ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHORS!

Jersey Shore CookbookFrom guided tours of the great restaurants, landmark buildings and vivid VIPs in our local communities, to the resting places of the most storied European monarchs, the month of April is a Book Fair of opportunity for anyone interested in a cracking-good nonfiction read — and the days and nights ahead offer readers numerous opportunities to meet and chat with the people who bring you the books, at locations all around the greater Green.

It’s a slate of events that kicks off this Thursday, April 7, in the surprising setting of Sea Bright’s Ama Ristorante — a venue that comes into sharper focus with the revelation that the 6 p.m. event is a cocktail-hour reception for The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond. Author (and founder of Jerseybites.com) Deborah Smith will be on hand to sign preview copies of the soon-to-be-released volume, a collection of recipes from some of the Shore’s most popular restaurants and eateries (Ama included). Also featured is an insider’s guide to navigating the local foodscape, as well as “the effects of Superstorm Sandy on nearly every establishment in the book and what it took to come back after the devastation.” Attendees at the two-hour reception will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage, a demo by Ama Executive Chef Charles Lesbirel, plus a $15 gift card — and tickets ($50 per person; $75 per couple) can be reserved at (732)530-9760.

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LITTLE SILVER: LOCALLY GROWN & LEGENDARY

Sickles tomatoOne of the championship tomatoes grown by two time winner Mike Mansfield of Oceanport is weighed by Sickles Market garden manager Natale Siclare, in a past edition of the annual Biggest Tomato Contest. Top-seeded contestants will attempt to ketchup with the record when the annual event returns to the Little Silver landmark on Saturday, with LEGENDARY LOCALS author Eileen Moon also on premises. (File photo by Peter Lindner) 

The competition is hot and heavy as a Sunday Sauce — and the stakes, it goes without saying, are high — as Sickles Market will once again play host to an event that salutes the end of summer in inimitable Jersey style: the Biggest Tomato Contest. The third annual edition of the popular promotion returns to the Little Silver landmark this Saturday, August 30, with weigh-in time at 1 pm.

Judging will take place in two age groups — adults, and kids aged 5 to 13 — with the winning junior champ awarded a Sickles Market Gardening Kit, and the adult category winner presented with a $100 gift certificate. Contest rules require that a tomato must be presented by the grower, with entries judged by weight only. Mike Mansfield, an Oceanport resident and winner of both previous contests, is the current record holder with a 2012 entry that sagged the scales at 3.26 pounds.

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LITTLE SILVER, M’TOWN: LIBRARY LEGENDS

eileen-moon-021814-500x375LEGENDARY LOCALS OF RED BANK author Eileen Moon visits the Little Silver Library on Monday evening…while Next Stage Ensemble brings a little Shakespeare to the Middletown Township biblio.

There’s the pioneering African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune, whose historic home is currently the subject of an intensive rescue effort. Industrialist Sigmund Eisner, whose legacy includes a public library, a Galleria, and a former chairman of the Disney entertainment empire. Trailblazing attorney Florence Forgotson Adams, the father-and-son Drs. James Parker, the Dorns, the Irwins — and famed illustrator James Avati, the “Rembrandt of the Paperbacks” remembered in a 2011 feature that appeared here on redbankgreen.

They are all among the Legendary Locals of Red Bank profiled by veteran newspaperwoman Eileen Moon in her new book, an entry in the series from Arcadia Publishing that the author will discuss in a free Monday night reading/ signing appearance at Little Silver Public Library. Going up at 7 pm, it’s part of a busy itinerary by the equally legendary reporter and editor, who in a recent feature on redbankgreen described her concept of a Legendary Local thusly: “It takes a strong personality, and a vision, and a risk-taker sometimes, to change what is into some new evolution of that.”

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RED BANK: SELFIES KICK OFF ARTFUL WEEKEND

Mirrored_Bob300A selfie by Bob McKay is among the works on display in the group show FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE opening Friday at Gallery 135 in Red Bank.

Leave it to Gerda Liebmann – the Swiss-born, internationally exhibited multimedia artist (and redbankgreen Clippings correspondent) – to discern the beauty in so tawdry a device as the cellphone selfie.

Liebmann, who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church, has employed this maybe-misunderstood signifier of 21st century life – and its cousin in succinct cinema, the Vine – as the basis for her new group show, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Opening with a reception at 7 pm on Friday, the multimedia installation “will give viewers the opportunity to reconnect with the special intimacy and self-revelation that self-portraits uniquely offer,” she says.

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WEEKEND: MOODY BLUE & MINTY GREEN

stPatsThe second annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes to the borough streets on Sunday. Below, the Moody Blues.

Friday, February 28:

MoodysRED BANK: From the harmonies of their early, raw recordings to the dramatic sweep and ambitious scope of their orchestral masterpieces – to their repeated reunions, and a new century of crowdpleasing tours – one might be tempted to call them the British Beach Boys.

But the Moody Blues have done what they’ve done without all the meltdowns, litigation, and endless appearances on the county fair circuit of their American cohorts. And this weekend, the longtime trio of Justin Hayward (guitar), John Lodge (bass) and Graeme Edge (drums) comes to Red Bank for two consecutive nights (Friday and Saturday, 8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre, on a Timeless Flight Tour that promises to mix those lush album-era radio classics (“Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “Ride My Seesaw” and the game-changing “Nights in White Satin”) with more recent vintage oldies (“Your Wildest Dreams,” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”) and highlights from solo projects past. Leaving the symphony orks at home, the core Moodies are joined by an auxiliary corps of young musicians on keyboards, flute and extra drums. Tickets ($50 – $145) can be reserved right here.

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RED BANK LEGENDS, PAST & PRESENT

eileen moon 021814Eileen Moon at the Red Bank Public Library, built in the former home of ‘legendary’ industrialist Sigmund Eisner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Legendary LocalsIn Eileen Moon’s eyes, “personality drives progress.” And as the author of “Legendary Locals of Red Bank,” a newly published book of historical and contemporary profiles, Moon encountered personality galore.

People like Sigmund Eisner, for example, an immigrant who, starting with a single sewing machine, not only built the nation’s largest uniform factory, but helped his employees buy homes, cementing a sense of community.

“It takes a strong personality, and a vision, and a risk-taker sometimes, to change what is into some new evolution of that,” says Moon.

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ELKS HOST TRTC’s ‘EXPLORATION OF JUSTICE’

GreasonSharonGildaMonmouth University professor Walter D. Greason, former Red Bank council member Sharon Lee, and Frank Talk’s Gilda Rogers are among the guest panelists discussing “The Fight for Equality in Red Bank in the 1950s and Today,” during a February 10 event at the Red Bank Elks Lodge.

Press release from Two River Theater Company

“The Fight for Equality in Red Bank in the 1950s — and Today” is the topic of a free panel discussion event on Monday, February 10, presented by Two River Theater Company and hosted at the Red Bank Elks Lodge #233, 40 West Front Street.

The 7 pm panel is the first in a series of Inside Two River humanities programs that will focus on race, the Civil Rights movement, and evolving issues of equality under the umbrella title Exploration of Justice. Panels will take place monthly in connection with Two River Theater’s production of Trouble in Mind, written by Alice Childress —the first African-American woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City. The play, directed by Jade King Carroll, will run April 5 through 24.

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