arts. culture. life. jersey city. WINTER 2012
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Complete online form while waiting at home Arrive at our facility at your projected treatment time to be seen by one of our health care professionals *Jersey City Medical Center was the only hospital in Hudson County to receive an “A” rating in an independent national study conducted by the Leapfrog Group.
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CONTRIBUTORS & STAFF Farooq Alihassan is a Jersey City native and Rutgers University graduate. He is a freelance photographer who splits his time between photography and work with the developmentally delayed community. farooqalihassan.tumblr.com SUMMER DAWN HORTILLOSA is a journalist covering art and news for the Jersey City Independent as well as a playwright and actress. She lives on the cityâ€™s West Side. summerization.com CHRISTOPHER LANE is based in Jersey City and specializes in documentary and portrait photography. He works on a regular basis for major publications and enjoys spending time in Jersey City with his wife Jasmine, son Morris and daughter Savannah. christopherlane.com MICKEY MATHIS is a freelance photographer who has spent many years documenting the changing faces of Jersey City. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Essence and other publications. mickeymathis.smugmug.com JACK SILBERT is a writer, editor, internet-radio DJ and occasional emcee. He has written several books and contributed to The New York Times, New York Press and other publications. saltinwound.com.
Dan Strauss is an illustrator, writer and performer based in Jersey City. He is the founder of 1RODHWY and Jersey City Comics, and has participated in group art shows in New York City and Portland, Oregon. jerseycitycomics.com Melissa Surach is a senior writer at the Jersey City Independent, a comedian who was born and raised in Jersey City and a Fiction MFA candidate at the New School. She writes sketches for the comedy troupe National Scandal and she drinks way too much beer. LARYSSA WIRSTIUK is a writer and writing instructor who likes to spend time with her miniature dachshund Charlotte. Born and raised in North Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. craftyourdrafts.com 4
PUBLISHER Catherine Hecht firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Jennifer Weiss email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Chuck Kerr STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Steve Gold GUIDE PHOTOGRAPHER Beth Achenbach COPY EDITORS James Fernandez Dan Strauss COVER IMAGE Alex Swain NEIGHBORHOOD MAP Matt Ward MAP DESIGNER Jaden Rogers/FinePointDesigns.net SPECIAL THANKS TO The loyal support of all businesses and organizations that encourage and sustain NEW. Advertising support makes NEW possible. Please show your thanks by supporting our advertisers. ABOUT NEW NEW is published four times a year by the Jersey City Independent. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent.Copyright 20092012. We belong to Authentically Local, New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association, New Jersey News Co-op, and New Jersey Press Association. CONTACT US general firstname.lastname@example.org to advertise email@example.com WeAreNew.com JerseyCityIndependent.com Twitter.com/JCIndependent Facebook.com/JerseyCityIndependent
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GE OWER VORCOVE PHO ST VE ARTISSUTSRIE ARK CHACTN GE HAR PAUL
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4 NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT
In Greenville, a rich past, community and a candy shop.
16 lighter than air
Samuel Pott looks to take Nimbus Dance Works to new heights.
22 8 a tale of two eateries hometown heroes Business partners Michael Garcia and Geza Gulas create an unlikely pairing.
Meet the brains behind WFMU, the revered radio station next door.
28 JERSEY CITY MAP 30 LIVING GUIDE 42 MARKETPLACE 47 ON THE COVER & JIVE TRAIN
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By Jack Silbert Illustration by Matthew Ward
Luther King Drive in Greenville. Thomas and OK John Jackson were freed slaves turned successful oystermen and land-owning farmers. Their home (on what is now Winfield Avenue) served as a “safe house” for the Underground Railroad. Greenville would become an independent township in 1863 and part of Jersey City in 1873. By the early 20th ISND century, the farmlands of the L LAJacksons’ era had given EL S way to a bustling, multi-ethnic commercial district. I By the mid-1960’s, however, the neighborhood’s fortunes were in flux. Whites were fleeing to the suburbs, and malls had become people’s retail destination rather than urban shopping zones. Over the next decade, more and more local businesses were shuttered while crime increased. Fast-forward to today, and not much has changed on MLK. But to paint all of Greenville as a lesson in urban decay is far from accurate. That overlooks the many quiet, long-established residential blocks. Greenville is a vast neighborhood, stretching to Bayonne to the south and traditionally extending east to the Hudson River. Now, the opulent Port Liberté community has carved its own neighborhood out of Greenville, with a ferry terminal and the Liberty National Golf Club, home of the 2013 Barclays tournament on the PGA Tour. In August, the Jersey City Medical Center announced plans to re-open Greenville Hospital, closed since 2008. In 2011, Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County
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completed two new single-family homes in Greenville. And back on MLK, there are also signs of life. Between Stegman and Wegman is the Growing Hands Urban Farm, a link to Greenville’s “green” past and hope for its future. The Friends of the Lifers Youth Corp officially opened the garden last June, transforming a vacant lot into a real neighborhood asset. Since then, they have grown fresh produce (tomatoes, basil, green beans, lettuces, and much more) and offered up packaged foods for sale. A greenhouse in the works will allow for year-long operation. “My hope for the Urban Farm is to grow healthy, affordable vegetables in our community so families can eat healthy and learn about how food is grown,” says Friends of the Lifers’ Executive Director Annette Joyner. “Also, we are providing jobs to a group of young men and women.”
BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE Buildings are boarded up; elegant architecture crumbles. But history still has a strong foothold in Greenville, thanks to the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum (second floor of the Greenville Public Library branch, 1841 Kennedy Boulevard, 201-547-5262. Open on Saturdays, admission is free). It is one of only two such museums in the state. The museum, which opened in 1984, grew out of the educational and history committees of the local NAACP. The late Theodore Brunson was the museum’s original director; his son, Neal Brunson, has been director since 1998. There are three separate museum sections: Africa and African art; African-American folk art (including a quilt collection); and the main section focusing on history, from early settlements and the slavery era to the Progressive Era, churches, music, civil rights and beyond. Of the new professional opportunities and equality efforts during the Progressive Era, “Jersey City was very reflective of that,” Brunson says, “a tremendous history in regards to the AfricanAmerican community’s development.”
Brunson is particularly proud of the museum’s many original artifacts and hands-on features. He’s added a house façade (based on an 1870 home built by an African-American) around the replica urban kitchen his father installed. He feels that interacting with actual items really engages young visitors. “You hand a kid a slave shackle—our kids think that they’re super-people. And that they would just run away,” Brunson says. “But you feel a slave shackle, and it’s heavy, it’s iron, and it can easily lock onto an arm or ankle. You’re not going anywhere. It contextualizes history.” Of course, not all memories are housed in a museum. Dee Dee Roberts is a lifelong resident of Greenville. Thinking back to her formative years here in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, a visual quickly comes to mind. “I was walking on Ocean Avenue, I turned at Myrtle, and boom—you start down the hill and there was the Statue of Liberty,” Roberts recalls. “That was something we loved.” Young Dee Dee walked everywhere, to church, Girl Scouts, movie theaters, and to attend Snyder High School and Jersey City State (now New Jersey City University on JFK Boulevard). She and her friends would meet at the shops along Jackson Avenue (now MLK Drive) or go to Muller’s Ice Cream Parlor for lunch. “It was a sense of community that was just wonderful,” Roberts says.
A SWEET SURVIVOR AND CLASSIC ITALIAN Nearly all of those Jackson Avenue shops and eateries are long forgotten. But a consistent sweet spot since 1919 has been Fischer Confections (205 MLK Dr., 201-432-4337, open Mon.-Sat., 9:30-6). Frank Fischer’s grandfather started the business, and Frank took over after graduating high school in 1962. It was originally an ice-cream shop and luncheonette on one side, with candy for sale on the other. The shop’s exquisite original woodwork is still intact, punctuated with country scenes hand-painted on glass. In 1969, Fischer decided to focus only on 7
candy and chocolates, and it’s been that way ever since. Every day, he makes chocolates by hand, replenishing any dwindling stock in his showcase. Right now, Pecan Pixies —milk chocolate and caramel-filled—are Fischer’s top seller. And we’re entering the shop’s peak season. “The busiest holiday is Valentine’s, then Easter, then Christmas,” Fischer says. A local student comes in after school to help with customers. Frank Fischer has been behind the counter for 50 years, and he doesn’t anticipate stopping anytime soon. “I like coming to work,” he says. “I have no idea why I like coming to work, but I do.” Meanwhile, to the west, don’t drive too fast along Terhune Avenue or you just might miss Laico’s (67 Terhune Ave., 201-434-4115, laicosjc.com, open daily). The beloved Italian restaurant is tucked away in the middle of a residential block in a converted house. (A green awning helps it stand out a little.) Louis
Laico opened the place as a bar and pizzeria in 1972. His son, also Louis, was away at college in Kentucky on a golf scholarship. When Louis returned from school, he started helping out at the restaurant, and never left. The younger Louis Laico helped transform the pizzeria into a much-acclaimed restaurant with a wide range of pasta, seafood, steaks and other offerings. “It’s beyond a neighborhood restaurant now,” says Nancy Salerno, Louis’s sister-in-law, who assists with their social-media presence. “A lot of people are calling it a destination restaurant.” Indeed, in 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek named Laico’s the best pre-game meal for Giants and Jets fans, recommending the veal francese and shrimp fra diavolo. (There will be a special holiday menu for New Year’s Eve.) Despite their longstanding success, Laico’s very much remains a family operation. Louis’s brother-in-law Jimmy runs the bar, and Louis’s son Greg is a bartender. Salerno
NEIGHBORHOOD HIGHLIGHTS Greenville is serviced by the 8th Street Light Rail at Richard Street and Danforth Avenue, and by New Jersey Transit bus lines 6, 10, 80 and 87. Here are some other places to check out.
• CHERRY’S LOUNGE: Cocktail lounge features Wednesday night karaoke, DJ nights on Saturdays, drink specials — and the kitchen is open! 102 Martin Luther King Drive
• ART ON THE BOULEVARD: Stay tuned for the March JC Fridays, when Jesika Smith once again invites you to enjoy art, live music, poetry and the outdoors. 265 Danforth Avenue, facebook.com/jesikasmithart
• CRAZY GREEK: Long-established fun, friendly diner. A great breakfast spot. 123 Martin Luther King Drive
• BAYVIEW-NEW YORK BAY CEMETERY: Among those buried in this cemetery, which dates back to approximately 1848, are two New Jersey governors, two Jersey City mayors, and a 19th-century Jewish section. Enter at Garfield and Chapel Avenues.
Jersey City Dance Academy: In business for 35 years, the school offers classes for adults, children and teens. 107 Westside Avenue, jerseycitydanceacademy.com • KEEPSAKE PHOTO CREATIONS: Open since last June, Tonya HandyRobinson’s business provides portrait services and hosts themed parties. 180 Danforth Avenue, keepsakephotocreations.com
even worked there at age 16 as the “phone girl,” jotting down and packing up take-out orders. She feels that the family connection is key. “When we go to my sister’s house for holidays, that’s the food we’re eating,” Salerno says, “really good, authentic Italian food.”
ART, TOGETHERNESS & SNACKS While Laico’s is serving up calamari, Elizabeth Deegan is concentrating on community. She is jumpstarting the local art scene with Project Greenville. Deegan wants to help her creative neighbors plan more nearby events, so residents don’t have to leave Greenville to enjoy art and culture. “Right down the street there’s a great painter; around the corner from him there’s a kid who takes great photographs,” Deegan says. “I want to try to coordinate all these people.” On December 7, 8 and 9 (coinciding with the month’s JC Fridays), Project Greenville
hosted its second annual Winter Wonderland Weekend. The celebration took place in Deegan’s backyard gallery (128 Winfield Ave., 646-3611858, projectgreenville.webs.com), a cool old garage with brick walls, wooden rafters overhead and Christmas lights (“for color and whimsy,” Deegan notes). In addition to paintings and photos of winter scenes from a wide variety of local artists, the event featured cookies, hot chocolate, a fire pit and a raffle. “It’s an extremely cozy thing,” Deegan said.
LOOKING FORWARD Gardens, history, art and chocolates just scratch the neighborhood’s surface. Greenville still has plenty to offer; dedicated long-time residents and enthusiastic local youth refuse to give up. “I feel a sense of energy, I feel a sense of commitment by people in the community,” says Dee Dee Roberts. “There is a sense of hope.”
Dive Bar to
Top: The gang at Lucky 7 Tavern Bottom: Satis Bistro 10 10
They both offer burgers, but the similarities between Lucky 7 and Satis Bistro stop there
Fine Dining by Laryssa Wirstiuk
PHOTOS by Christopher Lane
ucky 7 Tavern, a trendy dive bar in Downtown Jersey City, and Satis Bistro, a fine dining establishment in Jersey City’s polished Paulus Hook neighborhood, could not be more different. While the former lures a diverse crowd with its cheap drinks, barbecue and soul food and has décor reminiscent of a college dorm, the latter attracts foodies with a salumeria and events like Beaujolais Nouveau tasting parties. Given the staggering differences between the two, who would expect that both are the pride of one entrepreneurial pair? “I see it as children,” says Michael Garcia, co-owner of Lucky 7 and Satis with his business partner, Geza Gulas. “I don’t love one more than the other, but each one is so different.” Garcia and Gulas first met in 2003 at Weichert Realtors, where they sold real estate before sharing in ownership of a Jersey City-based construction
business and eventually taking the plunge into the bar and restaurant industry. Gulas had moved from Manhattan to Jersey City in 2002, shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Garcia arrived from Somerset County in 2003. “We kind of liked the way we did business together and purchased investment properties, fixed them up, sold them,” Garcia says. Of the two, only Gulas has previous restaurant experience. In 1998, he began working for a restaurant group that took him from his hometown of Budapest, Hungary to London, then Miami and finally New York, where he worked for Delmonico’s in the Financial District until 2002. “When we heard Lucky’s was for sale we knew the real estate bubble was going to burst really soon. We wanted to get involved in other things besides real estate and construction,” Garcia says. “It was just a life change. We underestimated the amount of work it would take and the amount of time we would have to be there.”
When they purchased the bar in 2007, it was called El Camino, but the two changed its name to Lucky 7 Tavern, the bar’s original name. “This may be a bit of folklore, but I heard the original name Lucky 7 came from a group of seven PR guys that won the lottery and bought a local bar together,” says Garcia. “The venture was short-lived, but the name endured.” At the time, Lucky 7 didn’t have the best reputation. According to Garcia, it was a “fun and almost notorious bar,” but the pair didn’t want to change its identity. They hung out there themselves, and simply wanted to improve upon its status as a dive. “Anyone can feel comfortable there. It’s not ‘Cheers,’ but almost everyone knows everybody. We cleaned it up a little bit and didn’t change the dive bar aspect of it,” Gulas explained. “All of Jersey City is represented.” In addition to a diverse crowd, Lucky 7 is known for its daily specials and
colorful characters, drawn to cheap drinks like Pabst Blue Ribbon and $3.50 well drinks during happy hour (weekdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) Thursdays are Ladies’ Night, a chance for ladies to enjoy 50 percent off all drinks, plus a dance party hosted by DJ Dancing Tony. “Dancing Tony (Susco) and DJ Bill (McCamie) are Jersey City legends from the days before it was cool to live in Jersey City,” Garcia says.
Left: Lucky 7 patrons. Right: Diners at Satis Bistro.
A BAR’s Upscale Sister While running Lucky 7, Garcia and Gulas continued to work in the real estate industry. In 2008, Gulas was marketing a building with ground-floor commercial space at 212 Washington Street, at the corner of Washington and Sussex Streets in Paulus Hook. “It became obvious that it would be difficult to lease the commercial space. At the time, nobody wanted to open a new business because it was impossible to get business or commercial loans,” 13
Gulas says. “Without a liquor license, the space was not that attractive to a business person hoping to own a restaurant. As a BYOB restaurant, you don’t make a lot of money.” Recognizing great potential where no one else saw it, the business partners considered purchasing the space at the beginning of 2009. “A corner property on Washington Street in Paulus Hook is a plus location,” Garcia says. “When the opportunity presented itself, and we decided it was worth the effort and the risk, we started talking about Satis.” Though scheduled to open its doors
“We figured if anyone came in for dinner, that would be gravy. We were very surprised that it was the opposite.”
in spring/summer 2010, Satis did not officially open until December of that year. Adjacent to the main dining room is a narrow space with its own entrance on Washington Street. Hoping to eventually turn the space into a bar, but not sure if they would be able to get the liquor license, the pair decided to turn the then-wasted space into a gelateria instead. In June 2012, more than a year after opening, Satis announced that it would finally obtain its liquor license. Gulas credits the supportive residents of Paulus Hook with helping them get it. Like Lucky 7, Satis serves draft beer, but the bar also offers cocktails and an extensive wine list featuring more than 40 wines sold by the glass. According to Garcia, “this whole project has been a work in progress.” At the beginning, both Garcia and Gulas tried to make predictions and envision the future of the restaurant, but many aspects of the business did not go as planned — in the 14
most positive way possible. During the planning stages, the pair had envisioned Satis as a lunch destination because of its location near a business district. Now, Satis doesn’t even serve lunch. “At first, we figured if anyone came in for dinner, that would be gravy,” Garcia says. “We were very surprised that it was the opposite.” At Lucky 7, Garcia and Gulas have also needed to be flexible to accommodate whatever challenges or limitations they experience. With a boxy six-by-six space for a kitchen, they’ve learned about the power of efficiency. Garcia is amazed by how many burgers the cooks are able to make in the tiny kitchen on a busy Sunday. “With Lucky 7, we’ve learned a lot from an operational and organizational perspective and about understanding a business’s ups and downs. Dealing with different personalities. Lucky’s has definitely helped us in that way,” says Garcia. Not trained chefs themselves, the pair depend on their staff to fulfill their vision for them on a daily basis. They were lucky to find Chef Michael Fiorianti after interviewing about 30 chefs. “He was the first one in our age group and with a similar style. We immediately clicked and bonded with him,” says Gulas. Garcia was particularly impressed by Fiorianti’s ability to adapt to the restaurant’s needs. Says Garcia, “He just understood our concept and came out with great menus. He wasn’t trying to do Asian fusion at a modern European restaurant. And he had impeccable references.” Originally from Queens, the thirtysomething chef now lives in Jersey City. He graduated from New York City Technical College’s culinary program and apprenticed at highly regarded restaurants – including the French Laundry in the Napa Valley – before becoming executive chef for Goldman Sachs in Jersey City.
From left: Lucky 7’s bartop and Satis Bistro’s table tops.
According to Garcia, Chef Fioranti “loves going to Lucky’s and watching football.” Nothing on the menu at Satis is frozen, and the kitchen tries to source all ingredients locally. The menu items change frequently to accommodate available produce and ingredients, and the kitchen tries to offer something new every three to four months. “We spend thousands of dollars every month on produce and weird vegetables I had never heard of before working here,” says Garcia. “We try and source from the best. The fresher, the more delicious they are.” While he says he has developed a greater appreciation for interesting and high-quality food since opening Satis, Garcia says he does not consider himself a foodie. His partner, by comparison, “has always been very into food and wine,” Garcia says. “He has expensive taste.” The fall/early winter menu includes dishes like rabbit and chorizo paella, pomegranate glazed lamb belly with sweet potato gratin, homemade ricotta gnocchi, and cauliflower “steak,” a menu staple for vegetarians. “I know there are a lot of vegetarians in Jersey City who would like to see something a little more challenging than the usual suspects on the menu. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m completely impressed by the cauliflower steak,” says Gulas. “It’s a fantastic dish yet so simple.” Brunch lovers will also be impressed by the restaurant’s daylight offerings on Saturdays and Sundays. Menu items include creative dishes like eggs cocotte – two eggs baked on top of aged goat cheese and creamy wild mushroom polenta – and carrot, raisin, and walnut buttermilk waffles with caramelized pineapple compote. Though the dishes may sound like something one would find at a very high-end restaurant, Satis makes fine dining casual and still relatively inexpensive; diners can
enjoy a three-course meal for $30. On any given day, customers can order from the salumeria and cheese menus, which include prosciutto, chorizo, salame, and assorted gourmet cheeses, among other specialty items. At the turn of the century, the space that Satis now occupies used to be the neighborhood butcher shop, so the meats hanging on a far wall beside a meat slicer seem appropriate. The kitchen sources its meats from Salumeria Biellese, a family-owned artisan butcher in Manhattan. Biellese now sells to Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich’s famed Italian market Eataly, but Garcia claims that Satis was a customer first. Opening a bar and a restaurant has definitely expanded Garcia and Gulas’ interest in and knowledge of food. They were stunned by the two-day process required to braise short ribs and the six-day affair known as bouillabaisse. Gulas enjoys barbecuing, and he and Garcia have been trying to make dishes more ambitious than hot dogs. “Every day I learn a new name of a sauce or a new way of chopping things,” Garcia says. At the end of dinner or bar service, the duo believes the one aspect that unites Lucky 7 and Satis is the fact that they are small businesses enriching their respective neighborhoods. With their
backgrounds in real estate, both understand that small businesses boost the local real estate market just as much as the local real estate market boosts small businesses. “One thing Jersey City needs to do across the board is realize that small businesses are going to drive economy and improve quality of living and real estate prices. The better they do, the better the neighborhood does,” says Garcia. Gulas credits the supportive residents of Paulus Hook with helping Satis attain its liquor license. A resident of the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, Gulas says he tries to support local businesses as much as possible. Garcia does the same. “We really enjoy what we do: moving people
Lucky 7 TAVERN
322 2nd Street, lucky7tavern.com Year opened: 2007 Most popular dish: Lucky Burger or hot wings Most popular drink: Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) and Yuengling Most expensive entree: BBQ sampler ($9) Signature burger: The Lucky Burger: 8 oz of seasoned ground beef ($7.50). Cheese and specialty toppings are each $1 extra.
in here and getting people excited about living and eating in Jersey City,” Garcia says. “Our families are here and our businesses are here.” When asked if they would consider opening another bar or restaurant, the duo admitted that they would if they found the right opportunity. In fact, they said they are looking at a property and have many ideas, though they declined to elaborate. “The urban planning here in the last six years has been really good in terms of what’s going to be built, the dynamic of people moving here, and the historic neighborhoods and how they’ve been kept,” says Garcia. “We think Jersey City is poised for something big. We think there’s a tremendous opportunity. We’re new Jersey City guys, and we’re interested to see what happens here and how it plays out.”
212 Washington Street, satisbistro.com Year opened: 2010 Most popular dish: Short rib or gnocchi Most popular drink: Wine (with more than 40 available by the glass) Most expensive entree: Steak or lamb belly ($29) Signature burger: Satis Burger: 8 oz. fresh ground burger, shallot marmalade, Boston lettuce, roasted garlic aioli, served with pommes frites ($12; only available during brunch) 17
Dancers perform “Untitled” by Turkish choreographer Korhan Basaran. Photo by PeiJu Chien-Pott.
p u in the clouds
Samuel Pott's vision bringS Nimbus Dance Works to great heights
By Summer Dawn Hortillosa
This page and next: Dancers at a Nimbus rehearsal in October. Photos by Mickey Mathis.
Ten minutes before the third night of last winter’s Jersey City Nutcracker is set to begin, a pint-sized Statue of Liberty throws a tantrum when she can’t find her torch. Two girls dressed as gingerbread cookies roll around on the floor and hundreds of other kids — or what appear to be hundreds — zip this way and that through Grace Church Van Vorst’s Parish Hall. Then Samuel Pott enters, seemingly unfazed, always in control. At six-foot-four, Pott towers over the children — and most of the adults. The kids snap to attention and say, “Hello, Mr. Pott.” He smiles back, then goes into the green room to give his dancers a last-minute pep talk. Just before curtain, he welcomes the audience and introduces the show, 20
an adaptation of the E. T. A. Hoffmann Christmas classic set in an alternateuniverse Jersey City. The lights dim, Tchaikovsky booms through the speakers and the magic begins. Nutcracker is the crown jewel of Nimbus Dance Works, a nonprofit dance organization that started as just a few bold choreographic ideas from Pott, its founder and artistic director. Today, Nimbus employs seven dancers and three apprentices and performs for more than 12,000 people each year. Its JC Grooves after-school dance program teaches more than 2,000 seventh graders annually — and Nimbus dancers perform for every seventh grader in the city’s public schools each year. This summer, the company opened a
brand-new school at the Barrow Mansion. In December, Nimbus is rolling out the third incarnation of Nutcracker, which has featured several pros, including Pott and his wife, PeiJu Chien-Pott, and hundreds of local kids since 2010. The audience favorite caps off a year that featured an impressive program of dance works from around the world — including the ethereal “Danzon,” by Cuban choreographer Pedro Ruiz; a new work by emerging Turkish choreographer Korhan Basaran; and "Scarabs," choreographed by Pott and involving Hong Kong composer Samson Young and New Yorkbased visual artist Nicola Lopez, who constructed large set pieces the dancers interacted with during the performance. Nimbus’s performances stand out in Jersey City, which is home to tons of visual-arts venues and has a small but fairly established theater community but not much dance. Yes, The Kennedy Dancers, a Heights-based nonprofit, has 35 years under its belt. And yes, there is new blood coming in with the Your Move Modern Dance Festival, Insurgo Stage Project and Armitage Gone!, run by famed choreographer Karole Armitage, which starts its season out of Mana Contemporary in January. Still, top-level dance here has been difficult to come by. With its emphasis on quality and youth outreach, Nimbus stands to make a powerful impact on the community at large. Pott, 36, didn’t start formal training until he was 19 — which is crazy, considering most dancers begin before they hit the double digits. Even more surprising is that the New York City native spent most of his youth playing sports, drawing, painting and sculpting. While studying fine art at the University of California at Berkeley, however, his focus shifted when a friend gave him tickets to an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance. “I was amazed and decided to get my nerve together to sign up for a modern dance class. I didn’t know what to expect at all. I thought it was
going to be like Flashdance with a room full of women with Velcro Reebok sneakers, leg warmers and headbands,” he says. “Instead, it was mostly women in leotards with bare feet. The teacher put me on a two-week trial period — if I could hang with the class, they’d officially let me in.” He made it, and as he realized dance was a combination of his two passions, art and athletics, Pott fell in love. “All I knew is I wanted to dance and dance and get better,” he says. Pott danced for the Oakland Ballet Company in California for 10 years, then was hired by the American Repertory Ballet in Princeton and New Brunswick, which prompted his move to Jersey City in 2004. He joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2009. During time off from American Repertory in 2005, Pott decided to get some dancers together to perform some of his original pieces. They called themselves Nimbus Dance Works, like “a rain cloud... moving into environments and creating change,” he says. As a choreographer, Pott is inspired by music, experimentation and the joy of movement. He also likes to incorporate historical tales, as in “Letter Home,” about a World War II soldier’s letters to his young wife — and audience interaction, as he did in 2006’s “Memo,” a breakout piece that showed him his side project could be something more. “It’s unique in that it involves performers drawn from the community who are not necessarily trained dancers... the audience provides their own memories which are interacted with on stage,” Pott says. “We realized that if could create dance that involved the community, if we were able to ask them to participate and contribute, it made the experience more rich and meaningful for everybody.” Pott took on the daunting task of starting a nonprofit by finding allies in the community and building his troupe of dancers over the years. Now, Nimbus boasts a board of directors with art-world heavyweights like president Betsy Sobo, who along with her husband, Joel, has led nonprofit dance companies throughout 21
the state. The company’s artistic clout helped attract about 120 dancers vying for two slots in September; the dancers who got the job had to prove they weren’t just skilled, but also passionate and just as excited about performing at Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York as they were for patients in the Jersey City Medical Center lobby. Fanny Gombert, who danced with Nimbus from 2010 to 2011, spoke fondly of everything from performing “Arabian Dance” in Nutcracker to working with 5-year-olds who played the “Cookies,” their equivalent of Mother Ginger’s Bon-Bons. “He hires the very best dancers and is very good at directing us,” she says of Pott. “And we don’t just get to dance, we also get to share our passion with the community.” It’s Nimbus’s investment in its hometown that has attracted strong support. Fundraising, ticket sales, performance fees, grants, sponsorships 22
from organizations like the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Grace Church, and partnerships with groups like the Jersey City Board of Education help raise the more than $250,000 Nimbus needs to pay its performers, teaching artists, crew and staff (comprised of Pott, who until recently did not receive a salary, and managing director Ivet Bandirma). And of course, there are always costumes, stage equipment, venues, rehearsal space and more to buy or rent. Somehow, Nimbus — and Pott — have managed to do it all. “It’s an intense amount of work — rehearsal schedules, grants, negotiations with partners, marketing... And then someone’s got to go out to the warehouse and schlep costumes back and forth or make sure the dance floor is down correctly,” Pott says. Eventually, juggling Nimbus, his regular job and raising his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter with Chien-Pott, Sofia, became too much. Working with his wife both at
Martha Graham and Nimbus (where she teaches, takes photos and runs their website) also has its challenges. “At times [Nimbus] takes over our lives and we need to take a step back and forget about it,” Pott says. “He usually accepts my opinions, but sometimes not, and then we fight,” says Chien-Pott. “But I always feel lucky that I have a husband with the same interests and vision... I’ve learned so much from Sam and from being Mrs. Nimbus.” Pott quit working for Martha Graham in June. Now, his modest income from Nimbus and his wife’s salary (she still works for both companies) keep the family afloat. He has no regrets, saying, “This is a real calling for me and I wanted to really focus on it 100 percent.” Local kids stand to benefit the most from Pott’s work. For example, Pott says High Tech High School junior Luis Garrido, who starred in the first two Nutcracker productions, started as
“We don’t just get to dance, we also get to share our passion with the community.”
— Former Nimbus dancer Fanny Gombert
an “uncoordinated, goofy sixth grader” in JC Grooves and became an “extremely talented performer [with a] real passion for the arts.” “It was one of the most rewarding productions I’ve ever been involved with,” says Garrido, who comes from an artistic family. “In my second year, the work was harder and more laborious, the production was even larger than the first and the payoff was that much more quenching and emotional after the final bows.” The company offers young people the chance to learn more about the arts “and become passionate about something creative,” Garrido says. “It’s also a common ground for our community to come together and support each other. I’m positive that many [others] would say Nimbus has made a profound impact on their lives as well.” Your Move festival co-founder Avianna Perez agreed and called Nimbus a “gem for everyone in this city.” “I get really excited when I hear about modern and contemporary dance being taught in public schools. It’s not something I had growing up and I think it is so valuable,” she says. “Dance is one of the best forms of physical education — it keeps you fit, allows you to explore artistry as well as athletics, and helps foster confidence and self-empowerment.” Indeed, the city is Nimbus’ top priority. “It’s great to perform here and build more momentum,” Pott says. “There are a lot of dancers in Jersey City and there are lots of youth here that need access to this type of involvement in dance. We see ourselves continuing to build the scope of our organization and partner with nationallevel artists and organizations — or even international. We’re looking to build a nationally recognized dance company based right here in Jersey City.” For more information, visit nimbusdanceworks.org.
Our hometown station has been entertaining us for years, and now looks to open a new venue by
M elissA SuracH PHOTOS BY FAROOQ ALIHASSAN
DJ Bryce, on air Fridays from noon to 2 p.m., queues up a song.
Ken Freedman discusses the station.
Widely revered for its eclectic programming, independent spirit and eccentric sense of humor, WFMU FM has been called the best radio station in the country by Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. It would be no exaggeration to state that every record collector, rock and roll obscurantist and fan of non-commercial radio in the Tri-State Area is aware of the station. But it seems less widely acknowledged, even in Jersey City, that WFMU is in fact our local radio station— broadcast out of a converted teal storefront row house on Montgomery Street. Posters of diners and WFMU artwork, including a glow-in-the-dark map of New Jersey, cover the walls of the studio. Toys litter the common area, and station manager Ken Freedman keeps a collection of more than two hundred kitschy velvet paintings on the second floor. Detroit garage-rock veterans the Sights were recording a live set for the show ThreeChord Monte when I met with Freedman, a 53-year-old silver fox in a plaid shirt. 26
With the rest of the staff on lunch break, Freedman scrambled to resolve a transmitter issue as we spoke. “It’s always something,” he said. He eventually fixed the issue, restoring the uninterrupted stream to WFMU’s upstate New York listeners. Freedman and screenwriter Andy Breckman co-host Seven Second Delay, a live call-in show broadcast from the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. “The station has a real Jersey identity,” Freedman said, “even though we have more listeners in Brooklyn.” In fact, WFMU broadcasts to both Jersey City and upstate New York but has twice as many listeners online. It offers a progressive variety of options for your listening pleasure — among them, live streaming, podcasts, archives and apps. An internet radio programming pioneer, it has six different streaming channels on its website. While WFMU’s online presence accounts for twice as many listeners, Freedman maintains that a radio broadcast signal remains vital to the station’s identity. “People still listen to radio,” he said. “That perception [that
Clockwise from top left: a WFMU sign; records and fan art; notes on the wall in the studio; Freedman listens for irregularities in the broadcast.
they don’t] is a myth.” And he remains equally adamant about the station’s connection to the Garden State. “We’re very proud of our Jersey identity,” he said. Freeform or Death, a documentary about WFMU slated for release in early 2013, features Freedman as the protagonist struggling to keep the station operating while simultaneously advocating and fundraising. The documentary’s Kickstarter fundraiser for post-production received more than $80,000 from over 700 backers, far exceeding its initial goal of $50,000. The film’s director, Tim Smith, claims he just wanted the world to know more about the station. “It highlights an American tradition that values freedom and independence above all else — that’s why people went West, so they didn’t have to answer to anyone,” he says. “That’s what WFMU is doing. There’s a lot of conversations in this country about corporations and government in our lives. WFMU’s success shows that you don’t have to have either.” In the world of freeform radio, DJs
maintain complete control over their playlists and program content, unencumbered by any mandate from the station or corporation with a stake in it. The format became popular in the 1960s, mostly at college stations. WFMU started broadcasting in 1958 from Upsala College in East Orange, and within 10 years became the first full-time freeform station in the New York area. When the university went bankrupt in 1994, the station stayed on, broadcasting from the abandoned campus at the only occupied building left, Avatar House, until 1998. At that point, it moved to Jersey City. Freedman started out as a DJ but has served as station manager since 1985 and has dedicated much of his life to keeping WFMU alive. The station eschews advertising, a rarity in today’s radio landscape. With an operating budget of $1.8 million, WFMU relies entirely on listener support. Every year, the station holds a marathon fundraiser during the first two weeks of March. They usually raise about $1.2 million through that effort, and about $200,000 from the 27
Detroit garagerock veterans the Sights record a live set for the show ThreeChord Monte.
autumn record fair they sponsor in New York City. A silent fundraiser held online in October accounts for further revenue. Some of the stunts Freedman has pulled for money include agreeing to get an Eagles tattoo on his shoulder if the station raised $23,000 within a certain timeframe. Freeman hates the Eagles, but proudly sports the tattoo today. In the 1990s, he danced naked on the roof as a result of “strip pledging,” removing an article of clothing for every $250 raised. Last March, he covered himself with melted LPs to appear as a vinyl Iron Man. Most of the money raised goes toward the salaries of seven staff members, and then for broadband fees and maintenance. Including all the DJs, the station boasts more than 200 volunteers who find time in their schedules to help keep it running. When Freedman and music director Brian Turner rotate the programming schedule twice a year, they seek out people who fit into WFMU’s ethos — DJs with spontaneity, creativity and humor who might be willing to push the envelope and take the station in new directions. “We like talk shows and music shows that represent our sensibility, which is pretty weird,” said Freedman. He used
the show Miracle Nutrition With Hearty White as an example, describing White as a “stream of consciousness, backwoods, Kentucky-accent man with old-timey country music who talks about food.” DJ Therese Mahler says she’s honored to be at the station, having been a fan since high school. “The people I have met and the opportunities I have had as a result have made my life better in more ways than I can count… WFMU DJs have showed me that there’s no wrong way to put a show together,” Mahler says. “I love each and every one of those weirdos.” Adam Horovitz, better known as Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, applied at one point for a time-slot and underwent training in the studio — after he was told he might have to work as a volunteer for a year, as DJs are usually required to do — but the show fell through eventually due to his focusing on other projects and, presumably, being busy and famous. But the most notable WFMU volunteer might be Tom Scharpling, who hosts a comedy call-in show called The Best Show on WFMU — by far the station’s most popular show, according to Freedman. Jon Wurster, drummer for Superchunk and the Mountain Goats, plays most of the
characters who call in. Since it began in 2001, dozens of well-known comedians, including Patton Oswald, Todd Barry, Jon Hodgman, and Kurt Brounoleuir, have made guest appearances. Scharpling also directs videos, with credits including the video for Ted Leo’s “Bottled in Cork,” a parody of Green Day’s musical for Funny or Die, and Titus Andronicus’s “No Future Part 3: No Escape from the Future,” which ends with a scene on the roof of the Iron Monkey. He claims that some calls take weeks to write. While he could be doing paid gigs in the time he spends working on the show for free, he chalks up his willing enslavement to his belief in freedom. “It’s a place that, when you consider the way things work in the 21st century — that it should’ve been co-opted or taken over — it’s still a single entity that exists without corporate takeover. It’s its own thing,” he says. He raised $206,000 in six hours during this year’s marathon fundraiser. Despite the accomplishments of these dedicated volunteers, Ken Freedman’s vision for the future of the station seems particularly ambitious. The “Studio of Tomorrow,” as he has dubbed the proposal for a new venue, is still a million dollars and at least two years away. But if all goes according to plan, it will comprise a unique, technologydriven cultural endeavor that fills a longstanding need in our community. For many years, Jersey City’s lack of a dedicated music venue has raised complaints from local residents who want to see live music without having to travel far. Freedman has developed a potentially exciting solution to the issue: expand WFMU into a public studio venue for performances, broadcasts, lectures, talk shows and other programming, all of which will also be streamed online. The station is working with the Division of Cultural Affairs and mayor’s office on its plans, but at this point, the Studio of Tomorrow exists only on a promotional
IT SHOULD'VE BEEN
TAKEN OVER ...[BUT] IT'S ITS OWN THING. — TOM SCHARPLING
brochure. In theory, it will be located on the first floor of the station, with 64 seats and no liquor license. Despite the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, which caused an estimated $400,000 worth of damage on the existing station, Friedman has no intention of abandoning the project, though he has said his main goal is to recover. The Studio of Tomorrow will be a testament to freeform and creative expression. It will also be a way for the station to give back to its longtime home. Patrick Stickles, frontman from Scharpling’s Titus Andronicus video, feels strongly about the station’s connection to New Jersey. “You people out there, you think you know New Jersey?” Stickles fumed. “You think because you’ve seen The Sopranos, The Real Housewives, The Jersey Shore, you heard about the garbage dumps, you’ve smelt the Meadowlands when you were driving down the Turnpike, you think you know New Jersey? You don’t know anything about New Jersey.” For years, WFMU has been working to change that. And if the station successfully opens a new venue, its offerings in our corner of New Jersey will get better still. Additional reporting by Dan Strauss wfmu.org 29
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LIGHT HORSE TAVERN 199 WASHINGTON STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 946 2028 lighthorsetavern.com Opened in 2002, this local favorite has become an institution. Light Horse Tavern has a new young chef, Carlos Ortega, who brings a new exciting vision to the Jersey City culinary scene. The chef's philosophy is to source seasonal ingredients and to preserve the integrity of the product when cooking. The seasonal menu always includes a variety of fresh oysters and clams, as well as lighter fare such as grilled octopus salad, or heartier favorites like organic ale-braised rabbit with fresh garganelli pasta and green olives. Whether settling in at the bar for a pint or indulging in the spectacular cuisine, you are sure to become addicted to the experience. Check the website for special events including live jazz, a Wednesday seasonal farmers market tasting menu, and wine tastings. Visit any day for lunch, weekend days for brunch, and always for exquisite food, people watching and pristine outdoor seating.
THE HAMILTON INN 708 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 (FREE PARKING AT 723 JERSEY AVENUE) T 201 839 5818 hamiltoninnjc.com The Hamilton Inn is a welcome revival within the Downtown Jersey City community. Nestled on the corner of 10th Street and Jersey Avenue, a block from Hamilton Park, with free parking available at 723 Jersey Ave on the corner of 12th Street and Jersey Avenue. The Inn’s cozy, classic atmosphere invites guests to dine indoors or out on a well-rounded menu that features organic meats and local produce, and ranges from truffled egg pizza to signature East LA fish taco. Or enjoy an Inn Burger at the bar, where you can also find a nightly happy hour, signature cocktails, assorted craft beers, and an impressive list of fine, yet affordable wines. With its kitchen open until 1 am on the weekends, a not-to-miss brunch experience featuring $4 cocktails, and weekly specials that include Tuesday Trivia with “geeks who drink” and half priced pitchers from 7pm-11pm, Half-Priced Cocktails Wednesdays, Endless Happy Hour Thursdays, and Wine-Down Sundays, The Hamilton Inn’s friendly staff is not the only reason to visit this bustling neighborhood fixture. 33
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
HARD GROVE CAFE 319 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 1853 hardgrovecafe.com Take one step inside this artsy Downtown restaurant and you'll know that you’re in for an entertaining evening. Latin music and Cuban mojitos set the tone for a South Beach-like party atmosphere, while authentic Cuban food choices are available — from Hemingway churrasco steak to shrimp with garlic sauce to the classic Cuban shredded beef. The Hard Grove Cafe has expanded its menu to include vegetarian selections with a Latin emphasis, like vegetarian lemon salsa chicken. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, check out the allyou-can-eat Latin mango-pineapple BBQ chicken, ribs or pulled pork with prices starting at $9.99. The cafe offers brunch on weekends, and features selections like mixed berry pancakes, breakfast quesadillas and huevos rancheros — not to mention bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Stop by the Hard Grove and enjoy a magnificent experience.
BUBBY's BURRITOS 440 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 333 1550 bubbysburritos.com Bubby's Burritos is a cozy Downtown California-Mexican eatery which prides itself on providing fresh, natural, lard-free ingredients in all its dishes. Its homemade corn tamales, nachos, burritos, tacos and quesadillas are oil-free and never too hot or spicy, while its salsas, guacamole and chili are handmade fresh on a daily basis with onions, cilantro and natural ingredients. Bubby's offers delivery throughout Jersey City and Hoboken.
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THE IRON MONKEY 99 GREENE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 435 5756 ironmonkey.com
Founded 16 years ago by Stephen McIntyre, The Iron Monkey quickly became a favorite place for Jersey City residents to eat and drink. Today, The Iron Monkey offers casual, modern American cuisine with three floors for eating and drinking. The main bar has a wonderful traditional pub feel. The second floor offers an elegant, yet vibrant, dining experience that is perfect for dinner with friends or corporate parties. The Iron Monkey also boasts the only rooftop in Jersey City with dining and a full bar. In addition to having the most unique space in Jersey City, The Iron Monkey has been a longtime proponent of the craft beer movement. With 39 taps devoted to craft beer and a bottle list that numbers well over 300 bottles, The Iron Monkey ranks among the elite destination beer bars in the Northeast.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
RUSTIQUE PIZZA 611 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 222 6886 rustiquepizza.com Rustique serves killer brick oven pizza alongside delicious comfort Italian cuisine and homemade desserts. All bread and mozzarella cheese are made fresh in house elevating the menu items above and beyond the usual. Stop by to meet the Rosiello family in the dining room or take advantage of take out or free delivery!
LITM 140 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 536 5557 litm.com Every day is new and exciting at LITM. The popular destination is a restaurant, bar & art gallery known for its creative, seasonal cocktails, extensive beer list, happy hour specials, modern American food and monthly art shows. Judges' Choice winner of the 2010 + 2011 4th Street Mac & Cheese Cookoff and People's Choice winner of the 2012 Chili Cookoff.
HOUND ABOUT TOWN 218 MONTGOMERY STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 721 5532 houndabouttownjc.com You live a stylish urban lifestyle — your pet should too! At Hound About Town, convenience meets community. These cozy boutiques focus on ecofriendly, locally made apparel and accessories, as well as optimal, sustainable nutrition choices for your pet. Second location at Hamilton Square (17 McWilliams Place — 201 918 5557).
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JERSEY CITY CHILDREN'S THEATER 83 WAYNE STREET (IN THE BARROW MANSION) JERSEY CITY 07302 T 917 363 7429 jcchildrenstheater.org Jersey City Children's Theater (JCCT) celebrates the art of play and the diverse tapestry that is Jersey City. Through its unique and original curriculum of storytelling, play-making, and theater games, children will discover new ways to express themselves and explore the world around them—and have great fun doing it! JCCT offers in-house classes, school residencies, after-school programs, and birthday parties for children 3 to 13 years old. Visit JCCT’s website today to find out more about birthday party packages, listings of winter and spring classes, and an announcement for our next main stage production.
THE NORVILLES CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 936 9153 E firstname.lastname@example.org thenorvilles.com The Norvilles offer daily doggie playgroups. Your dog will be picked up to play for an hour with friends from the neighborhood in a private playground located in downtown Jersey City and dropped off at home afterwards to take a well-deserved nap. Your pooch will love spending time at The Norvilles!
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ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS 1 MCWILLIAMS PLACE 6TH FLOOR JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 9911 arthouseproductions.org Art House is a home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. For over a decade, Art House has presented emerging and under-recognized artists, served as a space for established artists to take creative risks, and created educational opportunities and innovative arts programs for the community. Join Art House January 26 for the seventh annual Snow Ball, a “black tie creative” gala. Snow Ball is the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors and party for a good cause with live music by The Light Quartet, DJ George “Soul” Fernandez, food and drink, and an exciting silent auction! Visit the Art House website to order Snow Ball tickets, register for adult and childrens’ classes, and to find out about upcoming art exhibitions, concerts, film screenings, and plays. Photo: Laura DeSantis-Olsson
JC FRIDAYS CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 915 9911 jcfridays.com Art House Productions presents JC Fridays, a quarterly festival held throughout Jersey City at the start of every season. Local businesses and arts organizations join together to celebrate art and culture with a wide range of free events for the public. Next dates: March 1 and June 7. Photo: Laura Greb
NIMBUS DANCE WORKS 83 WAYNE STREET, SUITE #205 (IN THE BARROW MANSION) JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 377 0718 nimbusdanceworks.org Nimbus Dance Works presents world-class professional dance in Jersey City and on tour nationally. Nimbus showcases cutting edge dance from many top choreographers in the world of dance with performances and programs that serve over 6,000 people each year. The School of Nimbus Dance Works features classes in Ballet and Modern Dance for youth and adults with emphasis on small classes, excellent instruction, and opportunities for students to work with a professional company. This year’s production of Jersey City Nutcracker will run December 19 through 23 and is one of the area’s most popular annual theatrical events. Join Nimbus for the re-telling of the classic holiday ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score — all with Jersey City flavor! Photo: Joseph Ritter
JCF BOOT CAMP CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 484 7848 jcfbootcamp.com Daris Wilson started JCF Boot Camp in 2008 to give women an effective alternative to pricey personal training sessions and traditional gym settings, where the bulky equipment can be intimidating. The four-week program for women of all ages and fitness levels is designed to challenge your fitness level.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
SHAMPOO JC HAIR SALON 107 COLUMBUS DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 395 0045 shampoojc.com Shampoo JC Hair Salon is one of the most unique hair salons in Jersey City, inspired by decades of art, music and fashion. Whether you desire a hairstyle that's modern, classic, mod, sophisticated or bohemian, Shampoo JC's stylists will use their extensive artistic abilities to give you exactly what you want.
TOUSLED HAIR SALON 500-A JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 309 1200 mytousledhair.com There are good stylists who show up to work, and there are exceptional stylists who show up to create. Enjoy an Aveda aromatic stress-relieving treatment and comforting tea with your hair cut. This Downtown salon also offers teeth whitening sessions to accentuate one of your greatest features ... your smile (scan the QR code for a special discount).
VIDERE DECORATIVE ARTS CITY WIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 370 6771 andreamckenna.com Tired of white walls? Let Videre Decorative Arts transform your home with a beautiful upgrade. Offering classic and innovative custom faux finishes for walls, ceilings and furniture. Original and custom art also available. With 12 years experience, Videre Decorative Arts is owned and operated by local artist Andrea Mckenna. Estimates are always free!
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GALLERIE HUDSON 197 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 434 1010 Gallerie Hudson goes beyond just ordinary framing. In addition to creating awardwinning designs, it offers conservation and restoration services and expert advice on how to properly preserve and showcase your art. Also featured in the gallery are original works of art by local artists and artists from around the world. Gallerie Hudson has thousands of choices in frames, from hand-crafted Italian mouldings to contemporary American hardwoods. Whether you need to frame a family photograph or a Picasso original, this is the place to go. Gallerie Hudson is fully insured and guarantees the quality of its workmanship. Gallerie Hudson now also offers digital photo restoration (see before and after pictures at right), as well as large-format photo and fine art printing. Hours: Tuesday through Friday 11 am-7 pm and Saturday 10 am-6 pm.
DALL’ ITALIA 510 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 413 1964 dallitaliaonline.com Dall’ Italia is the culmination of owner Gerard Cordano’s admiration and love for Italian culture and craftsmanship. Many of the products available for purchase online and in the store are made exclusively in Italy or feature ingredients from Italy. Items not made in Italy have a connection to the Italian philosophy and design principle.
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HAMILTON HEALTH & FITNESS 161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 714 7600 hamiltonhealthfitness.com Located inside Hamilton Square, Hamilton Health & Fitness combines the latest innovations with a spa-like setting. Taking its cue from the natural beauty of historic Hamilton Park, HHF is light, airy, green and natural. Large thermal windows flood the space with light, while natural stone and wood finishes accompany the most advanced cardio and weight-training equipment. In addition to an innovative, cutting-edge nutrition program, integrated amenities complete the experience for body and mind. HHF features an indoor lap pool, sauna and steam rooms, childrenâ€™s room, group fitness classes and a fully equipped Pilates studio directed by Project Pilates. Group fitness classes include Pilates mat/tower/reformer, zumba, indoor cycling, intenSati, boot camp, kettlebell, yoga, water workout, and learn-to-swim classes. HHF offers the most holistic health and fitness experience in Jersey City.
PROJECT PILATES 161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 HEALTHY (432 5849) projectpilates.com Pilates is great for muscle stamina, strength, flexibility, mental clarity, health, wellness and awareness. Project Pilates offers a variety of classes to fit any budget including private and semi-private sessions, group tower, group reformer and group mat classes. The studio specializes in pre-/postnatal Pilates and injury prevention and recovery.
COMPLETE PHYSICAL REHABILITATION 75 MONTGOMERY STREET SUITE 502 JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 433 6001 cprnj.com
Since 2007, Complete Physical Rehabilitation has provided one-on-one physical therapy services specializing in vestibular (dizziness) rehabilitation and sports physical therapy, with the goal of helping clients return to active daily lifestyles. In addition to PT, it also offers acupuncture services, and hosts various weight loss and wellness seminars.
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CLASSIC PRESSED SANDWICHES CROISSANTS SCONES GRANOLA BARS CAKES THE WAREHOUSE CAFE Come get plugged in and restored at The Warehouse. 201 420 8882 | 140 Bay St. | thewarehousejc.com
GROVE STREET BICYCLES This full-service shop carries bikes for the entire family and offers lifetime service with every new bike purchase. grovestreetbicycles.com
MICHELLE TIMEK YOGA On-site outdoor/indoor vinyasa, pre/postnatal & restorative classes. Private, semi-private & group sessions. All are welcome! michelletimekyoga.com
CATHERINE WALKER VOCAL STUDIO Broadway singer & actress now accepting students in Jersey City. Learn proper vocal technique and many singing styles. All ages and levels welcome! 917 216 8922 | catherinewalker.biz
QI FOR WELLNESS WITH JANINE BERGER-GILLET Certified Wu Ming Qigong instructor of the Dragon’s Way & Wu Ming Qigong for Breast Health. For more information and a class schedule: qiforwellness.com.
DI=VA LIFE COACHING Life Coaching with Yaromil Fong-Olivares certified life coach, Reiki healer & personal trainer. Mention NEW and receive 25% off 3-month package. Schedule your free consultation: yaromilolivares.com
HAZEL BABY This family owned boutique has everything you need to make baby's world happy, healthy and safe. 201 918 5557 | 17 McWilliams Place | hazelbabystore.com
ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE Affordable vintage fashions and accessories for men & women, on trend picks, seasonal styles, hundreds of new items weekly! 201 860 9990 | amtvintage.com
DIAPERS & DUMBBELLS The preeminent source for mommy fitness where mothers are empowered to reclaim their bodies, bond with their baby and renew their beauty. 201 243 7585 | diapersanddumbbells.com
KANIBAL HOME Offering a range of refurbished furniture, found objects, vintage dishware and plenty of new home goods, apparel and gift items. 551 200 9386 | kanibalhome.com
CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES WITH MAMARAMA Parenting show host and JCI blogger Mamarama teaches pregnant couples how to manage the unpredictability of birth. mamarama.tv
AMPERS & DESIGN We thrive to capture your sensibility through composition, materials and quality of light while working within your budget & to your satisfaction. ampersandJC@gmail.com
2 STIX AND A STRING Offers a variety of yarns from fabulously funky to worldwide imports. For classes and events visit their website. 201 435 5408 | 234 Â˝ York St. | 2stixandastring.com
AU CAPOEIRA Classes for adults & children in the Brazilian art form that combines dance, acrobatics and self-defense. 58 Coles St. | 908 432 2405 | aucapoeira.com
JERSEY CITY ART SCHOOL Courses include painting, sculpture, jewelry making, digital photography and kids classes. Figure Drawing every Wednesday. 326 5th St. | jcartschool.com
JERSEY CITY TATTOO CO. The best place in Jersey City for custom tattoos. Open 7 days a week; walk-ins welcome. 201 360 0139 | 253 Newark Ave. | jerseycitytattoo.com
HUDSON PRIDE CONNECTIONS CENTER This full-service LGBT community center has programs for LGBT youth, seniors & everyone in between. 201 963 4779 | 32 Jones St. | hudsonpride.org
GROOMINGDALES PET SALON Professional, courteous pet styling with comfort as the first priority. Only all-natural products used. 201 659 5559 | 351 2nd St. | groomingdalesnj.com
ON THE COVER Photographer Alex Swain shot this issue’s cover photo during the snowstorm in late December 2010 between the railroad tracks and the Bergen Arches beneath the Route 78 extension. “It took an hour to hike into the Arches due to the waist-deep snow,” he says. “On the way back I noticed these huge, wavy banks of snow running alongside the Route 78 extension.” Swain recalls being struck by the transformative effect of snow and sun on what is normally a gritty industrial scene. He used film, which he developed himself at his Downtown Jersey City apartment. He strongly prefers film to digital because he likes being able to control every aspect of the image, from the camera and lens to the type of film and methods of development and printing. “It gives me surgical control over the image,” he says. “Complete control over the process, along with a good vision of what you want the final photograph to be, allows you to come as close as possible to your original intent.” Swain got his first camera at age 14. It was a Christmas present from his father, a
professor of Art History at Rider University and a photographer himself. He says the fact that his parents are both art educators encouraged him to follow his interest in art. He always has at least one camera on him so he can shoot whenever the mood strikes. He doesn’t set out in search of particular subjects but is most attracted to abandoned night scenes and environments that evoke an emotional response. Swain has shown his work at galleries and other exhibitions in New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C, and Vermont. Check out more of his work at www.zoom.sh.
A HOME YOU’LL LOVE LIVING IN.
HAMILTON SQUARE LOFT PHOTOGRAPHY: EVAN JOSEPH
A LIFESTYLE YOU’LL LOVE LIVING.
Hamilton Square offers elegant, thoughtfully designed spaces to suit every taste. Studio, one-, two- and three bedroom lofts are available, offering sparkling views of Manhattan and Historic Hamilton Park.
O N S I T E S AL E S OF F I CE LO C ATED AT 232 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302
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