have you had your dojo mojo today?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


It's true. The wait is over. The Critics Poll 2005 is up -- here and here.

Keep checking Tris' site this week, he'll be updating it with new articles and lists each day.

Monday, January 30, 2006


There's this building that has been under construction for nearly a year, and its basement [like many other basements in DoJo] gets flooded each time it rains. The difference, however, is that most of not all occupied buildings in downtown have sump pumps and drainage systems that remove the accumulated rainwater. This building, as you can see, does not.

I wonder if the MLS listing will include "indoor pool" as one of the property's amenities.


Week one of HRW is over, but don't fret; we have another week of tasty prix-fixe treats! I was only able to check out two JC restaurants last week, but boy oh boy were they good!


Edward's Steakhouse

Next week's list:

Sunday, January 29, 2006


It's been a while since I'd last been on the Carnival, mainly because I have been remiss in checking my DoJo Mojo email. So this week I submitted not one, or two, but three links to SmadaNek, who 1) thinks I am male, 2) thinks I am psychic, and 3) did a wonderful in this week's Carnival.

Get thee to the Carnival!

In other news, I ran into the the magnanimous Tris McCall, who was at Beechwood with some colleagues last night, diligently working on the latest Critics' Poll. I can't wait to see what they've come up with.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Today is Yoga Day USA, and many centers throughout the country are offering either free or reduced-price classes all day to raise awareness about and encourage the public to discover yoga.

Here are some of the participating locations in JC:

Yoga Shunya
275 Grove Street
3rd Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Yoga Day USA - Free Intro Class
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Elaine Hansen, Instructor

Dr. Albert Ellis Institute fundraiser
35 River Drive South
Jersey City, NJ
Everyone willing or curious to practice yoga.
Saturday, Feb. 18th 5 ~ 7pm
Donation $20/person
Pre~register at Newport Swim & Fitness

Yoga Kids International
Public School #17
Jersey City, New Jersey
Teachers and Parents
Taste of YogaKids
Friday, Feb 3, 8 am to 3 pm
Diane Burstein

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I need to change just changed my blogger settings so I will get email notifications whenever someone comments on this blog. I can't believe I missed this comment, and consequently missed this event.

Anyway, there's a new novel about Jersey City, which I think I will add to my brand-spankin' new book club's list.

Synopsis below:

Meet Mary Noland (nee Morelli), a tough-talking Jersey City native who comes of age during the turbulent 1970s. Marrying young to escape her parents, Mary finds herself shipwrecked by life with her philandering husband. Financially dependent on but emotionally abandoned by him, struggling to raise their two young sons virtually alone, Mary finally hits rock bottom. How she pulls herself up by her bootstraps is the story she tells in this remarkable debut. And the lives she touches en route to independence--giving a nun a makeover, bringing joy to a group of valium-addled housewives, going into business with her colorful host of Mafioso relatives--are testaments to the huge heart, generous spirit, and unflinching insight that make Mary unforgettable.
[via Fernham]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Last year, I fell in love with the Rebecca Vallejo Project. This year, I discovered Bryan Beninghove. Where are the rest of the JC jazz cats hiding? A few more and we can have our own JC jazz festival!


I am so sad to learn that Zen Garage on Grove Street is currently holding its closing sale. I remember when it was literally housed in a 2-car garage on Mercer Street, across from the old [and now-defunct] thrift shop. When it moved to Grove, one block from the PATH station, I was ecstatic and had great hopes for it.

Owner Marcelo Kruschewky is such a nice fellow with exquisite taste, and shares my penchant for travel, art, and of course, shopping. He once said,
“I tried to make [Jersey City] another artistic destination ... because the whole area is so diverse.” With his shop, he helped beautify Grove Street, supported local artists and, if I remember correctly, even opened up his home for a "Posh Places" feature in Chilltown magazine.

I hope the garage is reincarnated someplace else in JC in the near future. If you have some free time and need to purchase a gift or something nice for your home, say hi to Marcelo and help him sell off his inventory. The sale ends, and Zen Garage will close its doors permanently this Sunday, January 29th.

Zen Garage
302A Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ


JC in the blogosphere:

Monday, January 23, 2006


I stopped by Rachel yesterday afternoon to pick up some late lunch and dessert and found jazz guitarist Nobuki Takame and pianist Hitoshi Kanda playing acoustic. Lite jazz and a light Mediterranean meal was a perfect mix for a lazy Sunday afternoon. They're playing at Kavehaz in Chelsea in a few weeks and I might just go and check them out at my old stomping grounds.

Nobuki Takamen Group
Live at Kavehaz
February 9th Thursday
6:00 - 8:30 PM (2 sets)

No cover charge ($10 minimum)
37 West 26th Street
New York, NY

281 Grove Street
Jersey City


I have spent many a day [and night] at the old St. Francis Hospital in Hamilton Park. It was my friends' alma mater, and consequently the site of many nursing school dorm room sleepovers. It was also the second home for my parents, who were members of the Secular Franciscan Order, and the center where they held regional meetings, administered last rites to dying Catholic patients, held Catechism classes, and assisted in Communion rites at the first floor chapel.

Today, St. Francis is an abandoned shell of a once vibrant hospital, nursing school and community center. The former hospital, along with two parcels, are being converted into 300 new condos and apartments mixed with some commercial retail space. The proposed development has many JC residents concerned, and prompted the creation of a watchdog committee. Visit the 25mc Watchdog Group website for details and updates on the project.


Hoboken-based fashionista turned realtor Judy Marciano checked out some local shops and properties this weekend. She fed her soul, looked at some multi-family properties, enjoyed the grand view, and got hungry like everybody else.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Hudson Restaurant Week is back for its second year, and it's gotten bigger and better.

For ten weekdays, about forty restaurants in Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne and Secaucus will offer prix-fixe lunches for $15 and dinners for $30 (excluding tip, tax and beverage). The kickoff party is set for Tuesday night at Oddfellows in DoJo, and I suggest you RSVP to be included in the guestlist.

For a list of the participating JC restaurants and their individual prix-fixe menus, click here.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Homeowners all over Jersey City have been reeling over their their first-quarter tax bills, which were sent out earlier this month. Although the actual amount of the tax increase is yet to be determined by the city, most if not all 2006 Q1 tax bills have already reflected as much as a 50% increase over last year's Q1.

Jerome Lazarus, a former employee of the city's finance department who says he hasn't missed a Jersey City municipal budget meeting in more than half a century, has more than a little fiscal knowledge.

And Jersey City, he says, has reached "a crisis in its finances."

Full Jersey Journal story here. Also, read the tax hike discussion by local downtown residents on JCList here.

[Image created by Justiceiro via JCList]

Thursday, January 19, 2006


A Lehman College sociologist living in Jersey City comments on 99 cent shops:

[.....] I have come to develop a begrudging respect for the 99 cent store. I shop in them. And sometimes I just go in to browse. I find them no less fascinating a social space than shopping malls, and I find the products that they sell to be like little case studies of global capitalism. And like most people, I also enjoy getting a bargain.
More here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


If you are looking to purchase locally grown organic produce, meet Downtown Harvest, Jersey City's own community supported agriculture, or what some call a food co-op (though apparently there is a huge difference).

Open enrollment is scheduled for next Thursday, January 26, 7:30 PM at OLC Church Hall at 120 Sussex Street.
This season's farmer is John Krueger of Starbrite Farm, Hardwick, NJ

Information from http://www.downtownharvest.org:

Downtown Harvest CSA is an initiative begun in 2004 by members of OLC, (Our Lady of Czestochowa Church) who want to enjoy fresh, organic produce, grow a more direct relationship with our community (Jersey City, NJ) and the earth, and source and foster sustainable agriculture. We hope that people expressing a desire for membership of this CSA share our values and appreciate this spiritual connection with all heavenly bodies - including our own!

Traditionally, a CSA, (Community Supported Agriculture,) is defined as a group of people who join together to help financially support a small-scale, local farmer in exchange for nutritious and fresh, organic produce. Not only do we intend to help grow a farmer's crops by financial means, but we also aspire to grow our relationship with the farmer and his/her family by understanding their ecologically-sound methods of farming, their trials and tribulations and by building new friendships.

In exchange for the support of our members, Downtown Harvest commits to:

  • Provide weekly fresh produce throughout the season.

  • Ensure the crops are weekly harvested as close to the pick-up times as possible so that members receive the freshest possible produce, filled with the highest value of health and nutrient content.

  • Ensure optimization of the earth's natural resources.

Some details:
  • A full share is $425 and a half share is $215. If you consider the cost over the season, it represents good value for fresh picked organic produce.
  • Pickups will be from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm in front of the OLC convent at 180 Grand Street. Shares that are not picked up will be donated to a local charity who will use it to feed people in need.


ON THE OUTS is a dramatic narrative feature based upon the real stories of girls from the streets and juvenile jail, who lent their voices and unique stories to the filmmakers. These are girls who struggle with all the highs and lows of teenage life in an inner-city world that makes its own rules.

The film follows the lives of three central characters from the same Jersey City neighborhood: Oz, 17, is a tough drug dealer with her own corner and the street's respect, who struggles to keep her family intact. Suzette, the sheltered 15 year old daughter of a single mother, whose first teenage crush has life changing repercussions, and Marisol, 17, a single mother who fights both her own demons and the uncompromising world of foster care to keep her child.

A drug dealer. An addict. A runaway. The story of 3 girls.
In theaters (except Jersey City) this Friday, January 20.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Who knew there was a hookah bar right here in Jersey City? Apparently everyone but me. It'd been years since I last smoked a narghile/shisha/hookah, so this weekend, I joined some old & new friends at Abbey's, the site of our flavored tobacco orgy. Good times.

Abbey's Pub and Hookah Bar
407 Monmouth Street (corner Third Street)
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 963-3334

Friday, January 13, 2006


Come on now, don't be shy. Show your Jersey City pride!

[In case you all were wondering, no, these are not my designs. I may come up with some in a week or two, though.]


"A lot of people want to get off of work, have a drink and a smoke and watch some pretty girls. There's nothing wrong with that."

Overheard: "Is that a cigarette in your pocket or are you just excited see me?"

This is non-DoJo-specific, but apparently there was a 100-stripper march in Trenton yesterday, in which exotic dancers defiantly puffed on their cigarettes in revealing outfits
on the steps of the Statehouse.

I don't know what's funnier: that only 20 strippers (with 400 other protestors/gawkers) showed up, or that Gov. Codey claimed, "i
t's been a long time since I've been in one of those establishments."

More photos here. Video of NBC report here.

In other Jersey news, come see what the new NJ slogan is. Feel free to comment with your witty comebacks. In the meantime, I think I'm going to order one of these babies for myself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Here are a couple of sites relating to music made in Jersey City:

EDIT: http://wfmu.org/ *

For individual band or musician sites, see the music links on the right.

* Thanks to Glenn for the reminder!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006



Bryan Beninghove Trio
10:00 PM
The Lamp Post Bar & Grill
2nd st bet Monmouth & Brunswick St
201 222-1331
No Cover


The Arthouse Open Mic
Jersey City's longest running Performance Nite/Open Mic
Featuring Award-Winning Poet and Journalist
Suffolk County's First Poet Laureate, Editor of Poetrybay
and Co-Host of PoetryBrook Radio Show at WUSB
$3 admission, refreshments available
Victory Hall Cultural Center
186 Grand St (at Marin Blvd.)
Jersey City, NJ

The Waterbug Hotel Freeform Gathering
(formerly Words&Music)
@ The Waterbug Hotel (annex) 10pm-1:30am
7 Erie St., Jersey City
(Located in the downtown area, mins from NYC and 1 blk west of the Grove St. Path stop)


Open Mike at Sweet Priscilla Friday's
9-11 pm
Sweet Priscilla 530 Jersey Ave. (btw. Newark Ave & Chris Columbus)


Day Trip to Metropolitan Museum of Art
9:00am - 4:00pm
The Friends of Hamilton Park are planning a trip to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC on Saturday January 7th.
You're invited to join us to meet new people and to view some priceless art at this world famous museum.
For more information, contact Janet Allen at 201-388-4506.
Meet at Basic in Hamilton Park

Film at Grace Special Event
Garth Kobal, curator of Film at Grace, will present his experimental film NATURTRANE to kick off the New Year and to mark his 40th birthday.
Acoustic musical guests Karen Davis and Robert Gibbons will perform as well as percusssionist Cat Lombardi.
An assortment of food and drink will be on hand. In lieu of birthday presents, guests are encouraged to make a donation of $10 or less to support programs at Grace Church Van Vorst.
2nd Street & Erie Street

Family Workshop: Silk Screening and Stencil Fun
Jersey City Museum -- Saturday, January 7, 1-3pm. Learn about silk screening and look at examples of prints in the galleries; then make a stencil and use it to make a silk screen print (Girl Scouts will work towards their Prints & Graphics Badge).
Brownies and younger children will learn to mix colors and use them to create designs from stencils and stamps they have made (Brownies: Colors & Shapes Try It project).
Family admission: $8, call 201-413-0303 x141. Girl Scouts & Brownies call 973-746-8200 to register through the Girl Scout office.
Jersey City Museum
350 Montgomery Street


Spirit of Life Ensemble Performs Live @ Victory Hall
“Continue bringing in the New Year with a ‘Jazzfull’ afternoon of live music! Superb Jazz Venue without having to go to New York...”
Victory Hall Cultural Center
186 Grand Street - Jersey City –NJ
(Corners of Grand/ Marin - Parking Available)
Spirit of Life Ensemble World Class Musicians & Comedian Bob Farley
$15. @ Door – ($5 off Senior/Students with ID) $12 advance www.paypal.com ID Acct - rupriseup@verizon.net
For more Info Call: 201-333-7950 / 551 580-1224 (recorded message) www.victoryhall.org