Friday, March 7, 2008

Food Finds: Winter Farmers Market

By Pat Tanner

It seems like a wacky idea: a farmers market in the dead of winter in frosty New Jersey. But three years ago when organizers of two market organizers approached Jim Weaver, head of the Central NJ chapter of Slow Food, to turn over his restaurant, Tre Piani, to the venture, he agreed to open up all three floors (“tre piani” in Italian) on a blustery March Sunday.

To everyone’s delight, about 400 people -- obviously hungry for fresh Garden State produce; eggs, dairy, and meat from pastured animals; artisanal cheeses, breads, ice creams; and other local goodies -- came out that first year. More attended the second and, the organizers now expect, even more will show up this Sunday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Participating farms include Terhune Orchards, Cherry Grove Farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery, and ARC Greenhouses, the producers of Mr. McGregor’s herbs, among other wonders. Also on hand: Farmer Steve Organic Popcorn, Cape May Salt Oysters, Jersey Clams, and Bent Spoon Ice Cream. Prepared foods by Chef/owner Weaver and Tre Piani’s staff, and NJ wines and beers will be available for dining in or taking out. The restaurant’s first floor will resonate with live jazz and will feature cooking demos by Jersey Fresh chefs every hour beginning at 11:15.

Tre Piani Restaurant
Forrestal Village (Route 1)
120 Rockingham Road

For directions, visit

For more information, phone 609.577.5113

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book Beat: Book Sale!

By Kimberly Baldwin

Thousands of book, DVD, CD, video, and video game bargains can be had at the regions largest and most popular event of its kind, the East Brunswick Friends of The Library's 34th Annual Bargain Book and Media Sale, opening Monday, March 31, at the Brunswick Square Mall in the court outside of JC Penney, 755 Route 18 South, East Brunswick.

This year’s sale marks two historic firsts: Opening day admission is now free. What’s more, there’s no waiting until nightfall: Shoppers eager to snap up those bargains can start doing so when the mall opens at 10 a.m.

The sale continues through April 6 during mall hours: weekdays and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cash and checks are accepted for purchases; sorry, no credit cards. An ATM is located within the mall.

Proceeds benefit the Friends of The Library, a nonprofit organization that helps support The Library. For more information, call 732.390.6767 or go to The Library’s website at and click on “News & Events.”

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fashion Forward: Eco-Friendly Fashion

By Courtney Jones

Researchers have found pesticides and chemicals at dangerously high levels in harvested cotton, but you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety. Going green doesn’t have to start with your gas pump -- it can start right in your closet.

Following the recent "go green" phenomenon, many designers are doing their part to contribute to the eco-friendly movement. Everything from bathing suits to denim can be found in earth-conscious materials so you can do your part to help the earth and look stunning while doing it.

Sworn Virgins is a three-year-old line that makes super-soft knits from a mix of pure bamboo and spandex. Their flowing Melanie dress comes in a beautiful shade of plum, and is the perfect evening dress at only $133.

Del Forte specializes in denim, and offers a wide selection of all the latest washes and styles. Their clothes are made from 100% organic cotton. Del Forte’s Flora Estrella wash has a classic look and fit, and is currently marked down to $99 from $190.

Complete your nature-inspired wardrobe with chic accessories. Ananas offers stylish bags made from abaca, a natural fiber found in a plant located in the Phillipines.

Strap yourself in for Beyond Skin’s shimmery T-strap Poppy sandal made from biodegradable synthetic leathers and spun polyester, which has a considerably lower impact on the earth than viscose. This earth-friendly and absolutely lovely shoe can be yours for $546.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New and Noteworthy: Luxe Link

By Kathy Shaskan

If you saw the recent TV reports showing scientists testing the bottoms of women's handbags for dangerous bacteria (and finding alarming quantities), you'll like this little accessory. It’s called the Luxe Link. It’s a hook-like gadget that unwraps and attaches to tables (perfect for restaurants), keeping your bag off the floor. The Luxe Link is available at Beval Saddlery in Gladstone.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Monday Muse: Now is Then: Snapshots from the Maresca Collection

By Kimberly Baldwin

From now through May 11, 2008, view vintage images from America's golden age of snapshot photography at the
Newark Museum. From early portraits to contemporary voyeurism, the 150 works in this exciting exhibition chart the evolution of snapshot art and form an extraordinary document of American life in the first half of the 20th century.

After viewing the exhibition, take notice of the flat-screen monitors on the museum's walls -- these are digital snapshots submitted by the public. Here you'll find present-day documents of our lives, as well as evidence that, while photographic technology changes continually, our needs for snapshots remains constant. Submit your own photograph, or view the current submissions at

The Newark Museum is located at 49 Washington Street, Newark, 973.596.6550. Suggested admission is $9 adults, $6 children, students with valid id, and seniors. Winter-spring gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Image above: Untitled (Dancing Couple), 1945 – 49, gelatin silver print, Gift of Frank Maresca, 2002