RED BANK: ICE CREAM & A MOVIE

The Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand in Riverside Gardens Park is the place to be a sultry summer evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Riverside Gardens Park, sandwiched between West Front Street and the Navesink River in Red Bank, is a hive of activity on warm summer nights. Swarms of kids stop by to view the boats on the river, catch a glimpse of the sunset and maybe enjoy the weekly entertainment put on by the folks at the borough Parks and Rec department.

Enticed by the aroma of fresh baked waffles being shaped into cones, PieHole finds a place in line to see what everyone is ordering at the Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand there.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS INSTANT MURAL

rb mural 060416 4A team of painters, including 13 students from the visual arts program at Red Bank Regional, worked on the mural throughout the day Saturday and into early Sunday. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb mural 060416 3Racing to finish before an expected rain, a team of artists and volunteers painted a two-story mural in downtown Red Bank over the weekend.

Overlooking the parking lot for Buona Sera restaurant at Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue, the mural promotes a film festival scheduled to light up movie screens in town next month.

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RED BANK: FILM FEST MURAL GREENLIGHTED

rb IFF Mural 051116A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.

The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.

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RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST SET FOR SUMMER

basie screen 070114The big screen at the Count Basie Theatre, seen here during a live broadcast of the 2014 World Cup, will serve as the home screen for a film festival scheduled to run in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ClapboardKept on a restricted diet for the past eight years, Red Bank-area fans of independent movies will finally get to binge again this summer.

An outfit called Indie Street — in conjunction with Red Bank RiverCenter, three major entertainment venues and even the borough middle school — is planning screenings of as many as 30 films over five days in July.

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WEEKENDER: BARGAINS, BANDS AND THE BARD

Bargains line the brick walkways of downtown Red Bank for the annual Sidewalk Sale this weekend. Below, fans of the Haven find shelter at the Walt Street Pub Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, July 26:

RED BANK: Shop, rock & stroll through Red Bank for the 59th annual sidewalk sale. The weekend-long bargainfest lets shoppers snag clearance and sale items at shops throughout the downtwon. The sale runs 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SHREWSBURY: Learn the basics of email at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library. The session is free and begins at 7 p.m. 1001 Route 35 North.

RED BANK: Chazz Palminteri stops by Count Basie Theatre for a special one-man performance of his play-turned-big-screen-hit “A Bronx Tale,” about a murder Palminteri witnessed when he was young. Tickets are $55, $65, $85, and $150. VIP tickets include a meet and greet with the star. “A Bronx Tale” begins at 8 p.m. 99 Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: PARK IT HERE SUMMER NIGHTS

A full slate of movies, music and workouts is scheduled for Riverside Gardens Park, but minus a songwriters’ series.  (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Despite the loss of a perennial favorite, Red Bank’s Summer Series in Riverside Park is still poised to draw plenty of fanfare with a busy schedule, packed with plenty of movies, music and fitness events over the next couple months.

After nearly a decade, Brookdale Raido’s Songwriters in the Park series will move from Red Bank to Belmar, according to Parks and Recreation Director Memone Crystian.

“Belmar was able to offer the program full funding, which we, unfortunately, could not,” Crystian told redbankgreen. “Basically, it was an offer they just couldn’t refuse.”

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TODAY: WONDERFUL AS EVER, IN M’TOWN

itsawonderfullife2Ward Bond and Jimmy Stewart in the American classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” screening midday Monday in Middletown.

They say that whenever someone encounters the story of George Bailey and his magical Christmas Eve for the first time, an angel gets his wings, if not a royalty check.

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PARK IT HERE FOR FREE MUSIC & MOVIES

thespringstandardsThe Songwriters in the Park series brings the Spring Standards, above, and former Bongos member Richard Barone, below, to Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

richardbaroneIt’s been the backdrop for more wedding party photos than any local scenery this side of the “hobbit” pergola at Deep Cut Gardens, the setting for school commencements, and the preferred parking place for the borough’s distinctive holiday ice boat. A place for kids to congregate on weekend nights, and a place for candlelit vigils and makeshift memorials in the days following 9/11.

Ever since Riverside Gardens took shape on the former site of the long-gone apartment house of the same name, a generation of Red Bankers has wondered how they ever got along without the West Front Street park along the Navesink. No more so than in the weeks after the end of the school year, when the waterfront walkways host a beach-blanket brigade of neighbors in search of some music and movies, under the setting sun and stars. It all comes to you courtesy of the hardworking folks at the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation, working in concert with sponsors and co-organizers public and private.

It’s that warm and breeze-kissed time of year when the municipal government — the people who normally incur your wrath over not filling in potholes fast enough — gets to fill your evenings with music and all-around good vibes.

Beginning this week, Riverside Gardens will see the return of three proven and popular attractions — Movies in the Park, Jazz in the Park and Songwriters in the Park — all presented free of charge (with complimentary river sunsets) throughout July and much of August. It’s a slate of entertainments that was preceded by an appetizer in the form of June’s LunchMusic series — and the menu continues, right after the break.

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IN oRBit: IN THE MIDDLE, ON THE AISLE

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Just in case the past weekend’s lovely weather was too much for your rain-addled sensibilities, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit offers up a few suggestions from the Great Indoors of our fair Shore.

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First, we take it to Book It! Events in Shrewsbury, where Kim and Jacquie are preparing to welcome another special guest author — columnist and memoirist Kelly Corrigan, whose new book The Middle Place juxtaposes her personal cancer struggles with sketches of her life as a mother, a daughter and a sister — that Middle Place between generations from which so much inspiration is drawn. The best-selling writer comes to The Grove this Wednesday evening for a personal appearance and book signing.

From there it’s down to Deal, where the Axelrod Performing Arts Center is the starting point for the fourth annual Jersey Shore Film Festival, an extended event that previews Wednesday and opens officially on Sunday with a pair of full-length documentaries on the past, present and future of education. We’ve got a rundown of the highlights for this year’s JSFF, which continues through July 19 and includes a slate of Jewish-themed offerings that range from Darren Aronofsky’s maddeningly paranoid Pi, to Al Jolson in the original Jazz Singer.

Also a reminder to look to The Orb each week for the details on the new season of free outdoor family films going on at places like Riverside Gardens (where Madagascar screens tomorrow evening) and the Sea Bright beach (where the first Ice Age movie plays to the beach chair and blanket set, also tomorrow). We’ll have updates also this week on the other exciting things happening at Riverside Gardens, including Thursday’s Comcast Jazz in the Park series, and the Friday slate of Songwriters in the Park — including an interview with series keynoter Steve Forbert. All here in the pixelated pages of Red Bank oRBit!