RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: T-REX RETURNS

A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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CRAVINGS: A LIBRARIAN’S WEEKLY BENTO

Red Bank library director Elizabeth McDermott indulges her craving at Sogo Sushi. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

World traveler-turned-Red Bank Public Library director Elizabeth McDermott has a weekly itch that she scratches at Sogo Sushi on Monmouth Street: a bento box.

“It’s like comfort food to me,” says McDermott, whose previous job as a software consultant for Oracle took her all over the globe.

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RED BANK: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS AT RBPL

The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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BUILDING SUPPORT FOR RED BANK LIBRARY

rb library 1 040913Press release from Red Bank Public Library

This week, Red Bank residents will be finding an envelope from their library amongst all the holiday cards in their mailbox. The Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library has recently sent out its third annual appeal in order to build financial support for the Red Bank Public Library’s many programs and collections. During this season of giving, the Foundation hopes to continue the strong tradition of support shown by the Red Bank community.

While the Red Bank Library receives mandated funding, it relies on the generosity of library supporters to strengthen its financial position, allowing the Library to expand its offerings and better serve the community.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE SMILES ON “LET’S TALK”

gilda rogers 072116Gilda Rogers returns as host when the Red Bank Public Library examines the borough’s historic T. Thomas Fortune House in a special edition of ‘Let’s Talk about Race.’

While the community-forum series that she’s moderated at Red Bank Public Library just observed its one-year anniversary, Gilda Rogers is scarcely the first Red Banker to issue the invitation “Let’s Talk About Race.” That distinction may go to T. Thomas Fortune (1856-1928), the onetime slave turned pioneer black editor-publisher and crusading journalist — and this Wednesday evening, September 28, Fortune’s former home (on what’s now Drs. James Parker Boulevard) is the focus of a special discussion on the man named Fortune, and the ongoing efforts to recognize and represent his life’s work to the community.

Regular readers of redbankgreen‘s paperless pages have no doubt followed the story of the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Site that has fallen into a serious state of disrepair in recent years — along with a newly floated proposal to rehabilitate the deteriorating structure as a public-welcome community center, and centerpiece of a residential apartment development. During Wednesday’s 7 p.m. presentation in the library’s downstairs meeting room, attendees will be brought up to speed on the details of the plan, and how such a resource can best honor the legacy of the activist who was credited as “being the bridge to the modern day Civil Rights Movement.”

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RED BANK: GILDA IN THE HERE AND NOW

Gilda Rogers BCCGilda Rogers is the guest for the latest in a series of Author Talk events, Wednesday at the Red Bank Library — followed on July 18 by a special presentation at Project Write Now on Bridge Avenue.

Red Bank regulars know her from many different settings, and wearing many figurative hats — from faculty member at Red Bank Regional and coordinator of special community outreach initiatives for Two River Theater, to local talk show host, and onetime proprietor of Frank Talk Art Bistro, a much-missed Shrewsbury Avenue storefront that was as delightfully difficult to summarize as the woman who put her stamp on it.

Writer, activist and producer Gilda Rogers remains very visible around Red Bank in the coming days, beginning with an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Wednesday, July 13. Scheduled for 7 p.m., it’s the latest event in the library’s monthly Author Talk series; a session that finds the author of “Arrested Development: The State of Black Achievement and Education in Hip Hop America” discussing her debut as a dramatist, with a work entitled “Supernatural: The Play.”

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RED BANK: BRINGING MEMORIES TO THE TABLE

backward-glances_LOGO_optLike so many of us, Gilda Rogers had a large collection of family photographs — a chronicle of her family’s history that cried out for something more than being shut away in albums or hidden on hard drives. The solution, according to the writer, educator and cultural preservationist, was to create “Backward Glances,” a line of greeting cards that spotlights her own generational history, sharing her family’s story through some (often artful and compelling) images that have something to offer people of all backgrounds.

On Saturday, June 11, Rogers visits the Red Bank Public Library for a free workshop entitled “Making Memories: Create a Keepsake Placemat from Family Photos.” A tie-in to the current Two River Theater production of I Remember Mama and its themes of family unity, the crafting session offers participants a chance to win two tickets to the play, which continues its engagement through June 26.

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RED BANK: ART WITH A (RE)PURPOSE

Lisa Bagwell PizzaArtworks sculpted by Lisa Bagwell from discarded plastic items (such as PIZZA, above) are on display now at the Red Bank Library, along with digitally modified images by Lynne Kennedy (whose scene of Middletown’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery is pictured below). 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s everywhere at once and all around you, once you choose to notice it — the non-biodegradable detritus that Lisa Bagwell calls “the masses of cartons, cups, plastics and cutlery that passes through the hands of myself and the people around me.”

A resident of Red Bank, and a Long Branch employee in charge of that city’s public gardens, Bagwell can seem to be many places at once herself — as a naturalist for the county Park System, a farm worker, a vegetarian cook, and a volunteer with the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. In her “spare” time, the Rutgers grad is an artist; one whose sculpture work has been exhibited in spaces that have included the Monmouth Museum, Newark’s Aljira Center — and the Red Bank Public Library, where a collection of her pointedly playful creations is on display now through the month of June.

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RED BANK: TOWN YARD SALE SIGN-UP BEGINS

050215 ydsales11You just never know what must-have items you’ll find. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

RBTYS 2016 flyer

A press release from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library:

The Friends of the Red Bank Public Library are organizing the 9th Annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale for Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration is open and will continue until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 5

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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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RED BANK: KEEPING THE SHORELINE ALIVE

rb lib bulkhead 4 071013The crumbling bulkhead of the Red Bank Public Library, at right above, is slated for replacement with a new one, rather than a living shoreline. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Back during the summer of 2014, in a controversial decision reported here on redbankgreen, the Red Bank council opted to rebuild a bulkhead along the Navesink River-fronting property of the borough public library — a move that disappointed proponents of the more environmentally friendly “living shoreline” approach.

How’s this for irony? Nearly two years later, the historic library building on West Front Street plays host this Saturday to representatives of the American Littoral Society, who’ll make a presentation on the many benefits of living shorelines in an age of climate change and increased erosion risk.

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RED BANK: TALKING ‘BOUT JERSEY ARTISTS

evelyn-leavensThe late Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens (above) is among the creative people showcased in ‘New Jersey Artists Through Time,’ a new book by Middletown-based author and artist Tova Navarra that inaugurates a series of events at Red Bank Public Library.

NJ Artists Thru TimeA quick flip through the newly published New Jersey Artists Through Time reveals a number of creative people whose lives and work were well known here on the Greater Red Bank Green. There’s the late lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens, profiled here a few years back; Jim Gary, legendary maker of dinosaurs from repurposed auto parts; Mike Quon, painter of stylized local landmarks; plus Riccardo Berlingeri, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Judy Martin, Bob Mataranglo, and George Tice.

They’re all there, sharing space with the likes of superstar sculptor George Segal, celebrated printmaker Jabob Landau, and Emmy-winning courtroom artist Ida Libby Dengrove, in the first such study to come along in over 50 years. The books is just the latest of more than 30 published titles for its Middletown-based author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — and the subject of the first in a new series of free ‘Author Talks’ events at Red Bank Public Library, this Wednesday.

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RED BANK: WRITE PLACE, WRITE TIME

project write nowProject Write Now invites the public to an unveiling of its expanded Bridge Avenue space on December 1, capping a Giving Poetry Tuesday celebration of the community’s words and voices.

It’s a unique little event that unfolds over the course of a late-autumn weekday in Red Bank, taking place at various locations around town (train station, library, hospital, classroom), and involving the participation of people ranging from Mayor Pasquale Menna and volunteer emergency responders to staffers from Lunch Break and students from the borough’s schools.

It’s Giving Poetry Tuesday, a “celebration of Red Bank’s voices” that finds people from all walks of local life taking part in a collaborative community poetry reading between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. Organized by Project Write Now, the initiative is an engagingly interactive lead-in to the borough-based nonprofit’s main event: an evening open house unveiling of its new, expanded studio space at 25 Bridge Avenue.

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RED BANK: ANTIQUES & DIGITIZATION @RBPL

rb library 1 040913Collectibles can be appraised, and records preserved, during a daylong event at the library. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

History and nostalgia will mix and mingle at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday, October 17, when an antiques-roadshow-style event crosses paths with a records-digitization project.

One part of the event, dubbed “What’s In Your Attic?” and organized by the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library, connects local residents with expert appraisers to offer value estimates on antiques and collectibles.

The other enables patrons to preserve their own photos, films and other memorabilia on digital media.

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RED BANK: RIVER PADDLING UNDERWAY

rb paddle 091215Rowers, kayakers, canoers, standup paddlers and others gathered at Red Bank’s Maple Cove Saturday afternoon for the fifth edition of Paddle the Navesink Day. The free, get-aquainted-with-the-waterway event runs until 4 p.m., rain or shine.  (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TAKE IT TO THE RIVER

rb paddle day 091414 2Rowers, kayakers, canoers, standup paddlers and the just-plain-interested are invited to Maple Cove this Saturday, when Paddle the Navesink Day offers area residents a new perspective on Red Bank’s most beautiful asset and resource.

It’s about kayaking, canoeing, sailing, rowing, standup paddling. Actually, it’s about the history, culture, and ecology of the waterway from which a vibrant community took shape. Or perhaps more to the point, it’s about the opportunity to get acquainted — or to fall in love all over again — with the greater Red Bank Green’s most beautiful asset, resource, pride and joy.

When the event known as Paddle the Navesink Day returns for a fifth edition this Saturday, September 12, the rain-or-shine, late-summer “free community-wide celebration” will once again represent a unique convergence of local businesses, boating clubs and nonprofit organizations that’s hands-on, oars-in, and ready to make a believer of anyone who might have taken the river’s charms for granted.

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RED BANK: FRANK TALK ABOUT RACE AT RBPL

Gilda RBPLGilda Rogers is your host, as Red Bank Library presents the first in a series of free presentations entitled LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE.

It’s being branded by the Red Bank Public Library as “a dynamic series of discussions exploring race, cultural identity and class in the context of literary works,” and it’s presented under the title Let’s Talk About Race — the kind of call to action that often causes many otherwise well-intentioned souls to want to talk about anything else. But frank talk and community engagement have always been specialties of Gilda Rogers, whose old Frank Talk Art Bistro and Bookstore was the storefront setting for an expansive schedule of activities that ranged from personal appearances by  famous writers, live jazz sets and civic debates, to pie-tastings, yoga classes, hair stylings, and invitations to share your favorite old record albums and dance.

Beginning this Wednesday evening, August 26 and continuing a once-monthly schedule through mid-November, Rogers serves as host, curator and moderator for a slate of free events in which “guest speakers and compelling mixed media will support the theme of these discussions” — offerings for which the author, activist, educator (Brookdale Community College, Red Bank Regional) and founder of Frank Talk Multimedia Network promises an open and honest dialogue.
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RED BANK: A RIVER READ RETURN TO RBPL

Rbplwestroom

A second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library is the setting for this Saturday’s River Read poetry-‘n-whatnot jam.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

In true hermit crab fashion, it’s a native offering that’s skittered from venue to venue around town – with past homes having included the Dublin House Pub, No Joe’s Café and the now-defunct Frank Talk on Shrewsbury Avenue.

But when the poetry event known as River Read: Words by the Navesink sets up shop this Saturday morning at the Red Bank Public Library, it will mark a welcome return for the monthly series that was unfortunately evicted from that riverview roost when the library was temporarily forced to cancel its Saturday programming.

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RED BANK: A GATHERING OF MAYORS

mayorsThe three living former mayors of Red Bank — Benedict Nicosia, Michael Arnone and Ed McKenna — join Mayor Pasquale Menna as guests of honor at the first annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, going on May 1st.

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee

Mayor Pat Menna is honoring three of his predecessors — and inviting the community — to the first annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball, scheduled for May 1st at The Oyster Point Hotel.

“Our committee is planning a great event and a fun evening, celebrating all things Red Bank,” noted the mayor.  “We are fortunate to have three former mayors — Judge Benedict Nicosia, Assemblyman Michael Arnone and Mayor Edward McKenna — still here in the area, and we will be honoring them for their public service.”

Other honorees include Red Bank RiverCenter, which will receive the Outstanding Community Service Award; the Two River Theater, the Cultural and Arts Award; Gerry Eisner, the Historical Legacy Award; Downtown Investors, the Urban Development Award; and Seals Eastern, the Manufacturing and Technology Award.

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RED BANK: A CORKER OF A BENEFIT, FOR RBPL

Susan Haugenes Kim LevinSusan Haugenes — pictured here jamming with hyperlocal luminaries The Haven — entertains during a Tuesday night Wine Tasting Benefit for the Red Bank Public Library. (Photo by Kim Levin)

It was about a year ago that the nonprofit Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library — in an effort to re-stabilize the beleaguered biblioteque during a challenging interlude in its long history — uncorked a fundraising vehicle of rare and winning vintage: a Wine Tasting Benefit that paired the holiday-season recommendations of Rumson’s own “Cork Maven” Kristi Nero with the complementary curd suggestions of Cheese Cave proprietor Stephen Catania.

On Tuesday, November 11, the festive sounds of popping and pouring will reverberate throughout the normally hushed corners of the historic Eisner Library building, when the Wine Tasting event returns for a second annual edition. Scheduled to run between 7 and 9:30 pm, the event will spotlight a selection of Faustini Wines from the winery’s Red Bank tasting room, in happy partnership with artisanal cheeses from the borough-based Cave. Also on hand will be hors d’oeuvres, sweets, a 50/50 raffle and locally sourced live music.

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RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: LIBRARY VOICES

rbpl-book-saleAfter a preview party Friday evening, the two-day Red Bank Public Library book sale gets underway Saturday morning. Below, ‘The City and the Shore’ come alive as graphic artist Mike Quon open an exhibit of his works at Middletown Library.

QuonSeptember means time for a shout-out to the Red Bank Public Library — and, rather than shushing some of the more enthusiastic shouters, the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library are encouraging all citizens of the greater Green to come out to support this community resource during a used book sale that stands among the area’s most anticipated such annual events.

Much more than just a casual card-table-and-cashbox affair, the sale kicks off with a special preview party at the library on Friday evening, when, for an admission charge of $25 (free to member Friends), attendees can enjoy first dibs on the selection of books, CDs, DVDs and more — as well as wine, appetizers, raffles and a performance by Red Bank’s own jazz legend trio, the Al Wright Unit.

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RBR SENIOR IN TOUCH WITH HISTORY

kaylaRed Bank Regional senior and Red Bank resident Kayla Williams is currently working on an oral history project, in alliance with the Red Bank Library.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Each Sunday, area residents flock to the Galleria parking lot to pick the fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Few among the shoppers realize that a similar scene once played out down the road at Marine Park, where boats carried in fruits and vegetables straight from New York City’s markets in the days when Red Bank was an operating port.

That was the memory of 97- year-old Anthony Trufolo, a former Red Bank High School teacher, as recorded by 17 year-old Red Bank resident Kayla Williams, a rising senior at Red Bank Regional High School.

Kayla spent a good part of her summer vacation interviewing and recording the memories of other senior Red Bank residents, in collaboration with the Red Bank Library’s on-going oral history project. She volunteered to participate as she thought it would be interesting and fun.  She found it to be all that and, in her words, “just amazing.”

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