AROUND THE GREEN: OUTSIDE THE BIG BOX

Bazaar_basketsSilent auction gift baskets await inspection during the recent Holiday Bazaar at Christ Church in Shrewsbury. For those who missed it, there are many more craft shows, artisan fairs and gift boutiques going on around the greater Green this weekend.

There’s an open-house glimpse into the wondrous workshop of a leading Red Bank artist. Unique handcrafted gifts, unexpectedly encountered at a pair of county parks in Middletown. Floral arrangements in Shrewsbury; fine art pieces by the area’s best-known creatives in Little Silver. All around the villages and hamlets of the greater Red Bank Green, a dedicated core of neighbors seeks to combat the seasonal brainfreeze of “shopper’s block;” seeding inspiration for gift-givers who want to think outside the big-box store for the special ones on their list — and it’s all happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Just weeks after hosting her annual Art Show and Sale at Mudslingers Pottery, master potter Lauren Bellero takes part in a special Holiday Open House event this Friday, December 5. Between the hours of 3 to 9 pm, shoppers on a quest for something truly unique can visit 12 Oak Street in Lincroft to select from a display of the artist’s award winning pit-fired decorative creations (candle holders, vases, bowls and more) and glazed cookware — or visit the Mudslingers website to make an appointment.

Open for business at picturesque Poricy Park this weekend, the Nature Conservancy’s Holiday and Craft Shop offers up an array of locally sourced wood, pottery, crochet, fine art and home decor items, available for purchase between the hours of 11 am to 4 pm on December 5, 6 and 7. They’ll be doing it all again next weekend too, with shop hours on December 12, 13 and 14 — but there’s much more to see this weekend, with details around the bend.

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WEEKENDER: A NOT YET WINTER WONDERLAND

lennon 120513 4The 33rd anniversary of John Lennon’s death finds a traveling exhibit of the Beatle’s artwork camped out in Red Bank.

Friday, December 6:

RED BANK: In the midst of the holiday cheer, this weekend marks the 33rd anniversary of the murder of John Lennon — and it so happens that the traveling “pop-up gallery” exhibit titled “The Artwork of John Lennon” will be stationed in downtown Red Bank for the occasion. Featuring prints and some 100 pieces from the Lennon collection, the show parks it at 21 Broad Street (formerly Agostino Antiques) for three days beginning December 6. Take it here for a redbankgreen feature with complete schedule details and more.

SHREWSBURY: It’s a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at the buildings in the borough’s state and national designated “Four Corners” Historic District, as the Monmouth County Historical Association conducts Holiday Lantern Tours in the area of Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue. Tours commence at 6 pm and 8 pm, with reservations required ($15 adults; $8 ages 12 and under) available at (732) 742-1277. Christ Church will be serving up dinner (Moravian Chicken Pot Pie!) with seatings at 5 pm and 7 pm, for an additional $10.

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IN LITTLE SILVER, REDIALING OLD BELL LABS

Award winning tech and business journalist Jon Gertner visits the Little Silver Public Library Thursday to discuss his book THE IDEA FACTORY: BELL LABS AND THE GREAT AGE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION. (Photo by Leslie de la Vega/ Penguin Books)

By TOM CHESEK

It’s not at all hyperbole to suggest that in its heyday, Bell Labs was where The Future took shape.

The list of accomplishments claimed by the Murray Hill-based research and development arm of AT&T included some of the genuine building blocks of modern life (transistors, lasers), game-changing milestones of the Computer Age (the UNIX system, C programming language, Information Theory) and a whole lot of landmark work in the fields of radio astronomy, fiber optics, solar cells and satellite communications.

Close to home, its local connection — both via the company’s major presence in Monmouth County, and the caliber of people it attracted to this once relatively sleepy corner of New Jersey — impacts our lives in ways that are as here-and-now as the handheld mobile device that you may be reading this on, and as shrouded in wonder as the very origins of the universe.

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