect it. The shipping industry is very expensive so if a boat needs to come in and unload, it’s coming in.
As a pilot, what are your typical hours?
You work four weeks on and two weeks off. Roughly, you work every other day. You could be getting on a ship at 3 a.m. or 8 p.m. You have to bring one ship in and one out and then you drop back to the bottom of the call list.
Are you steering the ship or giving commands?
You’re giving commands. You give a helm command and a rudder command, depending on where you are or what the situation is with the current. You will also make engine telegraph orders telling them to slow down or speed up depending on what you need.
What inspired you to want to become the first woman river pilot in your family?
My family has always been in the industry. My dad works here [in Hoboken] at Union Dry Dock, and they repair barges and ships. I was always around it and I always loved it. I decided I was going to go to Maritime for the same type of career.
Did you sail as a kid?
We always had a boat. We always did water sports, went fishing. For a couple of summers, I was on a sailing team in Cape Cod.
What is the best part of the job?
It’s exciting. Being in the middle of the ocean is very peaceful. It is an indescribable feeling being in control of something so large. As far as Sandy Hook, it’s just a niche that is in my blood. It’s a lot of fun. You hardly ever get the same ship twice, so you meet a whole lot of different people from a whole lot of different places in the world.—PM
WHAT’S THE MOST EXPENSIVE WEDDING YOU’VE EVER PLANNED? WHAT’S THE NORM? I’ve planned a few exceptional weddings in the multi-million-dollar range, including the best food, venue, décor, florals, entertainment, and so on. As for the norm for my company, I offer different levels of service ranging from planning to design or both. It also varies greatly depending on guest count, design, location, and so on. All my events are completely customized.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SPEND TOO MUCH AND HAVE TOO MUCH? As weddings are a direct reflection of the bride and groom, the budget will be also. For some people, a wedding will be the most over-the-top day of their lives and they will spend as much as they can. As long as they don’t lose sight of the real meaning behind the day, and as long as they don’t make their guests uncomfortable, their budget is their business.
ARE OUTDOOR WEDDINGS TOO RISKY? An outdoor wedding in some areas can be really risky, but when it goes well, it can top any other venue. Anyone planning an outdoor wedding in a part of the world that gets rain, heavy wind, high tides, or any other risk factor must have a solid backup that they are also happy with.
ANY ADVICE ON INCLUDING KIDS IN THE WEDDING PARTY? It’s crucial to have quiet toys, games, or entertainment. This is not only more comfortable for the kids, but also the rest of the guests and for the parents so that they can really enjoy the wedding!
IS IT A BAD IDEA TO INCLUDE PETS IN THE WEDDING? After 23 years in the business I have seen it all! Pets can feel like part of a family so I see why people would want them included. Make sure you have one designated “handler” whose only role is to keep things under control.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE BRIDES FOR YOUR SHOW? All the brides are chosen through our production team. I don’t even meet them until the moment you see me on camera when I knock on their door. I have no involvement in the selection process, which is important because the meeting and design process truly start and unfold as you watch.
WHY DO YOU ALLOW ONLY THREE WEEKS TO PLAN? It allows me enough time to get to know the couple, to properly plan things, and is a short enough time to keep things exciting for the viewer.
HAVE YOU HAD GAY COUPLES ON YOUR SHOW? Not yet!
IS ONE OF YOUR GOALS FOR THE BRIDE NOT TO SHOW UP ON AMERICA’S FUNNIEST VIDEOS? Last season, one of my brides was having her big “reveal” moment when she sees the groom for the first time. As she glided down the steps like a princess, she stumbled and fell! Once we knew she was alright, and once she and her husband to be were able to laugh it off, I too found the humor in it.
IF PEOPLE CRY AT A WEDDING, DOES THAT MEAN YOU’VE DONE A PARTICULARLY GOOD JOB? Tears are a sign of overwhelming joy and emotion. These are good tears that show how touched guests are, how moved the couple is to be getting married, and how loving family members are in the presence of true love.
IF YOU COULD TELL A BRIDE JUST ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Be a guest at your own wedding. Do as much pre-planning as possible and hire as many professional vendors as you can so that on the day of, you can enjoy your own party just like a guest.—Kate Rounds SPRING 2010
D AT E S
MARCH New Look, Same Great Taste! Ten Years of Collecting 2000-2010 New and recent acquisitions Jersey City Museum 350 Montgomery St. (201) 413-0303 jerseycitymuseum.org Through Aug. 22
5 JC Fridays A day of free arts events held throughout Jersey City (201) 915-9911 jcfriday.com
6 ArtsEcho Galleria “Bravo Brazil” Celebrating the music and art of Brazil 3809 Park Ave. Union City (201) 617-1110 artsechogalleria.com
13-27 The Passion Play Park Performing Arts Center Union City (201) 865-6980 parkpac.org
APRIL 1-18 Mile Square Theatre Rounding Third by Richard Dresser Monroe Theatrespace 720 Monroe St. (201) 208-7809 milesquaretheatre.org
MAY 1 Stevens Concert Series DeBaun Auditorium 5th St. between Hudson and River Hoboken 8 p.m. debaun.org
7 The Riviera Winter history hike with Eric Nelsen Fort Lee Historic Park 11 a.m. (201) 768-1360, ext. 108 njpalisades.org
13 8th Annual Seventh Inning Stretch Seven 10-minute plays about baseball DeBaun Auditorium 5th St. between Hudson and River Hoboken 8 p.m. milesquaretheatre.org
Friends of Liberty State Park Annual park celebration luncheon Liberty House Restaurant in LSP All welcome Noon-4 p.m. (201) 792-1993 Visit folsp.org for cost pesinliberty@earth link.net
6 Judith Jamison Legacies & Legends Legendary choreographer and artistic director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Film screening
and moderated conversation. New Jersey Performing Arts Center Victoria Theater 1 Center St., Newark 7:30 p.m. $28 (888) GO-NJPAC njpac.org
7-9 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater New works as well as Ailey classics like the gospel-infused “Revelations.” New Jersey Performing Arts Center Prudential Hall 1 Center St., Newark May 7-8, 8 p.m.; May 9, 3 p.m. $23-$92 (888) GO-NJPAC njpac.org
15 ArtsEcho Galleria “Eco Fashion” Sustainable couture by ArtsEcho Galleria designers 3809 Park Ave. Union City (201) 617-1110 artsechogalleria.com
NEW YORK MINUTE Through April 11 The New York Botanical Garden The Presence of Trees: Photography by Larry Lederman Trees in the New York Botanical Garden and Westchester County Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery 200th St. and Kazimiroff Blvd. Bronx, N.Y. (718) 817-8700 nybg.org
(top to bottom) Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; JC Fridays; Juith Jamison
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