Happy New Year Jersey City!

New Year 2016Jersey City: We’ve had many years of transformation, but 2015 seemed particularly poignant in that it marked an increasingly rapid pace of evolvement.

It’s as if everyone finally realized that Jersey City IS the place to live. We’ve had lots of new businesses with high hopes and big dreams, many of which have been shattered by shuttering or postponment in 2015. Some highly anticipated local venues didn’t even get the chance to open their doors this year, their brick-and-mortar spaces left unfinished and for sale. There were others that did open but couldn’t stay afloat, and many more that will soon open their doors and pray to be vital for more than half of 2016. There are many high-rises in construction in place of condiminium complexes that failed, and other big buildings filling wastleands of rotting, forgotten land. We are in a turbulent flux. Projects started and unifinished, or able to rise only to fall quickly.

In a thriving artist and creative community, it’s such a buzzkill to see beloved businesses or buildings fail, to see “replacement.” Everything is about hurdles and politics and money. Certain talents do not have the opportunity to reach their potential even with hard work and exhaustive effort. Others succeed that are less talented. Education is of particular concern to me. We are living in a bleak bubble that I hope we can break in the years to come.

I want to see our citizens investing their time, their minds and their hard-earned dollars into what truly matters to our rapidly changing community. What does Jersey City mean to you? And how are you contributing to make your home a better place? We have real issues here, and our uniqueness is being squandered by the ever-increasing rich/poor divide. A VIP police officer casually mentioned to me a few months ago that “Crime is at one of its peaks and it’s only getting worse,” a comment I was surprised by considering I had just been mugged outside of my front door and authority figures usually try to be reassuring. No, our officers have been cracking down on major gang crimes, and they are overwhelmed. The media glosses over this, and a lot of us choose to be uninformed because it is, well, overwhelming.

In our diverse community, we need to focus on the things that bring us together, not those that separate us. Let’s get back to our roots. Make an effort to be inclusive to those around you, not just those in your neighborhood or demographic. Jersey City is about inclusivity. It is also about diversity. We are a significant part of America’s history: where immigrants arrived and many settled. We have generations of wealth in terms of history. We are…

Step outside of your box: This is a huge, huge city with many people and so much to see and explore. Expand your mind. “Make it yours,” yes, but contribute to make it a greater “ours.”

On a lighter note, here are my best hangover tips for those who choose to indulge. And my current and previous workout playlists.

Have a Happy & Inspired New Year,
JCG

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America’s Got Talent Auditions!

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America’s Got Talent, NBC’s #1 summer show, is coming to New York City on November 14, 2015 for auditions for its 11th Season!

Got a special talent? AGT accepts talent of all kinds and there are no age restrictions.

If you can’t make it out to the auditions, you may submit a video audition online.

For more information, visit www.americasgottalentauditions.com

Auditions will be held at:
Queens College (CUNY)
65-30 Kissena Blvd
Queens, NY
Please do not contact the venue.

Show me what you got!
JCG
 

 

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Little Town Social

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Photo credit: Kyle Orlando

Most of us were fans of Little Town, the brainchild of Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr in collaboration with Albie and Chris Manzo of RHONJ fame. The brand has been re-imagined as Little Town Social, which brings their orginal idea to the next level by moving the location a bit out of the tourist/frat-boy zone and more into a neighborhood spot. That’s not to say it’s dive-y, boring, or where you bring your grandparents. Anything but. Little Town Social operates on the key word “social,” where people gather over high-quality shared plates at communal tables or at the bar.

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Photo credit: Thomas Ling

The former Village Pourhouse space at 205 First St. has been revamped into a sophisticated gathering spot with a more intimate feel involving dim lighting and warm tones. The bar is still 360 degrees with 32 TVs, and features a mix of classic and artisinal cocktails, such as the Ellen Arthur Cosmo (Absolut, Cointreau, passion fruit and lime juice), which I tried and was pleased that it was not sweet like a regular 90’s Cosmo. Guests have the option of 30+ beers on draft from microbreweries in addition to rotating seasonal specials. There is an extensive selection of bourbon, scotch, and tequila as well.

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LTS’ menu is all about small plates and sharing, a concept that is not currently popular in Hoboken restaurants. Executive Chef Sarah Sproule is intense on the farm-to-table concept, sourcing everything as locally as possible and combining ingredients in innovative, flavorful ways.

Click below to continue reading about what the menu has to offer…

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New Jersey State Fair and Carnival at the Meadowlands

The Meadowlands State Fair is going on right now and I cannot wait to get there.

This week, Tuesday is Cheap-cheap Night, starting at 6pm (schedule here), and Wednesday and Thursday are both host of fireworks shows at night. Info here. Gates open at 6pm on weeknights except for the July 4th holiday, where they open at 2pm.

In addition to carnival rides, you can take a ride on the original Batcopter from the early Batman show and movies.  You will also find special attractions, carnival oddity shows, great food and shopping.

Games include water games, racing games, balloon pops, pitch games, basketball, guessing games, duck ponds, fishing and more.

Last year, I went on almost every ride and even found a psychic with my name!

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Click below to see more pictures…

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