June 2009 / $3.95
B E R G E N H E A LT H & LIFE
Your best THE OUTDOORS ISSUE
WHERE TO: dine alfresco • hike •
unleash your pup • picnic ... and more!
10 JERSEY ADVENTURES BEDECK YOUR DECK!
Outdoor seating we love 6 lush local landscapes
Health Watch A backyard survival guide Your skin: When to worry Bergenites burning calories ■
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“When it comes to
your heart, prevention is the
best medicine.” ANGEL MULKAY, MD Holy Name Hospital Cardiologist
Knowledge. Skill. Experience. At Holy Name Hospital, our cardiologists understand heart disease and the importance of finding it early. Along with world-class physicians, we offer diagnostic technology that’s ahead of the curve—including cardiac PET/CT stress testing and CT angiography that can capture detailed images of your heart in just five seconds. If a blockage is diagnosed, our catheterization lab is ready and waiting to remove it at a moment’s notice. All are examples of how deeply we’re committed to healing hearts and saving lives. To make an appointment with a Holy Name Hospital cardiologist, call 877-HOLY-NAME (465-9626).
Healing begins here. • www.holyname.org • 718 Teaneck Road • Teaneck, NJ 07666
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KNOW THE SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK AND STROKE. IT COULD SAVE A LIFE. The American Heart Association, American Stroke Association and Holy Name Hospital remind you to call 9-1-1 immediately at the signs of a heart attack or stroke. Acting quickly can save a life. Make a note of the time at which these symptoms first appear. It’s vital information for the emergency medical services team and the emergency room.
Signs of a Heart Attack Chest discomfort—Pain commonly occurs in the center of the chest and lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. It can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Signs of a Brain Attack or Stroke • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg—especially if these symptoms occur on one side of the body.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body— Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Other signs—Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness may also be signs of a heart attack.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Gender matters—As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
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A Fresh Approach to
GRAND OPENING ALNO| ENGLEWOOD May 2009
Come celebrate the debut of ALNO| ENGLEWOOD. Immerse yourself in progressive kitchen designs and innovations that highlight the reﬁnement, precision and quality of ﬁne German craftsmanship. This beautiful modern showroom features working ALNO kitchens integrated with the ﬁnest in appliances and accessories. For over 30 years, ALNO | ENGLEWOOD has been Northern New Jersey’s destination for those looking to create the ultimate dream kitchen.
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Contemporary Living Channel culinary creativity with a spread of seasonal ingredients and a contemporary living space by ALNO. ALNOGLOSS: cabinetry that is at the height of modern style and sophistication. As the epitome of elegance, this series features a palette of tantalizing colors including glossy whites, vanilla, and sleek black. Engage your senses to the fullest with LED lighting integration, matching entertainment units for enhanced sight and sound, and modern door hardware in metal, glossy chrome and glass to pull the look together. The time is ripe for a gourmet kitchen environment. To request a brochure please call 201.567.5533 or visit us at www.ALNOUSA.com
ALNO | ENGLEWOOD Platon Design Group 180 South Van Brunt Street | Englewood, NJ 07631 201.567.5533 | email@example.com
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54 June 2009 Features Bergen’s outdoors /
Take me to the river
3 ways to experience the Hudson and Hackensack
Where and how to dine alfresco in Bergen
15 Bergen buzz · Outdoor oasis · Puppy love · “What I’m listening to . . .” · Shear compassion · Precious pieces · Win! A Bobby Flay cookbook
20 Essential Bergen Vegging out The county’s best veggie burger
Every dog park has its day 5 spots in the county that have gone to the dogs
46 Health watch
Ready to bike, hike or paddle? Join the club!
At home /
Captured moments around the county
· A backyard survival guide · Your skin: When to worry · Bergenites burning calories
52 Glorious food
Backyard bliss 6 lush landscapes offer outdoor inspiration.
Miracle growers A bountiful summer staple,
zucchini is a savory warm-weather treat.
Sit this one out Unwind in alfresco elegance with these hip outdoor seating options.
42 Escapes /
How many of these thrills await you this summer?
54 Bergen gourmet
It takes a villaggio More than a wedding spot,
the newly renovated Il Villaggio in Carlstadt serves up pre-fusion, pre-nouvelle Italian cuisine.
56 Where to eat Your Bergen County dining guide
COVER IMAGE : MASTERFILE
68 Be there!
Local events you won’t want to miss
72 Faces of Bergen Scoop troupe
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Outside’s ‘in’ WE’RE ALL OUTDOORS ENTHUSIASTS WHEN JUNE arrives in beautiful Bergen County. Even the most housebound souls step out to catch a breeze, savor the sunshine— and forget all about their “Things to Do” list and that 401K. So we at Bergen Health & Life couldn’t resist making this a special “outdoors” issue, full of our own open-air wisdom. The outdoors begins, of course, with your backyard. Now is the time to enjoy it as it is—and dream of what it might become. In “Backyard Bliss” on page 32, we fuel those dreams with design secrets from six local landscapers. Then, what’s your pleasure—biking? Hiking? Kayaking? Bird-watching? In “Nature Calls” on page 30, you’ll learn of nearby places to do all four and more. And in “Take Me to the River” on page 24, discover three kinds of fun the Hudson and Hackensack provide. They’ll never again be just barriers to cross. Ready to venture a little farther? “Jersey Joys,” this issue’s Escapes piece on page 42, details 10 Garden State thrills you may not yet have made time for—after all, you live here. In this season, food just seems to taste better alfresco. So check out “Outdoor Eats” on page 26. There, we dish on the best places in Bergen to picnic under the sun and dine out beneath the moon, along with an expert’s tips on how to pack a picnic basket without that wince of “I forgot—” regret. We also offer some treats for your canine friend. When he waits all year for June, it feels seven times as long (or something like that). So we treat him, on page 28, to a review of the county’s five dog parks. And because your health is our continuing mission, we offer “Your Backyard Survival Guide” on page 46. It’s full of counsel on avoiding—or handling—outdoor dangers that range from sunburns to snakebites to the rusty nails that threaten bare feet. So enjoy the season—safely. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m heading out!
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Editor in Chief
© 2009, Greater Organic Foods
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editor in chief RITA GUARNA
art director SARAH LECKIE
senior editor TIMOTHY KELLEY
managing editor JENNIFER CENICOLA
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PUBLISHED BY WAINSCOT MEDIA
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chairman CARROLL V. DOWDEN
executive vice president JOEL EHRLICH
senior vice president EDWARD BURNS
vice presidents AMY DOWDEN NIGEL EDELSHAIN RITA GUARNA SHANNON STEITZ SUZANNE TRON
editorial contributions: The editors invite letters, article ideas and other contributions from readers. Please
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group publisher EDWARD BURNS
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Robert A. Kayal, M.D., of the Kayal Orthopaedic Center, P.C., was featured in the “To Your Health” segment on News 12 New Jersey
Conveniently located in Ridgewood, N.J., we provide outstanding and innovative Orthopaedic care in our friendly, newly-renovated, completely electronic and digital medical office.
We treat a myriad of Orthopaedic conditions including: Spinal Stenosis • Neck and Back Pain • Herniated Discs • Carpal Tunnel • Sciatica Arthritis • Osteoporosis • Rotator Cuff Tears • Labral Tears • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow • Knee Meniscal and ACL Tears We provide a wide range of Orthopaedic services including: Minimally Invasive Orthopaedic Surgery • Sports Medicine & Arthroscopy • Partial and Total Joint Replacement Surgery Trauma/Fracture Care • General Orthopaedics • Bone Density Testing (on-site and state-of-the-art) Pain Management • Treatment of Spinal Disorders We truly treasure our patients and we look forward to a life-long relationship with them. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kayal, please call 201-447-3880 today.
Kayal Orthopaedic Center, P.C. Robert A. Kayal, M.D., F.A.A.O.S. Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon 385 South Maple Avenue, Suite 206 Ridgewood, N.J. 201.447.3880 Visit our website: www.kayalorthopaediccenter.com Email: email@example.com
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Bergen BUZZ YOUR GUIDE TO LOCAL TRENDS, TREASURES, PEOPLE & WELL-KEPT SECRETS
OUTDOOR OASIS From the hip teak poolside bar to the allweather wicker furniture, much of Old Tappan resident Catherine Levine’s backyard sanctuary comes courtesy of BACKYARD LIVING in Ridgewood (201-689-9111, www.backyard livingnj.com), an 8,000-squarefoot, two-floor Mecca of patio furniture, garden tools and other outdoor essentials. “It’s a pretty store and there’s always something new,” says Levine. “As a master gardener Hummingbird and bird enthusiast, I stop by to purfeeder from chase pots and feeders or just ask questions, Backyard Living like which type of seed attracts certain birds.” Highlights from the shop’s current collection include a cast-iron fire pit, exclusive to the store ($350), the cast-stone Passaros fountain from Campania International ($585), and a chat table from Groovystuff made of reclaimed teak wagon wheels ($900). The store also sells an impressive selection of furniture from highend brands Gloster, Brown Jordan and Laneventure— “they’re like the Mercedes or BMW of outdoor furniture,” says owner Tom Vielbig. Backyard Living also hosts free outdoor living seminars and workshops Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. Upcoming events include “Hands-on Container Gardening” on June 3 and “Hands-on Perennial Care” on June 10.
WIN ME! Love the fare at Paramus’ new Bobby’s Burger Palace? Win this Bobby Flay cookbook and make it at home! Enter by June 30 at www.bergen
HELENE KAIDEN, Montvale, sales manager GUIDRY, Brittany spaniel, age 3 HOW WE MET: “I used to be terrified of dogs, but one night we were eating outside at a restaurant and saw a couple with a cute, well-behaved Brittany spaniel. We did some research and decided this was the type of dog for us. The breeder we went to had two puppies available— one that barked like crazy and little Guidry, who just slept in the corner. Guidry was more our speed! We named him after Ron Guidry, a former Yankees pitcher I always thought was cute.” BORN TO RUN: “Guidry can just run and run. A couple of months ago he got away from our dog walker and was missing for about an hour. I was hysterical while my neighbors went around town searching. A woman from New City finally saw him running alongside the Parkway! She wouldn’t accept a reward, but since she owned a T-shirt company I purchased shirts for all my neighbors that said ‘Team Guidry.’”
Think your furry friend is the cutest in Bergen? Send us a picture of you with your pet and we might publish it in our pages. Mail the photo along with your name, address and telephone number to Bergen Health & Life, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
H E A LT H & L I F E
Bergen BUZZ ‘What I’m listening to ...’ “While classic rock was my main musical fuel growing up in the ’80s, I’ve also delved into progressive rock and some late ’60s California folk rock,” says Dan Sheehan, assistant professor of music at Bergen Community College and guitarist/singer/songwriter for rock band The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy. “These are songs I’ve been listening to lately, many by artists who have long been part of the soundtrack to my life.” 1. “I’LL BE BACK,“ The Beatles, from A Hard Day’s Night 2. “DISAPPEAR,“ Meat Puppets, from Rise to Your Knees 3. “HOUSES OF THE HOLY,“ Led Zeppelin, from
Physical Graffiti 4. “I SEE YOU,“ Yes, from Yes 5. “THE FOUNTAIN OF LAMNETH,“ Rush, from
Caress of Steel 6. “NOWADAYS CLANCY CAN’T EVEN SING,“ Buffalo Springfield, from Buffalo Springfield 7. “BALL OF CONFUSION,“ The Temptations, from Good
Morning Vietnam: A Soundtrack of the ’60s 8. “TOOLMASTER OF BRAINERD,“ Trip Shakespeare, from
Are You Shakespearienced? 9. “THE PLANETS, OP. 32: I. MARS, THE BRINGER OF WAR,“ London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Colin Davis,
from Holst: The Planets 10. “HALO OF ASHES,“ Screaming Trees, from Dust
Did you know? Between 62,000 and 72,000 Bergen County residents commute to New York City daily, either by bus or on the rail system. SOURCE: www.co.bergen.nj.us
Shear compassion “People are really struggling right now and I wanted to make myself useful,” says hair stylist Irene Brown, owner of Ridgewood’s Ultra Look Beauty Salon (201-444-6555, www.ultralooksalon.com). Her solution? Offering free cuts to unemployed customers and their children. “Seeing news reports of other places in the area that have helped people who lost their jobs, such as restaurants that offer ‘eat now, pay later’—that’s what really inspired me.” Brown, who typically charges $25 for cuts, doesn’t ask for proof of unemployment to spare customers from embarrassment. “We even give free makeovers to people going to job interviews, because a new look can really help,” she says. For Ridgewood resident Jan Iannelli, who lost her job in sales and marketing this winter, receiving a gratis shampoo and cut at Ultra Look offered a much-needed confidence boost. “Irene did a great job, and I walked away feeling so wonderful that somebody had done something for me after I’d felt so let down,” she says. “I can’t recommend her enough.”
PRECIOUS PIECES Exquisite hand-crafted items for the discerning collector—that’s the specialty of Enana &
Co. (201-568-6810, www.enanaco.com), a 3,000-square-foot Englewood shop selling artwork, giftware and antique and reproduction furniture crafted with centuries-old techniques. “We’re trying to revive ancient arts for the modern era,” says owner Joseph Jacob. “Our merchandise is extremely rare and imported directly from master artisans—we don’t have layers of agents, wholesalers and distributors like so many retailers today.” Hand-crafted stone mosaics, one-of-a-kind inlay furniture, hand-woven silk fabrics, include a large urn featuring exotic wood parquetry and mother-of-pearl inlays ($4,500); a natural stone mosaic depicting Michelangelo’s renowned painting The Holy Family, with a hand-carved gilded beech wood frame ($35,000); and a 3-inch–high sterling silver filigree baby carriage with wheels ($1,500), designed by Jacob.
original sterling silver designs—all are well represented at Enana. Current selections
4/28/09 9:21:00 AM
$35.00 A TICKET!
Presented by the The
Estate at Florentine Gardens and Bergen Health & Life magazine One night only! Thursday, September 24th Tastings from the best restaurants! Tons of freebies & samples! Live entertainment! Win lots of prizes! TA S T E T H E B E S T
Cannoli, mozzarella, steak, seafood, cheesecake, sushi, tapas, chocolate & much more! DRINK THE BEST
97 RIVERVALE ROAD | RIVER VALE, NJ 07675
Cosmos, martinis, wine, beer, margaritas & more!
Taste and experience what Bergen County residents vote as the best in the county all in one night! GENERAL ADMISSION
Admittance: 6:30 – 8:30 PM $35 pre-event | $45 at the door
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
RESERVE BY MAIL
Admittance: 4:30 – 8:30 PM Early admittance, preferred event parking & complimentary tote bag! $50 pre-event | $65 at the door
NAME: ADDRESS: CITY, STATE, ZIP: VIP: $50 EACH X GENERAL: $35 EACH X
Please enclose your check or money order payable to Wainscot Media. Your tickets will be mailed to you or waiting for you at the door! MAIL TO: BERGEN FEST 2009 BERGEN HEALTH & LIFE 110 SUMMIT AVENUE, MONTVALE, NJ 07645
4/27/09 2:55:26 PM
4/27/09 2:26:27 PM
Essential BERGEN by Jennifer Cenicola
VEGGING OUT WHERE’S BERGEN’S BEST VEGGIE BURGER? AN INTREPID REPORTER AND HER RELUCTANT DINING COMPANION FIND OUT
LIKE LIFE AND THAT PROVERBIAL BOX of chocolates, with veggie burgers, you never know what you’re going to get. Healthy? Greasy? Tasty? Gross? The possibilities run the gamut. As a vegetarian for more than 10 years, I’ve sampled more than my share. So on a recent weekend I embarked on a quest to discover which locally made veggie burger was best. For the meat-eater’s perspective, I dragged my fiancé, Sean, along for the ride. Happily, we agreed on our favorite, hands down.
HOUSTON’S, The Shops at Riverside, Hackensack. Spying the long queue in the swanky spot ’s H o u s t o n (for a 2:30 p.m. meal!), we ordered at the bar. And what can I say about what came? That a choir of angels ought to have heralded its arrival? That a previously reluctant Sean peered at it wide-eyed and said, “Wow, that looks good”? In fact, it was fantastic. The key was a sweet soy sauce that held together perfectly cooked grains of brown rice, black beans and oat bran, all topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, mustard and onions. It was a big, messy tower that fell apart easily—but we didn’t care.
THE OTHER SIX: HERE, IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, ARE THE OTHER CONTENDERS WE TESTED:
Cafasso’s Fairway Market, Fort Lee. This veggie burger was a cook-at-home pack sold in the market’s refrigerated section. Though the patty fell to pieces later as I fried it up in some cooking spray, the resulting bits were tasty and—since I had total grease control—the healthiest of those we sampled.
Hennessy Tavern, Northvale. Here, the burger itself was pretty darn good: a crispy rice-based patty with a pleasant kick. Alas, the dish was woefully presented— a naked patty on a plain roll. “It has zip,” I observed. “But no ‘uh-dee-do-da,’” Sean replied. Manhattan Kosher Deli and Restaurant, Montvale. “Sort of like an egg roll” was how Sean characterized this cabbage-heavy patty. “Heavy and greasy” was my take—a perfect example of why I rarely order veggie burgers blindly. I’d never eat more than a bite or two of such an oily concoction, but must admit I enjoyed the establishment’s pickle bar thoroughly. Natalie’s, Ridgewood. Here was a patty I’ve come to expect of restaurant veggie burgers—with peas, carrots, peppers and corn, lightly fried and served on a brioche bun. Sean remarked that “it has an overwhelming pea-ness.” (I’m still giggling about that one.) I liked its fresh tomato, mixed greens and creamy homefries side. Shelly’s Vegetarian Café, Teaneck. In the battle for second place, Shelly’s edges out Hennessy’s. Akin to a crab cake, the tasty, bread crumb–heavy patty here featured carrot, broccoli and onion bits and was served on wholegrain bread with melted cheese, lettuce and tomato. ■
Harold’s New York Deli, Lyndhurst. This place surprised us by promising a 16-ounce (!) burger, but
instead serving two burgers on separate buns. Why not just halve the order—and the price? As for the taste, it was closer to the frozen “vegetable medley” sold in a supermarket.
H EART SU RGERY
“At Valley, success was putting me
Nick Rotonda, Horse Enthusiast
I love horses. But about a year ago, I was feeling tired and weak. When my cardiologist said it was congestive heart failure, it hit me hard. I didn’t know if anyone could help me, or if I would ride again. Then I went to The Valley Hospital. The Valley Columbia Heart Center doctors found my condition was a valve problem that could be repaired with surgery. They also successfully eliminated my atrial fibrillation by performing a surgery called the Maze procedure. They gave me renewed hope and confidence. They cared for me, but more importantly, they cared about me. To learn how our doctors and their use of innovative technology changed Nick’s life, visit valleyhealth.com.
Valley’s cardiac surgery program has been awarded a three-star rating by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the highest possible recognition for quality and clinical excellence. Only 12 percent of cardiac surgery programs nationwide qualify for this distinction. Valley has also been recognized by HealthGrades as being in the top 10 percent in the nation for cardiac care. Valley surgeons specialize in heart valve surgery and are specialists in minimally invasive techniques, including the Maze procedure for the treatment of atrial ﬁbrillation.
4/21/09 11:22:43 AM
AT SEASONS IN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, THE Mahwah Schools Foundation Board of Trustees hosted its 2009 Starry Night Gala, featuring dinner, raffles, a 50/50 and more. Funds raised from the event will benefit Mahwahâ€™s public school children. The Woodcliff Lake Hilton, meanwhile, was the site of the Colleen Giblin Foundation 2009 Humanitarian and Casino Night. The Oradell-based group works to find treatments and cures for pediatric neurological disorders. Finally, the Bergen Community College Foundation hosted a Monte Carlo Night at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack. The organization supports student scholarships and a variety of other initiatives at the college. 2
MAHWAH SCHOOLS FOUNDATION GALA 1. Leslie and David Konikow 2. Laurie Sargenti, Diane Pallokat and Peggy Carriero 3. Lori Ebanietti and Janine Teel
COLLEEN GIBLIN FOUNDATION EVENT 4. Paivi Ullner, M.D.; Henrik Ullner; Michael Rotstein, M.D.; Rivka Rotstein
5. Debra Suich, Christopher Allen, Gabrielle Boisvert and Jake Allen
BCC MONTE CARLO NIGHT 6. Nancy Brey, Sue Johnson and Sandy Sroka
8. Susan Wright and Shelley Judson
Think you belong in Flash? Send photos from your gala or charity event to Bergen Health & Life, att: Flash editor, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645; or e-mail email@example.com. Include your contact information, a short event description and names of all who appear. (Submissions are not guaranteed to appear and must meet the following image specs: 4x6 color prints or 300 dpi jpg, tif or eps files. Prints must be accompanied by an SASE in order to be returned.)
continued JUNE 2009
CHRISTOPHER BARTH; SARAH SIMONIS
7. Marcia and Tom Barrett, Nelly Kabous and Dan Foley
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Take me to the river TRY THESE 3 WAYS TO EXPERIENCE THE HUDSON AND HACKENSACK
Row your boat Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, small boats with outboard motors—you can launch them all from the boat ramp at KENNETH B. GEORGE PARK on the Hackensack in River Edge. If you’re paddling south, be sure to catch a glimpse of historic New Bridge Landing, where George Washington led his troops after the battle of Fort Lee in November 1776. In Hackensack, you can launch a canoe or kayak at JOHNSON PARK, just north of the Anderson Street Bridge, and FOSCHINI PARK, a popular fishing destination near River Street. Plans are in the works to connect the two parks by a river walkway. A few miles south, WATERSIDE PARK on Industrial Avenue in Ridgefield Park features a floating dock suitable for launching canoes and kayaks. Don’t own a boat? you can rent canoes and kayaks at The Paddling Center at LAUREL HILL PARK (201-968-0808), located on the southern end of the Meadowlands in Secaucus ($25 per paddler per day). The only small boat livery service on the river, it’s open weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October. Rowers can also opt for a two-hour guided paddle through the marshes of the SAWMILL CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA ($30 per paddler with boat rental, $10 without).
WATERSIDE WALKS Want to enjoy breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline—and burn a few calories while you’re at it? Take a stroll on the HUDSON RIVER WATERFRONT WALKWAY, a pedestrian-friendly walking route along the Hudson, which will one day extend 18.5 miles, from the George Washington Bridge to the Bayonne Bridge. With 11 miles already complete, Bergenites can enjoy a long amble with spectacular views. A particularly scenic route on the Bergen side stretches a half-mile from Edgewater Marina, Park & Ferry Landing in Edgewater (you can park at a municipal lot across the street) to the Binghamton Racquet Club. Though the walkway veers temporarily inland after the racquet club, it soon rejoins the waterfront, where an additional 1-mile walk leads to the hip City Place outdoor mall. Venture to Liberty State Park’s walkway in Jersey City, and you’ll be treated to postcard vistas of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (parking is available throughout the park). Weehawken also offers a bustling stretch of the walkway; a highlight along the way: the Chart House at Lincoln Harbor, a fine waterfront eatery.
Learn about the Hackensack River and the
wildlife-rich Meadowlands on a pontoon Eco-Cruise by Hackensack Riverkeeper (201-968-0808, www.hackensackriverkeeper.org; $25 for adults, $10 for children), a local organization committed to preserving the river. Three itineraries are available: Meadowlands Discovery runs through the Hackensack River and the Meadowlands. Highlights include visits to Bellman’s Creek wetlands and Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area. Boating Through Bergen follows the same route traveled by cargo-carrying schooners of yore. You’ll get up close with the USS Ling WWII submarine. And Excursion Around the Bay takes you from the mouth of the Hackensack River into New York Bay, parks and historical sites at Bayonne’s bayshore.
and also explores the
5/4/09 4:46:47 PM
Outdoor EATS WHERE AND HOW TO DINE ALFRESCO IN BERGEN
3 PLACES TO PICNIC Our favorite spots for an open-air repast • FOR ROMANTICS: Darlington County Park in Mahwah. Nuzzle and nibble beside one of the three scenic lakes in this 178-acre park, nestled in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in Mahwah. Nine designated picnic areas have wooden tables, but couples can spread their blankets on the sandy white beaches or open lawns. (Admission fees
A table under the stars
apply: $8 weekdays, $10 weekends and holidays for adults; $6 for kids; $2 for seniors.)
For a meal beneath the moonlight, head to the bustling heart of
• FOR FAMILIES: Van Saun County Park in
Englewood and the widely popular sidewalk area of BLUE MOON
Paramus and River Edge. Lunch in one of nine picnic areas, then let the little ones loose on the park’s attractions: a carousel, a train, pony rides and the Bergen County Zoological Park. (Zoo admission: $1 to $2.50; FREE for children under 3; $1 per train and carousel ride; $3 to $5 for pony rides.) • FOR ACTIVE FOLKS: Riverside County Park in Lyndhurst and North Arlington. Fuel up on a blanket or at one of four picnic-table spots at the Joseph Carruci Area of this 85acre park along the Passaic River. Then hit the park’s tennis courts, pedestrian pathway, fitness center and bocce court. Note: Groups of 10 or more need a permit from the Bergen County Department of Parks (201-327-3500) to picnic at any county park.
MEXICAN CAFÉ (201-541-0600, www.bluemoonmexicancafe.com). A few blocks away, NAMASKAAR (201-567-0061, www.namaskaar.com) is a tiny Indian gem offering authentic cuisine at a handful of outdoor tables. And the nearby SOLAIA BAR & RESTAURANT (201-871-7155, www.solaiarestaurant.com) serves up fine Italian fare on white cloth–topped tables on a lovely brick patio. When in downtown Ridgewood, try LA PIAZZA (201-447-5111, www.lapiazzabistro.com; pictured above), a casual Italian BYO with a charming, fenced-in brick patio, or WINBERIE’S (201-444-3700), which serves creative American fare at nine sidewalk tables. For romance, try LA LANTERNA (201-444-5520), where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner of fine Tuscan specialties in an open-air side patio under a rooftop. Those seeking just sips in the sunshine can enjoy iced mochas at the sidewalk tables of COOL BEANS INTERNATIONAL COFFEES AND TEAS (201-634-1400, www.coolbeansnj.com) in Oradell. For something more potent, try the expansive outdoor patio at THE PORTER HOUSE (201-307-6300, www.porterhouseusa.com), an IrishAmerican steakhouse and pub in Montvale with 21 beers on tap, or THE MOUNTAIN HOUSE (201-666-1166, www.themountainhouse westwood.com) in Westwood, where a quaint front patio area offers full bar service. (We also recommend the thin-crust pizza!)
Basket-packing 101 • KEEP FOOD FRESH. Wrap items
PB&J or chicken drumsticks, advises John Policastro, owner of
tightly and consider placing them
Personal Touch Caterers in Hackensack (201-488-8820,
in a cooler with ice. For drinks,
www.personaltouchcaterers.net). “Don’t be afraid to try things
lemonade and iced tea in coolers
like shrimp salad, fruit platters, Dutch coleslaw and wraps,” he
are always good choices, says our expert.
says. “Couscous is also great for picnics because it keeps well
• GO UNBREAKABLE. Policastro recommends using dispos-
and can be enjoyed at room temperature.”
able cups, plates and utensils.
• CHILL OUT. As a general rule, Policastro recommends pack-
• DON’T FORGET DESSERT! “Cookies are nice, although
ing food that you can consume cold or at room temperature,
chocolate-covered strawberries give picnics a classy touch,”
since cooking or reheating items can be challenging on picnics.
SHUTTERSTOCK; KEITH PETRI
• BE CREATIVE. Feel free to bypass “typical” choices like
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Bergen’s outdoors by Annemarie Conte
Every dog park HAS ITS DAY ALL THE POOP ON 5 BERGEN SPOTS THAT HAVE GONE TO THE DOGS
The author and Honey play catch at the Lyndhurst Dog Park.
WALLINGTON: Samuel Nelkin County Park. Stacy Montalto, owner of a “maniac” golden retriever, Rosie, is the only person here when I arrive. This could be because it’s an off time, or because the park is tucked out of sight, just beyond a playground. “Sometimes we get kids who wander in from the playground, and then it’s a problem,” Montalto says. Like the other four dog runs, this one has a “no children under 12” rule, but parents often ignore this—leading to trouble when a dog knocks over a toddler. On this day, though, all seems sleepy and low-key. LEONIA: Overpeck County Park, Henry Hoebel Area. This park, with a large swath of grass where cherry blossoms and dogwoods bloom, is truly picturesque. There are about 20 large and 10 small dogs, and tons of tennis balls around. As I sit on a bench, a drooling golden retriever rests her head on my knee, soaking my pants. Jordan Saltzberg, here with his Hungarian vizsla, Dakota, has been impressed with both the dogs and their relaxed owners here. “It’s great,” he says. “I’ve never seen a dog fight.”
LYNDHURST: Riverside County Park (North), Joseph A. Carucci Area. When Honey and I arrive at 9:30 a.m. on a Friday, the run has a busy but laid-back feel, with two dozen dogs in the large-dog area and just one in the separate small-dog area. I immediately meet Muge Eran, whose golden Lab, Ashton, is reclining regally on one of the picnic tables. “This place is like Days of Our Lives,” she says, laughing. “Once, I was here with the 6:30 a.m. regulars and told them I’d only had four hours of sleep. When I came back later that afternoon, everyone knew. We all talk.”
WOODCLIFF LAKE: Wood Dale County Park. All the parks are roughly the same size, but at this one large and small dogs intermingle. About a half dozen pooches are playing when I arrive. Lori Berner brings her shih poo, Lulu, here “to get her ya-yas out.” She’s tried going to Ridgewood, but found its pace overwhelming. I understand her preference. Of the runs we tried, this one had the best balance of friendly dogs and friendly owners, making me want to hang out longer. Honey has made clear she’d be delighted to return to any of the parks—and when we get home, she sleeps for two glorious days, tuckered out at last. ■
HONEY, MY 3-YEAR-OLD YELLOW LAB MIX (pitbrador? labrapit?), has boundless energy. A good, long walk barely tires her out. Hence my inspiration for checking out Bergen County’s five dog parks—in the same day. All the parks have similar amenities: mulch flooring, at least 4-foot-high fencing with a double gate, large cement pipes to play on or in, poop bags aplenty and a BYO H20 policy. But, we discovered, they have distinct personalities.
RIDGEWOOD: Saddle River County Park, Wild Duck Pond Area. This is the only run without benches, but the shaded spot is bustling with dozens of dogs. Bosco, a black Lab/border collie mix, and his owner, Iris Levinsohn, come frequently, but due to negotiations with nearby homeowners (“They complained of incessant barking,” says Levinsohn), the park’s hours have been limited to sunup to sunset on weekdays, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends. The county may move the run to another area of the park.
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Nature calls A FEW WAYS TO EXPERIENCE ALL THE COUNTY’S NATURAL WONDERS
JOIN THE CLUB!
HAPPY TRAILS Secluded Bergen spots to make you forget all about the Garden State Plaza parking lot PALISADES INTERSTATE PARK (Fort Lee, Englewood and Alpine): Set above the soaring cliffs of the Hudson River, this park offers 2,500 acres of wild shorefront and uplands, 30 miles of picturesque hiking trails, plus several Manhattan vistas. A must-see: Greenbrook Sanctuary, which features a large oak forest, breathtaking waterfalls and 250 species of birds. RAMAPO VALLEY COUNTY RESERVATION (Mahwah and Oakland): For panoramic views of Bergen hike to Hawk Rock, an east-facing ledge just a few miles from the entrance of this 4,000-acre park (Bergen’s largest), which connects to Ringwood State Park and Skylands Manor in Ringwood. JAMES A. MCFAUL ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER (Wyckoff): Commune with nature without breaking a sweat by strolling a 2⁄3-mile stone pathway through this wildlife sanctuary. You can view wild deer, turkey, raccoons, woodpeckers and gold finches. A flat 300-foot handicap-accessible boardwalk also offers views of a pond and wetland area. CAMPGAW MOUNTAIN RESERVATION (Mahwah): Though skiing rules in the winter, Campgaw offers notable hiking throughout its 1,373 wooded acres in the warmer months. You can even spend the night at various campsites—just pick up a permit at nearby Darlington County Park.
With these 5 groups, activity and camaraderie go hand in hand. BIKE: Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey (www.btcnj.com): Everyone from “families to fanatics”— that’s how leader Ken Stahl describes the 1,300 members of the state’s largest cycling club. The group organizes 1,000 group rides each year, from kid-friendly jaunts to international tours. Meetings are held monthly at the Ridgewood Public Library. (Annual membership: $22/individual, $27/family.) HIKE: Adirondack Mountain Club, North Jersey/Ramapo Chapter (1-888-856-7030, www.hikeleader.com): Winter, spring, summer and fall, these hikers take to the trails—from gentle local walks to challenging high-peak climbs in the Catskills and Adirondacks, all organized by volunteer leaders. (Annual membership: $45/individual, $55/family.) BOAT: The Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club (www.hrckc.org): More than 400 members strong, this paddling club offers expeditions throughout the tri-state area, as well as occasional jaunts as far as the Florida Everglades. No boat of your own? The group’s livery service can help. Monthly meetings are held in River Edge. (Annual membership: $15/individual, $25/family.) BIRD: Bergen County Audubon Society (www.bergen countyaudubon.org): Can’t tell a sparrow from a swallow? No worries. “Our club is for anyone with an appreciation for birds and the natural world,” says president Ken Witkowski. The group holds monthly programs at Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood and takes frequent trips throughout the state. (Annual membership: $20 for new members.) SKI: Garden State Ski Club (1-866-5034772, www.gardenstateskiclub.com): Skiing and snowboarding take center stage in chiller months, but this social and recreational club organizes everything from barbecues to museum trips to volleyball games year-round. Meetings are weekly at Victor’s Maywood Inn in Maywood. (Annual membership: $40.)
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