Jersey City Gal


A limited-run art show is happening this week from Wednesday-Friday (April 16-18) at City Life Church, 125 1st Street (corner of 1st & Provost).

Restoration is an interactive exhibit with pieces consisting of photography, paintings and light sculpture, featuring local Jersey City artists.

The show starts at 7:30pm each evening, with a special gathering on the 18th in honor of Good Friday.


Restore yo’self,


park & sixth

I was invited to lunch at Park & Sixth (364 Grove Street) on a freezing but sunny day. I had been meaning to try this comfort food gem for quite some time and could not wait. P & S did not disappoint.

Upon entering, I was expecting “upscale pub” but was greeted with kinky kitsch. I love it! Everything is still very warm and welcoming—the decor just lets you know that the place has a sense of humor about itself.

My friend was sitting in a sun-beamed window booth with cushioned benches and ornate pillows, sipping white sangria adorned with colorful fresh fruit from a mason jar. Well then, if cocktails are in order…I decided on a jalapeno margarita to join in on the fun.

park and sixth

It was clearly made with thought; the winter-sunny day drink was artful and as a fan of spice, I loved its kick.

We were in salad moods. My friend is a regular here and ordered the Garbage Salad (mixed greens, rabe, zucchini, roasted red peppers, portobella shrooms, asparagus, red onion, balsamic vinaigrette) and I had the Beet Salad (herbed goat cheese, pickled onions, cayenne candied almonds, mesculin, dill vinaigrette).

beet goat cheese salad park & sixth

As a truffle fry fan, I must order them wherever I go. Park & Sixth’s parmagiana fries with truffle oil and parsley are a large portion for a side order and oh-so-addictive. (These are half-eaten).

park & sixth truffle fries

Prices are reasonable; portion sizes are not overwhelming.

I can’t wait to try their newest spot, Gastropub.

Buon Appetit to cozy eats,

Ogden Volunteer

The Riverview Neighborhood Association (RNA) is hosting a volunteer event this Saturday, April 5th to talk about the Jersey City Heights’ Community and its improvement.

Here are some topics of discussion, according to their Facebook Page:

•Community Visioning
•Riverview Arts District
•New Business Development (Palisades Avenue & other areas)
•Quality of Life Issues
•Transportation issues
•Clean-Up (General)
•Abandoned Buildings
•Ogden’s End Garden
•Riverview Park planting
•Farmer’s Market 
•Annual Flea Market and park festival event coordinator
•Big Spring Clean-up (electronics, hazardous waste, donations, recycling)
•Promotion of event
•Arts events
•JC Friday’s organizer for heights events and promotion. 
•Live @ The Lumberyard
•Movies In The Park 
•Spanish Translation
•General office work (envelope stuffing, etc)
•Graphic Design / Flyers 
•Website content and management
•Newsletter content
•Heights business profiles
•Grant Work: research and writing
•Public Relations
•Heights community outreach
•Fundraising for special projects like Riverview park monument restoration

Meet at 154 Ogden (in the lobby) at 2pm. Match your unique skills and interests with others to make a difference!


Jersey City Proud,


Chris Celestin, an indie filmmaker and founder of Fixed Signs Productions (based out of Jersey City) debuts his new film “Ambition” at Anthology Film Archives in NYC on Saturday, April 5th at 8PM. The 45-minute film is about a young man struggling to keep his younger sister from falling into the foster system, while selfishly pursuing his ambition to become a film actor.

The premiere will be followed by a Q & A with the cast and crew.

View the trailer here.

To the artist’s hustle,



Mile Square Dates, an events-based dating company, is pairing up with other small businesses in the area for a crazy “singled out” event this Friday, April 4th at the Village Pourhouse in Hoboken at 6pm.

Think speed dating meets an in-person tinder.

Other upcoming events include beer pong, a workout, and a wine tasting.

Visit for more information.


Game on,




It has been a long, cold winter here in Jersey City. Let’s break out of our shells and welcome spring even if only the calendar says it’s so!

Youniq Pilates (9 Regent St.) is offering $10 OFF any private pilates lesson or auricular acupuncture treatment (weight loss, stress relief, stomach discomfort) on Friday, March 21st.

Read here for more information.


Did he put a ring on it? Time to start planning.

When it comes to “the most important day of your life,” good photos are essential—and good makeup.

I spent a recent afternoon with wedding photographer Susan Shek and MAC makeup artist Maura Rivera to talk weddings weddings weddings and how to create and capture the most beautiful subject on the most beautiful day of your life—you.

Here is my day of makeup and photos with two awesome ladies who make weddings their business.

Maura Rivera, a freelance makeup-artist for MAC, arrived with (literally) a suitcase of beauty products. She just completed stints doing runway makeup for both NYC and Jersey City fashion weeks.

As Maura applied my makeup, Susan began to take pictures.


Susan is a wedding photographer with a very strategic approach. ”I meet with clients and share my portfolio, which spans eight years in the business. People ask me what makes me different from other photographers and I tell them ‘Because it’s not a job. I do it because it’s my passion. I love it.’ If I wasn’t doing wedding photography, I would be doing wedding planning.”

Susan also wants the bride-to-be to have the least stress as possible going into the wedding. “I always have a specific plan. I give the bride and groom an organized list of how the day will play out photo-wise, shot by shot.”

Here is one of the shots Susan took of me outside the day after a big snowstorm, dashing through the wintry white in the cold. (For others, check out in the near future). She has a great eye for picking good backgrounds, even when options are limited and the air is thick with fog—both of which could have caused problems on this particular day.


When it comes to Jersey, both women are enthused. Susan says, ”I like working in Jersey the best because there’re more venues, more space. I would love to shoot at Liberty House. I love that Jersey City is still close to Manhattan, and it’s a diverse and close community of ex-New Yorkers.”

“People in Jersey are crazy about weddings,” chimes in Maura. “I like weddings because I love pretty makeup and being part of a woman’s special day. A lot of women don’t even know how to do their own basic makeup [JCG interjection: Myself included!], and it’s the best feeling when they look in the mirror and gasp and say, ‘Thank you. I’m so beautiful!’”

As an old-school gal, Maura doesn’t rely on social media for her business; it has been purely word-of-mouth (still in style!) amongst Manhattan’s elite and her MAC customers. She has plenty of regulars for eyelash extensions and daily makeup (I’m thinking rich housewives). She also does party makeup: Club nights, the prom, sweet sixteen celebrations, Halloween faces, fantasy makeup, etc.

Susan’s photography business is booked for most of 2014, as she likes to start planning a year in advance and prefers space between weddings to really focus on each one. She also does the editing, photo-retouching, the layout, and chooses what photos make the cut. Check out her website here.

Both ladies travel to their clients and do not have set price lists. Rather, they individualize packages according to the customer’s needs.

Later in the day, Susan said, “I can’t see myself planning my own wedding because I’m too controlling and obsessive. I’d want everything to be perfect.” Maura and I laughed, because despite the fact that all three of us have long-term boyfriends and love weddings, we feel the same way.

Be pretty, Pretty Princess,


And I mean that in a good way.

On Tuesday, February 11th, Garden State Food Tours has organized a pre-Valentine’s soiree featuring cocktails and desserts.

What better place to host it than LITM? Love is the message, after all, at least when it goes into delicacies designed for your sweet tooth. Jersey City residents love an excuse to party, and here it is.

Tickets can be purchased here.

To find out more about GSFT and the mastermind behind it all, Alessia Aron, check out video from GSFT’s debut event here.

And of course, visit the Garden State Food Tours website.

Sweetly yours,


Superbowl XLVIII is happening here, Jersey City!

No, seriously, both teams are staying in our great city, and as part of the Volunteer Host Committee, I will be in one of those hotels on gameday…as well as participating in other activities during this week before the event.

The Media will start arriving on Sunday, January 26th. Fellow followers, grip yourselves: The area’s already overcrowded population will increase MUCH. Our small businesses are going to thrive and our citizens are going to enjoy all of the excitement (or be bothered by the influx of hyped outsiders) in the cold. 

I decided, rather than do  my usual personal research and write-up of everything, to make a montage of info already out there and put it here in one place. I’ll continue to update my site as I get more tips from all of you! Send to:

Here are some things going on in Jersey City:

Welcome Event: Jersey City’s Mayor Fulop Greets Superbowl Teams

Superbowl Fashion Week Already in full swing!

Macy’s Fireworks

Restaurant Superweek Jersey City restaurants are hosting a special restaurant week for the big game from Jan. 27-Feb 2nd

Concert! at Liberty State Park’s Fan Guide of Things to Do Check it out.

Jersey City Independent I write for this site. They’ve got the inside scoop.

NYTimes Coverage

Other Political Info So Happy the Mayor finally followed me on twitter. Took him months after the Senator.

Have Your Party Catered by Jersey City Restaurants:

City Diner

Me Casa Catering and Restaurant

Rustique Pizza

Mozz Boss


Andrea Salumeria

Pizza Masters



Park & Sixth

Goehrig’s Bakery

Trolley Car Bar

Or, conversely, make your own menu with my Game-Day Recipes

I can definitely improve your stay in this area. I might have inside info.  Just ask! Need a place to crash? Just ask! Reasonable price for people I trust. Email for details.

What else are you going to do? Shop!

Vivi Girl Shop (where I was recently blogger of the month)

Tia’s Place

Very Second-Hand Clothing and Goods

Another Man’s Treasure

E. Tittlemouse & Co.

Kannibal Home


Red Giant

Rhymes With Opera presents ”Red Giant” to Jersey City this Sunday, January 19th at 2pm in the Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.). “Red Giant” is a one-act opera and a surreal story set in the future, taking place inside a spaceship on a journey to an unknown destination. As the sun slowly explodes and engulfs their former planet, the three humans onboard reflect on both the futility of their search for a new home and their need for a sense of hope.

Rhymes With Opera (RWO) is an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and producing new operas, and this fully staged performance of New Haven composer Adam Matlock and librettist Brian Slattery’s work will be presented in a brand-new orchestration, written especially for RWO’s house band, Rhymes With Orchestra.

The production also includes a special world premiere: a concert presentation of Baltimore composer Erik Spangler’s “Damascus Mix”, developed through a long-distance collaboration between the composer and RWO ensemble member Bonnie Lander. The live vocal part emerges from a cut-up of international news reports; the music stretches beyond our idea of “language,” while defining a unified field between the human voice and electronically generated sound.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Purchase tickets here.

Sponsored by Con Vivo Music and the Barrow Mansion Development Corp.

Enjoy the show,




Gia Portfolio is a book editor for authors in the New York City area.

She can turn your text into clean, concise copy that will get you the results you need.

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Visit for more information.

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