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SHREWSBURY: GUILDED GIFTS OF THE SEASON

Angelica._Colored_pencils.Anzhelika Doliba’s pencil portrait “Angelica” (above) and Bob O’Keefe’s stained glass piece “Poe” (below) are among the works on display during the Guild of Creative Art’s Holiday Show 2015. 

Bob O'Keefe's Stained Glass

Bob O’Keefe’s Stained Glass

Long before our neck of Monmouth County could boast its own wine-and-cheese gallery scene or paint-and-sip studio, there was the Guild of Creative Art, the creative collective that’s watched the contemporary landscape of the greater Red Bank area take shape over the past 55 years, from the window of its ever-fascinating house on Shrewsbury’s Route 35 main drag.

This Sunday, December 13, the evergreen local treasure welcomes the public to a yearly happening that stands as a complement to the hustle and bustle of the surrounding stores and stripmalls: the annual All-Member Holiday Show.

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RED BANK: GARAGE SALE TO BENEFIT KIDS

rb clay st. 111815Ray Rapcavage, developer of 22 proposed townhomes in Red Bank, is planning a charity garage sale this Saturday on the Clay Street side of the site, which also fronts on Harding Road and Hudson Avenue. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Red Bank chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, Rapcavage tells redbankgreen.

The sale features “hundreds of items” stored in the garages that front on Clay, Rapcavage said, including building supplies — such as windows, barn flooring and columns  as well as bicycles, children’s clothing, and toys. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A hearing on Rapcavage’s building proposal is scheduled resume at the zoning board meeting on December 3. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ANTIQUES & DIGITIZATION @RBPL

rb library 1 040913Collectibles can be appraised, and records preserved, during a daylong event at the library. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

History and nostalgia will mix and mingle at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday, October 17, when an antiques-roadshow-style event crosses paths with a records-digitization project.

One part of the event, dubbed “What’s In Your Attic?” and organized by the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library, connects local residents with expert appraisers to offer value estimates on antiques and collectibles.

The other enables patrons to preserve their own photos, films and other memorabilia on digital media.

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RED BANK: GIVE OR TAKE, IT’S ALL FREE

242 Spring st. rbGet a taste of the gift economy on Spring Street in Red Bank Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

free market logoGot stuff lying around the house or workplace that you’d like to give a new home?

Or are you in the market for stuff, and don’t mind if it’s used?

The folks behind a venture called Treasure Circle will hold an event in Red Bank on Saturday that may be of interest.

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RED BANK: PRESERVATION EFFORTS LAUDED

65 wallace 091515The home of Paul and Nancy Cagno, at the corner of Wallace and Mount streets, above, and the circa 1903 mansion that’s now the office of Smallwood Wealth Management, at 199 Broad Street, below, were among the four structures cited. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

199 broad 091515Three Broad Street buildings and a home in the historic district won kudos from the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission at a ceremony Tuesday night.

Kicking off what members hope to become an annual series, the commission honored property owners in four categories for “adding to the value of Red Bank by adding to the character” of the town, in the words of Chairwoman Michaela Ferrigine.

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SANDY HOOK: BACKERS HOPE TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass house 070415 2The Sandlass House, at the entrance to Sandy Hook, is the subject of a campaign by a new preservation group, whose logo is shown below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

save sandlass logo

The last remnant of a Sandy Hook beach club that was the subject of a Fair Haven man’s nostalgic documentary earlier this year now has a support group.

Chris Brenner tells redbankgreen that his video gave rise to an effort to save the Sandlass House, which overlooks  the Shrewsbury River from the site of a long-demolished resort called Highland Beach and is slated for demolition.

Supporters plan to press their case for preserving the structure this Friday in Shrewsbury.

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RED BANK: CHURCH CONVERSION COMPLETED

211 broad 072815 5Space beneath the steeple, complete with spiral staircase, is now an office. The new First Church of Christ, Scientist worship space, below, is a fraction of the original size (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 072815Red Bank’s First Church of Christ, Scientist has a new home, just off to the side of its former one, and some new neighbors.

This week, and right on schedule, lawyers, healthcare providers, a ribbon manufacturer and a boudoir photographer started moving into 211 Broad Street, the steepled structure that was a church for 62 years. Read More »

RED BANK: SHOWDOWN AT THE OL’ CAR CORRAL

rb firefighter car showMore than a year after a bittersweet move from their hundred-year old firehouse, the members of Liberty Hose Fire Company return to White Street once more this Sunday, for the annual Red Bank Firefighters (a.k.a. Doc Holiday) Car Show. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

It was a center-of-the-street faceoff worthy of the original Old West legend Doc Holliday – one that didn’t play out in favor of Red Bank’s Liberty Hose fire company, which had to “get out of Dodge” when the borough auctioned off its century-old White Street firehouse in 2014 (as reported here on redbankgreen).

Undaunted, the past and present members of Liberty Hose, since relocated to the First Aid building on Spring Street, reconvened in front of their historic headquarters last July for the continuation of a local summertime tradition: the annual Red Bank Firefighters Car Show – also known as the Robert “Doc” Holiday Car Show, in honor of a fondly remembered volunteer responder of bygone decades.

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SANDY HOOK: LOST RESORT REVIVED ON VIDEO

Chris Brenner, below, made the above video to shed light on a vanishing piece of Sandy Hook history.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

chris brennerFair Haven resident Chris Brenner was fishing the Shrewsbury River one day last summer when low tide exposed the vestiges of a pier on the western side of Sandy Hook.

Brenner knew what the pier had been: part of a sprawling resort called Highland Beach that thrived for some 80 years years at that location. His mother, Jill, and late father, Ted, had even met there in the 1940s, at a popular bar called the Bamboo Room.

But looking to his right, as a stream of cars brought visitors across the Route 36 Azzolina Bridge to a park that’s now part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area, Brenner wondered to himself: How many of those people even know what was once here?

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RED BANK: HIGH-END ANTIQUES SHOP DEBUTS

stillwell 042315 2Paul Gallagher, left, and Ron Knox in their new art and antiques shop, which opens Friday.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s arts and antiques district took a serious hit  with the closing of Monmouth Antique Shoppes to make way for the West Side Lofts residences at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue three years ago.

Yes, many of the dealers who shared the collective’s space found refuge in the Gizzi family’s Riverbank Antiques just down the street, and the umbrella business found a new home in Asbury Park. But the optics, as they say, were less than ideal. The demolition of the building gouged a huge hole in the district, which for years had thrived in part on the ability of shoppers to stroll from one sprawling emporium to another.

But the change created opportunity, the first fruit of which is detailed in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RUMSON: EVERYTHING’S JUST DUCKY, THANKS

TwoRiversEx2014Decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art from the region’s top carvers and artists are on display and for sale during the annual Two Rivers Exhibition, coming to Forrestdale School on Saturday. 

For enthusiasts of such craft, it’s the real deal — particularly if you find the guys from Duck Dynasty either too dag-nasty, or simply a bunch of quacks.

When the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association hosts its annual Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art in Rumson on Saturday, it will once again represent the finest one-stop collection of hand-carved decoys, shorebirds and related wildlife art created by some of the region’s best sculptors – including John Hanson, Dennis Jenny, Keith Salkeld, David Thibault, Rob Wilson – all of it on display and on sale.

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CHURN: ON TIME FOR RED, BUT LATE FOR BLU

la orquidea 021315La Orquidea opened for business Thursday, just in time for the Valentine’s Day rush. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn notes the passing of a torch on Red Bank’s West Side.

The longtime former home of Johnny’s Jazz Market, vacant since the death of butcher Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta four years ago, finally has a new tenant. And the proprietor of the new Shrewsbury Avenue shop, called La Orquidea, is someone who may be familiar to patrons of another former Red Bank favorite, the River’s Edge Café.

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CHURN: A COUNTDOWN CLOCK & A BULL’S EYE

rb blue 011015 2The website of Blu Bistro features a digital clock ticking off the seconds to the opening date. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds acres of wallboard transforming spaces on the loosely defined West Side of Red Bank these days.

That means lots of new businesses on the horizon in coming months – or in the case of one new restaurant, days, hours, minutes and seconds.

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RED BANK: ANTIQUES CO-OP HITS MIDDLE AGE

guy johnson 071713 2antiques 2Born in the final year of the Baby Boom, the Antique Center of Red Bank, said to be the oldest continually operating antiques cooperative in America, turns 50 this month.

The late Nan Johnson, an antiques lover who found herself with too much stuff after redecorating her Lincroft home, launched the venture with 12 dealers in an old Red Bank clothing factory in 1964, and it eventually grew to comprise three massive buildings anchoring the borough’s Antiques District.

Now scaled back to two spaces run by her son, Guy Johnson, above, the center plans a celebration this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with refreshments and bargains at 195 and 226 West Front Street.  Dozens more photos can be seen at redbankgreen‘s Flickr page. (Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: DOLL FANCY AND A DASH OF HISTORY

111614 girlstea5111614 girlstea1In honor of Jewish Book Month, dozens of girls gathered at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson Sunday for a tea party centered on American Girl character Rebecca Rubin.

The doll’s fictional backstory is that she’s the American-born daughter of Russian immigrants living on New York’s Lower East Side in 1914. And for some of the real girls in attendance, the event was an occasion to dress up like Rebecca, while others emulated different dolls in the American Girl line, including a Nez Perce Native American doll named Kaya from 1764. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)