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Adventure Awaits THE ART OF HOME STAGING • LOCAL ISLAND GEMS TURNING NATURE INTO FURNITURE • MEET THE CORDIVARI’S
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The Beauty Of Spring
“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” —Josiyah Martin
Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes a new opportunity to enjoy
the great outdoors and the beautiful surroundings here in south Jersey. While I was at the beach the other morning watching the sunrise and taking in the fresh air, I was amazed at the feeling nature’s energy can have over us. And although March is no picnic, I still would like to encourage you to gear up and head outside to embrace the wonder of nature and its healing power. Let the stress of life pass over us, if only for a few minutes. With that being said, in this issue, we’ve geared up for our new outdoor adventure with the 2021 Jeep Wrangler. What a cool “car” that you can modify to fit your personality and lifestyle whether it’s off-road or on. I’m especially excited to re-introduce some of you to Cordivari’s Restaurant. The Cordivari family has opened at their new location in Brigantine called non-other than Cordivari’s. Like an extended family to me, we’ve been friends for many years, and I have enjoyed numerous great meals from Chef Jim, including the ones you’ll see in Lifestyle Eats. This family has a long history of success in the restaurant business with the Pirates Den and Tre Figlio, The Carousel Grill, and now their namesake spanning 3 generations. Nick Valinote, Publisher
In his latest wine column, Michael Bray tells a little bit about Rosé to break up our red and white obsession, which is especially nice for a brunch or a warm day. But with all of this pleasure, we’ll need to put some work in to balance things out. And health writer Robin Stoloff shows the way with getting the most out of our home workouts. We also get a look inside local artist Glen Guarino’s woodshop as he shows us the amazing furniture he’s created while highlighting the importance of carrying on the craft of furniture making and taking it beyond mere function. We would also like to say congratulations to James Lin and the whole team down at Car Toyz on their new facility in Egg Harbor Township. Our Social Scene is filled with photos from the ribbon cutting at this amazing new location. These great topics and so much more await you in this issue of New Jersey Lifestyle. Our goal is to keep you engaged with the many great things here in south Jersey, therefore, we encourage you to like us and reach out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag.
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Wishing you all the best! On the cover: 2021 Jeep Wrangler, Caprese Tower from Cordivari’s Restaurant.
Spring 2021 |
The Cordivari name has become synonymous with traditional Italian cuisine in the Atlantic City area.
Presentation Is Everything................... 12
The art of great staging could hold the key to selling your home.
Rough Terrain Ahead............................ 26
Get ready to ride in a rugged SUV with unparalleled off-road capability.
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Where’s The Point?............................... 30 Local island gems that make the perfect escape.
Meet The Cordivari’s............................ 56 A visit to Cordivari’s Restaurant in Brigantine delights us.
Grab your mask, and let’s get out of the house for a little while and not feel so pointless!
Two boys try to catch fish in Somers Point Photo by Daniel R. Myers Photography
Lifestyle Fashion...................................... 6 Take off in style. Health Watch........................................... 20 House of fitness. Lifestyle Wine.......................................... 36 What is Rosé? Lifestyle Art.............................................. 38 Turning nature into furniture. Lifestyle Entertainment........................... 44 There’s no business like(virtual) show business. Lifestyle Events........................................ 50 Local happenings in and around our area. Lifestyle Social......................................... 52 Get the picture on the latest events. Resource Gallery..................................... 62 Shop, dine, relax and support local. Money Watch.......................................... 64 2020 year in review.
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
LifeStyle Contributors The people who make it great
Spring 2021 |
Darla Scarduzzio Creative Director Darla has been an integral part of NJ Lifestyle Magazine since 2004. From sales to publishing to graphic design, she has experienced all aspects of the industry.
Michael Bray Wine Writer Michael is the founder of and director of operations at Passion Vines Wine & Spirit Company in Somers Point and EHT. He serves on numerous local boards.
Felicia Lowenstein Writer Felicia has been writing professionally on a wide range of topics for nearly three decades. In addition to feature articles, she also has authored nearly two dozen nonfiction children’s books.
Danielle Gomes Writer Danielle is an author, freelance writer and brand marketing specialist. Her nationally featured work has won numerous awards. She lives in Margate with her husband and two sons.
Robin Stoloff Health Reporter Robin has been a local health reporter since 1986, and hosts Living Well on Lite Rock 96.9, and a weekly podcast by the same name. Visit her at livingwellwithrobinstoloff.com.
Lisa Johnson & Dennis Hayes Dennis’ passion is learning the secrets of preparing good food, traveling the world, and living life to the fullest. Lisa is an award-winning TV journalist from Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.
Molly Golubcow Writer By day, Molly has been a technical writer for over 20 years. By night, she escapes the world of “Press Enter” to write about anything other than technical subjects.
Kristian Gonyea Photographer Kristian’s 15+ years of photography has appeared in various newspapers and magazines. His love of South Jersey has blossomed into his most recent works, sunrises and sunsets.
Michael Cagno Artist, Writer Michael is the Executive Director of the Noyes Museum of Art, V.P. of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and adjunct professor at three local colleges.
Eric Weeks Photographer Eric’s love of photography has won awards for many images throughout the years, along with a cover image for the Professional Photographers of America’s Loan Collection book.
Elaine Rose Writer Elaine was a staff writer for the Press of Atlantic City for nearly 22 years where she covered every subject except sports. Her work has won multiple awards.
Paul Dempsey Photographer From expressway billboards to European fashion magazines — Paul’s photography is fresh, unique, and intentional. His photos tell the stories that need no words.
David Spatz Entertainment Writer David is an Emmy Award-winning host and a multi-media journalist with 45 years experience. His entertainment series, Curatin Call, is SJ’s only program to win an Emmy.
Don Kravitz Photographer Don is an entertainment photojournalist and special events photographer for national publications, as well as Getty Images, Miss America, and the city of Ocean City, NJ.
LifeStyle NEW JERSEY
Nick Valinote Creative Director
Darla Scarduzzio Contributing Editor
Lisa Johnson Contributing Writers
Michael Bray Michael Cagno Molly Golubcow Danielle Gomes Dennis Hayes Felicia Lowenstein Matt and Tom Reynolds Elaine Rose David Spatz Robin Stoloff Photographers
Tom Briglia Paul Dempsey Kristian Gonyea Justin Tinel Nick Valinote Eric Weeks Online Media Information
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
From planning lists to the best clothes for travel, find out how to pack light and stylishly while leaving the heavy baggage at home. By Danielle Gomes
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hile the pandemic has put many vacation plans on hold, travelers are eager to get back to it. In a recent consumer survey by the World Travel and Tourism Council, 99% of respondents reported that they are eager to travel again, with 70% of those planning a trip this year. As the vaccine rollout is well underway, many are hitting the road once again. If you’re ready to travel and planning a trip, this is the perfect time to finally leave the heavy baggage at home. Travel Essential — Neutral Base “When you’re packing for a trip, the goal should always be to pack light,” says Lauren Swain, Travel Blogger for Innergy Travel. The easiest way to do this is to pick a particular palette and pack accordingly. “I always start with a neutral base,” Swain says, “Your wardrobe is really easy to build out when you start with a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched.” A neutral base can be black, white, tan, gray, navy, denim, and more. “Think of your base as the backdrop to your style,” Swain says. The little black dress, your favorite jeans, those great white pants, or flattering skirt are the basic items that you can wear multiple ways throughout your trip. They are the essential pieces that make packing light a breeze. “I used to pack an entire outfit for each day, which meant I was constantly lugging too much baggage with me. Now, when I pack, I think of my entire vacation wardrobe as one fashion capsule, one story,” Swain says. Travel Essential — Layers Spring weather can be unpredictable and varied. From cool nights to pop-up rainstorms, packing for a spring getaway requires a few extra layers. With your neutral base, this is a great way to add some functional fun to your travel fashion. “This part of packing takes a little bit of
strategy. You want to make sure that you’re comfortably dressed for any weather, but also look coordinated and fashionable,” Swain says. In springtime, this means having a wide variety of layers including a weather-proof option. “This is where I add some variety to my travel gear. I usually pack a few light cardigans, a heavier sweater, a dressy blazer, and a light, weatherproof jacket,” Swain says. Don’t be afraid to add some pops of color or fun prints. Vests are another great layer for spring travel. They can break up the most basic wardrobe, and they can be styled in many ways. Travel Essential — Accessories Your travel style is made with accessories. They don’t take up much space but give your wardrobe a polished look. If you’ve packed smartly, you should have plenty of room for accessories. “Accessories can do so much. They can add a level of warmth, they can take your look from day to night, and they add variety to your travel wardrobe,” Swain says. However, again, you need to pack your accessories with purpose. Limit bulkier items such as shoes and bags, but include more easy-to-pack accessories such as scarves, shawls, and jewelry. “My favorite travel accessory is a scarf. It’s versatile, chic, and easy to pack,” Swain says. A scarf can add instant style to a basic outfit and can be worn so many ways. It can take a basic tee and make it trendy. Just keep in mind that when choosing a scarf, remember that it can play double-duty, so consider the weather of the location that you’re visiting. Choose lighter fabrics for warm climates and heavier, warmer fabrics for cooler spring weather locals. “Silk scarves are trending in a big way, and they are such a great way
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to add style to a basic outfit,” Swain says. A silk scarf is synonymous with sophistication. It can be tied around your neck in place of a necklace, worn loose over the shoulders, or tied around your head. “When I’m traveling, sometimes taking my scarf from a loose hair wrap to a necktie and throwing on a blazer is all I do, to go from day to night,” Swain says. A cashmere shawl is another all-season, essential travel accessory. “It [cashmere shawl] adds elegance to any outfit, while also keeping you warm and comfortable,” Swain says. During the day, you can loosely wrap the shawl around your neck, then at night drape it around your shoulders. Travel Essential — Sportswear “This time of year is all about getting outdoors. I love spring trips that are sports-focused. I’ve taken hiking trips, spring ski trips, and golf trips,” Swain says. Sportswear is the wildcard when it comes to packing. This is the one area where having the proper gear outweighs packing light. From hiking to golf, your gear matters and should take priority. However, there are still some tips to packing light, even with extra gear. This is where strategic packing makes a difference. “I try to pack basic sportswear that can play double-duty while traveling. If I’m golfing, I usually pack a neutral color skirt or two that I can also wear out. I pack some fun golf tops, then change into a sweater at night,” Swain says. This strategy works well for hiking gear as well. Basic leggings can be one of the most versatile items on your packing list. The perfect black legging can take you from the hiking trails to an elegant dinner just by changing your top and your accessories. They are also easy to wash on the fly, as long as you opt for a quick-dry material. n
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Home & Design
PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING
The art of great staging could hold the key to selling your home. By Danielle Gomes
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for houses that are priced right,” says Dana Hartman-Hiltner, Marketing Director, home design specialist, and Realtor with the Hartman Home Team of Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors. If this market has you thinking about selling your home, you should also consider staging it. Simply put, staging is preparing your house to sell. Whether that means bringing furniture into an empty house or clearing out some ‘lived in’ clutter, staging is an important step to selling your home. A staged home will sell, on average, for 17% more than a non-staged home and 87% faster, according to Forbes.com. “Typically, any staging is done before property photos are taken and prior to launching the house on the market for sale,” Hartman-Hiltner says. “When someone looks at a house, they look at it in terms of livability. Staging takes the mystery out. It helps the buyer picture how they will live in that home,” says Joseph DiLorenzo, broker/owner at the DiLorenzo Realty Group. It can be difficult for prospective buyers to visualize furniture in an empty home or to imagine living in a home that’s filled with the knickknacks and mementos of another family. “Staging draws buyers into your property and will also increase your showings. Most buyers dream of that perfect house just ready for them to move right in,” Hartman-Hiltner says.
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Delivery, Installation or Pick-Up Tips for staging a vacant house… “As a realtor, part of our job is to make sure that we can present the house in the best light. Staging should reflect the architecture of the property,” DiLorenzo says. Think of staging as the icing on the cake, the finishing touch. “If I don’t sell in preconstruction, staging is one of the first things that I do as soon as the house is complete,” says Luxury Home Builder and Real Estate Developer, Ben Chapman, owner of Ben Chapman Development. It’s very common for buyers to have a hard time visualizing how furniture will fit into an empty space. “This is where the effectiveness of staging a vacant home is obvious. Staging simply helps buyers to envision how to use a space. It’s often difficult for people to picture how a room will lay out or especially how to furnish a living room to maximize seating or what size bed will fit into a bedroom,” Hartman-Hiltner says. When staging a blank space, it’s always a good idea to stick to the basics. “Remember you’re trying to appeal to the masses. Stick to neutrals and just add small pops of color here and there. Think spa-like and relaxing,” Hartman-Hiltner says. You’ll also want to make sure that each space is gender-neutral. Furniture should be arranged to increase conversational spaces. “You want the home to feel very inviting,” Chapman says. Position seating in groupings. For example, face living room seating towards each other. It will make the house feel warmer. “Drape a throw blanket over the couch and cozy up that living room!” Hartman-Hiltner says. Keep decor minimal and polished. Use mirrors to make spaces seem larger.
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Tips for staging an occupied home… It’s much more common to think of staging an empty house, however, staging the home you live in can be just as important. However, rather than bringing furniture in, it tends to involve taking some things out. “Staging a “lived-in” home can be challenging but fun. I often find myself “staging” and redecorating our home even though we aren’t selling. It’s harder with two little kids, but coming home to a clean, organized house is the best feeling. Just simply moving your decor around can help give a space a fresh new look,” Hartman-Hiltner says. As much as you love every family picture and memento that you’ve collected on your travels, the main focus in staging a lived-in home is cleaning. “Clean, organize, declutter, clear counters and clean some more! My biggest tip would be to clear every counter and table in your house, even bathroom vanities, nightstands, and especially the kitchen counters,” Hartman-Hiltner says. To get started, Hartman-Hiltner recommends trying to put away as many items as possible. “Pretty decorative baskets or boxes can do double duty for this task. Make sure that everything has a spot and can be put away neatly. Don’t just throw everything in a closet since most home buyers will be looking there, too,” Hartman-Hiltner says. As a home design specialist and realtor, Hartman-Hiltner emphasizes that less is more when trying to stage. “A clean, straightened room will always appear larger,” HartmanHiltner says. If you’re stuck, HartmanHiltner recommends going through a “Pottery Barn” catalog or picturing your favorite hotel. “The best staging often makes a home appear less
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lived in and more like a trendy hotel room or lobby. Try rearranging your furniture to help give the illusion of more space and to help a room look larger and more open,” HartmanHiltner says. After all of the clutter is removed and your home gets a thorough deep clean take an inventory of your decor. “Pull existing decor items from around your home including candles, vases, trays, faux flowers, and anything else that can be nicely displayed,” Hartman-Hiltner says. Select your nicest pieces and strategically place them around your home. “Add a pretty candle on your coffee table or kitchen island to help
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“Staging should reflect the architecture of the property,” says Joe DiLorenzo, broker/ owner at DiLorenzo Realty Group. set the scene and make your home smell amazing,” Hartman-Hiltner says. Finally, lighting is very important when it comes to selling a home and is often overlooked by the seller. “Make sure there is plenty of bright light in each room and that the lights are all turned on before a showing,” Chapman says. It’s also a good idea to open your blinds in order to let in as much natural light as possible. Whether you’re staging a vacant or lived-in home, the bottom line is to give the home just enough dimension to stimulate the buyer’s imagination. “You want to give the buyer the setting, but let them write the story,” Chapman says. n
HOUSE OF FITNESS From low-cost apps and simple equipment to cutting edge full-body systems, there’s something for everyone when it comes to working out at home. By Robin Stoloff
t was a typical Thursday morning last March. I had just finished teaching my cardio-sculpting class at Tilton Fitness in Galloway. When you work out together for years, you become a mini-community, and I got to know and like the members of my class. As we wrapped up the cooldown, I thanked everyone for joining me and wished them a good week. Little did I know, that was the final class I would teach and the last time I would see them. Due to the pandemic, Tilton Fitness closed its doors the following week and never reopened. In June I was shocked to learn that all seven of their locations would be shuttered for good. For more than 30 years I taught workout classes there in both Northfield and Galloway. It had been a huge part of my life, and like so many others, I felt a sense of loss. When fitness centers throughout New Jersey closed last spring, many people scrambled to find alternative ways to exercise. Most gyms have opened since, with safety mandates in place such as limited capacity, stricter cleaning guidelines, and mandatory masks. However, as the pandemic rages across our nation, some people have decided not to return for a variety of reasons such as fear of the virus, a monthly cost they cannot afford now, fewer classes available in the gym, or an unwillingness to wear a mask during their workout. Fortunately, my husband and I had a fully equipped home gym in our basement which he uses regularly. Before the pandemic, I worked out there from time to time, but I prefer the atmosphere and social aspect of going to a fitness center. So like everyone else, I have had to accept reality and make a pivot to a full-time home exercise. I now workout in our gym quite often and I have joined a few online fitness apps to get additional fitness routines. After the shutdown last year, there was a huge surge in demand for home fitness products. From apps to apparel and equipment, the home fitness industry exploded. Equipment sold out in stores and online, and prices reflected the increased need. The newest trend is to combine a piece of equipment with a monthly or annual membership through the online app that works with them. For instance, Peloton not only provides a bike but also the live and on-demand cycle classes to do it with it. They have also expanded into other types of workouts such as weights, running, and flexibility. Something many of these online programs now offer is the ability to check-in and even compete against others participating in the same workout. For those looking
Spring 2021 |
to get back into the “feel” of a community and still maintain the safety of distancing, these programs may provide the perfect mix. If you are still in the market for home exercise equipment or an online fitness program, there are a variety of factors to consider. Most importantly, what are your fitness goals, how much space do you have, and what is your budget? Equipment can run between $100 and $5,000. It can take up a small corner or an entire room. It can be simple or complex. Here is a quick summary of the most popular traditional and new high-tech home
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workouts. For simplification, I have divided the equipment and apps into three categories — cardio equipment, weights/resistance training, and flexibility/recovery. Cardio Cycles, rowers, elliptical and step machines are all great options. However, something as inexpensive and simple as a jump rope or online cardio class could help give you the heart-pumping exercise you need. Here are some of the most popular pieces of home gym equipment. Peloton Bike — With the Peloton membership you get a convenient and immersive indoor cycling experience, streaming daily live classes from their
NYC studio onto your video screen. You get 24-hour access to studio cycling classes and a variety of other workouts. Nautilus Elliptical — Loaded with dozens of training programs, Bluetooth connectivity, and free app-based tracking tools that help maximize motivation and power up performance. Assault Fitness Air Bike — A modern take on a 50-year-old concept. Good for a beginner or pro. Uses both arms and legs. Set your pace and the resistance adapts to your output. StairMaster Stepper or Stairmaster StepMill — With a stepper, your feet do not leave the pedals. On the step climber, you will pick up your foot as
the next step descends towards you, like walking up steps. NordicTrack Treadmill — Combines connected personalized iFit training on a large video screen, decline and incline, and 0-12 mph speeds. VersaClimber — Acts like two cardio machines in one: a lower body stepper and an upper body climber. This design creates a unique arm and leg pushing/ pulling action that keeps the arms above the heart and over your head: optimal for good circulation and longlasting cardio results. Fight Camp — A new boxing workout, FightCamp workouts are built and led by real-life fighters. You purchase
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HEALTH WATCH the heavy bag which records your punch counts as you follow the boxing and kick-box videos. Weights/Resistance I have to admit, I am a fan of old school workouts. It is basically how I started and what I know. Give me a few dumbbells and a bench and I can do a full-body workout. However, with the growing demand for home workout equipment and online classes, there are now more options than ever. Here is a short list of some of the simple and more sophisticated options. Bowflex, Weider, Apex, Gold’s Gym all offer full-body home gym systems. TRX suspension training — a low-cost, space-saving training that uses body weight exercises and adjustable suspension straps attached to a secure structure. Mirror, Tempo, Tonal Gym System — The most revolutionary type of home workouts to hit the market, these advanced systems offer stats and personal feedback as you follow their workouts and simultaneously see the reflection of yourself exercising. Stretching/Balance/Yoga/Recovery Of course, the most important piece of equipment for stretching or yoga is a simple mat, but here are some other items that could enhance your flexibility or recovery. Foam Roller — Foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release (SMR). SMR is a technical term for releasing tight muscles, connective tissue (fascia), and trigger points with self-massage. This can often help relieve tight muscles and myofascial pain syndrome.
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Yoga Blocks and Straps — Essential items for your home practice. Straps help you move into a variety of poses, including forward folds, twists, and binds. Blocks help you with both seated and standing poses, particularly if you have tight hips or you find it hard to balance. Gaiam Stability or Balance Ball Foam Roller — Large and inflatable rubber items that are used for strength training, stretching, and core muscle exercises. Proper instruction is imperative to avoid injury and get the most out of every stretch and movement. BOSU — Originally, the name “BOSU” was an acronym for “Both Sides Up.” It meant that the BOSU Balance Trainer could be used on either side, the dome, or the platform. Great for stability exercises and stretching, it is a versatile piece of fitness equipment. In addition to online YouTube classes, there are countless yoga, Pilates, recovery, and stretching apps. It would be impossible to name them all here. Some are free, others require a monthly fee. Most offer a free trial to see if you like the program. Here are a few of the top yoga apps: Daily Yoga, Yoga Studio, Down Dog, Asana Rebel, Glo, Gaia, Track Yoga, Yoga Daily Fitness, Yoga for Beginners. As we continue our home workouts, we are fortunate to have such a variety of options. From lowcost apps and simple equipment to cutting edge full body systems, there is something for everyone. One small caveat: we can buy the equipment, get the apps, sign up for the membership, but there is just one minor detail in all of that — we have to use it! n
Dear Friend, Seashore Gardens Living Center is facing a crisis unlike anything in our 104year history as a non-profit Jewish Home for the Aged. We are pleading for your help. COVID-19 has caused a once-in-a-century threat to our mission of enriching elder lives. Like the little boy holding his finger in the dike, we are struggling daily to hold off the torrent of costs that could force us to close our doors. We now find ourselves in “the perfect storm.” We have an outbreak in our building. We are facing staffing challenges due to quarantines and shortages. We are continuously having to purchase PPE and our fractured medical records system is in need of updating. We are in desperate need of your help to overcome these challenges and weather these perilous times. We have faced COVID-19 with resolve and resiliency for almost a year. For so long, we were able to keep our staff’s COVID positives to a minimum and our residents’ virus-free. We watched the crisis grow all over the country and heard the stories of the toll that COVID-19 was taking on nursing homes. This virus has disproportionately affected the elderly and frail—the very people in our care. We were cautiously proud of our accomplishments and continued to be proactive. Two weeks ago, we had our first resident test positive for COVID in this outbreak and quickly found out that no matter how diligent you are, this virus spreads quickly through homes like ours. Vaccinations are a great first step, but they don’t protect against our financial challenges. We held our first vaccination clinic in early January and our second vaccination clinic just this week. Now that we are facing the realities of the virus in our building, we are grateful for that extra layer of protection. With your help, we can continue to survive and provide quality care for our residents. We are not an organization that has ever “cried wolf.” We have never had to make an appeal for our very existence. We have never needed the help of our community more. While it is impossible to know the extent of the financial impact this past year and current outbreak will have, we estimate it to be anywhere from $500,000 to a million dollars. The Board of Directors and Staff of the Seashore Gardens Foundation and Living Center are determined to provide relief to our frontline staff and beloved residents until we can restore normalcy to our beloved Home. Please help us. Contact Sharon D’Angio at (609) 748-4614 to learn how, or visit us online at https://seashoregardens.org/covidrelief. You have the
power to ensure our future and make a difference. Sincerely, Richard Cohen President Seashore Gardens Foundation
Martin H. Klein Michael Stark President and CEO Chairman of the Board Seashore Gardens Living Center Seashore Gardens Living Center
Sharon D’Angio Director of Fund Development and PR Seashore Gardens Foundation
Alysia Price Executive Director Seashore Gardens Living Center
seashoregardens.org/covidrelief 22 W. Jimmie Leeds Rd. ■ Galloway Township, NJ ■ 08205
Seashore Gardens Foundation is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization. Tax ID #56-2424727 njlifestyleonline.com
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
LifeStyle On Wheels
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ROUGH TERRAIN AHEAD
Get ready to ride in a rugged SUV with unparalleled off-road capability. By Elaine Rose
t is the best of cars; it is the worst of cars. For those who travel in the great outdoors without the benefit of paved roads, there isn’t a vehicle on the market that can defeat the Jeep Wrangler for conquering rough terrain. But take it up the Garden State Parkway, and you’re in for a noisy, rough ride. “You know exactly what you’ll get with the 2021 Jeep Wrangler: a rugged SUV with unparalleled off-road capability that prioritizes function over form and attitude over comfort,” Cody Trotter wrote for U.S News & World Report. “This is the SUV you want when you go on weekend adventures, but it’s a poor choice for a family vehicle because it isn’t as comfortable or upscale as many rivals.” But impracticality doesn’t stop many folks from loving the Wrangler. Since it was officially introduced for the civilian market in 1986, this descendant of World War II military vehicles remains highly popular. It was last redesigned — with better comfort, ergonomics, and technology — for the 2018 model year. “The 2021 Jeep Wrangler SUV doesn’t only look cool, it is cool,” Aaron Cole wrote for The Car Connection. “Its value is only slightly better than “bad”, and its off-road ability is second to none, but its on-road comfort is lacking. Still, we’d love to have one in the driveway because our rating system doesn’t factor in cool.” The Wrangler is one of the top sellers at Atlantic Chrysler Jeep VW Fiat in Egg Harbor Township, said sales associate Rich Baxter. “It’s been around for many years and numerous aficionados love the Wrangler brand,” Baxter said. With a dozen trim lines, four engine choices, and three infotainment options, you’d be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that can be better customized to the buyer’s liking. All models come either with two doors or the four-door Limited edition. You practically need a spreadsheet to examine all the options, though Jeep’s website is quite helpful. The base Sport trim starts at $28,215 for the two-door model. But reviewers don’t recommend it unless you want to drive around as GI Joe did during the war. The windows are the kind you have to hand-crank (Remember those?) and climate control is by Mother Nature, as one writer put it. Translation: no air conditioning. Step up a bit to the Sport S for these conveniences that modern-day drivers consider necessities.
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
LIFESTYLE ON WHEELS
2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
For serious off-roaders, reviewers recommend the Rubicon trim, which has special features to navigate all sorts of non-road conditions. Aside from that, it’s your decision. There are four engine choices: • The base is a 3.6-liter V6 with 585 horsepower. • About $1,500 steps up to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower. • Spring a little more for a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine with 260 horsepower. • You can go green with the 4xe, a plug-in hybrid with 375 horsepower that Jeep claims will get 50 mpg on the road. So far, this isn’t available on all models. All come with four-wheel drive. The base has a standard six-speed manual transmission with an optional eight-speed automatic, which reviewers say is smooth. The other engines come with automatic transmission. The infotainment system is a user-friendly Uconnect, with three different touchscreen sizes. It is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all but the base Sport trim. And the feature that’s unique to the Wrangler — at least until the resurrected Ford Bronco makes its debut in late spring — is that all models allow the driver to remove the windows and doors and fold down the windshield, creating the ultimate outdoor driving experience. Unless you’re single or a couple without children, reviewers suggest going for the four-door Limited models. The rear seats are roomier for adults, and there’s more space for your camping gear or groceries. The two-door Wrangler has 12.9 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, and 31.7 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The Limited has 31.7 cubic feet of space with all the seats up, and 72.4 cubic feet with the seats down. The Wrangler is manufactured in Toledo, Ohio, at the same plant that constructed jeeps for the World War II effort. Buyers can order a customized car or buy something from the inventory at Atlantic Chrysler Jeep VW Fiat, Baxter said. About 70 percent of customers find something they like on the lot and 30 percent custom order. The Wrangler is not particularly fuel efficient. The standard engine gets about 17 mpg in the city and about 25 on the highway, with a slight improvement with the upgraded engines. So should you buy one? The Wrangler was named MotorTrend’s SUV of the year in 2019. “Over tough trails, its capabilities are nearly unmatched, allowing drivers of many skill levels to explore unpaved terrain,” Alex Leanse wrote for MotorTrend. “It now delivers a reasonably civilized on-road driving experience too.” As for safety, the Wrangler tests well in front crashes but leaves something to be desired for T-bone hits. It sometimes rolls over when struck from the side. So this might not be a suitable choice for transporting your young kiddos. A rear-view camera is the only standard safety feature, but a few others are optional. It also has lower than average reliability, so you’ll need to foster a good relationship with a mechanic. On the plus side, the Wrangler maintains its value more than most other vehicles, so you’ll get a good price when you trade it in. In other words, you love this car or you hate it. It’s either your must-have vehicle or you make a fast dash in the opposite direction. n
Where’s the Point?
Longport jetty Photo by Kristian Gonyea
Somers Point provides a foggy view of the Ocean City Bridge at 9th Street Photo by Daniel R. Myers Photography
These local gems make the perfect escape for your next quick getaway. By Molly Golubcow
he expression, “What’s the point?” usually implies frustration, defeat, or boredom. In the era of COVID-19, people feel all of the above, and then some. To amuse ourselves safely when out of the house, we meet with friends — staying 6 feet socially distant, walk on the beach or Boardwalk, or maybe take the family on short drives. Locally, there are several options for a quick getaway — even if it’s only for a bit. A few hours out of the house helps improve cabin fever — immediately. And, to get to the point —these destinations literally are named for their geographic location. So, grab your mask, and let’s get out of the house for a little while and not feel so pointless! Cape May Point When you get to Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway, you’ve reached the very bottom of the state — the southernmost spot on the Jersey map. In fact, Cape May Point sits further south than parts of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and even
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
Somers Mansion, an historic landmark in Somers Point Photo by Daniel R. Myers Photography
Cape May Lighthouse
Virginia. Besides the open and stunning view of the Atlantic and Delaware in the distance, the Cape May Lighthouse attracts millions of visitors to the area who climb the 217 steps. If you’re not into climbing structures built in the 1850s, take in the shoreline, dunes, and the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail — a prime location for viewing fall bird migrations. Local Point resident, Carol Sowers, clearly sees the point of living at the tip of Jersey. Sowers explains her affinity to the area, “I love living blocks from the beach but still having luscious, green trails at the State Park, and beautiful Lake Lily practically in my backyard. It is just such a wonderful community, and I am so happy to live here. Even during a pandemic, there is nowhere else I’d rather be.” Point Taken: The remains of SS Atlantus, a World War I-era concrete ship that ran aground 150 feet off the coast, sits on the beach of Cape May Point near the Lighthouse.
Bald eagles are often spotted in Carneys Point
Somers Point Known as the oldest settlement in Atlantic County, Somers Point was first settled in 1693. By the 1830s, boarding houses lined the shore, making it a popular summertime retreat. Many of these homes, located in the Bay Front Historic District, are listed on both the National and State Register of Historic Places. Today, the Somers Point area offers a variety of restaurants, marinas, bars, and even a playhouse, that
YOU’RE NEVER FAR FROM overlooks 1.22 square miles of water and neighboring Absecon Island. Also, residents and visitors alike enjoy the historic landmarks such as Somers Mansion — home of the original family who settled the area in the 1700s.
EXCELLENT LEGAL COUNSEL Helping Our Community to Emerge Stronger
Point Taken: The 1983 movie Eddie and the Cruisers was mainly filmed in Somers Point, using the now-defunct Tony Mart’s nightclub as a setting. Carneys Point Located in Salem County, Carneys Point plays host to one of the main arteries on the eastern seaboard — the New Jersey Turnpike. Referred to as the “Gateway to New Jersey,” the southern entrance to the 148mile turnpike is a Carneys Point landmark. The recently completed high-speed toll gate features a “lighthouse” atop the toll booth structure. In addition to the Turnpike, other significant transportation routes in and around Carneys Point include Interstate 295 and U.S. Route 40, which runs through the southern part of the municipality. With easy accessibility to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Carneys Point attracts major corporations for industry including DuPont and Atlantic City Electric. Point Taken: Native son Bruce Willis, of Die Hard and Pulp Fiction fame, was raised in Carneys Point and graduated from Penns Grove High School. Yes, he was a member of the Drama Club! Longport Located on the southwest corner of the 8-mile-long Absecon Island, Longport offers picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean as it meets the Great Egg Harbor Inlet at the very tip of the island. The 1.5 mile
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
mostly residential borough makes for a perfect place to ride a bike and meander through lovely neighborhoods with perfectly manicured shore lawns. Once you get to The Point, by car or bike, stroll down to the end of the island and walk across the jetty. You will find plenty of photo ops with Ocean City straight across the water and Egg Harbor Township to your right. If fishing is your bag, you will not be alone. Fellow fishermen can be seen on the jetty hoping for fluke and flounder catches. Point Taken: M. Simpson McCullough, renowned Philadelphia lawyer and builder, decided to develop the area into a “seashore resort” in 1882 and call it Longport — because of the naturally long port on the bayside.
According to NJ.com, Leeds Point is one of the 21 places in New Jersey you need to visit in 2021 where there’s nothing but silence and marshland — and the birthplace of The Jersey Devil legend. Leeds Point According to NJ.com, Leeds Point is one of the 21 places in New Jersey you need to visit in 2021. Why? Because there is nothing there but silence and marshland — and the birthplace of The Jersey Devil legend. Located within the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, the only areas that have been developed can be found along the bayside of Route 9. The new houses in this area stand in sharp contrast to the dilapidated fishing piers and shacks on the water. Nearby, you have the Town of Smithville for shopping and dining. Close to Leeds Point itself, the rustic Oyster Creek Inn has been shucking up seafood and libations for decades. Point Taken: In 2008, Leeds Point was released — a feature-length horror film about the Jersey Devil. The story of the Devil has been passed on for generations in New Jersey with origins tied to the 13th child (“devil”) born into the Leeds Family in the late 1700s. n
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Coming Soon... a real Texas horse ranch in New Jersey! REAL COWBOYS, REAL WESTERN, REAL FUN! Rockin’ J Ranch is bringing a real cowboy lifestyle to the East Coast. Straight from Texas, a true Cowboy and Cowgirl have come to teach you Western Horsemanship. Enjoy barrel and roping lessons, trail riding, pushing cows, and much more! We’re currently building something great to help you reach your horse riding dreams! Check our website to get updates and announcements on our grand opening in early 2021.
SHOWS/ EVENTS LESSONS HORSE TRAINING BOARDING
Photo by Christine Benton on Unsplash
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WHAT IS ROSÉ? By Michael Bray
osé is a wine that uses some of the skins of red grape varieties but doesn’t make contact long enough to extract tannins or deeper red color. The resulting wine is pink in color and is essentially made in the style of white wine but using red grapes. Pink hues can range anywhere from a pale orange to a translucent ruby and offers an enormous spectrum of fruity flavors. How is it made? If the winemaker’s focus is to make Rosé wine, then controlled skin contact is the typical way to go. After crushing red grapes, the juice will sit with the grape skins on top anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. The longer the skin makes contact, the deeper the color. If the winemaker needs to make multiple styles of wine, then the Saignee method is a great way to make Rosé. Saignee is French for “bleed”, meaning that after a period of skin contact, the winemaker will drain off a portion of the pink juice to be fermented in a stainless-steel vat, while the remaining juice continues to extract tannins and color to make a powerful, highly structured red wine. Another way to make Rosé is by directly pressing red grapes and taking whatever color leaches out into the juice; these wines tend to be paler, with more white wine flavors like citrus and peaches, rather than red berries and watermelon that you would get from skin contact. Blending red wine with white wine is typically discouraged, though it is legal to do in Champagne. That being said, Champagne producers tend to stick with Saignee or direct pressing methods of making sparkling Rosé. Is Rosé wine dry or sweet? Some producers may note a “semi-dry,” “semi-sweet,” or “sweet” to indicate varying levels of residual sugar in the wine, but the overwhelming majority of Rosé wines are going to be dry and very food-friendly. There are some styles that tend to be on the sweeter side. White Zinfandel from California, for instance, is always going to have a degree of sweetness and is almost never dry. Rosé d’Anjou from the Loire Valley is a specialty made from Cabernet Franc that is low in alcohol with a touch of sweetness to balance the high acids. Speaking of alcohol levels, if you look at the ABV and see a number less than 11%, chances are high that you will have a Rosé with residual sugar. A great example of
this is the Brachetto sparkling wines, which are typically around 7% ABV but have high amounts of residual sugar (a perfect dessert wine!) Why don’t you see expensive Rosé? The truth is, Rosé is an easy wine to make. Crush the grapes, let the juice and skins sit together for a short time, drain, ferment, and bottle. It is a fresh, lively wine that should be consumed within a year (two years, tops). There are no oak treatments, which typically add cost to production. There is also no need to hold the wine in the bottle to settle down and harmonize, so a winemaker’s inventory turns over quickly (another cost associated with wine production). There are so many good bottles of Rosé to try for $20 and under. If you are looking to see what the buzz is about when it comes to some of the celebrity bottlings, by all means, go ahead, however, those might take you into the $30 bracket. The Tavel region of the Rhone Valley specializes in Rosé production and has been doing it for a very long time. The quality has earned such critical acclaim that these wines may cost $40 and up, but this is an exception to the rule. Does location matter? Always! Worldwide wine regions will typically go with grapes that work in their respective terroirs, but also use grapes that maximize fruitiness, acidity, or both. Garnacha is Spain’s luxurious variety, which offers texture and strawberry fruit. Italian Rosé made from Sangiovese tends to be pale orange with a citrusy character. Pinot Noir Rosé from Oregon will give you bold cherry fruit flavors. Provence Rosé made from a blend of grapes will be delicate and mineral-laden with watermelon and nectarines, gracefully straddling a line of white and red wine flavors. And finally, South American Rosés can sometimes have a touch of smoke to complement the aromatic red fruit flavors. Thirsty yet!? Drink Passionately,
Email me at Michael@passionvines.com and I’ll share some of my favorite Spring/Summer Rosé food pairings. 38
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NATURE TO FURNITURE
Coming About table
Local sculptor Glen Guarino uses nature as his muse to create furniture pieces that are works of art. By Michael Cagno
THE OAK By Alfred Lord Tennyson
Glen Guarino in his woodshop
Live thy Life, Young and old, Like yon oak, Bright in spring, Living gold; Summer-rich Then; and then Autumn-changed Soberer-hued Gold again. All his leaves Fall’n at length, Look, he stands, Trunk and bough Naked strength.
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or New Jersey furniture maker/designer Glen Guarino, nature has become his muse to create sculptural works rooted in the physical world. Wood is the symbolic essence of serenity and naturalness. Through space, material, and function, Glen’s furniture is a work of art. Like most people, walking in the woods can be a transformational experience. The sunlight pierces through the canopy as the squirrels rustle in the leaves. The fresh air cleanses the palette. Standing tall and righteous is a battalion of healthy trees. But it is the trees that lie on the ground that captures Glen’s imagination. Each piece represents a unique natural sculpture. It is here that Glen harvests the fallen. A tree can live for over one hundred years providing the earth with so much. Fallen and repurposed, the tree continues to illuminate its strength for a hundred more years. The afformentioned poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson immortalizes the tree. Glen’s love for working with wood began at age nine while visiting his uncle in England where he watched him build a model sailboat. Upon returning home, Glen built a workbench in his parents’ basement and started working with simple tools and scrap wood. Over the years his skills improved, and he began to develop his own style. Glen put himself through undergraduate and later earned his Fine Arts Master’s degree in Studio Art from Kean University. Since 1978 Glen has designed and fabricated furniture in Cedar Grove, NJ. Now, many years later, Glen’s furniture conveys a sense of the person behind the art: someone that loves the creative process through the inspiration of nature. Each new design is an adventure, exploring imagination and the potential of the material. During the process of cutting and shaping the parts to
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create a piece of furniture, he feels a true connection to the material. The process of using a hand plane or a spokeshave watching each thin shaving peel away is extraordinary. Glen’s hands-on approach allows him to let the simplicity of design reveal itself. Each piece imparts serenity and calm that reflects the tree’s grace. As the design becomes actual and tangible, he gets a sense of a tree evolving into a new life.
Flower Mirror Revisited
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When asked if Glen considers himself an artist or craftsman, he responds, “This is an often discussed topic that many people find important. Before the industrial revolution, there was no question that furniture makers, silversmiths, and jewelers were all considered artists.” Therefore, he leaves it up to the individual to make the judgment. Glen feels when furniture is being used, it is furniture. When it is not being used, he considers his furniture art that enhances the room.
Glen is concerned about the future of furniture making. “A maker must devout a life-time to develop many skills both as a craftsperson and as a designer/ artist.” As a maker, Glen strongly feels the need to educate the public of the many advantages of “bespoke furniture.” The steps involved in creating a commission piece is complex. The process begins with meeting a client at their location. By viewing their space, it offers an opportunity to get a sense of the client’s aesthetics. Often the clients have viewed his work in a show or on his website. During the meeting, concepts are discussed, as well as a budget. After the meeting, Glen develops many idea sketches presenting five to six to the client for their input. Once a design is selected, they
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agree on the type of wood, finish, and timeline. Next in the process is making full-size drawing elevations, patterns “and selection of the material.” Then it’s onto milling the boards to fabricate the many parts, cutting joinery, fitting the parts, shaping, and gluing. Fine-tuning the sculptural aspects of the piece include sanding, finishing, installing hardware, and delivery. “I love the whole process because it is in the end a true collaboration between me and the clients,” says Glen. But Glen is concerned about the future of furniture making. During the last 10 or so years, the industry has lost several icons of studio furniture makers. Many new people are making their mark, but not enough to develop a large enough following that can support makers. “A maker must devout a life-time to develop many skills both as a craftsperson and as a designer/artist.” It is costly to maintain a studio and equip it with machines and tools. The space must be large enough, which means overhead is expensive. As a maker, Glen strongly feels the need to educate the public of the many advantages of “bespoke furniture.” Glen believes that young interior designers have not developed enough personal relationships with artisans. With the over-abundance of online discount stores, all too often they simply shop off the virtual shelf. In the past, the best interior designers had solid collaborations with makers. The relationship benefits both, the maker and the interior designer. “A room that showcases beautiful pieces of furniture and wall art makes a statement. My work is enhanced when it is placed in a well- designed room, which helps promote my work.” n
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
ALMOST LIVE How virtual shows are keeping entertainment alive as venues remain closed. By David Spatz
f timing is everything in show business, then it couldn’t have been better for Michelle Tomko. A comedian who’d been working to develop an act and an audience was finally seeing the unmistakable signs that her hard work was starting to pay off. “I was on an upward trajectory because I had just done my first show at the Hard Rock (Atlantic City) opening for (comedian) Demitri Martin, (and) I had just landed a new Monday night regular gig hosting some new talent at the Atlantic City Comedy Club,” Tomko said. Then, as the term COVID-19 slowly began making its way into everyday conversation, the bottom dropped out for Tomko and just about every other person who earns a living in the entertainment world. On March 16, the day Tomko’s new comedy gig was supposed to start, it ended before it began when Gov. Phil Murphy instituted a statewide shut down that included places people gather for entertainment. “Every day, I just added a series of X, X, X to my calendar,” she said of the canceled gigs. “It’s just so hard on everyone (in the entertainment industry) because you work so hard to get these gigs in advance and then something like this happens.” Entertainer Tony Pace, meanwhile, had a hunch his days of singing, cracking jokes, and doing impressions would be changing in a dramatic way. Pace has often been a regular midweek performer at Resorts Casino Hotel. “On March 8, I came off a cruise ship and I told my wife Nancy that we’re done (for the time being),” he said. “Right now, I have nothing booked until 2022.” Just because they were out of work — at least in the conventional sense — doesn’t mean Pace, Tomko and other entertainers started looking for work in convenience stores or gas stations.
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
ENTERTAINMENT Both agreed, in separate conversations, that it didn’t take either of them long to figure out ways to adapt their shows so audiences could still see them — even from hundreds or thousands of miles away. They moved their shows online. Some even tried to do “live” shows in parking lots, where the crowd was sequestered in their cars to keep the virus cells at bay and the reaction to a good gag wasn’t a laugh or a giant guffaw. For Pace and Tomko, each learned that a “honking”
Comedian Michelle Tomko
Tony Pace’s promo for his virtual show
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ovation is, in the era of COVID-19, to be savored. It’s the motorized equivalent of a laugh. Because her star was on the rise, Tomko wasn’t about to let that getaway. “I wasted zero time (in finding an alternate outlet). I thought, ‘Well, I’m the only entertainment in Atlantic City right now,’ so I did a lot of (online) posting from the Boardwalk to try and boost my social media presence, which I did,” she explained. “I found an (electrical) outlet that worked outside the Tropicana in March, April, and May, and I plugged my microphone and speaker into that and I did shows right on the Boardwalk.” The experience helped Tomko refine her improvisational skills by doing “crowd work,” which is when a comedian uses the audience to help generate material, not the usual jokes and gags she’d ordinarily do on stage. She interacted with the crowd walking or riding their bikes past her spot on the Boardwalk. Tomko’s audience was bigger than you’d imagine. She wasn’t just doing the alfresco shows for the small group of folks who were gathered around her in front of the casino. She was also using the Zoom video app to put her shows live online. Naturally, earning a few bucks, cracking jokes or playing an instrument, or singing in public is something buskers do to pick up a few bucks. And Tomko was all for making money, so she happily accepted tips either live on the Boardwalk or sent to an online app called Venmo, which Tomko described as “the first cousin of Pay Pal.” When Tomko began doing her Internet shows, she had to learn another important skill that, preCOVID, would have probably sent chills up and down the spines of most comedians. “(Zoom) lets your material be seen by the masses, but without having anyone laughing back at you,” she said of one-way comedy. “So I learned a new skill. It’s a totally different energy.” Tomko had also written and performed “Yo Eleven,” a story- and spoken-word type of show about some of Atlantic City’s lost stories, which received an excellent
DAYS of OLDE
response when she performed it at intimate Dante Hall in Atlantic City. There was still a demand for the show, but with all entertainment venues shut down by the pandemic, her only alternative was to work with the Stockton University’s video department to record the show for television and online. “We did it in Stockton’s Performing Arts Center,” she said of the school’s 550-seat campus venue. “It was empty. Wow, what a difference doing it (virtually). I did it live in 2019, and then we did it virtually last year. It was a learning experience.” Pace, meanwhile, had to do some fancy finagling in order to keep his career alive. Pace does a lot of touring and often spends up to 200 days a year performing all over the world. Step one to getting back to work meant he and his wife moved from Florida to Maryland to be more centrally located. His church gave him a spot to use as a performance area, and he gradually began building a 90-minute virtual show. Then he brought in three cameras to record the production, which is when he realized he was learning and mastering a new form of entertainment. “I’ve become a sitcom producer,” he said, which is probably one of the few areas of the businesses he hasn’t completely mastered. Not yet, anyway. With the new video show, combined with his reputation as a talented jack-of-all-trades entertainer, Pace began offering the production to charities, veterans’ groups, and other organizations. Like Tomko, he had to learn how to interact with an audience he couldn’t see, for the most part. “It’s a new experience because we entertainers feed off of the audience’s energy and interaction and everything else,” he said. “So when we started using the Zoom format, there were probably 120 to 130 people online. And it was a lot of fun. The problem is that the format, when trying to interact with the audience, becomes tough. Because if you leave everyone unmuted, then
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it just doesn’t work. And if you mute everybody, it just doesn’t work because you’ve lost the interaction. But I’ve worked a way around still having the interaction, but at the same time not sacrificing the quality of the show.” Florida-based theatrical agent Craig Neier, who’s brought plenty of midweek and residency gigs to Atlantic City over the years and represents Pace, didn’t waste time moving his artists from venue stages to online programs. “I started doing virtual shows in late March at some of our venues here in Florida,” Neier said. “We were uncertain if (audiences) would participate. But as the word spread, the viewership started to grow.” That was all Neier needed to begin assembling a variety of online shows, entertainers, and special events to offer to entertainment-starved crowds. “Right now, we’re offering Zoom shows in comedy, magic, a mentalist, cabaret- and Broadway-style shows, tribute shows, lectures, authors, and more. When word spread that Neier and his company was offering the same types of shows he did in a live setting — only now online — he started getting calls from clients around the country. “In December, I produced a culinary cooking event for Deborah Hospital (in Browns Mills, NJ) with Eddie Jackson (a free safety for the Chicago Bears), who’s also a Food Network celebrity chef,” Neier said. It was a fundraiser, Neier added, and the hospital raised over $150,000. Neier has also been doing drive-in and outdoor concerts, which he also described as “a learning experience” for the buyers, the agents, and the artists themselves. “In the drive-in style of shows, they use FM receivers in their cars (to hear the sound) or they leave every other car space open (for social distancing) and the guests bring chairs and blankets. I really do believe they want to be entertained, and most of our talent is ready and willing until they’re able to get back on stage.” n
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Calendar of Events
3/5 & 4/2 > Nauti Spirits Paint Night Nauti Spirits Distillery, Cape May 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. nautispirits.com
3/20 > Lit in AC Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City 7:00 p.m. boardwalkhall.com
3/9 > MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City 11:00 a.m. boardwalkhall.com
3/26, 3/27 & 3/28 > New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival Showboat Hotel, Atlantic City 5:00 p.m. showboathotelac.com
3/10 > Whiskey Wednesdays Passion Vines, Somers Point 5:00 p.m. Every Wednesday passionvines.com
4/2 > The Beach Boys Ovation Hall at Ocean Casino, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. theoceanac.com
3/19 to 4/5 > Cruise: An Artistic Drive Thru Experience Noyes Arts Garage, Atlantic City Daytime 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Nighttime 7:00 p.m. - 11 p.m. cruisethruevents.com
4/10 > Atlantic City Ballet presents Romeo & Juliet Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars, Atlantic City 7:00 p.m. acballet.org
Spring 2021 |
4/10 > Daughtry Sound Waves at Hard Rock, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com 4/23 > Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Sound Waves at Hard Rock, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com 4/24 > 80’s In April Bourbon Room at Showboat Hotel, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. showboathotelac.com Due to the increasing amount of cancelations and postponements, we encourage you to visit each property/venue websites for the most recent and up to date information.
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Manna At The Shore Fights Food Insecurity
Beth Israel’s social action program, Manna at the Shore, donated prepared meals to five area nonprofits to help combat food insecurity in Atlantic County. Recipients of the grants included A Meaningful Purpose, Grace Place, JFS Food Pantry, Sister Jean’s Kitchen, and the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.
JFS Scores More Than 400 Cans Of Soup
Photos courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties
The Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) ‘Soup’er Bowl fundraiser scored the highest total of the ‘big game’ collecting more than 400 cans of soup. To help combat hunger in the community, the hearty soups will be distributed to individuals and families in need to assure they have a hot and filling meal during the winter months.
SGLC Staff Spread Holiday Cheer
Residents at Seashore Gardens Living Center (SGLC) received a holiday surprise from staff dressed as a menorah, snowman, Christmas tree, and festive gift this past December. Residents received blankets donated by Dylan Krawiec, a student at Cedar Creek High School, who took up a collection for the holidays. They also received gifts purchased by SGLC staff.
SGLC Staff And Residents Receive COVID Vaccine
Residents and staff at Seashore Gardens Living Center (SGLC) received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in January. SGLC is commited to protecting and caring for its vulnerable senior population. CVS Health administered the vaccine.
Spring 2021 |
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Car Toyz Celebrates New Facility
Distinctive Car Toyz held a grand opening at the home of their new location, 2800 Fire Road in Egg Harbor Twp. this past January. Owner James Lin and his amazing staff were proud to show off the new state-of-the-art facility to their loyal customers.
Photos by Nick Valinote
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
See more event photos at facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag
Gilda’s Club Holds Fundraiser At Texas Roadhouse
Gilda’s Club South Jersey held a fundraiser on February 16 at Texas Roadhouse in EHT where supporters were given the opportunity to buy raffle tickets to win a brand new 2021 Kia Telluride from Matt Blatt Kia.
Harrah’s Donation Brings Cheer To Children
Photos by Nick Valinote
Photos by Tom Briglia/Photographics
Harrah’s Atlantic City Casino donated $5,000 to the local Toys for Tots campaign this past December while continuing their tradition of providing holiday cheer. Over 1,700 children received no less than two toys, plus extra age appropriate items.
Hundreds Gather To Watch Trump Plaza Implosion
The once lavish Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is now just a shell of exposed concrete and plumbing after it’s much-anticipated implosion on February 17. Trump Plaza opened in 1984 as the first casino of former President Donald Trump, and closed in 2014.
Photos by Nick Valinote
Pascale Sykes Foundation Commits $1,000,000 To AACCNJ And NJCC
The Pascale Sykes Foundation recently donated to New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) to support Black business enterprises (BBEs), which have historically faced challenges in the U.S.
Spring 2021 |
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“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” —Federico Fellini
The Cordivari Family
Meet The Cordivari’s Capellini Calabraise
Spring 2021 |
Pan Seared Tuna
A visit to Cordivari’s Restaurant in Brigantine delights us with Italian traditions, and homemade signature dishes. By Molly Golubcow Photos by Nick Valinote
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
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f you put a twist on the old saying, “The family that cooks together, stays together,” you get the Cordivari Family. Since 1976, Antoinette (Toni) Cordivari and her family have been cooking up meals in their family-owned restaurants from recipes passed down from generation to generation. Whether meatballs prepared like only nonna can make or a chunky marinara sauce worthy of a Sunday dinner for any familgia — Italian or not — the Cordivari name has become synonymous with traditional Italian cuisine in the Atlantic City area. The Cordivari’s first got their feet wet in the restaurant business in 1976 when they opened the Pirate’s Den in Brigantine, literally a block from the shore. The restaurant, located on the North End of the island, served breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Over the years, the family opened several more restaurants in the area including Tre Figlio in Absecon which they ran for 23 years — appropriately named after Toni’s three sons. Tradition The family’s Italian roots, firmly tied to the Abruzzi region, dictates the ingredients, recipes, and menu. Toni explains the importance of tradition that is incorporated into each meal that they prepare, “We take pride in presenting many original family recipes that have been handed down throughout the years and originated in Italy.” To ensure that the Cordivari touch continues for at least another 40 plus years, a second generation of Cordivari works his magic in the kitchen. Chef Jim, Toni’s oldest son, started working in the restaurant
business when he was only 10 years old at the Pirates Den. He learned the gastronomic ropes by helping out after school and in the summers — getting irreversibly bitten by the restaurant bug. After graduating from Weidner University, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Chef Jim worked as the Sous Chef at Tre Figlio under the tutelage of Chef Frank Mulino. When Mulino left, Jim became the Executive Chef until the family sold the restaurant. A New Chapter In 2019, the family opened Cordivari’s — their newest endeavor located in Brigantine. Not only is Chef Jim overseeing the ins and outs of the kitchen, but Toni as well as her other sons and grandchildren can be seen throughout the restaurant lending a hand — bussing tables, greeting customers, and serving delicious meals. Many selections on the Cordivari’s menu are original family gems that have been handed down throughout the years. Toni shares a secret about the family recipes, “I would have to say our meatballs and braciole are the same recipes that my Mom and I used.” Chef Jim takes his mother’s and grandmother’s old-school traditions and strives to blend them with future trends — all in the name of rediscovering traditional Italian Cuisine. Mangia! Whether their signature dish, Lobster Ravioli, or one of their other entrees, all pasta dishes are homemade on the premises. For example, the Pappardelle Abruzzi — homemade pappardelle pasta, broccoli rabe, and sausage touched
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
with a perfect blend of oil & garlic — is a favorite. Another classic at Cordivari’s is the homemade Gnocchi — a delightful potato and ricotta dumpling dish. Regardless of which homemade pasta you select, the operative word here is homemade — as in quality and taste. Toni confesses, “I cannot even estimate how much pasta we make, but we have two people at the restaurant making pasta for at least 6-7 hours a day in the summer — every day! The homey BYOB restaurant, cozy and pleasant, surrounds you with beautiful family murals while you dine. Whether a night when you just don’t feel like cooking or a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, Cordivari’s is ready to please. For example, a perfect date night meal starts with Jumbo Scallops — served on a fig polenta with cippolini marmalade. Another favorite appetizer, named after Mama
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Limoncello Mascarpone Cake
Cordivari herself, is the “infamous” Shrimp Antoinette — Francaise shrimp sauteed in a lemon butter with capers and red peppers over arugula. For the main course, Toni recommends her favorite, Capellini Calabraise — shrimp, calamari, and lump crabmeat tossed in marinara sauce with a touch of cream, capers, green peas, and fresh basil over homemade capellini. Another popular choice for an entrée is Papardelle Abruzzi — homemade pappardelle pasta, broccoli rabe, and sausage in oil & garlic, finished with Pecorino Romano cheese. And, if you are planning a perfect date, no meal is complete without the perfect dessert. For example, the Tiramisu and Limoncello Mascarpone cake are excellent choices for dessert. Don’t forget to finish your meal at Cordivari’s with a fresh cup of Cappuccino or expresso, of course! Buon appetito! n
Spring 2021 |
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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2021
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2020 Year In Review W
hat a year 2020 has been. We saw market volatility reach a historic high in March with the CBOE VIX Index registering a level of 82.69. This was the highest level ever recorded, topping the 80.86 number recorded during the financial crisis in 2008. Investors surely felt uneasy while riding through the ups and downs this year. However, in the end, simply remaining invested provided a solid rate of return, with all major indexes ending positive. The markets continue to look forward to a return to normalization given the rollout of an effective vaccine, additional governmental stimulus, and an accommodative Federal Reserve. U.S. Stock Market U.S. stocks, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, rose 12.15% for the quarter, finishing the year with a strong rally. Mid and Small Cap companies performed extremely well in the final quarter, returning 24.37% and 31.37%, respectively, as measured by the S&P MidCap 400 and Russell 2000 Index. These smaller companies performed the worst in the first quarter and recovered slower than the larger companies within the S&P 500, but finally shot up with their indexes, turning strongly positive for the year. On the year, the U.S. broad market returned 18.4% despite enduring a 34% drop from peak to trough in March. Staying invested rewarded investors who maintained their equity positions through the downturn, as the fastest recovery ever from a bear market ensued. International Stock Markets Developed international stocks advanced 16.05% for the quarter as seen by the EAFE Index. Emerging market stocks performed a bit better, posting an impressive 19.70% gain. While much of this gain is due to economic recovery, some of it is also attributed to the decline of the U.S. dollar, which lost over 4% for the quarter. Europe has been hit hard by the current wave of the Coronavirus. In response to these rising cases, several countries have implemented new lockdowns or restrictions. The U.K. has been hit particularly hard and a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 has been identified. U.K. Prime Minister Boris
Johnson announced a new lockdown for England that is similar to what was experienced in March 2020, requiring people to shelter in place except for a handful of permitted reasons, and schools have returned to an online format for most students. If more countries impose lockdowns throughout Europe, volatility in the markets should be expected. Bond & Credit Markets The Aggregate Bond Index returned a marginal 0.67% gain for the quarter. Bond yields rose slightly through the quarter, however, the Fed expects to keep its key interest rate near zero through 2023 as the economy recovers. One of the goals for the Fed is to achieve maximum employment and while stock markets are forward-looking, the unemployment rate, a lagging economic indicator, sits around 6.7%. It will likely take years for the economy to fully recover from the pandemic. The yield curve steepened throughout the quarter, which is another sign of recovery. Still, interest rates remain very low, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury only yielding .95% on December 31st. As of this writing, the 10-year has moved sharply to 1.08%. 2021 Perspective Despite some obvious risks in the market today, it’s worth noting that a typical bear market (a drop of more than 20%) rarely occurs quickly after a previous drop of this magnitude, with the average bull market lasting 4.5 years. While actual results will likely deviate from this average, hope in the form of vaccines could allow the world to recover in 2021 and beyond. Historically, a steep rise in stock prices in November and December bodes well for the following year. Per LPL research, there have been 5 times that the S&P 500 Index rose more than 10% during November and December. In the subsequent year, stocks averaged a gain of more than 18%. So while certain risks from the global pandemic remain, the potential for additional return is still present given that we are now in the early stages of recovery. n This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the basis for an investment decision. Consult your financial adviser, as well as your tax and/or legal advisers, regarding your personal circumstances before making investment decisions.
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n As SEC REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISORS we adhere to a higher standard of fiduciary care. n As PRACTICING CPA’s we understand the complexities of the current tax system and work to maximize tax efficiencies. n As INDEPENDENT ADVISORS, we remain product neutral, transparent, and answer only to you, the client.
We are CRA Financial. Thomas Reynolds, CPA Matthew Reynolds, CPA, CFP® Robert Martin, CFA®, CFP® Gordon Shearer, Jr, CFP® Jeffrey Hilliard, CFP®, CRPC® Joseph McCaffrey
n With an emphasis placed on FUNDAMENTAL FINANCIAL PLANNING, we strive to help you achieve your long term investment goals. n With over $920 Million in assets under management, we have the RESOURCES, the EXPERIENCE and the KNOWLEDGE to help you achieve your financial goals.
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Get in. GET fixed. GO HOME. THE VERY SAME DAY. Same-day surgery is the safe way to get you back to better. The very best healing happens at home. That’s why AtlantiCare has same-day surgery centers throughout the region, offering dozens of minimally invasive procedures to get you in, get you fixed and get you home that very same day. And we’re strictly following all the latest safety guidelines, so you don’t have to put off getting the care you need.
OUR OUTPATIENT PROCEDURES: • Ear, nose and throat surgery • Gastroenterology, adult and pediatric • General surgery, adult and pediatric • Gynecology • Hand surgery • Knee surgery • Ophthalmology, adult and pediatric • Oral/maxillofacial surgery
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To schedule a consultation with a provider, call 1-888-569-1000. Or to learn more about the same-day surgeries we offer, visit www.atlanticare.org/surgery.
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