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FAIR HAVEN: WALK & BIKE PLAN ON TABLE

Among changes recommended in the draft plan is an expansion of sidewalk coverage in town. Below, Councilman Jon Peters with residents at Monday’s event. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents and business got their latest opportunity Monday night to weigh in on host of walking-and-biking infrastructure proposals that could serve as a blueprint for decades to come.

The informational session, which preceded the borough council’s regular semimonthly meeting, was focused on the latest version of a draft document called the Pedestrian and Bike Active Transportation Plan.

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RUMSON: DUCKS DELUXE, AT 4TH ANNUAL EXPO

The work of Pennsylvania-based woodcarver Karl Yankey (above) is spotlighted…and the decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art takes center stage…when the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday. 

To fans of a certain “niche” sort of hobby, it’s an event worth traveling hundreds of miles for — while to the more casual enthusiast, it’s a best-kept-secret, right-in-our-backyard bit of local color that, well, beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some damp and lonesome duck blind.

It’s the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art, a happening that comes to Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) for its fourth annual edition this Saturday, March 11. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the school’s all-purpose room becomes a gallery space in which some of the region’s finest woodcarvers and wildlife artists get their ducks in a row, in a day hosted by the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association in association with the Monmouth County chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

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FAIR HAVEN: A ‘YELP’ FOR PARENTS AND KIDS

alex-skove-cathy-goldin-kidgooroo-102616-1Alex Skove and Cathy Goldin, founders of Kidgooroo, at Booskerdoo in Fair Haven last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to turn frustration into gold, two women from the Greater Red Bank Green have taken on the challenge of helping parents identify the best available extracurricular programs for their children.

Think of their online service, called Kidgooroo, as a kind of Yelp for harried moms and dads.

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RED BANK: JAMIAN’S HOSTS ‘COMIC BOOK MEN’

jamians-doorscomic-book-menJamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street in Red Bank will host a season-six premiere party Saturday for “Comic Book Men,” the AMC cable show set in film director Kevin Smith‘s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, on Broad Street.

The free-admission party begins at 8:30 p.m. and, weather permitting, will include a screenings of classic episodes on the back patio. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

CRAVINGS: GOOEY SATISFACTION IN A BOX

100316jrs-crave2Side orders from Jr’s: bacon burger cheese fries and sweet potato fries.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsWhat do when you’re in the middle of a hot, late-night game of Magic: the Gathering and the munchies hit you?

There aren’t a lot of after-hours choices on the Greater Green, but gamers like Connor Murphy-Smith have gotten into the habit of ordering online from Jr’s in Red Bank to quell their cravings, whether they’re at home or playing at Hobbymasters in Red Bank or the Comic Crypt in Shrewsbury.

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RUMSON: GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW

duck Two Rivers ExhibitionDecoys, shorebirds and wildlife art (above) are the stars of the show…and artist-author David Rhodes (below) is the special guest exhibitor…as the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday. 

David RhodesIt’s one of those best-kept-secret events that keep local life here on the greater Green so worthy of continued exploration — and for enthusiasts of a certain sort of niche craft, it’s an excursion that sure beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some lonesome duck blind.

Back for its third annual edition this Saturday, March 12, the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art  commandeers the all-purpose room of Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for a one-stop occasion in which some of the finest carvers of decoys and shorebirds from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland will compete for Best in Show honors (entries to be judged on anatomy, originality, likeness to species, and proper flotation). Also offered will be wildlife-themed art (watercolor, acrylic, oils, photographs, metal, pottery and more), artist demos, antique decoy appraisals, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and lunch menu — a must-see “if you love birds, are interested in learning about the history of decoys or simply enjoy nature and delight in seeing all the beauty it has to offer.”

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FAIR HAVEN / RUMSON: BIKE LANES AWAIT

fh bike lane 121215Both a bicyclist and an approaching a jogger appeared shy recently about using a new bike lane on the Little Silver side of Harding Road, seen here from Tower Hill in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03To go along with their shiny new Christmas bikes, cyclists on the Greater Red Bank Green have a new riding course: 2.8 miles of freshly minted  bike lanes through Rumson and Fair Haven.

Marked with share-the-road “sharrow” icons, heavy white lines and signage, the lanes call attention to the presence of bikers in an effort to improve safety, says Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who advocated for them.

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RED BANK: MYSTERY-FILLED “HOUSE” TO OPEN

tone purzycki 071415Anthony ‘Tone’ Purzycki plans to create an immersive, puzzle-driven entertainment facility in the former Dunlap Locksmith building, at right above. Below, the front door.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb trap door 071415Where might you base a live entertainment called Trap Door Escape Room, in which participants are locked in a series of rooms and have to solve mind-bending puzzles to escape within a set time?

How about a building that already has a giant keyhole cut into the front door?

Fortunately for Anthony ‘Tone’ Purzycki and a partner, one happened to be available in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: READY TO (NOT?) FLY AGAIN

hobbymasters 070115 1 hobbymasters 070115 2Back in the indoor skies at Red Bank’s Hobbymasters store: a giant post-World War I replica biplane that was returned to its post of 30 years Wednesday after a two-month restoration by the Jersey Coast Sport Fliers.

Built for radio-controlled flight, but never flown, by Richie Smith, a onetime store employee who died last year, the eye-catching aircraft, with a wingspan of more than six feet, is a customer favorite, says store owner Alan Placer.

“People who know it from when they were kids now bring their kids in to see it,” he said.   (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER TO OPEN COMMUNITY GARDEN

ls garden 051315 1Little Silver gets down and dirty Saturday with the opening of its community garden, located on Harrison Avenue behind the Parker Homestead on the approach to Sickle’s Market. With a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m., the borough joins neighboring towns of Fair Haven, Red Bank and Shrewsbury as a place with a centralized growing spot for its residents.

Plot holders are charged $50 for the season, and four ADA-compliant plots were still available earlier this week. For more information, email littlesilvercommunitygardens [at] gmail.com. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK ON BALLOT FOR MAGAZINE HONOR

broad st rb 2 061512A view down Broad Street from 2012.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Three years after its selection by Smithsonian Magazine as the third-best small town in America, Red Bank is on a ballot seeking to identify America’s “best town ever.”

By “ever,” Outside magazine means “this year.” And among the “towns” the borough is  competing against are New York, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas. But still.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI PUMPS FOR BIKE LANE

ben lucarelli 1 061612Mayor Ben Lucarelli heads to D.C. this week to sharpen his biker-and-pedestrian safety campaign. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Anyone who’s heard Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli talk about biking safety knows it’s an issue he’s passionate about.

And listening to him talk about the biking-and-walking safety program he’s attending in Washington, D.C., this week, you’d think he was charging down to the capitol on two wheels.

“I would, if I had the time,” Lucarelli told redbankgreen on Tuesday.
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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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RUMSON: A LUCKY FIRST IRISH SODA BREAD

013015 Irish soda bread3Debbie Bagnell, the winner of last year’s Irish Soda Bread competition at the Oceanic Public Library in Rumson. Below, a slice of her bread. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

013015 Irish soda bread1“It was so surreal. I felt like it was part of a movie scene. There were men in kilts and bagpipes,” says Debbie Bagnell.

A self-described cooking-and-crafting hobbyist and homemaker says, Bagnell was recalling the day her Irish Soda Bread won first place at Oceanic Public Library‘s first annual baking competition in Rumson.

The win was a bit flukey.

“I had no intention of entering,” she said. “I had never baked an Irish Soda Bread before.”

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HOLIDAY FOOD TRADITIONS? DO TELL!

120314 davis rhubarb cakeRhubarb coffee cake baked in the kitchen of Red Bank resident Sue Davis. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumLike Tevye, in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ PieHole has tradition on its mind this holiday season.

We’re calling on all home cooks and bakers to share with us the holiday food traditions that grace your table every year.

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LINCROFT: MUSEUM STOP FOR MODEL TRAINS

Benjamin-Riley-1024x683The traditional holiday train display returns to the Monmouth Museum, in tandem with an ‘All Aboard’ photo display of railroad landscapes. (Photo by Benjamin Riley)

Holiday traditions come and go, but when a longstanding local signifier of the season threatens to drop out of sight, it can upset the equilibrium of community life.

Happily, the annual Model Train Display has returned to the Monmouth Museum right on schedule for the season — complete with new trains and a fully updated network of track — and it’s joined by an exhibit that celebrates the role of the railroad in the development of the United States, as well as the train whistle’s continued siren-call to generations of American artists.

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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)

RED BANK: DID YOU LOSE A BANDED BIRD?

rb pigeon 101614An unresponsive pigeon redbankgreen found standing on Shrewsbury Avenue opposite the G&G Hot Dog truck in Red Bank Thursday afternoon is now getting some TLC.  Borough animal control officer Henry Perez picked up the bird and transported it to the Humane Society in Tinton Falls, where he says the animal will get care while officials try to track down the owner using the ID bands on its legs.  

“There are people who still do the whole pigeon coop thing,” says Perez. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

SEA BRIGHT: FRUITY JAMS WITH ZING

082814 jollyjam2Holly Hindin at the Sea Bright Farmers’ Market last Thursday. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumWhat’s the difference between jelly and jam?

“Jelly is clear, while jam contains pieces of the fruit it’s made from,” Holly Hindin explains from across her table at the Sea Bright Farmers’ Market, one of three local markets where she sells her Holly Jolly Jams.

And while the 40-year-old Fair Havenite has an array of fruity jams to entice shoppers and samplers, she also makes some with real zing.

“The Apple Pie jam, Balsamic Fig jam, and the Jalapeno Jelly are probably my best sellers,” she said, “but the Cowboy Candy is maybe the most unusual.”

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SUMMER 2014: GONE FISHIN’

rb fishing 082614Under sunny skies, an unidentified boater fished the blue waters of our beautiful Navesink River near the Route 35 Cooper Bridge Tuesday. A boatload of sunshine fills the forecast through Saturday, with Sunday expected to be partly sunny and Labor Day giving summer a mostly cloudy goodbye, according to to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SALES SOARING FOR DRONES

Alan Placer of Hobbymasters gives a quick demo of drone flying. Below, a matchbox-sized drone without a camera. (Photo and video by John T. Ward. Click photo to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb drone 070814 2By now, perhaps, you’ve seen the spectacular video shot from within the East River Fourth of July fireworks by a small, remote-controlled helicopter. Or the lovely one of the boardwalk in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, as seen from a gentle distance above.

Less likely, you’ve seen aerial footage of roof inspections. But Red Bank’s Hobbymasters store is having trouble keeping up with demand for drones from real estate agents and roofers, as well as artists and his customary clientele of hobbyists, he tells redbankgreen.

“They’re outselling remote-controlled planes and cars combined,” he said.

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SPRING 2014: COOL PADDLING

rumson paddle 052914 1rumson paddle 052914 2 Paddleboarding students enjoying the smactacular weather – just 54 degrees but so sunny, according to the Oceanic Bridge weather site and calm waters of our beautiful Navesink River off Victory Park in Rumson early Thursday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PERFECTING PASTA AT GAETANO’S

Gaetano's class 052014Tom Cappello, second from right, above, with sous chef Miner Barquero, right, and students during a recent cooking class. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

052014gaetanos pastaSchool’s in session at Gaetano’s Restaurant on Wallace Street in Red Bank, and owner Tom Cappello is clearly in charge.

Working a dining room with 15 guests and students gathered around a long table, Cappello and sous chef Miner Barquero demonstrate how to prepare a meal from scratch. Fresh pasta is always included in the menu, this month’s choice being fettucine.

Opening up the monthly class, Cappello mixes history and practical kitchen knowledge in a lighthearted way that puts everyone in attendance at ease, asking where everyone was from, and following up with a surprised, “there are a lot of men here tonight.” One man quipped that they heard there would be food there.

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RED BANK: LANDING, THEN PRINTING, FISH

pride fishing 050714 2 Max Berry silhouetted by one of his fish prints. Below, another of Berry’s works hangs on a fence outside the shop framed by a wall designed by artist Mike Ciccotello.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pride fishing 050714 1It was a long, quiet winter at Red Bank’s Pride Fishing Tackle store. But owner Max Berry landed something rather unexpected.

His inner artist.

Berry, who says he’s harbored a creative yearning for years, decided to act on it by throwing himself into the Japanese art form of gyotaku, or fish printing, during the long lulls between customers this winter.

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