riverside gardens 092214 2riverside gardens 092214 1In a move to thwart damage by skaters and skateboarders, new alternating-level caps have replaced flat ones on walls throughout Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank.

Work underway at the park also includes the reconstruction of the promenade overlooking our beautiful Navesink River and the rebuilding of  retaining wall that collapsed in 2013(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


sherriBobbieKingsleyKindie-rock favorite Sherri Ehrlich sings for grownups in an encore appearance at Thursday’s Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens. (Photo by Bobbie Kingsley)

A generation of kids knows her as Miss Sherri: a frequent presence at family-friendly festivals and all-ages venues around the greater Green as the top-hatted ringleader to the various parrots, pups, gators and girl-group giraffes that comprise the Little Animal Band.

But Sherri Ehrlich has a post-bedtime gig that finds the onetime proprietor of Red Bank’s Honey Child Music moonlighting as a whole ‘nother musical creature known as Sherri Pie.

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jaws-1975-001-bathers-running-sea-00m-eodIt’s “everybody out of the water” and up onto the lawn, as ‘Jaws’ returns to Riverside Gardens for a Tuesday night showing. The original ‘Back to the Future’ materializes on Wednesday at the Count Basie.

back-to-the-future-Calling all discount Don Juans: the season for cheap-date movie nights continues this week in Red Bank, with the re-appearances of two favorites from the Steven Spielberg filmography.

First up, tonight, is the thriller that started the whole modern summer-blockbuster industry as we know it, in addition to kicking off something of a local tradition in recent years. We’re talking about Jaws, the 1975 smash that put director Spielberg on the map, spawned a fishy franchise (Middletown’s own Billy Van Zandt would have a featured role in the 1977 sequel), and drew inspiration from a real-life 1916 shark attack near Matawan.

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Sweet WhiskeyVocalist Maggie Worsdale fronts the Sweet Whiskey Band in a set of “Songs Under the Influence,” Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater. (photo by Roberto Muolo)

April may be National Jazz Appreciation Month  — a fact driven home locally and yearly by Joe Muccioli‘s Talkin’ Jazz series at the Count Basie Theatre — but things really heat up jazzwise in this Basie-birthing borough during the month of July, an interlude during which several weekends’ worth of Summer Jazz cafe events at Two River Theater are keynoted by open-air Thursdays at Riverside Gardens’ Jazz in the Park series.

The 2014 slate of outdoor concerts (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department) continues on the evening of July 24 in a classically cool vein, when drummer Darwin B. Oden and his combo return to the banks of the Navesink for some improvisatory, exploratory sets ‘neath the setting sun and stars. The music kicks in at 7:30 pm (weather permitting; call Parks and Rec at 732-530-2782 for day-of-show updates); bring lawn chairs or blankets, and dress comfy casual  — then go home, get dressed for a sophisticated night on the town, and reconvene at Two River for an extra special Friday and Saturday session.

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funktionThe eleven-piece showband Funktion 11 crowds the stage of Riverside Gardens Thursday evening as the Jazz in the Park series continues.

Call them a showband — the kind that can rock the roof off any wedding, corporate event or casino lounge. The kind that makes a big sound just by standing there; a band with so many people in it, they don’t even have a name to describe what comes after nonet and dectet.

When Funktion 11 takes the portable stage at Riverside Gardens in Red Bank this Thursday night, it will bring its in-your-face mix of soul classics, Motown milestones and vintage hits (by big horny rock bands like the Ides of March) back to the banks of the Navesink, as the latest in the 2014 Jazz in the Park series.

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hardThe Fab Four run free-range in A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, with a free screening Wednesday night at the Count Basie as a special 50th anniversary event.

After blowing out the last of winter’s drab watercolors, you’d think the last thing we’d be willing to do is sacrifice summer’s brilliant Roy-G-Biv for another trip to grayscale gardens. But some of the most vividly colorful films in existence are in black and white, and this Tuesday and Wednesday, local audiences will be treated to a couple of favorites that are as free of charge as they are free of hue, tint and saturation.

On July 15, Shore Flicks returns to Riverside Gardens for the latest in a slate of Summer 2014 movies under the setting sun and stars, with Gene Wilder inheriting a retro castle and mad laboratory in Mel Brooks’ laughingly loving horror homage Young Frankenstein. Photographed with the misty glow and sparking electricity of a 1930’s Hollywood soundstage talkie — and packed with shticky gags that were already antiques in the Herbert Hoover administration — the 1974 comedy screens just after sundown, with attendees encouraged to bring nonperishable food items (for Lunch Break and other local charities) along with the folding chairs and beach towels.

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indepDown in front: Shore Flicks rolls into Riverside Gardens for the first in the free summer film series, as INDEPENDENCE DAY brings the sci-fi fireworks to the banks of the Navesink.

It’s got Will Smith one-punching an alien Squidward! Bill Pullman as a Mission-Accomplished president! Randy Quaid as an airborne Cousin Eddie, plus Harvey Fierstein, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, and the glory that is Brent Spiner as Dr. Okun. The space invaders realistically never stood a chance against that cast of scenery-devouring terrestrials — but the 1996 sci-fi epic Independence Day also ate up tons of discretionary dollars at the box office, and tonight you’ll be able to relive every exploding landmark (and every fallen punchline) for free, as Shore Flicks returns to Riverside Gardens for the first in a slate of Summer 2014 movies under the setting sun and stars.

The longest-running of the many outdoor screening series presented by T.J. Brustowicz all over Monmouth and Ocean counties, the Red Bank showings take place just after sundown over the Navesink — and attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items (for Lunch Break and other local charities) along with the folding chairs and beach towels.

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Disney_s_Frozen_40633A FROZEN treat for summer: the blockbuster Disney animation is one of several new movies in the mix, as ShoreFlicks gets pumped up for a new summer season of free films on the inflatable screen, at Riverside Gardens.

There’s the local outdoor debut of two recent animated hits (including the film that could only be called the Last Word in Blockbusters). Comedy and adventure favorites dating from the Seventies to the Noughties — and another in a string of “Shark Week” sightings.

While the all-American drive-in movie has largely gone the way of cars with lights that can be turned off, the outdoor, beach-chairs-and-blankets movie is alive and well — and nowhere more so than Riverside Gardens, where Shore Flicks returns on July 1st with a just-announced slate of free Tuesday evening showings on the big inflatable screen. Arguably the most people-pleasing of area outdoor screening spaces, the downtown setting is described as “just picture perfect…a beautiful backdrop” by T.J. Brustowicz, owner of the company that’s been running the Red Bank series since the summer of 2008 — and whose schedule has since expanded to communities all over Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

“Even if you’ve seen a movie for years on TV, it’s always a treat to watch it on a large screen, with an audience,” says Brustowicz — and when all the stars align, there’s nothing quite like the bigger-than-ever screen and beefed-up sound system; the super sight lines from the sloping lawn and the snack-stand patio, even the nearby hustle and bustle of the Front Street main drag. Throw in those Navesink River sunsets, and you’ve got a family outing that’s simply priceless in every way — and redbankgreen has the exclusive coming attractions on this summer’s sked, right around the bend.

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Free_parking_shotParking in municipal lots and numbered street spaces is FREE from December 12 through Christmas Day, with the return of a holiday promotion from Red Bank RiverCenter.

Leave the quarters in your pocket — and don’t lose precious shopping seconds double-checking street-space numbers, or squinting at kiosk display screens. Red Bank RiverCenter has announced that parking in municipal lots and metered streets in the downtown business district will once again be free of charge for the final two weeks of the shopping season, Thursday December 12 to Christmas Day, December 25.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer this great program to all visitors to the downtown,” said Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director, James Scavone, in a statement thanking the Mayor and Council for approving what has become a welcome tradition in the borough.  “Red Bank has so much to offer the holiday shopper, and we hope this gift gives shoppers yet another reason to shop local and shop Red Bank.”

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walkers-102012-500x339Participants in the 2012 Community Walk close the loop on their one-mile stroll through two borough parks. The rain-or-shine event returns to Red Bank’s two waterfront parks on Saturday, September 28. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse)

Press release from Borough of Red Bank

Councilman Michael DuPont, who serves as liaison to the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Committee, has announced that the group will hold its 2nd Annual Community Walk on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

The walk will kick off at 10 am in Marine Park with a 9:30 registration and will be held rain or shine.  Participants who finish the walk will be given a raffle ticket and will be eligible for prizes including the grand prize of a bicycle from The Red Bicycle.  One adult bicycle and one youth bicycle will be awarded along with gift certificates and more.

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rb 9-11 1 091113rb 9-11 3 091113The Red Bank area chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and two other tunes at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening for a lightly attended twelfth-anniversay memorial to those killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“Remember all the victims,” Mayor Pasquale Menna asked those in attendance. “Be kind to their families.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


nick clemons 7 090513nick clemons 1 090513Turnout was light  for a show by the Nick Clemons Band – seen above from the concesssion stand – for the season-ending Jazz in the Park show at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park Thursday night.

Friday night should be clear and cool, according to Weather Underground. (Click to enlarge)


He plays seashells by the seashore: trombonist and “seashellist” Steve Turre  brings his quintet to the Two River Theater on Friday and Saturday.


Whoever coined the phrase “Le Jazz Hot” might well have been thinking of the muddy, muggy banks of the Navesink in the months of July and August, as the borough that birthed Count Basie tends to fill its superheated summer days and trez-cool nights with the sorts of sounds that honor the legacy of the legendary Kid from Red Bank.

The musical fireworks start Thursday, when the waterfront walkways of Riverside Gardens reverb with the first of this year’s open-air Jazz in the Park junkets. Then, on Friday and Saturday, the Marion Huber room at Two River Theater is transformed once more into  a cool cavern of candlelit tables, classic coffeehouse vibes and close-up concert dynamics — when the series known as Summer Jazz Café turns that “black box” space into the area’s best-kept-secret nightspot.

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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)


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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Red Bank and Shrewsbury honored the victims of the 9/11 attacks Tuesday night, particularly four of their own. (Video and photos by Stacie Fanelli.)

In Riverside Gardens Park, the Red Bank Elks Lodge #233 hosted a ceremony for the 11th year straight at which at which a rose-laying atop the park’s memorial garden followed Mayor Pat Menna’s words about American courage. The Red Bank area chapter of the Chorus of the Atlantic laid down a memorable version of ‘God Bless America.’

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More than 50 people showed up in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens park Tuesday night for Shore Flicks’ final installment of the summer, “Some Like it Hot” (with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis).

Since July, six family-friendly movies have been screened in the park free of charge. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)


Red Bank musical movers and shakers Chuck Lambert, Joe Muccioli and the Al Wright Unit’s Ruth Wright pay tribute to the late Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta, in a special outdoor concert Friday.

While there’s still technically plenty of summer sand left in the hourglass, the coming of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair to the greater Red Bank Green adds an ever so slightly melancholy touch to the senior-diet Dog Days of August. We detect a nagging hint of Back to School seriousness; a wrapping up of outdoor entertainments; a change of gears and seasons that’s keynoted by a tuneful tribute, a look ahead to Halloween and a merrily Menopausal musical.

redbankgreen has assembled an even dozen diversions in this pre-Labor Day interlude, starting with a handful of things going on beneath the setting sun and stars.

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LAST COMIC STANDING semifinalist Erin Jackson, top, headlines Red Bank’s first-ever Comedy in the Park event, while (L-R) Tim Belford, emcee Chris Covert and Matt Perkins set the stage for the free show Wednesday night.


Like somewhat more ornery (and somewhat less romantic) cousins to the vampires of legend, stand-up comics are true creatures of the night — or, more to the point, creatures of the nightclub. Which is why, day or night, it’s unusual to find them doing their thing in the Great Outdoors, breathing in the fresh atmosphere, swatting away junebugs and skeeters like so many Chuckle Hut hecklers.

On Wednesday night, however, Red Bank Parks and Rec offers up something that few if any have attempted here in the season of beach chairs and blanket bleachers: an open-air Comedy in the Park event that lets loose its crack-up Krakens in the pleasant waterfront setting of Riverside Gardens Park.

As “free-range” as it is free of charge, the 8 pm program is headlined by Erin Jackson, a season six semifinalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and a frequent sighting on Comedy Central, BET and TV Guide Channel. The daughter of Washington, DC will be joined on the bill by a contingent of Jersey Jokers — among them a familiar figure who’s fast becoming an impresario in local laugh-maker circles.

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Trumpeter Claudio Roditi sounds a keynote to a month of jazzy happenings in and around Red Bank, with a Weekend in Brazil that kicks off the Summer Jazz Cafe series at Two River Theater.

Red Bankers generally don’t need any reminders that theirs is the borough that birthed the great William ‘Count’ Basie. Still, a recent return visit by Grammy-winning retro pop-jazz harmonizers The Manhattan Transfer served to demonstrate the degree of respect that the hometown of the legendary “Kid from Red Bank” inspires from coast to coast, as LA-based Tim Hauser and company (who actually recorded some sessions with the late great bandleader for their 1985 album Vocalese) shared a set-within-a-set of Basie-related numbers as a special treat for the Count Basie Theatre audience.

As the calendar strikes July, the greater Red Bank green’s reputation as a musical mecca for sophisticated cats and kittens begins to warm up in earnest, with the superheated days and trez-cool nights of the post-Fourth interlude offering up an unparalleled number of opportunities to take in various things jazzy.

It all clicks in this weekend, with the first in the annual Summer Jazz Café series at Two River Theater — a nocturnal excursion complemented by a day-trip whistle stop at the Middletown Jazz & Blues Festival. Then on Thursday the 12th, the waterfront walkways and sculpted terraces of Riverside Gardens reverb with the first in the open-air 2012 Jazz in the Park outings.

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dub-tree-2008A hasty push to move Red Bank’s traditional Christmas tree to Riverside Gardens Park for the coming holiday season failed Thursday night as town officials balked over questions about proper review.

Gripes from the public led downtown promoter Red Bank RiverCenter to ask the borough council for permission to relocate the tree – shown at right being removed after the 2007 season – which has been displayed for years in the Monmouth Street courtyard of the Dublin House, said executive director Nancy Adams.

“We’re getting complaints every year from residents to move it someplace that, frankly, is not a bar,” she said. “We want to make the residents happy.”

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tattooCarol Bossio, with her mother, Muriel Hemschoot below, displayed the tattoo she had inked as a tribute to her brother, Mark. (Click to enlarge)


muriel-carol1The solemn formalities – the presentation of the colors, the patriotic songs, the speeches and prayer – had ended. Red Bank’s volunteer firefighters, in crisp dress blues, had marched out of Riverside Gardens Park, preceded by the police department and Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch, a bagpipe band, to the sound of a single, snapping drum.

On the promontory overlooking a placid Navesink River in gray twilight, Muriel Hemschoot and her daughter, Carol Hemschoot Bossio, mingled with borough officials who’d known them all their lives, laughing and sharing thoughts about Mark Hemschoot, Muriel’s son and Carol’s brother, a borough fireman who died at the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

As signified by the large tattoo inked on Bossio’s shoulder, the “permanent tribute” she’ll take to her own grave, there remained a gulf between those who lost loved ones and those whose experience of it was more remote, Bossio said. Still, the hourlong event had a salutary effect, she and her mother agreed.

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jazzinparkA Red Bank employee updates the borough message board at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard on Monday to tout the free Comcast Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens Park on Thursday nights at 7 p.m., this week featuring Don Carter. There are free movies, lunchtime concerts and songwriter-at-sunset events in the park, too. See the Red Bank Visitors Center website for details. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)


rbpd-patrolcarThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 19 to November 26, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Attempted Burglary at 52 Evergreen Terrace on 11-19-10. Report of unknown subject(s) attempted to break into the building. Found pry marks on lock and mail slot of door. Sgt. Robert Kennedy.

Burglary occurring between 11-18-10 and 11-19-10 at 58 McLaren St. residence. Victim reported that unknown subject gained entry into residence by smashing glass in rear door of home. Unknown if anything was stolen. Ptl. Robert Campanella.

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work-out-2Organizers hope to get 100 people out for a free workout at Riverside Gardens Park Monday night. (Photos by Peter Lindner; click to enlarge)


Who needs a gym when you have Riverside Gardens Park?

The Red Bank slice-o-heaven overlooking our beautiful Navesink River has quietly become home to a series of boot-camp style fitness classes for all.

Every Monday night in July, trainers from Outdoor Fit in Tinton Falls have been putting on a free community workout in the park. The last one attracted several dozen people willing to bend, stretch and lift, al fresco, for an hour as sunset approached.

For the next one, on July 19, they’re hoping to attract 100 participants.

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