RBR SPOTLIGHTS HEROIN EPIDEMIC

rbr drug forum 022014 rb drug forum 022014 2Recovering drug addict Dave Dolan, right, spoke of his rapid descent from model student to heroin user during a forum on teen substance abuse that attracted dozens of parents and kids to Red Bank Regional Thursday night. Now a graduate student at Monmouth University, Dolan was part of a panel of health professionals, parents of addicts and ex-users assembled to discuss the warning signs and responses to drug use.

“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Charlie Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which regards an increase in heroin deaths in the Shore region over the past two years an epidemic.   (Click to enlarge)

RETRO FASHION OUT, ASIAN EATERY PENDING

43 broad 020414Backward Glances’ owner cited rising rents and diminishing cool as factors in her decision to leave Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508After 28 years in Red Bank, vintage clothing and accessories boutique Backward Glances has departed for Asbury Park.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen Retail Churn: an Asian restaurant hopes to open in English Plaza, just a few doors away from a new hair salon that’s readying for its debut.

Read More »

RED BANK: STILL GOING NAKED

It was nippy outside Sunday evening, but at Red Bank’s Red lounge, it was a place to Go Naked. Dozens came out to the third annual Go Naked and Check Yourself fundraiser and (ahem) educational event held to raise awareness about skin cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer and other detectable ailments. Once again, Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie shops put the bounce in the event, which had previously raised more than $20,000 for health-related charities. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ART SHOW AT SALON CONCRETE

salon concrete 1 100413salon concrete 3 100413Drawing a crowd to Red Bank’s Salon Concrete last Friday night was a show of paintings and other works by Little Silver artist Mike Ciccotello. “Other works’ included customized skateboard decks (see below). One attendee wore Ciccotello sneakers, right.

The show is slated to run through December. Salon Concrete is at 123 Broad Street. (Click to enlarge)

Read More »

RED BANK: EDGY, SEXY LIT FOR VIXENS

literary vixens 1‘Literary Vixens’ Jacqueline Tobacco (left) and Melissa Bartolone flank author Suzanne Palmieri during her reading at Red Bank’s Lambs and Wolves salon earlier this month. (Photos by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

literary vixens 2Author Suzanne Palmieri believes in magic.

Not the “pull a rabbit out of a hat” kind of magic. The kind, she told an audience on a recent Friday night in Red Bank, that happened when she learned, while trying to budget her daughter’s college tuition. that an Italian company had bought the foreign rights to her book, ‘The Witch of Little Italy.’ The kind that happens when a fan, who happens to live five minutes away, turns into a close friend.

“I’ve made a lot of friends like that,” she said. “I didn’t know when I wrote the book that it would tap into something bigger.”

Hoping to create that kind of magic for other writers of edgy, sexy fiction is Literary Vixens, a publishing concern that began when friends Jacqueline Tobacco of Middletown and Melissa Bartolone of Red Bank reunited through social media over their love of books.

With Lauren DeVito, Literary Vixens promote, as their tagline says, “smart books for passionate readers.” What started out as a book blog is transforming into a publishing agency, and the ladies hope to hand pick a few marketable authors to work with.

“We knew we wanted [the name] to be a combination of smart and daring,” said Tobacco. “‘Vixen’ means we’re a little bit more edgy in our reading, a little bit more sophisticated.”

Read More »

STREET STYLE: WALKING TALL ON BROAD

MODEL-CITIZEN_01

MODEL-CITIZEN_02With this article, redbankgreen debuts a new regular feature: Model Citizen, in which we track down individuals on the streets of the Green for impromptu interviews about what they’re wearing – and why.

In a perfect world, we could all power-walk through our days in six-inch Christian Louboutins. But with so much to do and so little tolerance for pain, it’s hard for even a woman of daring style not to settle for a pair of comfortable sneakers or flats.

For Kelly Karagias, though, it’s still more important to be bold in her choice of footwear.

Read More »

RED BANK: NEW PHARMACY APPROVED

A drugstore and two adjoining stores would occupy space formerly used by a Chinese takeout restaurant and a portrait studio near the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Rcsm2_010508Less than a year after losing its last independent drug store, Red Bank is getting a new one, and it’s located just across the street from the vacant shell of its predecessor.

Pharmacist Kamlesh Patel won approval from the borough planning board Monday night for an independent pharmacy at 141-1431 Broad Street, nearly opposite the former home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

RED BANK LIBRARY: A LESSON IN LIFESAVING

Felix and and Samantha and Arauz, above left, of Tinton Falls, and Carla Decker of Monmouth Beach practice their techniques for infant CPR at the Red Bank Public Library Monday night. At left, instructor George Cummings demonstrates the proper technique for infant Heimlich maneuver. “This isn’t burping,” he said. “Hit ’em like you know ’em.”

The next CPR class, which is free, is scheduled for September 9. More nformation about upcoming courses is on the Red Bank Public Library website. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: CLUB OFFERS KIDS A HAVEN

Children line up for pre-dinner clean-hands inspection at the Boys and Girls Club. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

After five p.m. on a recent afternoon, a pair of children in red shirts and khakis set a long table with styrofoam plates laden with tacos. Moments later, a dozen or so kids dressed in the same outfits – the uniform of the Red Bank Primary School – line up for inspection by Natasha Cargill, a teenaged kitchen manager.

It’s clean-hands time at at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County‘s Red Bank unit, a scene that plays out so routinely that some of the kids continue to absently hold their hands above their heads long after they’ve passed Cargill’s inspection.

Looking on, Christy Crank looks pleased. As the facility director, the 38-year-old borough native sets a welcoming but firm tone for all who step through its doors.

“I see a lot of me in these kids,” says Crank. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have a Boys and Girls Club. We provide a safe space, where there’s no bullying, you get the help you need, and everyone is equal.”

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: OZ FANS PEEK BEHIND CURTAIN

Dr. Oz channeled the Beatles and Bruce in Sea Bright Wednesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

There was no yellow-brick road, but local fans of Dr. Oz flocked like Munchkins to EvenTide Bar and Grille in Sea Bright Wednesday to catch a glimpse of the TV personality leading a rock band.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, commonly known as Dr. Oz, is an American-Turkish cardiothoracic surgeon who became a household name through his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, subsequently landing his own daytime television gig – the popular “Dr. Oz Show” – in 2009. Though in his regular job Oz mainly focuses on doling out health advice, at EvenTide, he was in full rock-star mode.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: BOCCE’S BACK

Dave DeScenza, above, and his daughter Nicolette, below, restoring the family bocce court on Memorial Day. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The most recent interval between summers was particularly trying for the DeScenza family of Sea Bright.

Like their neighbors, the DeScenzas saw their North Beach home of 34 years, and an adjoining cottage, flooded and heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

One week later, Dave’s wife, Nancy, a longtime member of the borough school board, succumbed in her 10-year battle with breast cancer.

But on Memorial Day, DeScenza, his daughter Nicolette, and his brother John put in a full day’s work under the sun restoring their regulation bocce court, across Ocean Avenue from his year-round residence.

“The neighbors kept asking when we were going to bring it back,” a cheery DeScenza said. “Sometimes, they asked without words,” he added, miming with a shrug and upturned hands.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN EDGES TOWARD SMOKING BAN

Smoking could be banned, or segregated, in borough parks and at parades. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Fair Haven’s borough council engaged in a lively discussion about the pros and cons of banning smoking in parks Monday night.

“It’s a hazardous, offensive habit that doesn’t need to be in public,” said Councilwoman Susan Sorenson, liaison to the recreation commission, which has also been discussing the issue.
“What’s next?” replied Councilman Rowland Wilhelm, a smoker. “I understand it’s negative [behavior]. But you go down that slippery slope, and it opens the door for another governing body to come along and ban something else – sugary drinks maybe.”
“I’m going to vote no, because you’re opening a door that shouldn’t be opened,” he said.

Read More »

RED BANK: SHOWING SMOKERS THE DOOR

Amy Manor is closing off the vestibule to her design studio, above, because of damage she said has been done by nighttime smokers. Below, Manor with cigarette butts left behind the shop. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Amy Manor is sick of blood, vomit, and broken windows.

She’s giving the vestibule of her eponymous Red Bank interior design studio, at 4B West Front Street, a makeover in reaction to damage that she says patrons of local bars have repeatedly inflicted.

At a cost of about $12,000, Manor is enclosing the vestibule.

The small cubby in front of the shop received particular abuse because of its ability to provide shelter to patrons of nearby bars. Partygoers have been known to huddle in the space during the winter to shield themselves, and their cigarettes, from the harsh elements.

Naturally, trouble ensued.

Read More »

RED BANK: FASHION OPTIONS ABOUND

Denim shorts on display at Dor L’ D’or, above, and a summer dress, below, at Emilia. Further below: a boot at Do L’ Do’r. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

By LOLA TODMAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

Women’s fashion is on the rise in downtown Red Bank. It may not be Paris or Milan, but you may have noticed new stores such as Lucki Clover and Bella Chic Boutique joining not-much-older merchants Dor L’ Dor, Rue RoyaleUrban Outfitters and stalwarts Backward Glances and CoCo Pari.

Or you may even be a customer of Emilia, one of three side-by-side women’s clothing stores to open on Monmouth Street in little more than a year.

So the pressing question is: why?

“Options,” said Blaise Lucarelli, manager of Dor L’ D’or, which opened in mid-2010. “When there are different types of women, there need to be options.”

Because of that need, there are also many different stores designed around age ranges, affordability, specialty clothing and other things that may define a specific type of female, said Lucarelli.

Read More »

OH, BABY, ANOTHER TODDLIN’ WEEKEND

A video promo for ‘The Electric Baby,’ which opens tonight at the Two River Theater. Author and motivational speaker Selwyn Collins, below, makes an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday.

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 19:

LINCROFT:  Presented by Make it Better for Youth and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, “Breaking the Silence, Celebrating Our Voices” concludes the “Day of Silence,” a national student-led action in honor of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their families and friends taking a stand against bullying, harassment, abuse and more. Performances by Kailynn Barbour, poet, blogger and 2012 recipient of the Lionel Cuffie Award for Activism and Excellence, and the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus begin at 7 p.m. 1475 West Front Street.

RED BANK:  “The Electric Baby” births at Two River Theatre.  The drama follows three different pairs – a middle-aged couple, ahopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child – who discover the ways in which their lives are connected.  The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

Read More »

RUMSON: PULLEEZ, HERE’S THE INVENTOR

Pulleez hair ties on display at Posch. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

This week’s Window Shopping the Green can report a double discovery: a stylish hair-bunching device that turns out to have been invented by a woman who lives practically around the corner from where we came upon it.

With its pulsing music and fuzzy zebra-print chair covers, Posch Boutique, at 113 East River Road, stands out in the quiet and conservative Borough of Rumson.  It’s a kind of one-stop women’s shop, featuring designer brand accessories, perfumes, and denim wear.

While browsing the racks, we snagged the latest craze in hair accessories, Pulleez ponytail holders, and were delighted to learn they were created by Rumson resident Diana Wright.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: RECOVERY GETS PERSONAL

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, seen rallying her constituents in November, admits the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has begun to weigh on her. Social services agencies are beginning to address the emotional and psychological needs of storm victims. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Less than half in jest, Sea Bright’s can-do mayor acknowledged Wednesday night that the emotional and psychological strain of Hurricane Sandy recovery have taken a personal toll.

At a town hall meeting held in part to promote outreach programs to help residents map out their own rebuilding plans, Mayor Dina Long told a packed community center that five months after the storm all but obliterated the borough, the challenge of piecing it all back together sometimes gets to her.

“I have to admit I have a new favorite saying that’s in direct contrast with my old favorite saying, which was, ‘Do,’” Long said. “My new favorite saying goes something like this: ‘I feel like my head is going to explode! Do you guys feel like that?”

Groans of approval from the crowd showed the frustration was mutual.

Read More »

REVENUE & PROFIT UP AT URBAN OUTFITTERS

urban-outfitters-logoUrban Outfitters, the owner of national clothing chains with a presence in downtown Red Bank and Shrewsbury, reported strong revenue gains in its fourth fiscal quarter, even as stores that had been open more than a year struggled to match last year’s performance.

The Philadelphia-based company’s Urban Outfitters brand, which includes a store at Broad and West Front streets in Red Bank, saw a 16-percent jump in sales from the comparable period of a year ago, to $415 million, it reported.

Read More »

ON RED BANK’S MENU: SMOKING AND EATING

Red, above, and all other Red Bank restaurants may soon be required by ordinance to inform diners of the caloric heft of their meals. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Health was on the minds of Red Bank officials Wednesday night, when the borough council agreed to develop measures that would ban smoking in municipal parks and require restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.

With restaurants in the RiverCenter business zone said to be on board with the calorie-count concept, Mayor Pasquale Menna said the council should consider making it a borough-wide requirement.

“If McDonald’s can do it, we can do it,’’ Menna said, adding that if the borough chooses to move forward, restaurants would be given ample time – perhaps a year – to comply. “We know it would cost them money,’’ he said.

Read More »

RED BANK: STORE VACANCY ENDS IN STYLE

Salon Concrete celebrated its first business day after a move Wednesday. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Red Bank’s Salon Concrete reopened for business Wednesday at a new Broad Street location, a move owner Christine Zilinski says had been a “long time coming.”

The process of occupying the 2,500-square-foot location at 123 Broad – formerly home of Surray Luggage – began almost a full year ago. After signing the lease, it took until October to start renovation work on a space that had been an eyesore vacancy for almost six years.

“Then Sandy hit, and that of course put us back a little bit,” said Zilinski.

Read More »

CHARTER SCHOOL INTERNS STEP OUT TO WORK

Red Bank Charter School intern Maya Ghosh at work at Paint A Tee on Monmouth Street. Below, Amanda Annaruma in the laundry room at Hair & Company, on White Street. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

By LOLA TODMAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

For most middle school students, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m on Thursday afternoon is just another class, or time to head home or to sports practice. You wouldn’t expect to see them downtown at a salon, working, but that hour is exactly when you will find Red Bank Charter School student Amanda Annaruma at Hair & Company.

The charter school has a unique program, running for about 12 years, that places eighth-graders in jobs, which explains why students are in town rather than relaxing.

“I intern at Hair & Company on White street,” says Amanda, one of 19 eighth-graders participating in the program. “I guess for now I’m really an assistant’s assistant. I sweep the floor, wash towels, stuff like that.”

Read More »

RED BANK: MOTHER & SON’S NEW AGE ENERGY

Joycelyn and Christopher Midose at Earth Spirit, where the merchandise includes “energy-infused” candles, below.  (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

If while strolling Monmouth Street in Red Bank you catch a titillating whiff of patchouli incense and sandalwood, let your curious nose guide you into Earth Spirit New Age Center, a shopping experience that for some is a form of  sensory overload.

Feathered dream catchers and tinkling wind chimes hang from the ceiling; brightly colored gemstones – pink rose quartz, purple amethyst, and orange citrine – sit loose in dishes with small signs that describe their spiritual meanings; tiny bottles of aromatherapy oil are displayed next to figurines of Gothic gargoyles and mermaids; bookcases line the walls with volumes that run the gamut from Buddhism and Hinduism to astrology and healing.

And that’s before things get deep: the Midoses can also put you in touch with loved ones who have passed on – for a fee, of course. Read More »

STORM CHARITY DIGS IN FOR THE LONG HAUL

RebuildRecover co-founder Mike Hernandez surrounded by donated materiel in the organization’s initial home: his Sounds to Go DJ office on East Front Street in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Eight weeks after the hurricane, a grassroots effort to provide necessities to residents of neighborhoods damaged by Sandy is still going strong, and plans to morph into a permanent relief operation, its founders say.

Created by six twentysomething friends who wanted to provide aid on their own terms, Red Bank-based RebuildRecover quickly became one of the Shore area’s most visible and influential nonprofit charities, attracting the attention of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who lives in town, and hundreds of lesser-known donors.

“After three days of working with another, really well-known charity organization that will not be named, my co-founders and I decided to take matters in our own hands,” said vice president David Cruse. The idea, he said, was to “create an organization that would provide those in need with direct, immediate help.”

Read More »