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 jerseycitygal.com 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some things going on in Jersey City:
Superbowl Fashion Week Already in full swing!
Restaurant Superweek Jersey City restaurants are hosting a special restaurant week for the big game from Jan. 27-Feb 2nd
NJ.com’s Fan Guide of Things to Do Check it out.
Jersey City Independent I write for this site. They’ve got the inside scoop.
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:
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!
LET’S DO THIS. IN IT TO WIN IT, JERSEY CITY
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,
Abbey’s Pub & Grill (not to be confused with O’Abbey’s, which is on the West Side and a place I have not yet visited) is an unpretentious spot on the corner of Monmouth and 4th. Downtown can be…downtown. But I like this spot because it’s not.
I first discovered Abbey’s when looking for a hookah bar in Hudson County. Not only is it one of the few hookah bars around (stop reading if you’re judgy), it is also a smoker’s heaven: they allow smoking inside by the bar area and even sell cigarettes (for shame!).
I love it because it has the raw feel of a true dive; it’s totally not trying to be anything but itself. Check your cooler-than-thou attitude at the door and relax. If you’ve ever been to Sophie’s in Alphabet City or Automatic Slims in Meatpacking, you know what I mean. And this is a notch up. Everyone is welcome in the diverse crowd drawn to this spot. I promise you will make friends here.
You have your standard bar stuff: pool table, music, karoake nights, big TVs. Drinks are stiff, food is as expected, and both are priced well.
I had a quesadilla and nachos here last year, both of which were delish for downtown dive food. Here are some recent eats:
I ordered the steak sandwich as it comes: Sliced skirt steak (I wasn’t questioned about meat temperature, and I didn’t ask because I figured it was, indeed, pre-prepped and frozen, but no worries) with mushrooms, onions, cheddar, and fries. This picture does not capture the sandwich’s appeal or give its size justice. I only got through a quarter of it. Seriously. This sandwich fed me four meals—one at the restaurant and three that I made from the leftovers—because gourmet be gone, it was great.
My dining companion ordered a burger with shrooms and cheddar, which he devoured in about 3 minutes. His meat was cooked to order, and clearly hit the spot.
You would never expect a decent bathroom in this bar, but alas! The Bathroom Sink needs its own shoutout:
Isn’t it just gorgeous?
Abbey’s is an all-around win for a casual night. The servers are friendly, and the patrons are even more warm and inviting. Having the option to chill in peace with your companions, or the guarantee to make friends the moment you wait at the bar or on the bathroom line—that’s just luxury.
Smoke and mirrors,
We’ve got a new program in town, and it’s about to change the face of youth soccer in Jersey City.
While Jersey City has a local league, a couple of competitive teams, a soccer school and different camps run by outside organizations, they have yet to have something as dynamic as USA Global soccer with its dedicated and deliberate training, which is about to bring us to the next level.
Ari Levit, one of its directors, is orginally from Argentina and has been coaching players from ages three to college-age, boys and girls. He holds the prestigious USSF “A” license, NSCAA “Premier” Diploma, NSCAA “Director of Coaching” Diploma, but as Ari says, the main credential is his experience in running soccer programs, training and coaching successfully all over the state of New Jersey.
“When I started coaching, soccer was a relatively new sport in the United States, so much of the professional coaching revolved around teaching the game from a basic level. Soccer was mostly played for fun. Many things have changed in the current scene, ranking points for U10 teams, tournaments all over, and as a consequence, we have made a 180 turn. It’s time to find a middle point.
“I’ve been living in Jersey City for over five years now, and in one of my attempts to help out the JC Soccer Association I met a great coach, with similar views as mine and we decided to partner up to create a unique program in town.”
His partner, Karim Mazarou, born in Belgium, holds the USSF “National Youth License” and is also a resident of Jersey City. “I have been volunteering for JCSA for quite some time and I still do, but I feel there is a demand from Jersey City parents for more dedicated training for their children. Coaches who keep educating themselves in becoming better teachers help children with their confidence and their overall development.”
What makes USA Global Soccer unique and different? Their program teaches beyond soccer. Besides the coaches’ credentials, knowledge and experience, they have developed a unique curriculum, philosophy and methodology:
◊ Develop game intelligence: Following recent methods of training that help develop the cognitive part of the game. Sessions include music, rhythm oriented exercises, brain centered learning, and soccer activities to develop decision making.
◊ Developmental appropriate progressions: At younger age groups, the most important part is the development of the player. The activities, and games, should be appropriate for the player, results are secondary. For the youngest players, success is measured by the growth of the players, not the score. As players grow older, the objectives start changing, but focus is on the “how we win” and not just “to win”.
◊ Modern Coach: A coach is above all a teacher, always learning better ways to educate children and develop their brain along with their body. Using activities that relate to the philosophy and that players can transfer to the game, separates our professional coaches from volunteers.
◊ Parent education: Feedback is crucial for development. Parents need to know what the objectives are for their child, so a clear path in growth can be seen. If parents cannot measure the success of the program by the score, educating them on what is taught during the deliberate training sessions is crucial.
There are many advantages to their time playing the game. Cognitive development, healthy exercise and the understanding of respect, commitment and teamwork are only a few of them.
“We want to grow with the city, and our plans have a long term in mind.” The coaches will launch a winter program in two locations, Jersey City Heights and Downtown during January and February. “Jersey City is our home. We live, shop, and attend local events, which means we are here to grow and stay. We want to build a soccer program like no other, and ultimately give back to the community for the benefit of the City and the kids.” both coaches agree.
On an exciting side note, Coach Ari and Coach Karim will be running a soccer clinic in conjunction with Ryan Strother, Jersey City Department of Recreation’s Director, in late January at the Jersey City Armory. They are expecting over 200 boys and girls, ages 5 to 18 years old to participate. Those interested in attending can contact USA Global Soccer for more information.
JC Youth Soccer is about to change, and you heard it here first.
Here’s where Indiegrove comes in, Jersey City. For entrepreneurs and those who are self-employed, Indiegrove is your fully-equipped office away from home.
The co-working space boasts private offices, cubicle-like areas (you can even get your own phone number), conference rooms, printers, a copy/fax machine, mailboxes, free wifi in every room, bathrooms, a kitchen outfitted with a fridge, microwave, the ubiquitous water cooler (also free coffee and tea), and tables low and high allowing you to work there, too.
In other words, it is very much like a real office, except that every one in it is working on their own agenda.
Even if you are productive at home and have your own fully-equipped home office, I think you’ll find that being around other entrepreneurial types is motivating and keeps you fresh. Also, the high ceilings, bright, art-adorned walls, and huge windows overlooking downtown make it a little more cheerful than your typical digs.
Membership options are listed here. Not sure you’re ready to buy in?
No worries. Do what I did and go on a free-coworking Friday, the one day every week that Indiegrove is open to the public. I chose to sit at the communal tables by the big windows; there is also an adjacent lounge area with couches nearby which I may try next time. Professional meetings were taking place in the conference rooms and interviews were being conducted nearby, and there were several other solo workers like myself, doing their thing on their laptops.
I must say, it was a very productive day.
A new year for most people means a fresh start with a clean slate. Whatever your resolutions, here are some local places that will help you put your self-improvement plans into action.
Learn Spanish or English (ESL):
Learn to paint or sculpt:
Jersey City Arts School
Brush up your resume/ write a personal statement/ edit your book:
Get more work done:
Beautify the DIY way:
My trix here
Treat yourself to a statement piece:
Vivi Girl Shop (where I was recently blogger of the month)
Very Second-Hand Clothing and Goods
Another Man’s Treasure
E. Tittlemouse & Co.
What are your resolutions? Subscribe to my newsletter and post in the comments section (via the link up top) for a chance to win a month of free advertising on my site.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2014 in Jersey City!
I came across this old article and thought it high time I give my opinion: Rizzo’s Bakery (208 Central Ave.) makes the best pizza in Jersey City. I will clarify this by saying “Heights,” as there are tons of pizza places downtown and I have not tried them all yet.
Before you knock me for not saying Pizza Masters or Gino’s (I have plenty of good things to say about them), hear me out on why this is my fave on the cliff:
I’ve eaten pizza at countless places in the metro area. I grew up in northern New Jersey; I lived, went to school and worked in Manhattan for a long time, and have been to Italy, where they really do make the best pizza in the world. I have yet to have a better slice in Hudson County when it comes to a delivery/take-out spot.
This is one of the best slices you can get, you just need to know what to order.
Instead of going for the regular pie-size slice at the counter (which is the size of 1/3 of a large pie—the pic below doesn’t do it justice; that box is the size of a large 16-inch pie)…
Order your own fresh pie with vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil (be very specific). The personal size is 12 inches in diameter, so you can definitely share it if you’re not starving. (I’ll get some pics next time I order from there. Or share yours with me at email@example.com)
I think if you order this particular pie, you will change your mind about the other pizza places around here—I also actually believe it may cure hangovers.
My other made-to-order is this sandwich: Prosciutto, mozzarella, soprresatta, hot peppers and balsamic vineagrette. This pic is just a small portion of it (Again, send me a better pic if you have one!) with the house antipasto on the side.
The Salad al Michelle (shrimp, chicken and romaine dressed in a creamy calorie bomb; ask for the dressing on the side if you need to), Chicken Sorrentino (chicken, veggies and pasta in tomato broth), and the bruschetta are all delish. Try one of my suggestions if you’re going to give it a chance, because everything else isn’t worth it.
Other notes: Buy their dough to make your own pizza or buy their fresh bread. Some ingredient they use makes both addictive. Rizzo’s also has Italian cookies, cannolis and, in the morning, croissants or muffins until they run out…none of which I care about, but that’s just me.
Don’t knock it until you try it—using my ordering suggestions.