Monday, December 31, 2007

The Monday Muse: Last Call for these NYC Exhibits

By Kimberly Baldwin

Considering our proximity to the art capital of the world (ahem, that would be New York City), I thought it would be fitting to share the details of some important current exhibitions that will soon be coming to a close.

Kinz, Tillou & Feigen, 529 W. 20th St., 212.929.0500
Jeremy Blake: A Memorial Exhibition, through Jan. 5
Jeremy Blake was an artist of recognizable accomplishment and promise. He was considered influential and iconoclastic. Sadly, Blake committed suicide one week after his beloved companion of 12 years, Theresa Duncan, committed suicide--the reasons for which remain open only to conjecture. His sixth solo show at Kinz, Tillou & Feigen is a memorial show and features a selection of wall works, a retrospective of daily screenings of his 21 short animated films, and documentation from his unfinished last film.

Metropolitan Museum, 5th Ave. at 82nd St., 212.535.7710
The Age of Rembrandt
, through Jan. 6

The Met is home to the finest collection of Dutch art outside of Europe, and all 288 of these masterpieces are displayed together for the first time in this exhibition. On view is an array of circa-seventeenth century works--landscapes, genre pictures, still lifes, marine views, portraiture, and historical and biblical paintings--by celebrated Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals. The works are arranged by their acquisition date and reflect the taste for Dutch art in America.

Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., 212.708.9400
Georges Seurat: The Drawings, through Jan. 7
Once described as "the most beautiful painter's drawings in existence," Georges Seurat's mysterious and luminous works on paper played a crucial role in his short, vibrant career. This comprehensive exhibition, the first in almost twenty-five years to focus exclusively on his drawings, presents over 135 works, primarily conte drawings, oil sketches, and paintings. While Seurat is best known as the inventor of pointillism, this exhibition clearly demonstrates his achievement as a draftsman and the significance of his working methods and themes for twentieth-century art.

PaceWildenstein, 545 W. 22nd St., 212.989.4258

Joel Shapiro: New Sculpture
, through Jan. 19

Since his first one-person exhibition in 1970, Joel Shapiro's work has been the subject of over 100 solo exhibitions and retrospectives. Here, he's displaying nine new works: four painted wood sculptures and five bronzes. Shapiro's assemblages are beautiful and always alter the viewers perceptions of volume, space, and movement.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Finds: News, views and tips...from you!

By Kathy Shaskan

Two of our favorite Jersey Guys, Jason Cameron (left) and Tony Siragusa, contacted us and reported that they have new episodes of their show "Man Caves" coming up on the DIY Network. If you haven't seen the show, this dynamic duo creates rooms where guys can "live out their king-of-the-hill fantasies," with toys like putting greens, private humidors, and saunas. The first one airs January 9 at 9:30 and the guys will be creating a hockey heaven for a New Jersey Devils fan. We asked Siragusa (former NFL star and portrayer of bodyguard Frankie Cortese on The Sopranos) about the appeal of "Man Caves." His reply:
"Men need their own space, a place where the kids and the wife - nobody comes in - but the man and his boys."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book Beat: The Lost Ravioli Recipes

By Jenniah Caldwell

Long before it became a night for cocktails and kisses at midnight, New Year's Eve meant only one thing for my Italian family: Pasta. After hours of hearing the rhythmic thumping of dough from the kitchen, we would all sit down to a venerable feast of Grandma Anna’s home made pasta. Plates of ravioli, gnocchi, and tortellini made their way around the table and we would all eat until we thought we would burst.

James Beard Award-winning author Laura Schenone understands the strong links between the past, pasta, and family. In her newest book, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family, Schenone takes her readers from urban New Jersey to the Italian coast of Liguria, while on a search for the roots of her great-grandmother's ravioli recipe, connecting with lost relatives and places in her five-year journey. Along the way, she learns that tradition, recipes, and family dynamics evolve into their own complex flavor over time. Not just a memoir, the book also offers over 50 pages of authentic Genoese recipes.

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family
by Laura Schenone is available at all major bookstores. For an author autographed copy, order directly from Watchung Booksellers (973.744.7177), Copies are limited.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fashion Forward: Step Into Sales

By Leigh Boriskin

On December 26th, savvy shoppers can count on one thing: Sales! From the gifts that you just had to snag for your loved ones to the dress you bought for Christmas Eve, now is the time for the discounts to begin.

With New Year’s Eve sneaking up on us in less than one week, the accessory that will make you shine (and also the most expensive) has been kicked down a few notches just for you.

To complete your outfits for this final bash of the year, hop on over to Georgio in Englewood for a pair of stylish Jimmy Choo’s or hip Miu Miu’s. In Haddonfield, Benjamin Lovell Shoes will fit your foot with fabulous Sam Edelman’s, or for a snowy evening, a coveted pair of Uggs. Finally, Blueberry Lane in Upper Montclair will have you looking effortlessly chic in flats or knee-high boots by Delman, or charming ballet’s by London-based French Sole.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Monday Muse: It's Winter Break. Now what?!

By Kimberly Baldwin

Looking for some fun yet educational ways to occupy the kids this winter break? A trip to one of the state's great art spaces might just be the answer.

The Newark Museum is hosting "Holiday Fun Week" from Wednesday, December 26 through Sunday, December 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. Besides offering daily holiday-themed tours, the week will be filled with music, dance, theater, art activities, and scientific explorations. The planetarium even gets into the spirit with daily laser holiday shows, featuring kid-approved gems from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman to White Christmas and Winter Wonderland.

Gather the children and head to the Morris Museum December 27 through 29 for a variety of fun and educational activities, including interactive workshops, like making unity dolls, learning the art of dance, and creating colorful New Year's Eve party hats. Entertaining theater performances will also be offered daily, such as the top kid-pick Rick Adam's Holiday Parade.

Treat bigger kids to Reflecting Culture: The Evolution of Comic Book Superheroes at the Montclair Art Museum, up through January 13. The museum is closed Christmas day, but otherwise open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Sense of Place: Children's Book Illustrations by Catherine Stock are on view at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick through January 28. The lyrical watercolors will fascinate children and adults alike, and hands-on activities are also available for visitors in the gallery.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Finds: News, Views and tips...from you!

By Kathy Shaskan

We just made the acquaintance of Cedar Grove resident Christina Deyo, a supervising producer on the Emmy award-winning Martha Stewart Show. Why is she our “Friday Find?” Because we found out she juggles this demanding job while being a wife and mother of FIVE CHILDREN - and they’re all under the age of ten! Just for fun, we asked Deyo to describe a typical day:

5:00 am - Wake up...get dressed...get the girls' school uniforms out of the dryer. Make school lunches.
5:45 am - Hide treasure hunt treats for youngest girls so later when I'm at work I call them and lead them on a fun chase to find the treats. Some mornings prepare breakfast for girls--otherwise it's cereal.

6:00 am – Marinate steak or chicken for dinner (leave in fridge)

6:15 am - Leave for work

7:30 am - Morning meeting
7:45 am - Call kids...make sure they're picked up for school
8:00 am - Go to studio for morning rehearsals
8:30 am (on Wednesdays only) - Call in to Sirius and chat about ‘The Martha Stewart Show’
9:00 am - Morning meeting with Martha

10:00 am - Tape ‘The Martha Stewart Show’
11:15 am - Call home and play treasure hunt with Pauline, Gemma and Rebecca
11:30 am - Lunch

12:00 pm - Production meeting for next days show
12:30 pm - Rehearsals for afternoon show
1:00 pm - Meeting with Martha
2:00 pm - Tape ‘The Martha Stewart Show’
3:00 pm - Finish show...begin reading scripts for next day's shows

4:00 pm - Kids home from school (chat by phone....listen to school day)
6:30 pm - Arrive home...start dinner
7:00 pm - Dinner with family
7:30 pm - Homework with the kids
8:30 pm - Watch TV with kids/and or read with kids

9:00 pm - Prep any school activities (sign reports/projects/etc); Tuck Grace, Caroline, Pauline and Gemma into bed.
9:30 pm - Spend time with Rebecca (she's the 1 year-old daughter); Put her to bed
10:30 pm - Lights out....good night!

Wow…Christina, we are humbled!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book Beat: Historic Photos of Jersey Shore

By Jenniah Caldwell

There is no denying that winter is here. The skies are gray, the wind is frigid, and snow is no longer just a vague threat. During the dreary days of the season, the minds of many New Jerseyans will fast forward to the upcoming dog days of summer and of time that will be spent "down the shore" at one of our state's many beach towns.

Instead of daydreaming of summers yet to come, NJL recommends curling up beside the fire with Historic Photos of Jersey Shore. Over 200 rare black and white photographs, culled from national and local archives, showcase over 100 years of the storied history of NJ's beach resorts. The book covers a large range of topics, highlighting images from Victorian Cape May, the golden era of AC's steel pier, cranberry harvests in the 30's, New Jersey's WWII effort, to the Civil Rights struggle.

The author Joe Czachowski, an adjunct History professor at Kean University, uses his vast knowledge of New Jersey history to breathe new life into some of The Shore's forgotten moments. Pick up your copy for $39.95 at Turner Publishing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fashion Forward: Dress It Up

By Leigh Boriskin

Between holiday gatherings and upcoming New Year’s Eve bashes, there is plenty of need for one (or three) PLD’s (Perfect Little Dresses), but not much time to shop! From floor-length showstoppers to sexy, little minis, slip into a frock that will make you look and feel fabulous without stepping out of the comfort of your home.

Mix in a bit of style to your office holiday party attire when donning Ella Moss’ Bianca Tiered Dress, (shown above) available at Nordstrom.

On Christmas Eve, deck yourself out in the Flutter Sleeve Tunic by Max Studio that will keep you both chic and comfortable for a night of mixing, mingling, and eating!

Ring in 2008 with a white-hot bang as you sip champagne and smooch your honey while wearing this Alice + Olivia Tania Beaded Halter Dress. Romance and sophisticated edge is rolled into one look straight out from the racks at Bloomingdales.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New & Noteworthy: Sweet Avenue Cupcakes

By Kathy Shaskan

Sweet Avenue began life as a mail order and catering bakery, specializing in weddings and showers. With the opening of their first retail location in Rutherford, Sweet Avenue has become one of the only cupcakeries in the country specializing in vegan (dairy and egg free) baked goods. Sweet Avenue offers over 25 varieties of cupcakes at any given time on a rotating basis, with more being added almost every week. Everything sold there is made from scratch in small batches. More info here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Monday Muse: Kayt Hester Lent

By Kimberly Baldwin

Jersey City's "it" girl has had quite a year. Her work was featured in many prominent city places, such as the Hudson County Courthouse and the
58 Gallery, and she was even called in to create a special masking tape installation for the Jersey City Museum's front windows.

Kayt Hester Lent's latest works are images of Jackie Kennedy made from hand-torn masking tape. Why Jackie O.? Lent says she, "chose Mrs. Kennedy because she was such a beautiful woman who lived an incredible life." Lent is right, and her gorgeous masking tape recreations tell a magnificent life story in big bold pictures.

See Lent's work alongside
Hiroshi Kumagai, another JC mainstay, in Sticky Fingers, an exhibit at the Grassroots Arts Facility, 43 Christopher Columbus Drive, 3rd Floor, Jersey City. The show runs through January 19, 2008.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Finds: News, views and tips..from you!

By Kathy Shaskan

We just heard some terrific news from the Willow School in Gladstone. Their new building, called "The Barn," has been acknowledged as the greenest building in New Jersey!
(Platinum certification, U.S. Green Building Council.)

The Barn
has an amazing combination of eco-friendly features. It was built with salvaged and recycled materials. It uses rainwater running off the recycled steel roof to flush the toilets. Its wastewater is treated by passing it through a bed of hydroponically grown plants. Daylight is used to supplement electric light. Photovoltaic cells capture solar energy.

Bottom line:
The Barn consumes 70% less energy and requires 50% less electrical lights compared to an identical building constructed to code. Congratulations, Willow School!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Book Beat: Upcoming Book Signings

By Jenniah Caldwell

What is the perfect yuletide gift for the bibliophiles on your holiday shopping list? A signed copy of one of the holiday's hottest books, of course! Here's a listing of upcoming book signings that are sure to make your (and their!) season bright.

Sopranos: The Book: The Complete Deluxe Edition by HBO

Did the ambiguous ending of the Sopranos series leave you feeling bewildered and wanting more? Sopranos: The Book contains 225 pages packed with cast photography, episode guides, and behind the scenes gossip, which will definitely help fill the void. It may even answer some burning questions about the finale -- like, will Meadow ever get her car parked?

Actor Vince Curatola, who played Johnny ‘Sack’ Sacramoni on the mega-hit, will be signing copies of Sopranos: The Book on December 15, 2007 at 1 p.m. at Bookends, East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ.

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon by Garrison Keillor

Pontoon is author Garrison Keillor's latest addition to his Lake Wobegon tales. Lake Wobegon, a fictional Minnesota town made famous by radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, is peopled with a cast of campy and heartwarming residents like Evelyn Peterson, whose secret life and comical adventures are revealed to her family only after her death.

Garrison Keillor will be signing copies of Pontoon on December 16, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. at Mendham Books, East Main Street in Mendham, NJ.

No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, New Jersey’s own bad boy of all-things-epicurean, has taken his taste for exploration and adventurous food on the road on his hit Travel Channel show No Reservations. Around the World on an Empty Stomach is the illustrated companion book to the series, recording Bourdain's travels from the exotic ends of the earth and into his own New Jersey neighborhood. Brash, outspoken, and humorous, Bourdain is considered one of America’s best food writers.

He will be signing copies of Around the World on an Empty Stomach on December 15, 2007 at 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble Tribeca, 97 Warren Street in New York City.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fashion Forward: Clutch and Go

By Leigh Boriskin

With the holiday season upon us in full force, our best party frocks are stepping into high gear. From beaded to tulle, to chiffon-trimming and lace overlays, one final touch will make your outfit pop with sophistication and unrelenting style: The clutch.

Perfectly fitting into the palm of your hand, the evening clutch has little room for error, or anything else for that matter! When grabbing onto this trend, bring only the essentials: keys, cash and gloss, and nothing more.

Stop into Knit Wit in Margate to pick up Moyna’s bronze beaded clutch, which will add just the right amount of sparkle to any outfit.

Add a serious pop of color to your LBD when you carry Lauren Merkin’s fuschia sequined clutch, available at Neiman Marcus at The Mall at Short Hills.

When both silver and delicate ruffles are in the mix, what woman could ask for more? Snag up Santi’s ruffled clutch at Willow St. Boutique in Summit to add a final touch of glam that needs nothing more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New & Noteworthy: Chelsea in Princeton

By Kathy Shaskan

Rhonda Salem is excited about the opening of her new shop in Princeton's Palmer Square. The doors were thrown open just 2 weeks ago at Chelsea, an upscale gift and bridal registry boutique that focuses on designer brands. You'll find Vera Wang, Kate Spade Tabletop (shown above), Michael Aram, Marc Jacobs, Bernardaud, Rosenthal, Kosta Boda, Missoni, Richard Ginori, Jonathan Adler, Ralph Lauren, and Vietri, to name a few. If you're closer to Shrewsbury, you can visit the original store at The Grove. Or, find out more about shopping in Princeton (and score some great deals too).

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Monday Muse: Princeton University Art Museum's Beloved Daughters: Photograhs by Fazal Sheikh

By Kimberly Baldwin

Between now and January 6, 2008 you absolutely must make time to visit the Princeton University Art Museum to see Beloved Daughters: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh. The exhibit is a combination of two of the artist-activist's 2005 projects: photographs and testimonials of dispossessed widows in the northern Indian holy city of Vrindavan that appeared in his fifth book, Moksha (Heaven) and Ladli (Beloved Daughter), a funded project that explored the challenges faced by girls and young women in a fast-changing yet tradition-bound society.

On the surface, you'll find 150 black and white aesthetically beautiful and haunting images. Each photograph is expertly composed and captures the essence of each subject. As you read the accompanying text and learn the stories behind the faces – of the abandonment, forced prostitution, domestic slavery, and murder – you are forced to reconsider your initial reaction to the works. The stories are deeply moving and may come as a shock to many. The exhibit will leave you much more aware and questioning India's retrogressive treatment of women in a time when their economic profile is becoming more contemporary.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Find more exhibits and art events here.