NJ Lifestyle Magazine Winter 2002

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LifeStyle NEW JERSEY

WINTER 2022

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e ssu I y r a s r e v i n th n A


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M Y L A G O S M Y W AY

C AV I A R C O L L E C T I O N S


LifeStyle View

Happy New Year!

“It always seems impossible until it's done” —Nelson Mandela

W

e are excited to share with you our Anniversary Issue. Yes, it has been 20 years since the magazine was first published by the late Bill Scarduzzio along with Editor Joe Longshore. My predecessors served as leadership figures offering guidance and creativity while I contributed to the magazine year after year. Fast forward to 2022 and we incorporate the same special sauce into the publication. As you can see on our roster of contributors, we have no shortage of award-winning talent giving you their best. I am often thanked for publishing the magazine and I share that proudly with our Lifestyle family. It would be easy to “save money” and just go digital, but what fun would that be? The never-ending deadlines and limited space force us to distill it all down to the best parts. With a nod to the past and an eye on the future in a fast-paced world, I think it's good to keep some traditions, such as the printed words. And we do it all for you, our reader. This is your publication; this is your resource for the best of the best. What's worth having is worth sharing. So, with that sentiment, we share with you our New Year's Edition 2022 and we welcome you to celebrate with us 20 years of excellence. In this issue, we learn about a local girl, Wendi Levy Kaaya and the business she built out of a need for better hair solutions. We also check out some new watches since these assets have been going through the roof in value. Hot Tub Time Machine, like the movie, is a great headline for our feature on hot tubs and creating your own spa. And since we haven't been able to travel much outside of the U.S., we included a little trip to Indonesia for a tropical getaway. So, as we embark on our next chapter of success I would like to thank all of our contributors, staff, and our marketing partners for sharing this journey and creating a lasting impression by offering the best of the best to you, our loyal readership.

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Nick Valinote, Publisher

How to reach us To advertise call 609.513.0813 or email njlifestylemagazine@gmail.com NJLifeStyleOnline.com Visiting our website is your connection to South Jersey’s Good Life. New Jersey Lifestyle is distributed exclusively by direct mail to the top 1% in Atlantic and Cape May Counties. facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag instagram.com/njlifestylemag


TABLE OF CONTENTS FEATURES

Bali, Indonesia

FASHION 6 Luxury watch market.

HOME & DESIGN 12 Hot tub time machine.

HEALTH WATCH 24 The art of re-invention.

WINE 44 New year, new terroir.

ART 46 Digital art has no borders.

ENTERTAINMENT 52 Atlantic City comedy.

EVENTS 58 Local happenings.

SOCIAL 60 Pictures from the latest events. 2022 Cadillac Escalade

MONEY WATCH 72 Caring for your aging parents.

DEPARTMENTS

NY Style Wings at Water Dog, Bally's Atlantic City

LEADERS 18 A local chick mixes it up.

ON WHEELS 30 The iconic Escalade.

TRAVEL 36 Bail Ha'i may call you.

EATS 66 Water Dog — unleashed. njlifestyleonline.com

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LifeStyle Contributors The people who make it great. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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 a TV journalist from Vegas, Philadelphia, and A.C.

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.

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.

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.


LifeStyle NEW JERSEY

MAGAZINE

Publisher

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

Paul Dempsey Kristian Gonyea Don Kravitz Justin Tinel Nick Valinote Eric Weeks Online Media Information

www.njlifestyleonline.com

New Jersey Lifestyle is published by Nicholas & Partners. The entire contents of New Jersey Lifestyle are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Nicholas & Partners assumes no liability for products or services advertised herein. Nicholas & Partners reserves the right to edit, rewrite or refuse editorial material and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions. New Jersey Lifestyle and Nicholas & Partners assume no responsibility for writers opinions and contents. All correspondence should be sent to:

Nicholas & Partners P.O. Box 1183, Absecon, NJ 08201 Telephone: 609-513-0813 njlifestylemagazine@gmail.com njlifestyleonline.com

In 1969, Stephen Hankin founded the firm now known as Hankin Sandman Palladino Weintrob & Bell. Since that time, this venerable firm has built a reputation for excellence, effectiveness and integrity, ably advocating for our clients in a variety of practice areas.

HISTORY DEDICATION RESULTS Areas of Practice CONSTRUCTION COMMERCIAL LITIGATION DIVORCE/CUSTODY LAND USE ENVIRONMENTAL REAL ESTATE APPELLATE PRACTICE PERSONAL INJURY EMPLOYMENT CRIMINAL MUNICIPAL LAW PUBLIC CONTRACT LAW CONSUMER FRAUD Main Office Atlantic City 30 South New York Avenue | Atlantic City, NJ | P: (609) 344-5161 Cape May Court House Office 18 N. Main Street | Cape May Court House, NJ | P: (609) 465-5557 Avalon Office 2123 Dune Drive | Suite 2 | Avalon, NJ | P: (609) 368-5500 New York Office 32 W. 39th Street | 4th Floor | New York, NY | P: (212) 335-2255

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LifeStyle Fashion

It's About Time


The demand for luxury watches is high, and the market is on fire. By Danielle Gomes

The Longines Master Collection pairs elegance with excellence.

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FASHION

Above: Omega Speedmaster watch Left: Longines Master Collection Automatic Men's Watch, available at Roberts Fine Jewelers, Northfield. Right: The Longines Avigation BigEye, available at Roberts Fine Jewelers, Northfield.

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I

f you think the real estate market is booming, that's nothing compared to the luxury watch market. Are you on the lookout for a Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, or Richard Mille — good luck! “The demand for luxury watches is so far beyond the supply, that even the preowned market is on fire. Some of these watches are selling for two-times, or even more than their original value,” says Bob Rovinsky, owner of Roberts Fine Jewelers in Northfield. Swiss Made “When people say ‘luxury watch’, they're referring to Swiss watches. I would say at least 98% of the luxury watch market are Swiss-made watches,” Rovinsky explains. The watchmaking tradition in Switzerland dates back centuries. During the 1500s, while much of Europe was engaged in religious wars, Switzerland remained neutral. Many sought refuge from this violence and fled to Switzerland, including many French Huguenots, who at the time were the premier watchmakers. They settled in Geneva and brought their talents with them, and the watchmaking industry evolved from there. To this day, Geneva remains the epicenter of luxury watchmaking. While the luxury watch market is thriving, experts have been projecting its demise for the last fifty years. “When quartz watches hit, everyone said Swiss watches are dead. Then when Apple watches and smartwatches, that do everything from answering calls to taking your heart rate, again they said Swiss watches are dead. But they're more popular than ever,” Rovinsky explains. Revered for both their beauty and their technology, Swiss watches are remarkable. “The watches that sell for 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars are true mechanical wonders.

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Cinderella May 21

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FASHION

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Their features and movements have remained unchanged for 100s of years,” Rovinsky explains. The Big Four In the luxury watch industry, there are what's known as the ‘Big Four’ watch brands: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Richard Millie; which, as the New York Times put it, “— are not like the others,” (Gromelsky, Victoria. NY Times, Sept. 8, 2021). These are the most soughtafter brands by both collectors and newbies. There are actually hundreds of luxury watch brands, however, these four brands continue to increase their worldwide hold on the market. This NY Times article cites an instance in Monaco where a Green Dial Nautilus Patek Phillippe watch sold in July for $492,000 in its factory-sealed packaging. What's so notable about this instance is that this watch model had just been introduced in April for $34,890. The whole world seems to be on a hunt for one of these watches and is more than willing to pay. The biggest differentiator when it comes to these four brands is that they're all privately owned and therefore are able to set their production output. According to this NY Times article, this is the number one reason for these brands' desirability. The demand far outreaches the supply. Creating a fire in the second-hand market. “Will this last — that's a whole other question,” Rovinsky says. The pandemic has been another factor in the rise of this market. Many of the Swiss watch factories shut down for a couple of months in 2020, while the coronavirus was spreading through Europe. This added to the supply shortage. “People have also been spending more money on luxury purchases,” Rovinsky explains, “I can tell you that my biggest competitor as a luxury jeweler, is travel. While


people are not traveling as much, they are spending much more money on luxury items, including watches,” which, has increased the demand. Together, these factors have propelled the luxury watch market and created a playground for hungry investors. Breaking In Whether you're just getting started on your watch collecting adventure or you simply want a beautiful timepiece, there are several options that are much more feasible than the ‘Big Four’. “When someone is looking to enter the luxury watch market, I like to recommend Longines. They are a luxury, Swiss watchmaker that's affordable and available,” Rovinsky says. They also share much of the same tradition. Longines is headquartered in St-Imier, Switzerland, and they've been making watches since 1832. Other brands to look for include, Omega, Tag Heuer, Cartier, and Tissot. When it comes to picking a watch, materials play an important role in the overall price. “Stainless steel holds the predominant share of the market. White metals are typically more affordable and more casual, and we are living in a more casual world, so they are by far the most popular. Gold watches are still very desirable, but significantly more expensive,” Rovinsky says. Other trends to pay attention to are watch band materials, “leather and rubber are very popular band styles,” Rovinsky says. Whether you're looking for somewhere new to invest your money, you want to grow your Swiss watch collection, or you want a beautiful new luxury accessory; there's a watch for you. If you're unsure of where to start, head to Roberts Fine Jewelers in Northfield. Their experts can guide you on your new adventure and ensure you look absolutely fabulous in the process. n

Atlantic City’s Hidden Gem

Chef Vola’s Italian Restaurant 111 S. Albion Place, Atlantic City

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HOT TUB TIME MACHINE


Home & Design

Winter is the perfect time to add a hot tub to your routine while reaping some amazing health benefits. We uncover the three main things to consider before you purchase. By Danielle Gomes

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HOME & DESIGN

B

Bring the Beauty of Nature into your Home

Kristian Gonyea’s love for capturing local landscapes & seascapes is available for purchase at kristiangonyeaphotography.com.

aby, it's getting cold outside — but that's no reason to come in! Do you know what goes perfectly with cold air? A hot tub! So, don't fear the winter, soak it in and maybe even improve your health in the process. Now, is the perfect time to add a hot tub to your winter routine and reap some amazing health benefits. Recent research at Coventry University has demonstrated soaking in a hot tub may have the same benefits as exercise, including cardiovascular health and calorie burning (Inverse.com). Hot tubs also relax muscles and melt away stress. If you're considering purchasing a hot tub to steep away those cold winter blues, consider these three main things before you buy: desired features, budget, and maintenance. Feature Frenzy When it comes to choosing a hot tub the number of features to consider can be overwhelming. From the number of seats to water jet placement to wireless televisions, music systems, and apps; there's a lot to consider when you're purchasing your hot tub. To keep this process manageable, you'll want to start with the basics. First, figure out the number of seats you want in your hot tub. Will this hot tub be enjoyed by just the two of you, or are you planning a few hot tub parties for the neighborhood? In general, sizes range from small tubs that can accommodate 2-4 up to very large tubs that can accommodate 7 or more. Next, think about seat design and, most importantly, jet placement. Would you like to sit and socialize or recline and relax? While a lounge seat allows you to lay back, relax, and have a jet massage almost every muscle from your neck down to your

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FOR ALL YOUR “HARDSCAPE” NEEDS MULCH • TOPSOIL • SAND • FIELDSTONE

calves; they take up a lot of space in the tub. If you'd prefer to have more people in your tub, the better option is open seating with targeted jets that hit your back and legs. Once you decide on your seating arrangement, what muscles do you want the jets to hit? Even more specifically, what type of jets do you want? You can find powerful, targeted jets that deliver firm pressure to tension areas. Or gentle shower jets to softly relax your muscles. There are also kneading oscillator jets that provide a therapeutic massage to desired muscles. Or rotating single pulse and double pulse jets that provide a firm rhythmic, pulsed massage. You should also consider the material construction of your hot tub. For example, most hot tub shells are either constructed out of acrylic or vinyl. Acrylic is more expensive, but they're sought for their durability. Whereas, vinyl shells are more affordable, but lack the longevity of their acrylic counterpart. After the fundamentals are decided, you can look at some more fun accessories to enhance your soak. Do you want to watch TV in your hot tub or listen to music? Do you want an LED light system with customizable colors? What about an app to control your hot tub? Or an automatic cover lift? Budget or Bust Once you've designed your dream hot tub, you have to consider your budget. Entry-level hot tubs start at around $3,000. At the other end of the spectrum, luxury hot tubs can sell for as much as $35,000. In general, the bigger the hot tub the more expensive it is. The other factors that contribute to the price are quality, design, and features. Which are all pretty straightforward, the more features and higher quality,

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the more expensive. However, lesser-known factors can also contribute to the price. Hot tub dealers are independent contractors and all set their own prices. The manufacturers usually make arrangements with dealers and allow them to set the price. So, shop around for the best price. The other option is to purchase your hot tub from a big name retailer. Their prices are set towards the lowest available prices. However, keep in mind that while the prices seem lower, they lack the expertise and the followup maintenance you will find in specialized stores. Installing and properly maintaining a hot tub can be complicated. Maintenance Must The single most important aspect of owning a hot tub is maintenance. Each year, improperly maintained hot tubs are responsible for a number of diseases including hot tub lung, hot tub rash, legionella disease, and urinary tract infections. When not maintained well, hot tubs create the perfect breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses to grow. Additionally, the high temperature of the water can cause certain disinfectants to break down faster. Luckily, there are several advanced filtration systems that make maintaining your hot tub a breeze. Ozone systems use oxidation to purify the spa water so you don't have to use as many chemicals to keep your hot tub clean. This system uses ozone gas to sanitize the water, then breaks down the residual when it's finished. You can also purchase self-regulating systems which slowly distribute chlorine, or other chemicals, into your water so it is kept sanitary. n


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LifeStyle Leaders

A LOCAL CHICK MIXES IT UP

Wendi Levy Kaaya


Wendi and her Mixed Chicks products

Two local women started their own hair product line that is now available across the globe. Discover more of their multimilliondollar endeavor as we interview Wendi Levy Kaaya. By Molly Golubcow

Shampoo, conditioner, and more for girls with curls


LEADERS

Wendi with her husband Brad and daughter Charli

F

or decades, magazine and television ads targeted people with Barbie Doll hair — usually blonde to blondish and poker-straight. Then, African American-centric hair products hit the market. If you walked down the hair care aisle in any store, the boxes and bottles were segregated, literally, on separate shelves and sections. But what to do if you and your hair type don’t quite fit either category? Regardless of your ethnic background(s), hair can be short, curly, kinky, or a combination of textures. Oftentimes, trying to find the right “mix” of a product proves to be a “hairy” situation for people with multiracial or unique hair types. Two women who roamed hair product aisles for years looking for the right stuff for their multiracial curls were Atlantic City native, Wendi Levy Kaaya and business partner, Kim Etheridge. For two years they joked about starting their own product line. In 2004, they stopped laughing and bravely launched MIXED CHICKS — a hair product line for ALL people — whether Black, White, Asian, Latin, Mediterranean or any combination of the above. Today, MIXED CHICKS offers dozens of products from shampoo to styling cream — all paraben-free and never tested on animals. The hair products, now available across the globe, have quickly become a multimillion-dollar endeavor. New Jersey Lifestyle interviewed Wendi Levy Kaaya and her gorgeous mane of curls. Born and raised in Atlantic City, she now lives in California with her husband, who is one-third owner, and children — and her MIXED CHICKS empire: NJL: How does it feel when you

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Need personalized financial guidance? come back to visit Atlantic City from Los Angeles? WLK: It feels like home sweet home, kind of like “Cheers” where everybody knows your name. I make sure I use any and all summer vacation time to come back east. Spending days on the beach are my fondest memories. I enjoy creating new ones with my daughter, my brother, and close friends' kids every summer.

Talk to David. With him, it’s personal. David is qualified, supported by Schwab, and dedicated to seeing things through your eyes to craft a plan based on your unique goals. When you work with him, there’s no time limit and no script. He’ll do everything he can to help meet your financial needs.

NJL: How do you relate to people who never can find the right hair product? WLK: I have tightly curled hair on one side of the family tree and straight, limp hair on the other. Growing up on the east coast, there were black neighborhoods, white neighborhoods, a Puerto Rican neighborhood… everything was segregated. Even the stores were segregated: black section, white section; no in-between. When Kim and I met, we were laughing about our common problem. The idea of making our own product seemed silly at first, but two years later, MIXED CHICKS was on the map.

David Shelly

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NJL: What was your background before MIXED CHICKS? WLK: I was a Jack of all trades! After graduating ACHS in 1987, I worked as Cleopatra at Caesar's for about 6 years all the while attending the University of Delaware. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1991 then moved to NYC with my high school sweetheart to waitress (still my favorite job to date). I met some very interesting people which led me to do some music videos and eventually a role in a great movie, Love and Basketball. I was also a Math Teacher at Albany Avenue School and Uptown Complex in A.C. in the

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DAYS of OLDE

LEADERS

ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES late 90s. I worked as an executive assistant in the music industry at both EMI Publishing and Virgin Record.

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NJL: How did you actually start concocting the hair products that eventually became MIXED CHICKS? WLK: The concoction started in the 70s over a lifetime of mixing and matching products from the general and ethnic aisles. Anything from VO5 or Pink Lotion for moisture, Ten X gel or WET by Sebastian for hold. Fortunately, for my hair, my mother was Black and had textured hair. She was a graduate of Wilford Academy, a hair/beauty school in Philly. Her skills helped me master my curls. NJL: What was your first successful product? WLK: Our leave-in conditioner — and it still is the most successful. I needed a lab to help me turn my 12-product blend into its own unique formula and Kim introduced me to that lab in 2003. NJL: How did you get the Halle Berry endorsement for your product line? WLK: Kim’s father was active in the same foundation for abused women as Halle. I believe she received a MIXED CHICKS gift basket at one of their fundraisers. She became a fan of our products and a generous customer who kindly gave us a few shout-outs in major magazines. We first learned of the endorsement from Shape magazine when they called for product shots. When asked why, they told us we were one of Halle's top 5 must haves! She hasn't asked for a thing in return. She won't even take free products! NJL: In the early days of MIXED CHICKS, did you actually go to a

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YOU’RE NEVER FAR FROM EXCELLENT LEGAL COUNSEL. mall waiting for compliments and conversations about your hair and hair products? WLK: Oh my God, that was too funny. That was Kim’s idea. She wanted to prove to me that the demand was serious. It worked because when I paid attention to the responses, it woke me up. NJL: You mention how hair products are “segregated.” Does that rub you the wrong way? WLK: You bet it does! Mass retail supports that kind of marketing segregation. Why would the color of the lady on the box matter? Why is there a “general aisle” with white faces on products and a separate multi-cultural or ethnic aisle with brown faces on boxes? Why wouldn't there be one aisle for relaxers and hair color? NJL: Growing up, were you confused as to how your hair should or shouldn't look based on TV commercials and marketing? WLK: I wasn't confused. I was irritated. I was Miss Atlantic City 1988 and was resentful that I was more than discouraged from wearing my natural curls. Not just for pageant day, but the weekly rehearsals in the months leading up to it. I was an athlete, meaning I sweat often. Wash and go curls were a luxury I enjoyed. I watched how my mother missed out on so much fun trying to keep moisture away from her chemical and heat-styled hair. Not me!!! NJL: What's next for Mixed Chicks? WLK: Perhaps an experiment with a product name that allows more access, or maybe just smashing down the walls that limit access. The latter is tough, but we are pushing! n

Helping Our Community to Emerge Stronger

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Health Watch

The Art of Re-Invention Three women share their life-changing stories. By Robin Stoloff

R

e-invention, we have all heard that buzzword, especially over the pandemic, when so many of us reassessed our lives and changed careers or developed new ways to do our jobs. The word connotates a complete change of direction, such as a corporate executive buying a vineyard in some foreign land. Of course, that happens but most often, people use their knowledge and experience to re-invent themselves in a similar path. However, re-invention does not just pertain to our work lives. Ending an unhappy marriage, moving to a new place, finding love again, are all ways we constantly re-invent ourselves. Following are the stories of three different women who have learned the art of re-invention. The first is my own.

My Story: I have to admit it, when my company closed at the end of 2014, I did not know what to do. I had been the health reporter at NBC 40 for almost 30 years. It was my first job out of college, and I had spent my entire career there. It wasn’t unexpected. We knew that we were going off the air. We were hoping another company would swoop in and save us at the last minute, but it was not to be. I felt as if I had lost a friend who had finally succumbed to an illness, and I was startled at how hard it hit me. I pride myself on being able to overcome obstacles in life and I did not expect the sense of grief and loss I felt after we closed our doors. I was like a deer in headlights. I was not the only one. Everyone associated with the company lost their jobs and we all had to find a way to move forward. I loved my job and the sense of pride it gave me and the thought of not doing it anymore was hard to accept. Then I got a call from Townsquare Media, a local radio group who gave me the opportunity to “do what you did on TV on the radio.” I was so used to television. How could I make that transition? The first few weeks I felt like a fish out of water. I never worked in a radio studio before. I did not even own a headset! I had about a half-hour of training and then it was up to me. There were so many buttons and knobs on the board. I am embarrassed to tell you, I accidentally hit a button that shut off one of our stations! Why was there even a button for that? I struggled to learn how to produce and host my new radio show. I had to get the guests, write the segments, and organize the show. It is not just TV without video, it is a different medium that people use in a different way. I was in the sink-or-swim school of media. My first few months at NBC 40 were very similar. In my experience, I have found that co-workers who are tasked with training a new employee have their own work and deadlines to manage. You get a brief overview, and then it’s “good luck kid!” Fast forward to today. After doing my Sunday morning program, Living Well with Robin Stoloff, for six years, I hope I have figured it out. A few years ago, I did health reports for a fledgling local news company, but they had to shut down due to a lack of revenue. When COVID began, I set up a studio in my home. I bought all the equipment and shed many tears as I figured out how to set up a mixer, audio software, and a microphone (thank you Google) but I did it. My son was in college and my daughter was at the kitchen table, finishing her senior year online, a familiar scene for many of us. Around that time, my fitness center, where I had taught workout classes for 30 years, closed its doors for good. I was starting to get a complex. Every place I worked was going out of business! So, I decided to do things on my own. I wanted to get back to doing video and dive deeper into health topics, so I began my own podcast and post the video of my interviews on my YouTube channel. I made my own website, taught myself how to blog, and do social media (learning all the time). I still get to do what

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I love — “empowering you to live a healthier life” — not just my tagline, but my lifelong passion. I missed teaching workout classes, so I recently began teaching classes online and it feels great to get back to it again. As many of us have realized in our lives, especially over the pandemic, change is inevitable. We have to learn to ride the waves of a shifting tide. Whenever I was faced with a new challenge, I would pull my shoulders back, lift my head up, put a smile on my face, take a deep breath and find a way to make it happen. Growing up, my parents were my biggest fans, encouraging me to go for what I wanted in life. My husband has always stood by me, inspiring me to grow and achieve. They believe in me. Sometimes that is all it takes. Darla Scarduzzio Life was manageable and routine for Darla. All her family lived nearby her home in South Jersey. She was married and raising three young children. She worked as the graphic designer of this publication, NJ Lifestyle Magazine, formerly owned and operated by her parents. When they decided to retire and move to Florida, Darla visited her parents frequently with her children. She had always wanted to live in a warm climate, and this gave her more of an incentive. At the time, her father was slowly diminishing from dementia. She wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, but she was now the publisher of the magazine and not sure how to make this work. In July of 2018, she sold her house in New Jersey, and that’s when reality hit that she was going to be moving herself and her three children 1,100 miles away from their friends. It was a very scary decision, but she knew good things were to come. Unfortunately, her marriage was ending, and she was unsure of what the future would bring. Her plan was to give up the magazine and get a new job in Florida. A few weeks before she moved,


Nick Valinote, the current owner of this publication, contacted Darla and made an offer to take it over, with the caveat that Darla would work for him as the graphic designer. That conversation was a blessing in disguise. With Nick’s publishing background, the transition was practically flawless. She began working remotely, before everyone else, so she had the upper hand when COVID hit. The hardest change for her during COVID was that her children were now home, going to school virtually. Her two teenagers were self-sufficient, but her 5th grader was struggling and just wanted to go back to school. So here she was, a single mom, amid a divorce, with three children. When her divorce was finalized, it was all done online — our new world. Sadly, Darla lost her dad not long after she moved to the Sarasota area, but through all of this, Darla remained happy and positive. She decided to take a risk, get out of her comfort zone and live the life she wanted. She learned to love herself, love her life, embrace her children, and she found she didn’t need anyone else to live a happy life. It took her a while to figure that out, but when she finally did, everything fell into place. She is very close to her mom, who knows her better than anyone. They see each other often and she leans on her for anything. Always there for her, Darla says her mom is an “amazing and positive influence.” Today Darla feels like she is living a dream. She lives in paradise with warm weather all year, a pool in her backyard, three happy children, many great friends, and even a happy new relationship. Those are the things that she dreamed of for years, and she finally has them. She still has bigger dreams for the future and believes all of us should. Heather Gleason At the age of 22, fresh out of St. Joseph’s University, Heather Gleason landed what many would consider a dream job. She was an executive

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recruiter of IT professionals for a large corporation. She was good at her job and making a great living in Philadelphia and was promoted up the corporate ladder to a position in the Chicago office. Still, something was missing. She did her job well, but she did not have a passion for it. She had worked in the restaurant industry all through college and enjoyed it. After five years in the corporate race, she moved back to Philadelphia and decided to pursue her passion working for the Stephen Starr restaurant group as a manager in 2001. Everyone told her she was crazy. She had a good, steady, high-paying career, but she was not happy. However, those years of experience in the corporate world helped her to develop better and more efficient systems for the restaurants. After two years, at the age of 29, Heather decided it was time for her to start her own restaurant. She found a spot in Philadelphia and opened “Good Dog Bar” named for her passion for her dog. As everyone knows, the bar and restaurant industry is grueling…long hours, employee issues, regulations, difficult customers, and of course, that little thing in business they call turning a profit. The majority of new restaurants don’t make it. Bartending and running the business was a huge undertaking, but somehow, at that young age, Heather made it work. When she first opened, she was understaffed after some employee changes. She basically begged a bartender she knew to come work for her. Heather broke her engagement with another guy, and a few months later, she married that bartender out in Las Vegas. For the past 17 years, they have been partners in business and in love. She jokes that everyone in the restaurant bet against them and lost a lot of money. It has not been easy. Together, Heather and her husband opened and closed two other restaurants that just did not work out. When COVID hit, they were closed for ten weeks. It was a difficult time. However, as they say, when one door closes, another door opens. While they were closed, Heather had some time to think about her future plans. She loved the shore and had been talking to a builder/developer from Atlantic City for a few years about opening another location, but the timing was never right. Until now. This past year she found a location near the Atlantic City Stockton campus. Currently, under construction, she and her husband are planning to open the newest location of “Good Dog Bar” this spring. Originally they planned to get an apartment in the area and commute back and forth to their home in Philly. As it turned out, they decided to jump in with both feet. They sold their house in Philadelphia and bought a home a few blocks away from their new restaurant. They are now full-time Atlantic City residents, a tremendous but exciting change in their lives. Heather’s parents split when she was two and she was always in awe of how her single mom juggled her sales job and raised a family. She says she gets her work ethic from her “badass” mom. We learn from our mistakes, from our experiences, from the people in our lives, and we use that knowledge to move us forward. We are always growing, changing, and yes, reinventing. It is not just a skill, it is an art. n



Iconic Escalade

Big, stylish, and packed with state-of-the-art technology make the interior of this Caddy the place to be. By Elaine Rose


LifeStyle On Wheels

S

ome people buy an SUV to navigate unpaved roads on the way to their favorite campsite. Others need one to get to work or school over snow-covered roads. But if you want to ride in the lap of luxury while letting other drivers know that you rule the road, the Cadillac Escalade may be for you. Sure, the Escalade can perform off-road, but other models are better equipped to handle rough terrain. That’s okay because one usually doesn’t buy a Cadillac for camping and fishing trips. But if you have a brood of kids and need room to hold all their sports gear, the Escalade will do nicely. “The Escalade is exactly what its buyers need it to be: big, stylish, and packed with state-of-the-art technology,” Billy Rehbock wrote for Motor Trend, giving it a score of 8.5 out of 10. “The Escalade's exterior design is bold and eye-catching. As marvelous as it is to look at this Caddy, the interior is the place to be.” Indeed, the interior is Escalade’s best-selling feature. Large and roomy, the Escalade seats seven people comfortably; eight if you replace the middle-row captain’s chairs with a bench at no extra cost. Except for the base trim level, all models come with lush leather interiors. “This amalgam of technology might seem overwhelming, if only

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ON WHEELS

because it can require some time to learn where all the functions are and what appears where,” Bryan Siwik wrote for U.S. News & World Report. “That's a tiny complaint in the face of breathtaking graphics that make it feel like you're piloting a spaceship.” “The 2022 Escalade SUV offers every high-tech item and the utmost in luxury features,” Drew Dorian wrote for Car and Driver. “Fine leather, genuine wood, and shiny metal trims line the cabin. A huge, curved digital display dominates the dashboard, serving up both infotainment and the driver-gauge displays in a unique way.” General Motors introduced the Escalade for the 1999 model year as its first serious Cadillac SUV. Now in its fifth generation, the Escalade was redesigned for 2021. New safety features were added for 2022. It is assembled in Arlington, Texas. The 2022 Escalade comes in five trim lines, from the base Luxury starting at $76,295 to the Sport Platinum priced at $101,595. The ESV adds about two feet in length — and cargo space — and is available in all five trims. Tech features and creature comforts increase at each level. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. A turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inlinesix is optional. Both come with a 10-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say is so smooth that the gear changes are barely noticeable. Buyers can choose between rear-wheel and fourwheel drive. “Cadillac has completely tricked out the Escalade in the electronics department. The main showpiece is the digital dashboard that's comprised of three curved OLED displays that layer on top of one another to create a cool 38


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inches of combined digital real estate,” Car and Driver’s Dorian wrote. A rear seat entertainment package is optional. A 19-speaker sound system is standard, with a 36-speaker system on the Premium Luxury Platinum version. In other words, turn on the music, and you’ll feel like you’re in a concert hall with perfect acoustics. Many advanced safety features are standard on all trim levels. All but the base level are equipped with Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature, though it is not recommended to use this except on freeways. (Computer chip shortages may make this feature temporarily unavailable.) And this thing is huge, with a capital H. The Escalade is 17.6 feet long, and the ESV measures 18.9 feet. Of course, park-assist is a standard feature, a necessity on a vehicle this size. There’s plenty of room for all your stuff, be it groceries, sports equipment, or luggage for a road trip. The Escalade has 25.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 72.9 cubic feet with the third row folded down, and a whopping 121 cubic feet if all the rear seats are tucked away. Add about 20 cubic feet for each configuration on the ESV. So what’s it like to drive this behemoth? It’s not a sports car, but it runs nicely, especially given its size. Reviewers’ tests found the Escalade can go from a standstill to 60 mph in about six seconds, quite impressive for a vehicle that weighs nearly three tons. “The 2022 Cadillac Escalade drives like a huge SUV, but it carries its girth quite well,” Eric Brandt wrote for Kelley Blue Book. “The seating position is taller than almost anything else on the road, giving you a commanding view of the world in front of you. This is the smoothest and most comfortable Escalade yet, which is saying a lot.” Cadillac didn’t cut any corners when it comes to comfort, Brandt added. “No one can accuse it of just being a (Chevy) Tahoe with plusher leather seats,” he wrote. “This is a genuine luxury SUV inside with a premium interior design and high-quality materials throughout.” If you plan to carry precious cargo — like children and pets — rest assured that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Escalade four out of five stars. Of course, all this extravagance comes at a price — at the fuel pump. The Escalade is a bona fide gas guzzler. The Environmental Protection Agency rates it as getting 14 mpg in town and 19 mpg on the highway. Consumer Reports did not road-test the Escalade but predict it will be below average in reliability and above average in owner satisfaction. So if this car appeals to you, make headway for your local dealer. They may have the Escalade of your dreams on the lot, but more likely, you’ll have to custom order it. If that’s the case, you’ll get exactly what you want. n



Bali, Indonesia

LifeStyle Travel

BALI HA'I MAY CALL YOU Explore a country whose diversity boasts a world filled with gorgeous beaches, fascinating ancient temples, thick and vibrant jungles, as well as 67 active volcanoes. By Molly Golubcow

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“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” —from Eat, Pray, Love

Tiu Kelep Waterfall


TRAVEL

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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Orangutan at Tanjung Puting National Park

I

n the popular movie, Eat, Pray, Love, Julia Roberts yearns to discover herself. On her journey, she finds literal nourishment in pasta-filled Italy (EAT). For deep spiritual comfort, she ends up in an Ashram in India (PRAY). And, for inner peace, she finds true balance in Indonesia (LOVE). It’s not a coincidence that the one place on Earth where Julia comes closest to inner peace was in one of the over 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. In the movie, Julia is mostly filmed in and around Bali – among the Ubud rice paddy fields and beach scenes along Padang Padang, on South Bali's Bukit Peninsula. Eat, Pray, Love gives us a quick glimpse, an appetizer, if you will, into exotic and lush Indonesia. As the world's fourth most populated country, Indonesia offers not only diverse people and cultures but much more. The country’s geographic diversity boasts a world filled with gorgeous beaches, fascinating ancient temples, thick and vibrant jungles, as well as 67 active volcanoes. Each region is unique and has something to offer intrepid travelers. For a deeper, juicier bite of Indonesia, let’s savor a trek, swim, or just a gaze on paradise. The Big Bali Hands down, Bali takes the first prize for most of Indonesia's tourism. Its popularity — found in songs, plays, and movies — makes the island a notable part of Indonesia for most Westerners. Nicknamed the “Island of the Gods,” beautiful beaches for romantic walks are plentiful, but so much more awaits you. For example, Bali’s predominantly Hindu population provides opportunities to visit several ancient temples. These magnificent structures continue to inspire artists, writers, and people interested in spiritual sites. For you cultural vultures, the town of Ubud is a must-visit. Located amid rice paddies and hilly ravines, you will find exclusive, artsy galleries and concert venues. If you find yourself in an “I need pampering” mood, Ubud offers many options for spa treatments with lush views to help you relax and exhale. Off the Beaten Path: Located around six miles north of Ubud, find a guided tour and explore the mystical Goa Maya Cave — an endless labyrinth of underground tunnels. Keep in mind, you have

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Diamond Beach Nusa Penidain Bali, Indonesia

Sulfur fumes from the crater of lake in East Java, Indonesia

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Balinese woman in traditional dress collects yellow plumeria frangipani flowers


TRAVEL to trek through the jungle to reach it. Once you enter the cave, experience the shrine where locals claim to feel a powerful, spiritual energy. Java Man, Oh Man Located west of Bali, the volcanic island of Java is the geographic and economic center of Indonesia. With bustling cities like Jakarta, tourists have many options. For example, the Jakarta History Museum, built in 1710, houses objects dating back to prehistoric times. For modern architectural buffs, the Gama Tower is a must-billed as the tallest building in Indonesia. Ready to leave the city? Head to Borobudur Temple in central Java to visit the most famous Buddhist structures. Dating back to the 9th century, the temple was declared one of UNESCO’s Wonders of the World in 2007. The temple, built in three tiers with concentric square terraces, displays 72 open-work domes, each containing a Buddha statue. For a stunning sunrise, experience the Mount Bromo volcano. More often than not, the mountain top is surrounded by a smokey and colorful sky. Book an excursion to watch as the sun illuminates the volcano with a desert, lush mountains, and waterfalls as a backdrop. Off the Beaten Path: Try caving at Gua Jomblang, one of the hundreds in a network of caves. Featured in the reality TV show, The Amazing Race, the vertical cave displays a dense, ancient forest beneath you. Once you're inside, look up at the brilliant rays of sunlight streaming in from above. Orangutans, Monkeys, and Dragons, Oh My Tanjung Puting National Park, an untouched tropical jungle located in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan (Borneo), is the home to wild orangutans — rusty brown and fascinating to observe. In addition to the orangutans, the park protects other species such as proboscis monkeys, red monkeys, and bobcats. For a spectacular way to see these

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TRAVEL

beautiful animals in the wild, book a river cruise on a klotok (houseboat). From the upper deck, enjoy cruising along the Sekonyer River and spotting wildlife along the way. In the middle of the Indonesian Island string, you will find Komodo National Park. Established in 1980, the park conserves and protects the out-of-this-world-looking Komodo dragon. The huge lizards can weigh up to 200 pounds and stretch, snout to tail, to around 6 feet. The park, which includes Komodo, Rinca, and Padar Islands, spans about a thousand miles of beaches framed by lush, tropical hills. Off the Beaten Path: Book a boat tour that takes you from island to island where you not only see the dragons but experience hidden gems like the Pink Beach where you can snorkel with giant Manta Rays. Solitude For travelers looking for something less touristy than Bali, Lombok offers a more untouched tropical paradise with so much to do — surfing, pristine beaches, and more — in the midst of dense jungles. Tiu Kelep Waterfall, regarded as one of the most impressive falls in Indonesia, makes for a magical experience as you feel the cool water splashing off the magnificent falls. In addition to the beach-going set, you also will see plenty of backpackers in Lombok. These hikes are not for the inexperienced! If you trek around the Gunung Rinjani volcano to take breathtaking shots of the crater lake, make sure to get yourself a reputable guide. Off the Beaten Path: Go snorkeling on the southern Gili islands off Lombok to explore coral reefs full of starfish and seahorses. Ask your guide to take you to “Nemo's Spot” to see colorful clown fish swimming among the corals. n


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By Michael Bray

LifeStyle Wine

New Year, New Terroir

I

hope this finds you healthy and ready for what lies ahead in 2022! I want to express my gratitude for the connection you provide me. Whether via email, in-store at Passion Vines, or out within the community — I love answering your questions and learning where you are on your wine journey. For those just tuning in, you can find me at, michael@passionvines. com. I look forward to hearing from you. Coming fresh off the holiday retail season, I was excited (yet not surprised!) to learn of the praise that a few wines were getting from the regions of Spain and Portugal. As we watch, especially in the current economy, the prices of our favorite wines increase, there is an opportunity to explore other regions, varieties, and price points. As I often say, there are ten thousand grape varieties in the world — it’s my job to ensure that you stop (or at least pause from) drinking Pinot Grigio! The wines that follow deserve to be on your radar for a few reasons: First, they are real wines made by passionate farmers who employ the most natural methods. Secondly, while they can be enjoyed solo, they are fabulous “food wines.” Lastly, their price to quality ratio is stunning! Nortico Alvarinho 2020 Region: Portugal > Vinho Regional Minho Grape: 100% Alvarinho Nortico is from tiny vineyard plots in Moncao and Melgaço, on the border with Spain's Galicia province — the best Alvarinhogrowing area in Portugal. Unlike other wines from the larger Vinho Verde area, Nortico has no added CO2, making for a richer, fuller, well-balanced wine that showcases its maritime influence with a kiss of salinity on the finish. Albarino/

Alvarinho is the grape to watch for ageworthy, world-class wines, and this is a perfect introduction. Have it simply with cornbread and butter like country folks do in Portugal. Also, a terrific seafood wine, particularly with salty, fattier dishes like fish tacos or broiled oysters. ($13) Aplanta Red Blend 2019 Region: Portugal > Vinho Regional Alentejano Grape: 70% Aragonez, 30% Alicante Bouschet Alentejo, in the south of Portugal, is one of the more arid growing areas in Western Europe. Emblematic of the style of the area, Aplanta is proof that “it takes a village!” Aplanta does well with grilled meat from burgers to steaks, as well as charcuterie and sharp cheeses. On the nose, lush blueberry, plum, and red cherry aromas overlaid with slate mineral. On the palate, a core of red cherry and blueberry fruit is wrapped with hints of fresh tobacco, black pepper, and spice. Plush and refreshing all at once. ($10) Fita da Fitapreta 2019 Region: Portugal > Alentejo Grape: 50% Aragonez (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga Nacional, 20% Alicante Bouschet Fita da FitaPreta stands out against commercially produced wines from Alentejo since it is composed of only the highest quality fruit from hand-harvested, mature estate vineyards and vinified with minimal intervention. The three varieties are fermented separately and expertly blended for an exuberant, lifted expression of sun-drenched Alentejo. This is a versatile wine with lush primary fruit that pairs well with coffeecrusted prime rib of beef with roast fingerling potatoes, blue cheeses like Cambozola to Roquefort as well as aged cheese and charcuterie. ($16)

Zestos Garnacha Old Vines 2019 Region: Spain > Vinos de Madrid Grape: 100% Garnacha This tremendous quality wine is made from old vine Garnacha. San Martin produces some of the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. Zestos shows the complexity of wine twice its price. In fact, many wines that cost three times the price of Zestos do not show the complexity of this humble yet complex wine. ($12) Torremorón Tempranillo Ribera del Duero 2020 Region: Spain > Ribera del Duero Grape: 100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) Torremorón, made in the hamlet of Quintanamanvirgo in DO Ribera del Duero, is an example of how much can be done when you start with beautiful raw material. Walking up the hill to the town square here is a trip back in time; fewer than 90 people live in this tiny village, and 85 of them work at the winery ... the other 10 work at the bar. This is the extent of the commerce in this town. This would pair well with Thai beef salad, marinated Korean BBQ pork, Peking duck, and meat or chicken dishes with a piquant play of spices. ($15) Thirsty yet!? I hope this provides you with a few alternatives to consider outside your comfort zone. As always, I look forward to hearing from you as I will continue to use this column to answer your questions and provide other insight into the world of wine. Continued health and success! Drink passionately,

*Special thanks to Olé & Obrigado for the info and importing these fine wines! 46

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LifeStyle Art Susan Reese Horvitz's self portrait Talens and 2 White Swans 2019

DIGITAL ART HAS NO BORDERS

Today's contemporary digital art is just as original, expressive, and poetic as other materials. It has evolved into an art form that can now be viewed and appreciated across the globe. By Michael Cagno

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d

igital art has no borders. Over the years, technology has allowed artists to create work that can be viewed and appreciated across the globe. The core elements and principles from the traditional arts still apply while also increasing the accessibility to audiences. Some argue that digital art should not be placed on the same pedestal as with paintings and sculptures. But art is not about the tools, rather the vision of the artist. Today’s

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ART

Max de Esteban's Structural Subordination

contemporary digital art is experimental and evolutionary. Living in a desert, Mexican artist Manolo Cocho approaches his work with a scientific lens. His work explores the relationship between the earth with its impact on daily life and the universe as the existence on the material and spiritual level. Where does the natural finish and where does the artificial start? Cocho believes that artificial things are a sophistication of natural phenomena and have powerful proprieties of transforming their environment. Will life creation and life manipulation always be natural? The new capacities that exist now are sophisticated tools from science and we get the conscious control of these complex processes. Cocho states, “through the genetic engineering we have a new way to action, that obviously it implies to take seriously the meaning about the moral and ethics rules, and warranties of life.” In Cocho’s video titled “APPLE: Artificial Life,” the apple represents the transforming process

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Issa Touma's 9 Days from My Window

Manolo Cocho's APPLE: Artificial Life

of life from the natural to the artificial. Cocho describes the apple skin as becoming a “sensitive screen that is a receiver for the changing environment, visual information and generating process. These changes bring new experiences every time while creating progressive levels of understanding.” The apple is a symbol from the bible that represents the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This forbidden fruit is attached to the tree of knowledge. Why is the tree of knowledge forbidden? Cocho says, “perhaps the answer is viewing our actual society, the knowledge is a power closely connected with the human history having the capabilities of transforming the world and ourselves, to the good or the evil.” Max de Esteban, who lives in Spain, is an artist working mostly in photography and video whose work is best known for his examination of the human condition under a technological regime. Since 2016 Max De Esteban has been working on long-term research on the infrastructures of contemporaneity. As the 20th century cannot be understood without the infrastructures that made it possible, the research aspires to survey the key infrastructures that will define the 21st century and unveil their ideological nature.

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ART

The first work of this long-term project is “20 RED LIGHTS,” which analyzes financial capitalism as the dominant contemporary infrastructure for the allocation of economic resources. The instruments of contemporary finance share one single objective: to break the modernist risk/ return equation. In the world of abstract economy, the financial oligarchy captures most of the value while society bears the most significant risks. “20 RED LIGHTS” lists and defines the twenty key financial instruments used to achieve this purpose. They represent the core of contemporary finance technology. Unless these specific instruments are politically addressed, nothing will change. They are twenty red lights flashing in our landscapes, waiting for somebody to switch them off. Issa Touma is a self-taught photographer & filmmaker based in Aleppo, Syria. His work can be found in several international collections. Touma’s short film, “9 Days — From my window in Aleppo,” has won many awards. The movie won the Best Short Film at the London Film Festival and the Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York. The "9 Days" film has been shown in more than 60 festivals and around 50 cultural activities around the world. One morning in August 2012, Touma saw young men lugging sandbags into his street. This was the beginning of the Syrian uprising in the city of Aleppo. Touma grabbed his camera and spent nine days holed up in his apartment, recording what was happening outside. Documenting this unprecedented glimpse into war illustrates how digital technology provides instant access to

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important stories around the world. Artist Suzanne Reese Horvitz, a resident of Philadelphia, ­­­ PA and Hammonton, NJ, explains that for her the platform of her computer offers “new ways of making art — with unexpected, unforeseen, unlimited and unexplored potential.” For Horvitz, digital is the tool that offers a possible road to new imagery filled with exciting sensations. She is always the subject of her artwork and uses her dreams and nightmares as inspiration. One of her latest series started with a dream about the Greek myth, “Leda and the Swan.” This story alludes to the dangers inherent in temptation. It talks about the cyclical nature of history, the ushering in of a new era, and the possibility of gaining knowledge and power even from violent and horrible events. “The shared political and cultural events of the pandemic — the horror and the isolation — have led me to question sensual, alluring images. I feel horror reaching into my new work. I accept the need to embrace the terror as well as the complexity and beauty of our time.” Digital art forms are a seamless way to communicate ideas across borders. Artists have created new works by embracing technology. Digital art expresses the diversity of the new visual language and the artists’ quest to communicate both with one another and with the world. Digital art is just as original, expressive, and poetic as other materials. As Susan Reese Horvitz states, “art is a universal language — digital art allows that language to flow through the web and across borders to a universal audience.” n

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LifeStyle Entertainment

ATLANTIC CITY, THE KING OF COMEDY

Get ready to have your funny bones tickled by some of the best jokers in the business as we take a look at three of the most anticipated comedy shows of 2022. By David J. Spatz

Steve Martin and Martin Short

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Ron White

Jay Leno

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ENTERTAINMENT

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omedy may not be king of Atlantic City casino entertainment, but there’s no mistaking that performers who make audiences laugh — deliberately, because they’re funny, not accidentally, because they’re bad — are definitely members of the show business royal family. As the Coronavirus pandemic loosens its deadly grip on the world, entertainment is finding its way to the new normal in the city’s nine casinos. Many of the world’s biggest artists have been booked or rebooked from shows canceled by Covid-19. Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Sting, and Alicia Keys are among some of the A-list artists, most of whom have become regulars over the years. Venue schedules at each property will continue to fatten up as more visitors return to the Boardwalk and Marina district gaming halls. In addition to the music acts — along with some specialty shows, like magic — Atlantic City’s guests will have their funny bones tickled by some of the best jokesters in the business. Many of the casino comedians are young, and the ones who have earned gigs in Atlantic City’s main casino showrooms have already — or are in the process of — made names for themselves with welltimed TV appearances, a small part in a movie, or maybe even walk-on in a popular television sitcom, then use those gigs to get booked for stand-up shows. But for the real comedy headliners on the casino circuit, this is hardly their first time back


CREATING. at the chuckle factories. They’ve long since become stars, and in many cases, the word “icon” would be appropriate. Here’s a look at three of the most anticipated comedy shows of 2022, keeping in mind that more top names could be added along the way: Jay Leno at Ocean Casino Resort, March 19 When he hosted The Tonight Show on NBC, Leno had a sweet deal with the network. He almost always recorded two shows on Thursday so he could jet off — using one of NBC’s jets, of course, to do some weekend comedy gigs around the country and return to Hollywood to do the TV show by Monday evening. Throughout his career, Leno has been a fountain — no, make that a waterfall — of new material. Since he had to come up with a fresh, seven-minute monologue for each Tonight Show, he did the same thing when he performed live stand-up. Although he may have had a few set pieces he could work into the show, Leno created most of the jokes, quips, and gags for his shows the same day he’d perform them, looking at newspapers and TV news programs and finding the comedy hidden in many of the stories. Steve Martin and Martin Short at Borgata, March 26 Great friends for more than 30 years, and perhaps best known from the work in the hysterical comedy western Three Amigos, Steve Martin better be prepared to wheel a birthday cake on stage when he and Martin Short

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ENTERTAINMENT

team up in the Event Center. That’s because the date of the show just happens to coincide with...Martin Short’s 72nd birthday (at 76, Martin is the old man). Friends since they made the Three Amigos in the mid-1980s, they began touring with their contrasting comedy styles in 2015. The show they’re bringing to Borgata is titled The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment. Their gags are often self-deprecating, and it almost seems the two are playing to one another as much as to the audience, trying their hardest to crack up the crowd while trying to break one another up. The Martin boys — Steve and Marty — are comedy monarchs and their show is one not to be missed.

There’s an art to telling a comedy story — much different than a joke or a one-liner — and in the new millennium (and even going back into the last decade of the previous century), no one tells a story better than Ron White. Ron White at Ocean Casino Resort, June 10 Every comedy era has had its share of performers who have excelled at the fine art of telling a funny story. Seriously, there’s more to it than just blurting out, “Two guys walked into a bar...” and expecting people to laugh. There’s an art to telling a comedy story — much different than a joke or a one-liner — and in the new millennium (and even going back into the last decade of the previous century), no one tells a story better than Ron White. “Some of the stories I tell are completely true, and some start out true,” White once said. “My goal is to make you laugh really hard. That's all I want to do.” He’s said in the past he was always pretty good at spinning a comedic yarn. “I could see a car wreck and I'd tell 10 people how it happened and everyone would laugh,” he said. In the early 2000s, White joined the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy, and their (mostly) redneck humor hit the funny bone of thousands of people each night. But White appears most at home on the stage when he’s working by himself, because he can judge the audience's reaction to only his gags and then adjust them accordingly without the risk of stepping on another comic’s lines. n

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Calendar of Events 1/5 and Every Wednesday > Whiskey Wednesday Passion Vines, Somers Point 5:00 p.m. passionvines.com 1/7 > Red Velvet Burlesque Show Red Velvet Burlesque Atlanta, Atlantic City 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. redvelvetburlesqueshow.com 1/14 > Almost Queen Bally's, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. ballysac.com 1/15 > Matt DiVenti Live at White Horse Winery Hammonton 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. whitehorsewinery.com/events 1/21 > Dancing With the Stars Live 2022 Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. borgata.mgmresorts.com

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1/23 > Drag Brunch at Nucky's Nucky's Kitchen & Speakeasy, Ventnor 12:00 p.m. nuckyskitchenandspeakeasy.com 1/23 > Four Hands Stockton Performing Arts Center, Galloway 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. stockton.universitytickets.com 2/5 > Air Supply Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City 9:00 p.m. borgata.mgmresorts.com 2/6 thru 2/12 > Atlantic City Fashion Week Showboat Hotel, Atlantic City Various times atlanticcityfashionweek.com 2/8 > Superbowl in Paradise Margaritaville, Atlantic City margaritavilleatlanticcity.com

2/11 > Fire Pit Friday at Willow Creek Winery West Cape May Every Friday evening 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. capemaychamber.com/events 2/14 > Valentine's Day Prix-fixe Dinner La Mer Beachfront Resort, Cape May Reservations required Capemaylamer.com 2/18 > Reba McEntire Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City 8:00 p.m. borgata.mgmresorts.com 2/22 > Harlem Globetrotters Tour Mark G Estess at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City 7:00 p.m. estess.arena-atlanticcity.org

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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LifeStyle Social

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MBCA Celebrates 30 Years

The MBCA celebrated its 30th Anniversary at the Annual Installation/Awards Gala held at Historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. A special dinner show took place for the crowd of 800.

Photos by Nick Valinote

The Gallery At Ferry Park Holds Debut Show

The opening of The Gallery at Ferry Park in Cape May held a debut show with featured artists Michael Zambelli and Matthew Loeber’s work. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the evening and artwork was available for purchase.

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Photos by Nick Valinote


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Bally's Donates To AtlantiCare Foundation's Fund

Nick Polcino, Vice President and General Manager at Bally’s Atlantic City, announced Bally's donation of $25,000 to the AtlantiCare Foundation’s Treasure The Moment Fund this past October.

Photos by Tom Briglia/Photographics

Tropicana Celebrates 40 Years

Tropicana Atlantic City celebrated its 40th anniversary, commemorating four decades of achievements and milestones on the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Photos by Tom Briglia/Photographics

Miss'd America Pageant Supports The GLBTQ Community

The Miss'd America Pageant 2021 was held last October at the Hard Rock Live at Estess Arena. Carson Kressley hosted this fun event that included celebrity judges, a live band, and a fun post party at DAER Nightclub.

Photos by Nick Valinote

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Chaine des Rotisseurs Holds Gala

Atlantic City Bailliage 40th Anniversary Induction Gala was held this past December at American Cut, Ocean Casino Resort.

Photos by Nick Valinote

Bally's Shows Appreciation To First Responders

Nick Polcino, VP and General Manager at Bally’s Atlantic City wanted to thank first responders for their service. Bally’s C.R.E.W team delivered Dunkin’ donuts and coffee to the Atlantic City Fire Dept. to Engine Company #4 in October.

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Guess Who Performs At Golden Nugget The Canadian-bred stateside conquerors, The Guess Who, performed at The Grand at Golden Nugget this past October.

Photos by Nick Valinote

CRA Financial Donates To Food Bank CRA Financial in Northfield donated $30,000 to the Community Food Bank of NJ this past December. Their generous donation will help fight hunger and poverty in New Jersey by assisting those in need.

Photos by Eric Weeks

C.R.O.P.S. Comes To Rhythm & Spirits

Farm to Fork fundraiser organized C.R.O.P.S. (Communities Revolutionizing Open Public Spaces) at the Rhythm & Spirits Restaurant on Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City this past October. The four-course dinner featured local produce grown in Atlantic City.

Photos by Nick Valinote

Epicureans Visit Romanelli's

The Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey visited Romanelli's Garden Café in Galloway Twp. in November for their monthly dinner meeting. Members had a chance to view the recent renovations and enjoy some delectable meals.

Photos by Nick Valinote

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Gilda’s Club Holds 7th Annual Let's Do Brunch!

Let’s Do Brunch was held at Linwood Country Club this past November to honor their 2021 Gilda's Champions Dr. John and Anne Baker.

Photos by Nick Valinote

Epicurean's Gather At Sofia's

The Epicurean Society of South Jersey gathered at Sofia's in Margate this past December to celebrate the holiday! The evening included a lovely tradition of great food and comradery.

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4th Annual Mocktails & Cocktails Gala

The Matthew Bee Memorial Fund held their annual gala this past December at Linwood Country Club. Guests enjoyed live music, an auction and raffle, and of course plenty of mocktails and cocktails.

Photos by Nick Valinote

Stockton Presents John F. Scarpa With Honorary Degree

Stockton formally dedicated the Atlantic City Academic Center and Health Sciences building in Galloway in John F. Scarpa’s name and presented him with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in recognition of his accomplishments and generosity. Scarpa pledged $8 million from his foundation in 2019 to Stockton.

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LifeStyle Eats

Water Dog's sleek bar at Bally's Hotel & Casino

WATER DOG — unleashed By Molly Golubcow Photos by Nick Valinote

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hink casual, yet high-energy bar and restaurant with a bit more flair. Features like happy hour every day, rotating local brewery beer taps, signature cocktails, and live entertainment are a few things you can expect to find at our Bally’s location — and of course our creative and tasty menu.” John Connor, General Manager — Water Dog njlifestyleonline.com


Gabriella Cournoyer (left) and Brianna Camp enjoy lunch

Crab Cake appetizer

Corned Beef sandwich

Poke Bowl

NY Style Wings

Roasted Lemon Half-Chicken


EATS

Although the Bally’s location adds a new layer to the Water Dog concept, the restaurant intends to replicate the look and feel that made the Ventnor location a success.

John Conner, General Manager, Water Dog

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I

t may be a “bone” of contention, but restaurants have been known to “bark” loudly about the quality of their food. Some places start with something trendy, but in a short time, peter out with their “tail between their legs.” However, there’s a young “pup” in the Atlantic City area that has “unleashed” culinary excitement in multiple locations in a relatively short time. So, who’s leading the local restaurant “pack” featuring good food, unique combos, and people-pleasing service? Hands (or paws) down, it is Water Dog — originally in Ventnor and now at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City as well. Sibling Love Since 2019, Water Dog Smoke House has wowed the downbeach area featuring freshly smoked fishes and meats on a variety of sandwiches. From a breakfast option like “The Beast” — a double housesmoked nova on a bagel to a lunch favorite like “The Lois” — warm roast brisket served with horseradish sauce and coleslaw on rye, Water Dog offers unique and creative menu items. In the Fall of 2021, founders Steve Marchel and Dan Greenberg decided to take the success from their Ventnor location and open a sister store, Water Dog AC. And, what a decision it has been. To start, the Atlantic City location will seat 200 dining guests, as opposed to the 60-seat Ventnor location. The 8,000 square feet open-floor concept, including a 35-seat sleek bar, offers Water Dog fine quality food and then some — live music, big-screen TVs, as well as local beer options. Although the

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EATS

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Bally’s location adds a new layer to the Water Dog concept, the restaurant intends to replicate the look and feel that made the Ventnor location a success. John Connor, General Manager, explains how the possibilities at the new site were evident from the beginning, “Our brand was built to be scalable and the new space and decor were only limited by our imagination. We were excited to brand the space, even though the scale was exponentially large — Water Dog signature orange, along with a black and white color scheme, with a vision of a modern café design that includes a gorgeous bar at the entrance.” Old and New Whether dining at the Ventnor location or at Bally’s, loyal Water Dog fans and new ones can expect to be wowed. For a great place for friends to meet for a drink, the signature bar can wet anyone’s whistle! The cocktail and beer offerings not only focus on creativity but value as well. For example, one of the Betty Bags concoctions that is a must-try is the Mummers Punch — made with love with Stateside Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, homemade Yuzu juice, sage, and club soda. And speaking of cocktails, remember to give Water Dog AC a try for Happy Hour food and drinks every day from 4:00-7:00 PM. If you are more of a night owl, enjoy drink specials only available between 10:00 PM-1:00 AM. In addition to the variety of available drinks, the Water Dog AC menu has broadly expanded from the Ventnor breakfast/lunch options to accommodate large meals and a late-night scene. Got the munchies? Try the Water Dog Chicken Fingers & Fries — house breaded


served with your choice of sauce — BBQ, Buffalo, or Thai Chile. Regardless of your choice, day or night, all offerings strive to retain Water Dog's signature generous portions and emphasis on creative flavors. Selections, Selections, Selections When dining at Water Dog, sharing is highly suggested! After all, with such a variety of choices, it’s a great way to “lap up” all that Water Dog wonderfulness. One great option that screams Water Dog is one of the loaded Poke Bowls. On a bed of white or brown rice, select your meal of delicious options like Ahi Tuna & Salmon with Ponzu or Shrimp & Chicken with Kimchi Aioli — all topped with avocado, watermelon radish, edamame, pickled ginger, scallion, and more. Other dinner selections include Lemon Roasted Chicken, Crab Cakes — with a Water Dog vinaigrette, or a classic New England style, no filler, Lobster Roll on a sliced brioche roll served with fries. And speaking of fries, try some of the Water Dog sides including Truffle Parmesan Fries, Kimchi, or a Boursin Chive Potato. Running with the Big Dogs From Ramsay to Garces, Atlantic City continues to tout a long list of worldrenown chefs and restaurateurs. However, Water Dog feels very confident that they have a menu that will impress. Connor believes that the variety, quality, and value at Water Dog make them unique. “Where else can you get a killer Lobster Roll, slowcooked brisket sandwich, a perfectly cooked Filet Mignon, or a bangin' Poke Bowl on one menu? Throw in our craft cocktail list and we're ready to go toe-to-toe with the betterknown names. We say, bring it!” n

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Financial Corner

by

CRA Financial, L.L.C.

CARING FOR YOUR AGING PARENTS

C

aring for your aging parents is something you hope you can handle when the time comes. Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are steps that you can take to make your life (and theirs) a little easier. Some people live their entire lives with little or no assistance from family and friends, but today Americans are living longer than ever before. It is always better to be prepared. Mom? Dad? We need to talk The first step you need to take is talking to your parents. Find out what their needs and wishes are. In some cases, however, they may be unwilling or unable to talk about their future. This can happen for several reasons, including: • Incapacity • Fear of becoming dependent • Resentment toward you for interfering • Reluctance to burden you with their problems If such is the case with your parents, you may need to do as much planning as you can without them. If their safety or health is in danger, however, you may need to step in as a caregiver. The bottom line is that you need to have a plan. Here are some things that you may need to talk about: • Long-term care insurance: Do they have it? • Living arrangements: Can they still live alone, or is it time to explore other options? • Medical care decisions: What are their wishes, and who will carry them out? • Financial planning: How can you protect their assets? • Estate planning: Do they have all of the necessary documents (e.g., wills, trusts)? • Expectations: What do you expect from your parents, and what do they expect from you? Preparing a personal data record Once you've opened the lines of communication, your next step is to prepare a personal data record. This document lists information that you might need in case your parents become incapacitated or die. Here's a list to get started: • Financial information: Bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate holdings • Legal information: Wills, durable power of attorneys, healthcare directives • Funeral and burial plans: Prepayment information, final wishes

• Medical information: Healthcare providers, medication, medical history • Insurance information: Policy numbers, company names • Advisor information: Names and phone numbers of any professional service providers • Location of other important records: Keys to safedeposit boxes, real estate deeds Be sure to write down the location of documents and any relevant account numbers. It's a good idea to make copies of all of the documents you've gathered and keep them in a safe place. Where will your parents live? If your parents are like many older folks, where they live will depend on how healthy they are. As your parents grow older, their health may deteriorate so much that they can no longer live on their own. At this point, you may need to find them in-home health care or health care within a retirement community or nursing home. If money is an issue, moving in with you may be the best (or only) option, but you'll want to give this decision serious thought. This decision will impact your entire family, so talk about it as a family first. There is help out there, including friends and family. Don't be afraid to ask. Get support and advice Don't try to care for your parents alone. Many local and national caregiver support groups and community services are available to help you cope with caring for your aging parents. If you don't know where to find help, contact your state's department of eldercare services. n

Respectfully Submitted CRA Investment Committee Matthew Reynolds, CPA, CFP® Robert T. Martin, CFA, CFP® Jeffrey Hilliard, CFP®, CRPC®

Thomas Reynolds, CPA Gordon Shearer, Jr., CFP® Joseph McCaffrey

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.

When Selecting Your Advisory Firm, Letters Do Matter..... and we just happen to have them all..... CFP®, CPA, CFA, CRPC


Thank you! With much gratitude to our clients, other professionals and wonderful staff – your steadfast support has allowed us to grow from 0 to over $1 billion in assets under management in 21 years. Your success is our success!

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WHEN IT COMES TO A STROKE, SECONDS SAVED MEANS LIVES SAVED. As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, AtlantiCare offers more advanced stroke care than anyone else in southeastern New Jersey. That difference gives you the best chance of surviving and recovering from a stroke. www.atlanticare.org/strokecare


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