Sun Safety

sun

Now that the weather finally decided to bestow its sunshine on Jersey City, I’d like to share my melanoma story with those of you who do not know me, and to remind you to practice sun safety as the unofficial summer season begins!

Skin Cancer: My Story

More about prevention: Pick up this month’s issue of Cosmo and read Liz Krieger‘s “How Much Do You Really Know About Your Skin?” article.

 

LYLAS,
JCG

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring-Cleaning-Jersey City Gal
Spring Clean your Jersey City Home! The best tactic when taking on a gargantuan project is to tackle it one area at a time over a series of sessions — no need to overwhelm yourself. Whether the area is as big as one room or as small as one drawer or cabinet, break up the task into achievable 10-minute segments, and conquer each 10 minutes when ready. If you are not hiring out, here are some useful tips for each section of your home life.

 

CLUTTER

I have a place for everything so I don’t have to look for things. Umbrellas and keys hang by the door, takeout menus have their own upright file box, makeup and jewelry items are organized by casual/edgy/fancy. And my roomie and I have a huge box of items designated “the party box,” full of plates, plasticwear and decorations for every occassion that resides in our storage unit in the basement for other things we don’t need year-round, like beach chairs, skis, and yearbooks.

Takeaway: Have a place for everything, and especially for those things you need in everyday life. At the very least, group like things with like things in each designated area. Looking for necessities saps your time. And time is the most valuable commodity.

 

KITCHEN

♦ Check expiration dates and toss all expired food items along with non-perishables that you will never eat. Save all fun, outdated holiday cards, announcements, and children’s artwork from your refrigerator in a memory box (or toss) to make room for new news.

♦ Rearrange items in cabinets so the ones you use most are at the forefront.

♦ Go through all pots, utensils, and appliances. Remove what you don’t use regularly for donation.

♦ Scrub the oven, stove, and microwave, and wipe down the fridge once you’ve rid the dead items

 

UPHOLSTORY/ RUG STAINS
Rugs and furniture unfortunately collide with pets, babies and accidents. Several people in my life cannot be controlled in tiny spaces with their grand, gestural movements (hello, #happyhands) and therefore, stains are inevitable. Here is a quick guide to treating every household stain

 

BATHROOM
I stick to the basics: Clorox bleach and Lysol. But the winner with tough bathroom grit is Bar Keepers Friend. It made my tub shiny new with 1/20th of the scrubbing effort I was doing with a traditional brush and formulas. I mean, I think it erodes surfaces via intense chemical exfoliation that is probably extremely unhealthy BUT, there is nothing like looking at a blindingly sparkling white tub.

 

BEDROOM
I recently developed bad allergies and my awesome allergist put me on a regimen that includes covering my mattress and pillows with dust-mite covers (from Kennedy’s), something I never had to think of before in the past. In addition to washing my stuff with All Free & Clear, the covers have really kept invisible dust out of the air—and out of my lungs.

 

WINDOWS
Power-wash away bad-weather grime; then Windex.

 

LIGHTS/LIGHTING
Simple soap and water is all you need to clean lights. Change the bulbs if necessary. This is also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

CLOSET
Purge,purge, purge.

Clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags: Toss as much as you can to feel lighter. Basic rule: If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t. Sweaty, ratty stuff can be re-purposed as rags for your household cleaning portion of this segment. Outdated denim can be cut and reconstructed into a purse or a skirt or something it wasn’t. But for the most part, toss.

Specialty items (like personalized handmade knit sweaters, say, that have significant emotional value) should be kept in preserved storage or put on display. Same with family heirlooms. Other tips

 

DONATE

Schoola allows clothes to be donated to raise real dollars for your local school. Just request a bag (free), fill it with items, and leave for the postman. Schoola sells the clothes at a discounted rate, and the proceeds go directly to fund important programs in schools (22,000 schools involved so far)

♦ Uber will pick up your clothes for donation this Saturday, 5/21

Very and Another Man’s Treasure may be a new home for some of your cooler stuff.

♦ And then there’s Goodwill and Salvation Army

 

JUNK REMOVAL

Now, if you’re moving your home or your office, you will have a lot of ish to get rid of. That’s where the masterminds Junk-a-Holics come in. They come to you, pick up your stuff and donate, recycle, or re-purpose it accordingly. You do none of the work, but can still feel great being green.

 

ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE CLEANED

POLISH
Jewelry and silverware can simply be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, whereas wood loves Murphy’s OilOrange Glo and Endust

LAUNDRY
2 Boys Laundromat is my fave, but we should all go to the one on our corner we like best. Support local businesses!

DRY CLEANING
Leon’s One-Hour Cleaners on Prospect & Webster St. is my go-to. They have re-lined my antique coats and made them prettier than the originals; transformed old whites to look newer than new whites, hemmed my jeans and pants with tighter, better seams. They are my fairy seamstresses (and inexpensive!)

 

Clean out & carry on,
JCG

Surf City Opens Tonight Jersey City!

Surf City

Jersey City’s waterfront beach megabar reopens for the season tonight, Friday May 13th.

Soak up views of Manhattan and Liberty Island, indoor and al fresco waterfront dining and drinking, and a sandy beach with fire pits perfect for getting cozy.

There is a revamped food and drink menu, and 25 craft beers that will rotate throughout the season.

Read my full, comprehensive review of Surf City here.

 

Chill on,
JCG

 

Newport 10K this Saturday 5/14 Jersey City!

Newport 10KThis Saturday is the 13th annual Newport 10K will take place in Newport, kicking off in Newport Town Square (100 Town Place) in Jersey City.

The USATF certified course is the fastest course in the tristate area, mostly flat and running along the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City. Recreational and elite runners will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level for their share of $15,400 in prize money.

Proceeds are being donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, which I personally love because it provides especially good care for women and infants.

Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m. Registration opens at 7:00 a.m. Winnings and records will be awarded immediately after, during the Post-Race Party with refreshments, a local DJ and several prize drawings.

For registration details visit http://www.newport10k.com or call 201-665-4005.

Run on,
JCG

Rainy Day Ideas: Jersey City

rainy_day

ART GALLERIES! Almost every hot spot on the block in Jersey City is featuring works of local artists on their walls. Or on their buildings, or had a wall made in their shop, or hosted shows in historic buildings. But there is more in art homes: Mana Contemporary, Art House Productions, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City Art School, Hewes Art Center, etc. Add yours in the comments section.

PAGE-TURNER READS! Finish a book in a day!  Kill me Janet Evanovich or—the owner of my childhood homeHarlan Coben. And Lawrence Sanders. All my summer reads. Even sitting at…

COFFEE & TEA LOCALES! Is it just me or is people-watching at Sam a.m., Beechwood Cafe, Tea NJ, BWE, Choc-O-Pain (who is opening yet another location on Palisade Ave.), Congress Street Cafe  and a plethora of other places in this city just so fun? I mentally write a story about each person that passes by.

MAKE OUT IN THE RAIN! I am guilty guilty guilty of this. No lover? Just being caught in thunderstorms with friends can brew creativity. Staying dry tactics, protecting clothes or electronics, what now? It’s an opportunity to learn. Dance in the rain, run in the rain (if it’s not a thunderstorm; safety first), puddle hop. Rain can be refreshing and freeing. Added bonus for allergies: it cleans the air.

PAINT IT OUT, OR COLOR! If Cork & Canvas is booked, you have adults and kids coloring books. (My faves for this occasion are Four Seasons by Aiko Fukawa & Barbie’s Spring Into Style). Just get the right pencils for the former and the gel metallic crayons for the latter. Materials make a difference! Or make a vision board out of magazine pictures. Or make something, anything! You have everything you need in your house to create. Look around and get creative.

HOME SPA: Scrubs, facemasks, manis, pedis and massages. My fave products:
Arbonne Awaken Sea Salt Scrub. This has changed my life (or really, that of my hands and feet)
Freeman’s Avocado & Oatmeal Face Mask
Rid Redness & Acne
Hair treatments
Homemade body scrub for skin

ORGANIZE: Cleaning out a drawer or a closet can be a relaxing ritual. Start with a small space so you don’t get overwhelmed, and then either be motivated to tackle bigger spaces or be inspired to do something else by something you find. If you have a creative mind, the act of it and the finding of something you forgot about will trigger some greats ideas. I promise!

MAD LIBS: Hey, you can play by yourself!

CARDS: Again, you can always play solitaire. If you need competition, I will beat you at spit any day. Try me.

SPEAKING OF CARDS: Buy some nice stationery and bring the handwritten note back! Who doesn’t love mail? Put some real effort and thought into those you love. Or get real with Hold Fast Industries (read my article in the Jersey City Independent this summer).

LISTEN TO MUSIC: Create a new playlist if you like anything for your next outdoor workout in sunnier skies. I’m all about Beyonce’s Lemonade right now, as if I wasn’t about everything Bey anyway for all of time. But now that Google Music has bought Songza, you have no excuse to hear an extreme variety of unsolicited music around the world and in your own backyard. They just #catertoyou.

HELLO! SPORTS: Put that new playlist to use while lifting weights at BLINK or stairclimbing at BASE. Then there’s indoor swimming at Pershing Field, the Local Barre and HipFit classes with Laura in the Brunswick Center.

BUY LOCAL, BE UNIQUE: Vintage: How Very or Another Man’s Treasure. For boutique, Vivi Girl Shop and Tia’s, of course.

MOVIES & SHOPPING: I not a huge fan of either, but I’ve found in my most stressed-out times, escaping to the Newport Mall just to walk around, (and maybe buy pretty, frilly things & specialty items at Sephora, Vicky’s and Lush) or—more recently—going to its newly renovated Loews AMC has actually helped me rejuvenate.

MOVIES AGAIN! OnDemand, Netflix and Redbox.

 

YAAAAS, I did. Enjoy,
JCG

 

Interactive Kids Show 5/8


 Toomai-String-Quintet

Jersey City: You need not miss this.

Con Vivo Music invites Jersey City families on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8th) for an interactive kids show with The Toomai String Quintet at the Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.) at 2pm.

Toomai will lead an exploration of how improvisation manifests itself in music of different styles, featuring works by Duke Ellington, Cachao, Perapeskaro, and J.S. Bach.
Toomai has performed in many capacities throughout the United States, with appearances at Lincoln Center, the 92nd St. Y, Philadelphia Arts Alliance, and for the Miami Civic Music Association, among others.

The quintet was a pilot ensemble for Carnegie Hall’s “Musical Connections” program, and they continue to perform regularly in schools, hospitals, and alternative care facilities throughout New York City. In addition, the Toomai String Quintet has brought its array of educational programs to students in California, Florida, and across the Northeast, and has presented interactive concerts in collaboration with organizations such as California Institute of the Arts, The Juilliard School, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

 
 
Watch them here:

 
Best of all, the event is free, because some awesome organizations still believe in the arts.
 
 
See you on Sunday!
JCG

Sustainable JC’s Mother Earth Celebration 4/30

 mother-earth-harsimus-jersey-city

Celebrate the Mother Earth Festival at The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery (435 Newark Ave.) on Saturday, April 30th.

The annual fete celebrates over 350 years of nature. Go to:
*Meet Environmental & Crafty Exhibitors & Vendors!
*Learn about their All Volunteer Mission & Urban Youth FARM Club
*Meet the Animals & Livestock!
*Tour the Cemetery
*Listen to live music all day
*Eat, drink & explore the historic Jersey City treasure with family and friends

The festivities begin at 12pm and continue until 7pm. The event is hosted by Sustainable Jersey City SJC and music is sponsered by Rock-it Docket & Brunswick Sounds.

Donate at the gate to Benefit the All-Volunteer Cemetery Mission.

Live it,
JCG

A Jersey City Film

twentymillionpeopleTwenty Million People is a contemporary take on the romantic comedy, and was shot primarily in Jersey City by filmmaker Michael Ferrell, a Grove St. area resident.

In the 90’s indie hit Swingers, we pondered how many days we were supposed to wait before we call. In Twenty Million People it’s how many minutes should we wait before we text back, because you don’t want it to seem like you were just standing here with the phone in your hand. And oh yeah, “everything you text has to have an exclamation point or it sounds sarcastic.”

The main characters travel from the “6th Borough” of Jersey City all the way to Brooklyn in the name of love, giving us a glimpse of what a modern-day romance is like in a city full of so many people. The film took home Best Feature awards at Maryland International Film Festival and Cape Fear Independent Film Festival along with other awards at VisionFest in New York City, Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey, and Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn. It’s available for purchase on amazon, google play and iTunes.

View the trailer here.

Wyland Performing at The Citizen 3/26

Wyland the band Jersey City Gal The Citizen

Wyland the band Jersey City Gal The CitizenNew Jersey-based band Wyland is performing at The Citizen (332 Second Street) this Saturday 3/26 at 7pm to celebrate the release of their new EP In A Sea of Things Unsaid. Supporting acts include Hey Anna, Bounders, and Cold Weather Company, and the cover is a mere $10.

Wyland was founded in New Jersey, and this will be their first concert here after arriving home from SXSW. I caught up with Ryan Sloan to get the low-down on the band and the sound. Back in 2014, Ryan had written songs using his piano and guitar but knew the types of instrumental sound he needed to make the music come alive. He first posted an ad on craigslist to find a guitarist.

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Jersey City Fish Stand

John & Jill Sabochick in front of Blair Urban’s mural in their Jersey City Fish Stand shop (and behind their daily dips for customers to try)

John and Jill Sabochick moved to Jersey City in 2015 and noticed that there was something lacking: “We wanted fresh fish but couldn’t really find what we were looking for,” says John. It sparked the idea of opening a fish market, “but first we wanted to see if other people wanted this, too.”

JC Fish Stand

Some offerings on my weekday afternoon visit

The power duo teamed up with partner Kevin Pipchick and decided to test the idea by working the 2015 season at the Jersey City Farmers’ Markets and discovered that indeed, there was a Jersey City fish need. After their sales success last market season,  John, Jill, and Kevin opened Jersey City Fish Stand, located at 508 Jersey Avenue, this past December. 

The brick-and-mortar Jersey City Fish Stand shop is the go-to for all of your pesce desires (supply varies depending on season and demand), six days a week at market prices. Walking into the store, you are greeted with a bright, clean and cheerful ambiance; decor includes a wall mural by local artist Blair Urban and a display of fish-hook themed merchandise.

The fish that the Sabochicks stock comes from all over the world, and they work with small vendors and big distributors in Hunt’s Point. “We bring in daily deliveries of fresh fish and then go off recommendations of what’s wild, what’s fishing and what’s coming in season—so we always have a lot of variety and our menu rotates every day,” says Jill. “That is our model,” adds John. All products are sold or repurposed into prepared foods within 48 hours.

JC Fish Stand selection

Filet selection the afternoon I visited, 3 hrs to closing. Pretty sure everything sold by then.

Since they do run out of varieties or the quality/ season deems the product not worth buying to sell, “We try to have enough items so we have the type of thing you’re looking for,” says John. “You may want a white fish or a richer-flavored fish or a whole fish, so we offer alternatives for whatever you want to cook.”

JC Fish Stand spice blends

Spice Blends to assist your fish prep

Additionally, Jersey City Fish Stand offers advice on how to care for and cook your fish, and they sell spice blends and meal starters in partnership with Bread & Spoon“We don’t just provide the ingredients, but walk you through how to put a meal together,” says Jill.

It’s a pretty brilliant concept—at least I think so living in the hustle and bustle that is Jersey City—for those of of us non-chefs crave simplicity but want to eat well. And, as John points out, “Some people get intimidated by new and different types of fish.”

Even better, Jersey City Fish Stand sells delectable treats from Jersey City Sweets that you can enjoy after dinner, taking the leg-work out of having something for the sugar-toothed loved ones around the table.

Bread & Spoon Jersey City

Bread & Spoon treats & other fun merchandise

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