arts. culture. life. jersey city. VOL. 04 ISSUE NO. 08 SPRING 2011
ON THE COVER
EDITOR/CO-PUBLISHER Jon Whiten ASSOCIATE EDITOR/CO-PUBLISHER Shane Smith SALES MANAGER Catherine Hecht CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Jennifer Weiss ART DIRECTOR Chuck Kerr
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Steve Gold
COPY EDITOR Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg
GUIDE PHOTOGRAPHERS Amanda Assadi-Rullow Haas Colby Max Coludro Laura DeSantis-Olsson Lauren Rutten Kris Van Nest
This issue's cover photograph was taken in 2009 by Jersey City native Billy John Moore. The shot – of Deadman's Tunnel near Dickinson High School – is part of his "Solitude" series. "When I was growing up, this was often a place I'd come to explore," Moore says. "I am very intrigued by the mystery of this photograph." Moore, a self-trained shutterbug, has shown his work at the Saffron condominium building on Newark Avenue as well as in NYC. "I find a lot of interest in photographing places and things that reflect my home city," he says. "I try to capture scenery and images that are largely unseen to the common eye."
For more information about NEW's cover contest, visit jerseycityindependent.com/covercontest. For 4more information about Billy John Moore, visit williamjohnmoore.com.
MANY 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. CONTACT US general email@example.com to advertise firstname.lastname@example.org WeAreNew.com JerseyCityIndependent.com Twitter.com/JCIndependent Facebook.com/JerseyCityIndependent
6 RETAIL SCENE
15 WONDER WOMEN
a Heights-based clothing store that
women," _gaia founder Doris Caçoilo
specializes in customized fitted caps.
tells Brendan Carroll. "We need to fix
Jennifer Weiss checks out All City Fitted,
"The art world has a problem with
28 JERSEY CITY MAP
29 JERSEY CITY
City's Maritime Parc do, and what does
Jersey City is home to a number of
he cook, when he's at home? Laryssa
comics who ply their trade both here and
30 LIVING GUIDE
Wirstiuk pays Chris Siversen a visit to
in NYC. Joe D'Allegro caught up with 14
of them to see what makes them tick.
10 AT HOME WITH THE CHEF 20 COMEDY IS NO JOKE What does the executive chef of Jersey
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1.BRENDAN CARROLL is an artist and writer based in Jersey City who regularly covers the arts for the Jersey City Independent. He's also the co-founder of Agitators Collective, which creates site-related installations in urban locales that have fallen into neglect or dereliction. brendanscottcarroll.com 2. JENNIFER WEISS is a freelance print and video journalist who has been working on her first documentary film. She lives Downtown and is a contributing editor at NEW and the Jersey City Independent. jenniferweiss.com
5. Melanie McLean is a photographer based in Jersey City. No camera is safe when she is around. facebook.com/melaniemcleanphoto 6. STEVE GOLD is a regular contributor to the Jersey City Independent. His photographs have also appeared in the Jersey Journal, New York Daily News, and other newspapers and magazines. popzero.com
3. ROXANA MARROQUIN is a photographer who lives in Union City. She studied photography and creative writing at New Jersey City University, and is currently studying to be an art therapist. roxanatakesphotos.com
7. JOE D'ALLEGRO is a writer with 20 years of journalism, corporate communications and ad copywriting experience. He currently covers how nonprofits invest their assets for Institutional Investor and works his advertising muscles writing signs for Synergy Fitness Center. He also produces Shut Up & Laugh, a monthly comedy show held at the Lamp Post Bar & Grille. twitter.com/joeofhappiness
4. Chuck Kerr is art director at the San Antonio Current, an alternative newsweekly. His work has earned him a 1st Place AAN award for Cover Design in 2007, as well as recognition from the Society of Publication Design and magazine design blog coverjunkie.com. chuckkerr.com
8. LARYSSA WIRSTIUK is a writer who teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Born and raised in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. commansentence.com
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All City Fitted WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Weiss
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Steve Gold
anuel “Freck” Sinatra wears his love of New Jersey just below his sleeve, where a bar code tattoo contains the area code 201 and the zip code of his hometown of Union City. But that doesn’t mean he only recommends Nets, Jets and Devils gear to his customers at All City Fitted, a clothing and cap boutique in Jersey City’s Heights neighborhood. Sinatra is a stylist at the store, which offers shirts, jeans, sneakers and its trademark caps, or “fitteds,” which are emblazoned with the logos of every sports team under the sun. The store was a long-held dream of Sinatra – a stage name – and his friend Ron Giacoman, the store manager. And it all started with the hats. “It’s a collector thing,” says Giacoman, who lives in the 9
“If you’re a fan, you have to have a hat.”
“We’re all about the Heights.” 10
Heights and has more than 100 hats of his own. “If you’re a fan, you have to have a hat.” (For the record, he’s a Yankees fan, “but we support everybody.”) Changing your hat is also the easiest way to change up your outfit, Giacoman says. On the store’s blog (allcityfitted. blogspot.com) Sinatra offers a “fit of the day” – a recent selection included a purple and black plaid button-down, black Nikes, and three choices of matching purple and black fitteds, one splashed with the logo of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, a second with Worcester Sharks hockey, and a third with hometown favorites the New York Rangers. The store also has a Twitter feed and a YouTube page with short videos describing featured hats down to the button. It has a following of regular customers, and Sinatra and Giacoman know many of them by name. A lot of guys get nervous shopping for clothes, Sinatra says, and it helps to have a calm environment and someone there to give advice if you need it. “We want to make sure people have a good time shopping,” he says. An expansion is being planned for the store, which moved to the Heights from Union City in 2008, a time when Giacoman says the neighborhood – his neighborhood – was underserved. “We’re all about the Heights,” he says. “We’re doing it for them.”
ALL CITY FITTED 461 Central Avenue 201 239 0100 allcityfitted.com
WRITTEN BY: Laryssa Wirstiuk PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Roxana Marroquin
I’m curious about how other chefs keep their home kitchens,” says Chris Siversen, executive chef at Maritime Parc in Liberty State Park. “The New York Times used to do a refrigerator shot. I’d think: you totally stocked your refrigerator. No way, no how, do you have all that stuff there on a regular basis.” The items in Siversen’s refrigerator, which is covered with drawings made by his two children, are evidence of the 42-year-old chef’s bustling family life. There’s a large slice of American Girl cake, leftover from his daughter Devyn’s 5th birthday party; a produce drawer filled with grapes hints at his 2 ½-year-old son Ryan’s love for the fruit (“I think he might turn into a grape one day,” the chef quips). Siversen also brings his own tastes home to his twostory colonial in suburban Ridgewood: a small tub of D’Artagnan duck fat is a leftover ingredient from Maritime Parc’s signature duck fat fries. The condiment selection is another signal that a professional who trades in tastes lives here: there are no fewer than seven types of mustard, and two types of the Thai hot sauce sriracha. Since Maritime Parc opened in September of last year, Siversen, who also owns the restaurant, has been quite busy, leaving little time for much
more than hurried meals with his wife, Tania. He says they always keep the basic elements – cheese, beer and wine – on hand, pairing a wide variety of cheeses with crackers. “The great thing about cooking with cheese is that you can eat it while you use it,” Siversen says. The family refrigerator is the centerpiece in a very clean, minimalist kitchen with pristine white countertops and black accents. The room is strikingly devoid of industrial strength gadgets and fancy appliances. A few years ago, the high-end appliance brand Gaggenau asked Siversen to do some cooking classes and demonstrations for its clientele. In exchange – and with the hope that Siversen would promote the brand – the company sent him many impressive appliances: an in-counter steamer, an oversized oven with a built-in rotisserie, a combi oven, a hood system and a dishwasher. Siversen installed the dishwasher, but the other items would have required a complete kitchen overhaul, and so they sit, packed in boxes, in the family’s garage. “I had some kitchen builders come. I would have to change the countertops, I would have to change the cabinets – complete kitchen makeover,” says Siversen. “We were going to have to do a ton of work. I wanted to deal with my business first.” The bare-bones kitchen, however, was the place where Siversen tested all his recipes before opening Maritime Parc. He invited his key personnel, his partner in the business and his publicist to his house several times to taste the food. “I didn’t have a professional kitchen available to me at the time, but I needed to set my menu before the launch of the restaurant. I 14
had no choice but to prepare and practice in my house,” he says. “I started coming up with ideas in February of last year. I came up with the concepts and then kept playing with them until I came up with my dishes. I didn’t invite anyone over for tastings until some time in late June.” Now that Siversen cooks just about every day at Maritime Parc, he doesn’t do too much cooking at home. “When I’m off, which is rare, a lot of times we do order out. I get a day off, and the last thing I want to do is clean up after myself,” he says. “When I do get a night off and cook, it really would be something simple. In the summer, I would just throw something on the grill. That truly is my favorite food: a hamburger and fries.” Because Siversen doesn’t like to cook at home, he keeps his pantry and refrigerator stocked with many snacks. Siversen raves about Food Should Taste Good chips, and loves everything made by Kashi: bars, cereal, crackers and rice. He always has Amy’s frozen pizza in the freezer, and he admits that MIDEL vanilla snap cookies are his weakness. And just because Siversen doesn’t cook at home doesn’t mean his children are going hungry. The family’s nanny prepares most meals for the children, and she makes extra food when she knows that Siversen and his wife will enjoy the dish. “The current nanny tries new things and puts dishes into heavy rotation,” he says. “She makes incredible Bolognese sauce and pasta.” On the weekends, Siversen makes pancakes with the children (he swears by Arrowhead Mills mix). His daughter, who likes to make her own pancake batter, has a set of miniature mixing bowls, a miniature spatula and a tiny whisk.
She even uses Mickey Mouse measuring cups. “She sits on the counter while I make the big batch,” Siversen says. “Then, she makes her own.” It’s a good thing Devyn has her own cooking tools, as one glimpse inside what Siversen dubs “the death drawer” proves; the drawer houses the chef’s extensive collection of knives, which he sharpens himself. Another key ingredient in Siversen’s kitchen is music. He’s set up a speaker system wired throughout the first floor of the house, and the chef says he likes to stream the Verizon FiOS alternative music station when he’s in the kitchen. “Before installing anything or making upgrades to the kitchen, I wanted to have those speakers,” says Siversen, who cites music as his first passion. Before attending the French Culinary Institute in New York City, in fact, he went to school for music performance, specializing in saxophone. “I just didn’t want to be the struggling artist type of guy. I thought culinary school would be a better way to make money,” he says. “I play keyboard now. I’m always with music. At work, I have great speakers at my desk.” He gets plenty of time to listen to music in his car, given that his commute is about 30 to 45 minutes long, depending on traffic. Siversen’s morning routine involves
homemade Starbucks Italian roast coffee and a cup from the Starbucks by the Grove Street PATH plaza in Downtown Jersey City. “There’s something about buying a cup of coffee and having it in a paper cup,” he says. Given his long commute and demanding job, Siversen tries to focus on relaxing when he gets home. A beer or a glass of wine helps, but the chef says his family helps even more. “With the kids, immediately everything that’s been going on that day goes right out the door,” he says, adding that they aren’t always awake when he gets home from the restaurant. “When they’re asleep, it’s a lot harder for me to unwind.” Siversen, a self-described “newshound,” loves catching up on the day’s news; even though it usually stresses him out, he says it’s completely different from work stress. He also really enjoys video games. “I’m a video game junkie. You read about people who have addictions – I think I probably was addicted to Xbox,” Siversen says. “There’s something about video games that’s a huge stress reliever. When you’re playing a video game, you are zoned out of everything except for the video game. Everything else you’re thinking about that stressed you out is gone.” Siversen minimizes stress in his home kitchen by adhering to two simple rules: keep 15
plenty of basic ingredients handy and “clean as you go.” A single ingredient, he says, often triggers an idea for a whole meal. “I always have La Baleine sea salt, a pepper mill, sherry vinegar, and Frantoia olive oil. We always have pasta in the house. We like De Cecco and Rustichella d’Abruzzo. Bucatini is our favorite type of pasta,” he says. “We always have maple syrup for pancakes and various fruits for the kids. In the summertime, I typically buy herbs.” Siversen’s first apartment as a chef, a diminutive Manhattan space with a kitchen only about six feet long, taught him the importance of cleaning as he prepares and cooks. “It was so tiny, and I needed to stay really organized,” he says. “I didn’t have a full-size oven. The aisle was only about three feet wide. I learned how to use a toaster oven and a George Foreman grill very well.” Given the choice between a professional kitchen and his home kitchen, Siversen says he obviously prefers the kitchen at Maritime Parc, which he customdesigned to suit his vision of an ideal kitchen layout. In the restaurant’s kitchen, Siversen has the ability to better control cooking temperatures and move around more efficiently. But he doesn’t need the highend equipment to cook a meal that will please his children. All he needs is a pot of boiling water for macaroni and cheese from the box – though he says he’ll usually mix in some spinach to make it something special. 16
_gaia's Maya Elise Joseph-Goteiner (seated) and Doris Caçoilo
(start to finish: approximately 30 minutes) Given the ingredients in his pantry and refrigerator, Siversen decided to prepare us a dish he calls a “spicy Italian classic.” This recipe definitely has Italian influence, and the chorizo adds depth and smokiness. Siversen uses grapeseed – not olive – oil to sauté the mushrooms. "I always cook with grapeseed oil as a start. You can achieve a higher temperature without burning," he says. "Then I’ll finish it off with extra virgin olive oil. I’d definitely recommend that to anyone cooking." When he cooks at home, Siversen uses whole wheat pasta for its texture. Also, he tries to sneak in whatever healthy food he can to balance out the rich and decadent food he eats all day. Whole wheat pasta shells Grapeseed oil 1 shallot 3 cloves of garlic Cremini mushrooms 1 package of Niman Ranch chorizo (or your favorite chorizo) 1 can of chickpeas 1 14 oUNCE can of tomato puree Valley Shepherd Fairmount cheese (or any cow’s cheese) Parmesan cheese Splash of white wine 1 TABLESPOON butter Olive oil Sauté mushrooms in grapeseed oil and season with sea salt and pepper. After a few minutes, add chopped garlic, shallot, and cubed chorizo. Rinse chickpeas. Salt water generously and boil water for pasta. Add chickpeas, pureed tomato, a splash of white wine, and cheese to taste. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. When the pasta is done, drain it and coat with olive oil. Add pasta to sauté pan with chorizo and tomato mixture. Add butter, which will smooth out the sauce and help temper the spiciness. Finish with salt and pepper.
wonder women _gaia aims to fix the art world's 'problem with women' ... one woman at a time
ore than half of artists working today in the United States are women. Despite these large numbers, many female artists live on the fringe, eking out an existence in relative obscurity. The hallmarks of art world booty – museum retrospectives, solo exhibitions in blue-chip galleries, private and public commissions – go mostly to men, not women. Just how bad is it for women in the art world?
The women of the current Wonder Women residency
According to an encyclopedic demographic and employment study released in 2008 by the National Endowment of the Arts: • 5 percent of works in museums are by women. • 17 percent of works in galleries are by women. • 30 percent of Guggenheim grants go to women. • 33 percent of art-faculty members are women. • Women artists’ income is 30 percent that of the income of men. This does not sit well with Newark native and Downtown Jersey City resident Doris Caçoilo. So in 2002, she and longtime friend Amie Figueiredo brought together a group of women to begin organizing around women’s issues, activism and art. They named their organization _gaia, after the Greek goddess of Earth. 18
“The art world has a problem with women,” Caçoilo says. “We need to fix this.” _gaia works to fix this through a number of avenues. It operates as a collective of member artists and activists who “actively promote and support the work of local women artists,” as the group’s statement reads. _gaia also puts together intensive artist residencies each year, runs a studio space for its members, hosts monthly art openings, and partners with other local groups for shows and projects. “Women are underrepresented in the art world,” Caçoilo says. “As an organization, [_gaia] is looking to create equality. _gaia wishes to promote equality and access to artists and audiences to make and experience art.” _gaia spent the first six years of its existence in Hoboken’s Neumann Leather Building, a sprawling factory space over 250,000 square feet, before moving its headquarters to Jersey City, where it operates out of a 1,000 square foot workspace studio in the converted basement
apartment of a brownstone on 3rd Street. The equipment available is as diverse as it is plentiful: a dry-erase board, photography darkroom, printing press, light table, sewing machines, flat file storage, communal storage space, benches, chairs, and work desks. Unlike the individual artist working alone in the studio, _gaia members share resources, materials, and expenditures. Overhead is sharply reduced by shared membership dues. Weekly meetings help individual artists establish priorities and develop the necessary approach to accomplish their goals. “_gaia is an organic logical structure,” Caçoilo says. “You get people together, put them in a room – add snacks – set a deadline.” Her observation is funny but true. Contrary to the time-worn cliché of the lone artist interpreting the world, many artists need the structure of a community to thrive. Like other successful grassroots organizations in Jersey City, _gaia rallies behind the ethos of DIY culture – collective action, shared responsibility and self-reliance – to create a strong community. “As a designer, I need inspiration, encouragement and a place of belonging,” fashion designer Anjelika Krishna says. Krishna, who is the founder of a.d.o. (anjelika dreams organic), an ecofriendly textile company in the Indian tradition of natural herb dye, says she found all three traits in her _gaia residency. “When you are working alone in a studio, it is very hard to critique your work,” she says. “You need someone to bounce your ideas with, a partner in a way. _gaia provided just that and more.” Artist and former _gaia member Amanda Thackray is currently working on her MFA at Rhode Island School of Design. Like many artists before her, she experienced a void upon graduating from art school. “I joined the _gaia ladies about a year after I had graduated from Rutgers University. The collective changed many things for me,” Thackray says. “I was presented with an animated support network that fostered creativity and cared about my success. For me, it recreated one of the most important things that I had lost by graduating – a group of talented peers who were active and challenging.” Many young artists, especially recent undergraduates, flounder in this void. All of a sudden, a thriving community – with peers, studio space, critical feedback and direction – vanishes. This loss is quickly compounded by the typical, yet stressful, post-collegiate concerns: finding a job, making the rent and paying back student loans. For these young women and plenty of others, _gaia provides a platform for emerging artists, and a meeting place for female artists to gather together, create, exchange ideas, talk shop, eat and drink. But _gaia is not just a place for emerging artists. Older female artists, many of whom fell out of art-scene circles while raising families or tending to careers, find that _gaia helps satisfy their need to commiserate with like-minded folks. “I’ve been an artist for a long time and lived in the suburbs raising my family,” says veteran artist Aileen Bassis, who joined _gaia in March of last year. “I enjoy the Jersey City arts community and I moved here to be around people who understand that people make art because that’s what they must do, whether or not they get money or praise for 19
"i think if you're a woman and an artist, you must be a feminist." their work. But a supportive, like-minded group is great. I think if you’re a woman and an artist, you must be a feminist, and I appreciate and support _gaia’s outreach to women artists and women’s causes.”
the wonder women The biggest program in _gaia’s arsenal is the annual Wonder Women Residency, a three-month residency that brings together a small cadre of artists once a week to develop artwork inspired by feminism, women’s issues, and the art world. For Holly Pitre, who has been a resident in two Wonder Women programs, the residency provided the perfect mix of comfort and critique. “During my time in each residency, _gaia provided a rigorous and critical yet nurturing atmosphere,” she says. “The length of the residency requires rapid development of a project. The women involved, the artists chosen, and the curators each year compiled such an enormous wealth of resources and experience that it made the production of a work of art – from concept to finished piece – possible in six short weeks.” Artist Vandana Jain, co-curator and coordinator of WW$: Money, Money, Money!!, says she enjoyed watching the resident artists learn from each other. “Camaraderie is quite important. For a lot of women, it can be difficult to prioritize art over the other responsibilities in life, 20
including children and making a living,” she says. “I strongly feel that a group of women artists meeting over time can relieve some of the pressures that build up due to these conflicts, and can help women artists continue creating and find time to make art.” _gaia’s current Wonder Women Residency program is tackling the concept of real-time media and the ramifications of our evolving relationship with news. New News Is Old News, which is being curated by Caçoilo and Maya Elise Joseph-Goteiner, got rolling in January and wrapped up in late February, ultimately resulting in group exhibitions in two galleries in New Jersey and New York City in May and July of 2011 (the former will open on May 7 at Newark's Gallery Aferro). “Contemporary art is at a crossroads. As traditional media is dying, journalism is in flux, and there are new platforms for innovative and creative people,” JosephGoteiner says. “Art no longer has to be limited to being exhibited in museums and galleries; it can become a part of our social fabric. Public art can become the dominant form of art in the digital landscape.” _gaia’s DIY ethos is clearly an underlying theme of the residency as well; instead of decrying or even simply analyzing the changes, New News Is Old News is pushing its artists to do something about it. “Instead of lamenting that art is being cut from the public school curriculum, and focusing on the sad reality that the government support for the arts has hit its nadir, it is time for artists to create new opportunities,” Joseph-Goteiner explains. “New News Is Old News intends to do just this – encourage artists to actively engage with the current conversation about the changing nature of news.” Larysa Myers, a Brooklyn-based classically trained artist, is one of the current residents; she became interested in _gaia when she saw a call for entries for New News Is Old News. Myers says she found a striking similarity between the residency’s premise and the media circus surrounding Julian Assange and Wikileaks, adding that she’s
“fascinated by this new model of publishing, and the power it has to give a voice to people.” _gaia and the Wonder Women residencies act as residencies should – as a kind of art-school extension. “Everyone is so supportive, and the atmosphere is very conducive to creating and making artwork, and being an active participant in the art community of Jersey City,” says former resident Roxana Marroquin, a photographer who lives in Union City (and whose work graces the pages of this issue of NEW). “I have always admired that they create opportunities for women artists where there are none, and that definitely has a reflection on how I see the art world now … if there aren’t any doors open, you create your own.” At the conclusion of Marroquin’s residency, Caçoilo invited her to stay on as a resident artist in order to maintain the traditional black and white photography darkroom. In addition, she has also been teaching other _gaia members how to use the darkroom, develop film, and make prints. Being involved in _gaia residencies has pushed Jersey City photographer Christine DaCruz to explore new ways of making art. During her last residency, she began incorporating thread, paper and drawing into her work, and those new media will inform her project for the New News Is Old News residency, which will involve embroideries on newspaper obituaries (“literally stitching life into the memory of those passed,” as she puts it). Though _gaia is best known for championing women’s issues, there is a strong political undercurrent to the group that goes beyond traditional women’s issues to a broader worldview that prizes equality, human rights and community. Renata Moreira, an assistant director of special projects at New Jersey City University, became involved in _gaia as a volunteer for a 2006 production of The Vagina Monologues. “I was immediately hooked by the members’ passion for human rights, along with their commitment to support the work of other women artists at the national level,” she says. “I then became _gaia a _gaia lover and 315 3rd Street advocate working www.gaiastudio.org to increase their 201 386 0486
visibility in Jersey City: everyone needed to know how it felt to play and create with such a crew of talented women.” In 2010, Caçoilo invited Moreira to cocurate the 2010 Wonder Women Residency. “[I was] thrilled to accept her invite because of the selected theme – immigration & the arts – and the quality of project proposals submitted,” Moreira says. “It was mindblowing to see so many women creating work that moved me to question my own perspectives about displacement, opportunity, and what it meant to be an ‘American.’”
pushing (way) beyond jersey city
Nine years after its founding, _gaia has organized numerous art exhibitions, performances, film screenings and workshops that have included more than 200 female artists – and as many performers and theater professionals. Overall, _gaia has established itself not only as an integral part of the Jersey City arts scene, but also as a thriving community that helps women artists to navigate the male-centric art world. “Society expects certain things from a woman, and even if you overtly reject these expectations, you and your art remain gendered,” Joseph-Goteiner explains. “Being part of a supportive yet critical environment specifically for women artists is empowering.” And _gaia is still growing, both in Jersey City and abroad. Six months ago, the group began organizing regular exhibitions at its 3rd Street building, with gallery openings on the first Friday of each month from 6 to 8 pm. Meanwhile, _gaia is crossing the Atlantic as well, expanding the New News Is Old News residency to the Republic of Cyprus through a partnership with the Cyprus Community Media Center. “The plan is it to bring the concept of New News Is Old News and three selected artists to work with a local artist community in the European Union to continue this dialogue,” Caçoilo says. “The first exchange is planned for Summer 2011.”
Michael Che, RAQUEL D’APICE
NO JOKE MEET SOME OF JERSEY CITY’S HARD-WORKING COMEDIANS WRITTEN BY: Joe D’Allegro PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Melanie McLean
Comedy is serious work.
It can take years to build up a solid act, and you get paid next to nothing while doing so. A wellestablished comic can earn $1,000 or more headlining at a college for a weekend, but if you’re not so established and are performing in the New York area, you’ll find many venues pay nothing for weekday shows and maybe $25 for a weekend set. Even worse are “bringer” shows, wherein comics are required to bring several guests into the club before they’re even allowed to perform. (If you’ve ever been accosted by an overly friendly, desperate-looking person outside a comedy club, there’s probably a bringer show going on inside.)
Anyone who’s seriously pursued comedy isn’t in it for money or fame. They’re in it because they have a need to make people laugh. Here are some of the passionate comics plying their trade in Jersey City.
I KNOW IT SOUNDS CLICHÉ, BUT I LOVE MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH. I LIKE WHEN PEOPLE ARE HAPPY.
— RAQUEL D’APICE
MICHAEL CHE has moved
back and forth between New York and New Jersey since he was 10. He currently lives in Greenville and performs standup several times a week across the metropolitan area. How did you first get into comedy, and when? I come from a funny family and was always the class clown, so I wanted to do comedy from a very young age. We had a tape of Eddie Murphy’s great comedy album, Raw, and I memorized the entire routine when I was five or six. But I had incredible stage fright, so I always put off getting on stage. I finally bit the bullet in October of 2009 and did a five-minute open mic at Comedy Corner in Manhattan. I’ve been performing ever since. What do you like about performing? I like the power you feel controlling the emotions of a group of people. The best is
to make them silent when I’m setting up a joke. If they’re talking, I’m not doing my job. What do you dislike about it? It takes so long to develop even a few minutes of material that you can get discouraged. Plus, you aren’t going to make much money unless you’re at the top of your game, or get a television writing job. I also don’t like it when people talk to you during a set. Some of them think that they’re helping, but it throws you off.
RAQUEL D’APICE does
stand-up throughout the New York metropolitan area and has hosted comedy shows at the Lamp Post Bar & Grille in Downtown Jersey City. She also blogs at theuglyvolvo.livejournal. com. D’Apice lives Downtown with her husband and works as an SAT tutor and waitress. She is co-authoring a cookbook with a friend.
How did you first get into comedy, and when? Ever since I was a little kid and discovered cable, I was obsessed with stand-up and wanted to try it. About seven years ago a friend talked me through my fear and convinced me to sign up for a class at the American Comedy Institute. What do you like about performing? I know it sounds cliché, but I love making people laugh. I like when people are happy. What do you dislike about it? It’s a struggle to perform. You might have to travel an hour to a club or bar, and then wait around for 40 minutes just to do a five-minute set, and then travel an hour home. I read in Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be great at something. How long will it take to master comedy if you need almost three hours to practice five minutes? It can be disheartening. 23
LIFE IN GENERAL SUCKS, SO GIVING PEOPLE A FEW MOMENTS OF ESCAPE IS VERY GRATIFYING. — BRIAN HAVIG
AMY DAULTON, BRIAN HAVIG
AMY DAULTON lives in the
Heights with her husband, Alex Decaneas. The two perform as the sketch group Fantastic Genius. Originally from Virginia, Daulton lived in Los Angeles for six years before moving here in 2005. She works as a retail recruiter when not performing. How did you first get into comedy, and when? I dreamed of being on SNL when I was little, and saw that they pulled a lot of people from the Groundlings (a Los Angeles-based improvisational comedy troupe), so I moved to L.A. in 1998. I was in the Groundlings’ school within six months of moving to California, but very quickly found I didn’t like improv. To succeed at it, you have to relax and rely on others. I’m too intense and too much of a control freak for that. I started doing stand-up that same year, and liked it much better.
What do you like about performing? On stage is the only time I truly feel like myself. I get very physical and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve performed two hours of standup at a strip club in Anaheim, but I was never heckled until I came here and performed in New York – it’s a challenge and makes you a better comic! What do you dislike about it? I hate the egos. A lot of comedy comes from pain and these people carry around all this anger and become bitter. Plus, the normal rules of society don’t seem to apply in the entertainment industry. I auditioned for Mad TV and the casting directors were so hypercritical that I cried for days. Other times, people would come up after a show, heap praise on me, and make all these promises, then I’d never hear from them again.
Brian Havig moved to a
neighborhood near Liberty State Park in 2008 after graduating from Brigham Young University. He works as an advertising copywriter but performs at open mics almost every night in New York clubs like Comix, Gotham, and Broadway Comedy Club. How did you first get into comedy, and when? My grandfather was a dentist, but he had a knack for telling jokes and making people laugh, and we loved it. So I came to value having a sense of humor really early on. In high school I was a big drama geek and at one point wrote a one-act comedy that we produced for the whole school. Then in college, I produced a sketch group called Divine Comedy. It’s the only thing I miss about college, really.
What do you like about performing? Life in general sucks, so giving people a few moments of escape is very gratifying. Plus, you do stand-up by yourself. I like that because I’m the captain and commander of my own material. What do you dislike about it? I hate open mics – but it’s like going to the gym, you do it to stay sharp. Usually everyone in the audience is another comic and doesn’t laugh because they’ve heard your material before or they just don’t care. But when you do get a laugh, that’s when you know you’ve got a good joke.
has appeared on Comedy Central and was a finalist in the Standup for Diversity Competition. She performs regularly throughout the area and at the Village Lantern in Manhattan. Hawkins lives with her daughter
in Downtown Jersey City.
Sean Patton, Victor Varnado and others. They’re great guys.
How did you first get into comedy, and when? My ex-boyfriend said he wanted to do comedy, so I was going to go with him and wrote all this material to say on stage, but in the end he was afraid to perform, so I went without him. That was in February of 2004 at a place called B3s in the East Village. At the time, I saw Man on the Moon, the movie about comedian Andy Kaufman, and I felt a real connection to him. He didn’t really care to fit in with the world, and I identify with that.
is the youngest comic on the list at 21. Jones grew up in California and Germany but now lives Downtown. Though a certified personal trainer, Jones is trying to make his living through comedy and is in a troupe called Pillowfight After Dark that makes short videos.
What do you like about performing? I like the instant gratification. If you’ve figured out what’s funny, you’ll instantly know. I had originally run away from college to the city to be an actress, but acting is a lot less instant. I also like a lot of the people I perform with – Hannibal Buress,
How did you first get into comedy, and when? In 2008, I was going to New York Film Academy for acting and took an improv class. Then, I found an ad for a stand-up class at Comix Comedy Club and took that too. I like acting and improv, but stand-up comes more naturally for me. I perform
What do you dislike about it? Sometimes, people in the business get upset if someone else has any success. It creates stress.
ANDY KAUFMAN ... DIDN’T REALLY CARE TO FIT IN WITH THE WORLD, AND I IDENTIFY WITH THAT. — CALISE HAWKINS
for comic Judy Tenuta. I came out to her as an aspiring comic, and began to perform as her sidekick along with her friends in the industry, such as Emo Philips.
I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE A STRAIGHT WHITE MALE COMIC, BECAUSE I’D GET LOST IN THE CROWD. — RICH KIAMCO
a lot at Stand-Up NY and the Village Lantern in Manhattan. I try to do two or three shows a week. What do you like about performing? I like that it’s my show – at least for however long I’m on stage. I don’t have to meet any writer’s standards or director’s standards. Improv comedy is good too – the performers are more tight knit than standups, but it’s harder to express yourself as an individual. What do you dislike about it? I try to avoid bringer shows, but open mics are hard too. They’re filled with other comics and can be cliquey, especially in Manhattan. Shows in the outer boroughs and Jersey City can be better because they have more real people.
Rich Kiamco lives on the
West Side, next to Lincoln Park. He performs at colleges across
What do you like about performing? Racism, homophobia and misogyny! Sometimes when I’m performing, I can feel the homophobia and hatred directed at me as a gay Filipino, or I’ll witness mistreatment towards women in the room. Comics have to win people over, and always tell the truth about what’s going on. Being different gives me something to play with. I would not want to be a straight white male comic, because I’d get lost in the crowd. Everyone has to deal with stuff. Everyone has to make their shortcomings into assets.
the country and gives lectures and workshops on bullying, hate crimes, and overcoming adversity. He produces and hosts comedy shows in the area at venues like Star Bar and Art House Productions. Nationally, he co-produces a comedy/ lecture tour that raises funds for charity. He’s appeared on The Howard Stern Show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and is a frequent guest on OutQ’s The Focus Group on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Kiamco received the Overall Excellence Award at NY International Fringe Festival and Best Solo Show at the Montreal International GLBT Theatre Festival.
moved to the Downtown area from Sweetwater, N.J., last year. He performs in New York almost every night, but does shows across the region and as far south as Miami. He makes his living through stand-up.
How did you first get into comedy, and when? I first did stand-up in the laundry room of my dorm at the Fashion Institute Of Technology. They had a talent show there, and I killed! My first big break came a year later when I became the costume designer
How did you first get into comedy, and when? I got up and performed at an open mic outside Philly eight years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving. It was the day I got fired from my first real job, and it felt like a good time to try something different.
What do you dislike about it? Racism, homophobia and misogyny.
I had wanted to perform ever since I was little. I was lost in a mall in South Jersey when I was about nine, and as I was trying to find my mom, I ran into a group of nicely dressed men in one of the stores. One of them asked me, ‘what are you doing?’ and I said ‘being kidnapped.’ All these men started cracking up, and I felt really good about that. My mom found me then, and as she was taking me away she told me that the man I ran into was Jay Leno. What do you like about performing? I love it when a crowd is there to have fun and I can go in whatever weird direction I want. What do you dislike about it? It’s torture when a crowd is disengaged and either texting or talking amongst themselves.
has acted in several of Troma Entertainment’s B-movies, and co-wrote the second and third installments
PHIL RIVO, RYAN RUMMEL
of the Toxic Avenger series. He books an annual comedy show at Temple Beth-El called All Points Borscht, performs benefits for the historic Barrow Mansion and has hosted stand-up at the Lamp Post Bar & Grille. Rivo works as a real estate agent and lives near Hamilton Park.
What do you dislike about it? Heckling doesn’t bother me at all, but I like dialogue much more than jokes, so I prefer emceeing to actually performing stand-up. It’s more in-themoment. That said, there are some good comics out there. You forget it’s Jersey City.
How did you first get into comedy, and when? I started doing stand-up for a student-run Gong Show we had in high school, in Berkeley Heights. I was always needy for attention, be it love or shock value.
performs across New Jersey and in New York City. He has hosted shows at The Lamp Post Bar & Grille and does podcasts with fellow Jersey City resident Ralph Santiago. Rummel graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia in 2007 with a degree in business.
What do you like about performing? I just like hearing the sound of my own voice and the silence that immediately follows it. Seriously though, stand-up is an escape from being a father, husband, dog owner, and a generally upstanding member of the community. I can’t talk about my scrotum in the real world.
How did you first get into comedy, and when? I took a class at Carolines three years ago. The class is basically designed to make your balls drop, and at the end you get to perform in the club. When I was growing up, I used to admire my friend’s brother because he was so funny. I’ve always admired people who can make you laugh. What do you like about performing? It’s an adrenaline rush. Getting people to laugh at the stuff they shouldn’t be laughing at. It’s just interesting to see what the audience will laugh at or will boo at. Plus that reaction is always changing. I try to check out a new open mic once a week. You have to assume no matter how funny the material is, the audience is not there to laugh. They are there to practice. Just have fun with it. 27
JOSHUA SANKEY, MELISSA SURACH, jason youner
Peyton once said that he liked football so much, he’d have played it for free. I feel that way about stand-up. What do you dislike about it? Well, I don’t like being judged.
Melissa Surach ran
What do you dislike about it? Open mics get cliquey but bringer shows are the worst – the producers are basically having us do their work for them, and since whoever you bring is expected to buy expensive drinks for the honor of watching you do a five minute set, your friends are getting screwed over as well.
Joshua Sankey has lived
in Downtown Jersey City for the past six years. A working comedian and actor, Sankey has appeared in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Saturday Night Live and a myriad of commercials for everything from Hallmark to Spike TV. How did you first get into comedy, and when? It was 1998; I was living in Philly and working my first fulltime job out of college at an internet start-up. The thought of spending 40 hours a week in an office for the rest of my life didn’t appeal to me. I had never 28
done any theater, and had never even thought of stand-up, but I saw an ad for a stand-up class in Philly’s City Paper and decided to go for it. The class taught me joke structure and I dabbled in comedy for the next few years, before I decided to quit my job in 2002 and just drive across the country to get into the comedy scene. I performed in 35 states over two years that way, just starting with guest sets, then asking to emcee and feature. I got on stage wherever and whenever I could. What do you like about performing? It’s a natural rush. When your jokes are hitting, everyone is having a good time and forgetting about their lives, and you’re in charge of it. What do you dislike about it? You really have to put your personal life behind you. The audience doesn’t care, and you can’t bring the crowd down.
Anton Shuford lives in
the Journal Square area after moving here from Philadelphia in May. He makes his living performing stand-up and tours up and down the East Coast regularly. Shuford averages about 10 shows a week, mostly in New York. A U.S. Navy veteran, his last regular job was bartending at a Philly comedy club called the Laff House. How did you first get into comedy, and when? I wanted to do comedy ever since I saw Robin Harris, Eddie Murphy and Ellen Degeneres perform on HBO’s One Night Stand when I was a kid. I first got on stage in 2002, at an open mic in Philly. I was working as a substitute teacher at the time. What do you like about performing? I like everything about it. It’s just you, up on stage with a microphone. I do a lot of shows where I’m not even paid, but I don’t mind it. The great Walter
a show called Babyhole in Hoboken and Jersey City for four years; she does comedic performance art at Art House Productions and has written humor pieces for the New York Press. Her surreal humor videos can be found at Funny or Die and on YouTube. Surach works at a wine store, has blogged about beer for the Star-Ledger and is a contributor to the Jersey City Independent.
What do you like about performing, and what do you dislike about it? I don’t like performing standup. I don’t have the time to develop material, and it’s not what I’m best at. I prefer humor writing and doing sketches on video. Between the wine store and the blog entries I’ve done for the Independent and the Ledger, I’m basically a semi-professional drinker. How awesome is that?
at a funky boarding school in the Berkshires called the DeSisto School when I was a misguided youth. I was a huge fan of comics like Bill Hicks, Bill Murray, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, so getting up on stage was a thrill for me.
What do you like about performing? I love having an outlet to put my energies towards. I love the excitement and anticipation has lived in of a gig, not knowing what the Harsimus Cove neighborhood direction it’s going to go in. for 10 years. He produces and Each performance is like a hosts a comedy show at the journey. There are no “bad” gigs. Stockinette Knitting Cafe on the I take something from every second Friday of each month and experience. also performs with Art House Productions. He has a day job What do you dislike about it? How did you first get into working from home organizing I dislike doing the same comedy, and when? digital marketing events. material over again, therefore, I went to school at McGill I always try to do new stuff. It’s University and wrote for the How did you first get into more work, but it pays off in comedy, and when? school humor magazine there. the end because each gig is an Eventually, I became its first I was always the cut up in adventure. I used to do open class – sounds like a cliché, female editor-in-chief and we mics in the city, but got burned branched out into sponsoring but I really was. I was given out from all the crap that you improv and sketch comedy shows. an opportunity to perform have to deal with.
LAUGH IN JERSEY CITY
Bar Majestic Comedy Open Mic WHEN: Each Monday WHERE: Bar Majestic (275 Grove Street) Shut Up & Laugh WHEN: Second Tuesday of each month WHERE: Lamp Post Bar & Grille (382 2nd Street) Stockinette Comedy Night WHEN: Second Friday of each month WHERE: The Stockinette Knitting Cafe (581 Jersey Avenue) *NOTE: Be sure to catch a comedy night at the café before it closes its doors in July.
There are often one-off or less-regular comedy shows that pop up as well; be sure to check out our Cultural Calendar (GoOutJerseyCity.com) for the most up-to-date listings for comedy and other events. 29
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Azucar azucarcubancuisine.com Bubby’s Burritos (p.33) bubbysburritos.com Hard Grove Cafe (p.33) hardgrovecafe.com La Conguita laconguita.com Taqueria 201 333 3220
Amelia’s Bistro Edward’s Steakhouse Hamilton Inn (p.31) Iron Monkey (p.30) Light Horse Tavern LITM (p.34) Marco & Pepe Maritime Parc (p.35) Park & Sixth (p.34) Park Tavern* Satis Bistro Skinner’s Loft (p.32) The Embankment The Merchant White Star Bar
barmajestic.com bistrolasource.com casadante.com itsgreektome.com madameclaudecafe.com mar-jc.com portolounge.com 201 433 6639
ameliasbistro.com edwardssteakhouse.com hamiltoninnjc.com ironmonkey.com lighthorsetavern.com litm.com marcoandpepe.com maritimeparc.com parkandsixth.com 201 434 9253 satisbistro.com skinnersloft.com theembankmentnj.com themerchantnj.com whitestarbar.com
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Van Vorst Park
| SHOPPING AND SALONS
Bar Majestic Bistro La Source Casa Dante* It's Greek to Me Madame Claude Cafe Michael Anthony’s Port-O Lounge (p.35) Presto’s
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Jersey City Medical Center
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| FOOD AND DRINK
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DOWNTOWN JERSEY CITY
Grand Sichuan thegrandsichuan.com Honshu honshulounge.com Komegashi k o m e g a s h i.c o m More morejc.com Rasoi* rasoiindianrestaurant.com Rue Viet rueviet.com Saigon Cafe saigoncafejc.com Sawadee sawadeejc.com The Village* villageindiancuisine-nj.com Wild Fusion wildfusionjc.com
Basic basiccaferestaurant.com Beechwood Cafe 201 985 2811 Ibby’s Falafel ibbysfalafel.com Legal Grounds Coffee 201 521 2005 Made with Love (p.34) madewithloveorganics.com Philippine Bread House* 201 659 3880 Subia’s 201 432 7639 The Stockinette (p.45) thestockinettejc.com The Warehouse (p.47) thewarehousejc.com Tommy 2 Scoops tommy2scoops.com Torico’s Ice Cream 201 432 9458
Lamp Post Bar & Grille myspace.com/lamppost Lucky 7 lucky7tavern.com Star Bar gostarbar.com Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden zeppelinhall.com
Another Man’s Treasure (p.38) amtvintage.com Bone watchbone.com Duck Duck Goose ddgconsignment.com Holmes & Co. Outfitters shopatholmes.com Tia’s Place tiasplace.com Vivi Girl vivigirlshop.com
HOME/GIFTS/SPECIALITY ITEMS & SERVICES
14th St. Garden Center (p.36) bit.ly/14thstreet Basic Builders* basicbuilders.com Beekman Lane beekmanlane.com Creative Enabler (p.47) creativeenabler.com Downtown Coop (p.37) downtowncoop.com Gallerie Hudson (p.41) 201 434 1010 Hudson Pride Connections (p.47) hudsonpride.org Iris Records (p.45) recordriots.com Jacks Toy Shop jackstoyshop.com Jersey City Tattoo Co. (p.47) jerseycitytattoo.com Jersey Wine & Spirits (p.37) libertyharborwine.com Kanibal Home (p.45) kanibalhome.com Loveprint Jewelry loveprintjewelry.com Magic Cleaning (p.45) magiccleaningservicellc.com Pogogeff & Company (p.47) pogoandco.com Smith & Chang (p.36) smithchang.com Vespa Jersey City (p.39) vespajc.com
Balance Salon Diva Spa & Salon* Experience Spa Shampoo JC (p.38)
balancehair.com divaspas.net experiencespaandsalon.com shampoojc.com
| FITNESS Au Capoeira (p.45) aucapoeira.com Brick Haus brickhausfitness.com Club H clubhjc.com Grove Street Bicycles (p.46) grovestreetbicycles.com Hamilton Health & Fitness (p.40) 201 714 7600 JCF Boot Camp (p.44) jcfbootcamp.com projectpilates.com Project Pilates (p.40) SunMoon Yoga (p.47) sunmoonyoganj.com Qi for Wellness (p.46) qiforwellness.com
| ART AND CULTURE 4th Street Arts 4thstreearts.com 58 Gallery fifty8.com Actors Shakespeare Company* ascnj.org Art House (p.42) arthouseproductions.org Attic Ensemble atticensemble.org Creative Grove Artist Market creativegrove.org Curious Matter curiousmatter.blogspot.com Grace Church Van Vorst (p.43) gracevanvorst.org J CITY Theater (p.44) jcity.org Jersey City Art School (p.46) jcartschool.com Jersey City Craft Mafia (p.46) jerseycitycraftmafia.com Kennedy Dancers* (p.45) kennedydancers.org Loew's Jersey Theatre* loewsjersey.org Next Step Broadway (p.44) nextstepbroadway.com The Distillery* distilleryart.org Uptown Crew* uptowncrew.net * denotes establishments outside of Downtown Jersey City
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
THE IRON MONKEY
THE HAMILTON INN
99 GREENE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 435 5756 ironmonkey.com
708 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 839 5818 F 201 839 5804 hamiltoninnjc.com
Welcome to the jungle. On the corner of York and Greene stands a six-foot-tall metal monkey with three identifiable words swinging below: The Iron Monkey. This Downtown Jersey City restaurant & bar offers an entertaining dining experience featuring an award-winning menu with 30 specialty drafts and over 300 craft bottle beers. Come and enjoy three levels of quality service including a downstairs bar, second-floor lounge and rooftop entertainment while overlooking the Jersey City waterfront. Open daily, the Monkey offers an array of seasonally inspired food and cocktail specials and has introduced a new weekend brunch menu. Exuding an enthusiastic, yet casual atmosphere, the Iron Monkey is anything but ordinary and all things extreme.
The Hamilton Inn is the newest addition to the quickly growing Hamilton Park community. This well-rounded spot is perfect for indoor and outdoor dining for lunch, dinner with friends, hanging out at the bar or visiting for a not-to-miss brunch experience. The Hamilton Inn brunch features $4 cocktails, chilled out DJs and a menu that includes everything from a classic Inn Burger to the innovative fusilli bolognese with braised beef, veal and pork with crĂ¨me fraiche. There is even a distinct spin on sandwich, pizza, pasta and salad options, and a tasty kids' menu. Raw bar fanatics take note: The Hamilton Inn serves up fresh Kumamoto and Blue Point oysters and clams on a half shell. To accompany your delicious food, there is an affordable wine list with 35 choices available by the glass, half bottle and bottle; as well as delicious cocktails and a great beer selection. Special nights include Taco Tuesdays, an Endless Happy Hour on Thursdays and Late Night Dive Bar specials on Fridays and Saturdays.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
HARD GROVE CAFE 319 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 1853 F 201 451 8964 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 all-you-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.
146 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 0600 skinnersloft.com
440 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 333 1550 or 201 333 7004 bubbysburritos.com
Skinner’s Loft is an elegant yet casual, upbeat bistro-style restaurant. It features an eclectic menu of deliciously seasoned small plates and entrees, as well as tried and true comfort food, like a juicy burger. There are extensive beer, wine and liquor lists to accommodate those seeking the usual as well as satisfy the adventurous. The handcrafted bar is adorned with a copper ceiling and antique Italian tiled floor, with the loft space upstairs housing a beautiful, but comfortable, dining room. In the summertime, Skinner’s Loft offers dining in the rooftop garden, serves specials daily, and features carefully made cocktails using fresh squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and house-infused liquors. Join us for lunch Tuesday through Friday, brunch on the weekends, and dinner until 11 every night.
PAID FOR BY OR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
Bubby’s Burritos is a cozy Downtown CaliforniaMexican 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.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
MADE WITH LOVE
530 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 5199 madewithloveorganics.com
84 AUDREY ZAPP DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07305 T 201 413 0050 maritimeparc.com
With artisanal breads, empanadas, quiches, cookies, pies and cakes made with organic ingredients, Made with Love is Jersey City’s destination for sweet and savory baked goods. Now there’s more to love: daily lunch, weekend brunch, communal dinners, art receptions, cooking/baking classes and children’s parties. Simple, pure, and Made with Love.
Maritime Parc captures the spirit of the sea, featuring an outdoor stone patio where food, drink, and the company of friends and family can be savored in the open air; a year-round indoor dining room where accessible yet sophisticated cuisine is served by an attentive staff; and an event hall perfect for any celebration. The restaurant revitalizes the tradition of the great seaside restaurants of yesteryear for the modern diner, adding a signature spectacle: expansive views of the Hudson River and lower Manhattan that frame the scene.
PARK & SIXTH COMFORT FOOD 364 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 918 6072 parkandsixth.com From its braised brisket sandwich and four different chicken salads to its homemade mozzarella, Park & Sixth has redefined the standard in comfortable food served quickly, affordably and hospitably. It's called comfort food for a reason – come find out why.
140 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 536 5557 litm.com
286 1ST STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 420 9550 portolounge.com
Every day is new and exciting at LITM. The popular neighborhood destination is a restaurant, bar and an art & video gallery. Known for its creative and seasonal cocktails and its excellent American food (recently named "Best Mac + Cheese in Jersey City"), LITM also offers an extensive beer list. LITM hosts rotating and ongoing events, including monthly art exhibitions and film screenings by local and international artists.
Port-O Lounge brings the essence of Portuguese cuisine and the elegance of port wine to Downtown Jersey City. Port-O offers an array of tapas, selected wines, and refreshing sangrias, served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. At nightfall Port-O turns into a hip lounge complemented by great cocktails, stylish ambiance and the sound of euro beats. In the warmer season, guests can enjoy outdoor dining under the shade of a graceful tree.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
SMITH & CHANG GENERAL GOODS
JERSEY WINE & SPIRITS
230 PAVONIA AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 420 0557 smithchang.com
492 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 763 5888 libertyharborwine.com
Smith & Chang General Goods in Hamilton Square is a one-stop shopping destination for everything essential in your home. Featuring kitchenware, furniture, lighting, hardware, personal accessory and bath products, the store melds both vintage and new to create an atmosphere stylish and easy to live with.
Jersey City’s premier wine shop. Over 2,000 wines from around the world to choose from. Wines for every budget, single-malt scotches, small-batch bourbons and a great selection of microbrews, corporate gift baskets, glassware and cheese. Great customer service. Delivery available. Stop by the store or shop online at libertyharborwine.com.
PAID FOR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
14th STREET GARDEN CENTER
793 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07310 T 201 963 1414 14thstreetgardencenter.com
29 MCWILLIAMS PLACE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 855 6767 downtowncoop.com
Jersey City's premier family run garden center has a wide selection of indoor foliage and outdoor blooming flowers. From quart-size annuals perfect for window boxes to fresh locally grown herbs to large bamboo plants, we keep a full selection of plants year-round to suit your city living. Plus we’ll pot your plants for you and deliver them too!
Downtown Coop is Jersey City’s alternative grocery store specializing in a diverse selection of local, organic and sustainable foods. It strives to build a lasting relationship between local, independent producers of high quality food and the wonderful community that is Jersey City. Get Healthy, Get Local.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
ANOTHER MAN’s TREASURE 353 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 860 9990 amtvintage.com Dubbed a “knockout vintage boutique” by Time Out New York, this cozy downtown shopping destination continues to attract admirers from both sides of the Hudson and beyond. Knowledgeable owners Meika and Warren Franz travel far and wide, carefully hand-picking each item, striving to keep the racks affordable and fresh with new merchandise weekly. The store boasts a kaleidoscopic array of vintage fashions, accessories, shoes and jewelry for men and women from the 1900s to the 1980s, with a focus on classic vintage, high-fashion trends and designer finds. An intriguing mix of records, books, collectibles and other vintage oddities ensure there is something for everyone. Come see what treasures await you!
PAID FOR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
SHAMPOO JC HAIR SALON
VESPA JERSEY CITY
107 CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 395 0045 shampoojc.com
247 10TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 VESPA JC (837 7252) vespajc.com
By way of NYC’s Lower East Side, Harley DiNardo of Shampoo Avenue B has opened up shop in Downtown Jersey City. “We want clients to feel as comfortable about getting their hair done here in Jersey City as they would in a hip Manhattan salon.”
Vespa riders quickly discover that even everyday travel becomes a memorable adventure. A daily commute into the city, a last-minute errand, a fast Saturday trip to the farmers market – suddenly you’ll look for reasons to twist the throttle and go. Wherever you choose to ride, you’ll get there with a minimum of fuel, a maximum of fun and plenty of storage space to bring your laptop or that gallon of organic milk. For every mile traveled on your fuel-efficient Vespa, you make a lasting contribution to conserving our nation’s energy resources, the environment and the mental health of congestion-weary fellow travelers. Vespa Jersey City is the only exclusive Vespa and Piaggio dealer in New Jersey. With factory certified service on site and UEZ certification, you can enjoy savings (only 3.5 percent sales tax on most items), convenience and fun. A beautiful boutique dealership in a historic building, Vespa Jersey City makes it worth the visit.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
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, bootcamp, kettlebell, yoga, water workout and learn to swim classes. HHF offers the most holistic health and fitness experience in Jersey City.
161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 HEALTHY (432 5849) projectpilates.com
197 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 434 1010
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-/post-natal Pilates and injury prevention & recovery. Located inside Hamilton Health & Fitness, Project Pilates gives you the most complete Pilates experience in New Jersey.
Gallerie Hudson goes beyond just ordinary framing. In addition to creating award-winning designs, they offer 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. They have thousands of choices in frames, from handcrafted Italian mouldings to contemporary American hardwoods. Whether you need to frame a family photograph or a Picasso original, Gallerie Hudson is the place to go. They are fully insured and guarantee the quality of their workmanship. So drop by for a friendly, professional design consultation or peruse their collection of original art. Store hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 am-7 pm and Saturday 10 am-6 pm. (Member of the American Professional Picture Framers Association.)
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS 1 MCWILLIAMS PLACE | 6TH FLOOR JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 9911 arthouseproductions.org For a decade, Art House Productions has been a pioneering force in the Jersey City arts movement. Producing a wide range of events, Art House provides opportunities for new art and artists, and fosters a widespread appreciation for the arts in our community. From original, multimedia plays to gallery exhibitions and the popular JC Fridays festival, Art House reminds you that “home is where the ART is!”
GRACE CHURCH VAN VORST
CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 915 9911 arthouseproductions.org jcfridays.com
39 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 659 2211 gracevanvorst.org
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. Programs include art openings and exhibits, music, dance, theater, poetry, film/video screenings and more. Next dates: March 4 and June 3.
A vibrant, progressive Episcopal church located in downtown Jersey City, Grace Church Van Vorst has been serving the community since 1847. GCVV is a leader in innovative arts and social justice programs that reach out to those who are seeking a deeper connection to God and neighbor. The Grace Senior Center for Healthy Living and the Breakfast Plus! Program provide activities, support and food for hundreds of our most needy. 2011 marks the 22nd year of its annual Cathedral Arts Festival, the longest running celebration of the visual arts in Hudson County. And of course, there are worship services in the beautiful sanctuary every Sunday. All are welcome to join a traditional service at 9:15 am or a contemporary worship (with child care) at 11 am. Be sure to check the website often for upcoming events. There’s always something happening at Grace Van Vorst.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
JCF BOOT CAMP 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.
MARKETPLACE PRODUCTS & SERVICES
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J CITY THEATER 252 9TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 jcity.org facebook.com/jcitytheater J CITY creates quality, high energy and life transforming theater, with a focus on the actor and the story. In the end: a damn good show. J CITY is currently celebrating their 5th season; come out and join them!
IRIS RECORDS Used LPs, CDs and books, with new arrivals weekly. Hours: Thurs/Fri 3-8 pm; Sat 12-7 pm. 114 Brunswick St. | recordriots.com
AU CAPOEIRA Classes for adults & children in the Brazilian art form that combines dance, acrobatics and self-defense. 908 432 2405 | 58 Coles St. | aucapoeira.com
MAGIC CLEANING SERVICE LLC $15 off when you mention this ad! Call 201 963 1147 or email email@example.com to book an appointment. magiccleaningservicellc.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
Next Up: Private Eyes, April 1 - 16.
NEXT STEP BROADWAY 233 9TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 706 3025 nextstepbroadway.com
Diane Dragone Director
Former Radio City Rockette Amy Burnette is the proud owner of Next Step Broadway. Sign up today for Musical Theater Summer Camp; limited spots are available. Amy and her professional staff offer ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, and voice lessons for all ages and levels. Located in the beautiful Hamilton Square Building.
A Non Profit Corp. Since 1976.
79 Central Ave Of Classes for Children & Adults Ages 3 .00 Jersey City, NJ 07306 $20 flier - Senior Citizens (Free) ke (201)- 659-2190 Ta with Beginner thru Professional/ www.kennedydancers.org Kennedy Dancers Repertory Co. & firstname.lastname@example.org Teen Scholarship Pre Professional Program Inner City Youth Jr.. Dance Co. f
Register Now- Ballet, Tap, Hip-Hop, Theatrical Jazz, Modern, Latin Ballroom- Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Belly-Dance, Gymnastic Tumbling & Zumba- the hottest Latin Dance work out Please check our website for schedule or call us and ask to be put on mailing list.
THE STOCKINETTE KNITTING CAFE The Stockinette is a perfect niche cafe, with fiber art, fine art and culinary delights. Free wifi & private garden. 201 792 KNIT | 581 Jersey Ave. | thestockinette.com
THE KENNEDY DANCERS Classes for children & adults, from beginner to professional. Take $20 off if you mention this ad. 201 659 2190 | 79 Central Ave. | kennedydancers.org Diane Dragone Director
46 Classes for Children & Adults Ages 3 -
A Non Profit Corp. Since 1976. 79 Central Ave Jersey City, NJ 07306
Pogogeff & Company Certified Public Accountants (201) 592 0006 Do your TAXES have you overwhelmed and confused? Lost with all the ACCOUNTING requirements?
JERSEY CITY ART SCHOOL Courses include painting, sculpture, jewelry making, writing & digital photography. Weekly: Figure Drawing (Wed.) & Sunday night Film Forum. jcartschool.com
LET US BE YOUR GUIDE!
172 NEWARK You live Downtown. You shop Downtown. Now work Downtown. Offering cowork desk rentals for creative professionals, near the Grove PATH. 172newark.com
GROVE STREET BICYCLES This full-service shop carries bikes for the entire family & offers lifetime service with every new bike purchase. Take 5% off any purchase (excludes labor) with this ad.
THE WAREHOUSE CAFE Come get plugged in and restored at The Warehouse. 201 420 8882 | 140 Bay St. | thewarehousejc.com
POGOGEFF & COMPANY Providing each client with professional, timely, competent & personalized attention. 201 592 0006 | 1590 Anderson Ave. #2, Fort Lee | pogandco.com
SHOW ME YOUR FACES Actors and other performers go to John Crittenden's studio in Jersey City Heights for portraits & headshots that bring success. email@example.com
JERSEY CITY CRAFT MAFIA Providing handmade businesses with opportunities to network with artists and to organize selling, networking & educational events. jerseycitycraftmafia.com
SUNMOON YOGA Offering hot yoga, vinyasa and restorative classes. Take a class and get your second one free. 201 963 7999 | 413 Monmouth St. | sunmoonyoganj.com
HUDSON PRIDE CONNECTIONS CENTER Hudson County’s full-service LGBT community center. Join us for our Hudson Pride Festival Saturday, Aug. 27. 201 963 4779 | 32 Jones St. | hudsonpride.org
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
CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES WITH MAMARAMA Parenting show host and JCI weekly blogger Mamarama teaches pregnant couples how to manage the unpredictability of birth. mamarama.tv
CREATIVE ENABLER Kick that brand into high gear on a budget and make 2011 your best year yet! Downtown Jersey City owned & operated. creativeenabler.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
On December 26, a massive winter storm dumped more than two feet of snow on Jersey City. The next day, photographer Steve Gold found that the Newport Centre parking lot had been turned into a nearly unrecognizable snowy landscape. "Temperatures were in the mid-teens and the wind was howling. When I reached the top deck of the parking garage I found the desolate snow field," he says. "My intention was to capture a surreal, dreamlike moment."