Tag Archives: New Jersey

Confessions of a Jersey Shore fan – Outing myself to Jersey Shore locals (and still feeling a little dirty afterwards)

3 Feb

Ok, I have a confession to make.  And it’s been a long time coming, but…

I am a fan of MTV’s Jersey Shore. And I SHOULDN’T be.  But I am.  There, I said it.

Cannot freakin’ wait to see what antics those lovable train-wrecks are going to get into tonight. (I think tonight’s episode focuses on Ron-Ron is getting an anal probe!)

Thanks to the casties of MTV’s Jersey Shore I have learned:

  • New euphemisms for referencing intimate relations and female body parts.
  • How to be a good wingman.  Grenade Whistles for all!
  • That the cast is a walking PSA for safe sex/abstinence.  Seriously, kids…this show should make you want to RUN to your parents and slap on that ol’ purity ring.  Yeah, that’s right Selena Gomez…I’m talking to you…take it easy and slow with the Bieb-ster.
  • That Snooki and Deena’s definition and personification of “being classy” makes the porn star who recently went on an all-night cocaine bender with Charlie Sheen look like Mother Teresa.
  • Kitchen Ditchin’…nuff, said.

I know I am not alone. Eight million viewers tuned in last week, giving MTV’s its highest ratings for a primetime show EVER.  The Snooki-fication of the country has become an interesting “Situation.”   (Did you know that Chuck Schumer saw Snooki at Reagan National, waved, said hello…AND SHE DIDN”T KNOW WHO HE WAS AND IGNORED HIM???)

So as you can imagine… I now have to use discretion when the inevitable subject of where I live is broached. And the enormous pop-culture relevancy that Jersey Shore has become has spawned trickle-down fall-out effects on the locals who actually call the Jersey Shore home.  Here are various scenarios that I have encountered in the last few months since the show’s debut.

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Blizzards & Blogging…making the best of a snowy situation and avoiding cabin fever

29 Dec

Wow, has it really been over two weeks since my last post???  Sorry, kids…between finishing up my grad project (got an “A”, thank you), holiday craziness, etc. , the time there seemed like it was slip-sliding away for a bit.

Until now, that is.

Winter Wonderland, my ass.

The Blizzard of 2010 (the post-Christmas Nor’easter which dumped over 30″ of snow on the Jersey Shore) has caused most New Jersey residents to take an extended pause.  Three days after the Boxing Day Blizzard (cute, huh?), it’s still terrible out there.  Major NJ highways are still closed due to abandoned cars that hindered snow plowing efforts.  Many residential streets are also not plowed, and some residents are still affected by power outages.   Grocery stores and gas stations are also affected due to delivery trucks being unable to make the daily rounds.

I am thankful to say that my family and I are not among those poor souls without power or food.  (That would be bad.)  Over the past three days, we have shoveled out half of our long driveway – enough for a one car-width path to back out to the street.  With my OCD personality, I calculated that we moved about a ton of snow…maybe more (think about a 10-lb scoop of snow and multiply that by 200 scoops…trust me, I was keeping track.)  And, I probably burned as many calories as a one-hour spin class!

It hasn’t been that bad, a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.  (Except if I see one more Eyewitness News people-on-the-street interview of oblivious Upper West Siders who think the snow is “marvelous, we took baby Sophie for her first sleigh ride in Central Park..isn’t that a novelty har har”, I may puke.

My Mink Coat and Ski Mask shoveling ensemble. The Michelob hat adds a nice touch. Too much?

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This Thanksgiving, pay it forward with a Delicious Orchards pie…or a flock of geese…or a camel.

20 Nov

I’m still in a warm and fuzzy half-life mood since my outing to Ichiban on Wednesday (see my previous post about our amazing pre-Thanksgiving maki miracle).  Simple human kindness can really stem from any number of ways.    This week I’ve been paying a little more attention….holding doors for people…actually remembering to send birthday cards (I’m really terrible at this…and usually realize until it’s way to late to even send a belated birthday card)…surprising a random someone with a coffee treat at Starbucks Coffee during the Starbucks Buy One Get One coffee event (ends tomorrow 11/21).

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a total holiday epiphany (I won’t be serving Who-Hash to little Cindy Hoo-Hoo in Who-ville while wearing a Santa hat anytime soon…I’ve always been a little “Grinch-y” about the holidays).  But I have remembered that there is kindness in the world, and I’m trying to keep that cycle going a little bit.  And the holiday season seems so apropos for this sentiment.

I am still inspired to “pay it forward”.     If you are inclined to do the same, I have a couple good suggestions.

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We don’t stink as much as you think we do – JerseyDoesntStink.com

15 Nov

The grassroots campaign that is standing up to uphold New Jersey‘s good name – JerseyDoesntStink.com

I have to thank my one of my besties, Maureen, for giving me the inspiration for today’s post. 

She and her awesome hubby, Barry, were driving back towards their home in Brooklyn this past Sunday, after an enjoyable day of suburban shopping in the Garden State.  (Tax-free clothing purchases in NJ, y’all…TAKE THAT, HATERS!)  She noticed JerseyDoesntStink.com billboards dotting the NJ Turnpike somewhere around Newark Airport/Port Elizabeth  (Which really, JerseyDoesntStink.com people, was a sh***y place to put that billboard up.  Actually, it DOES stink there.  Didn’t you know that the city of Elizabeth is affectionately referred to as the “armpit of New Jersey”?)

I decided to check it out.  If a grassroots campaign devoted to praising NJ is taking out billboards on the Turnpike, they must have something to say. Continue reading

A slice of home…Jersey’s Taylor Ham Pork Roll

14 Nov

Pork Roll in a Skillet

Ok…it just didn’t feel kosher for me to write this post on Taylor Ham (pork roll…a beloved New Jersey delicacy) yesterday.

Yes, I am a “Jewbie” (my self-appointed moniker as a recent convert to “The Tribe”), and I have been known to enjoy bacon now and then. (Why is it that bacon makes everything taste better???  Hmm…some habits die hard).

And I think it would have been a major no-no to write a post about a pork product (read: NON KOSHER) on the Jewish Sabbath.

But, I would be remiss and irresponsible blogger if I did not share with you the NJ culinary treasure that is indeed Taylor Ham Pork Roll.

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WTF?!? Angelina Pivarnick from Jersey Shore releases new rap single, “I’m Hot”

13 Nov

Ummm…there are really no words to describe this.   Angelina Pivarnick, the most-hated Snooki-fighting, gold-digging, obnoxious roommate from MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore, has decided to capitalize on her fleeting 15 minutes of fame by releasing this atrocious single…”I’m Hot”.

Disclaimer: Please let me clarify by saying that Angelina is NOT from New Jersey (sorry, Staten Island…you can have her)…and that her otherwise “talents”, do not embody the awesomeness that is the REAL Jersey Shore.   And apparently, even Angelina thinks the song is atrocious, as the New York Daily News indicates.

I’d say for Angelina to stick to her day job…but I’m not really sure what that day job is!

What do you think of Angelina’s new single?

Nicole Atkins – some of the best music you’ve never heard returns to NJ

11 Nov

Nicole Atkins

One of my favorite singer/songwriters is born and bred here on the Jersey Shore, and will be performing at the South Orange Performing Arts Center this Saturday, November 13.  And, no I’m not talking about Bruce (although I realize he would probably be the first one to come to mind).

I’m referencing Nicole Atkins, born in Neptune City, NJ and currently residing in Asbury Park.    She has a fantastic voice…deep, soulful and a little 1960’s retro.  Critics have dubbed her a singing style a cross between Roy Orbison and Jenny Lewis.

Atkins career gained momentum after Columbia Records scouted one of her many her open mic performances in NYC’s Lower East Side.  In 2006, she assembled a band, Nicole Atkins & The Sea, and released an EP, Bleeding Diamonds.  The following year, an LP, Neptune City was released, as well as a cover LP, “Nicole Atkins Digs Other People’s Songs”.  A new LP, “Mondo Amore” will be released in January 2011.

I’ve seen her twice; once in 2008 at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan, NJ, and once in 2009 at Asbury Park’s legendary Stone Pony.  Both times, Nicole gave performances that were simultaneously electric, lively and grounded.

This weekend, she’ll be supporting Aimee Mann (another songwriter who I love) at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, NJ.    I won’t be able to attend this time, but if you’re looking to hear some new talent, be sure to check it out!


 

awwww yeah…it’s Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Nov. 4-14!

2 Nov

Jersey Shore Restaurant Logo

One of my favorite events on the Jersey Shore is Jersey Shore Restaurant Week (*), which is taking place this year from November 4-14.

As a Jersey Shore “Local” (year-round resident), I love the quiet months of October thru May, when summer tourists, summer residents and the “Bennies” pack up and leave.  Not that I don’t appreciate how they stimulate a mostly tourist-based economy, but I appreciate the silence, the shorter lines and the lack of New York license plates.

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week is like a “thank you” to the Locals and me.  In exchange for putting up with all the summer craziness, I get one week of access to over 65 amazing restaurants (that actually serve great food) at cheap prix-fixe pricing.

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A Healthy Debate on a not so healthy food…Hot Dogs

21 Oct

Sometimes it seems like NJ residents can be more divided than a blue or red state!

-The Boss or Bon Jovi?  (No crossing party lines.)

-When you’re going to The City, do you mean Philadelphia or New York? (That designates if you are from South Jersey or North Jersey.)

-The Windmill or Max’s?

For long term Jersey Shore residents and tourists alike, the mere mention of Windmill Hot Dogs or Max’s Famous Hot Dogs elicits fierce, passionate arguments about which establishments serve the finest hot dogs.

Forget Coney Island’s Nathan’s franks…forget the New York City “dirty water dogs”…forget the Italian-style hot dogs popularized by North Jersey restaurants (Yes, there is a North Jersey, dear Virginia, but that’s a story for another time).    Entirely different entity.

Windmill and Max’s hot dogs are classic, open face grilled, charred and split open to perfection.   They are considered the classic “boardwalk” food staple.  Even this Jersey Girl who swears off most processed food, soda, dairy and red meat will succumb to this salty, mega-calorie, belly buster once every few months.

So let’s weigh the options:

A Max’s Fan Testimonial:

Best Dog around!
Max’s is near the beach in Long Branch. It is a big quarter lb Schickhaus beef/pork dog slow cooked on a griddle. Delicious and one of the best beef and pork dogs in the state. In fact, I would put Max’s right up there with the Galloping Hill Inn in Union as the best of this type. About a block away in Long Branch is the Windmill. They also have about a dozen other locations spread out across the state. I know they have one in Hazlet. A good dog with a very tough casing. I prefer Max’s. A little more flavor than the Windmill.
By John Fox: avid hot dog eater for 40 years.  Brings wife & children.  Lives in California

For Team Windmill

Zagat Readers 2008 and 2009 declare “There’s nothing better than a crackling hot frank off the grill at this NJ hotdog haven”

Playing both sides – Bruce Springsteen’s Rock & Roll Manifesto

“Our love of all things American…cheeseburgers, baseball and hot dogs at Max’s and the Windmill.”

If you ever find yourself on the Shore, be sure to taste test them yourself and decide for yourself!

Can’t get to Jersey?  Windmill will ship their hot dogs to anywhere in the country.

p.s. (I’m a Windmill girl, myself!)

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