RED BANK: VETERANS’ ART TO GET SPOTLIGHT

Korean war vet George Weiss of Sea Bright at Ani Art Academy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njReturning home after a year’s service in Vietnam, Jim Black remembers landing on American soil after midnight. There was no welcoming committee, no formal expression of gratitude. U.S. authorities made sure the repatriations took place under cover of darkness, in part to shield soldiers from war protesters, he said.

It left Black and others other veterans feeling slighted, he said. It wasn’t that he and  his fellow soldiers wanted a parade, but “just don’t hate me,” he said, choking up a bit.

That’s why a free art school for military veterans in Red Bank means so much to him: it makes him and other vets feel “welcomed” at last, he told redbankgreen Friday.

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RED BANK: A BITTERSWEET RETURN

Sunday’s Doc Holiday Car Show in Red Bank’s White Street lot was bittersweet for the members of the host Liberty Hose fire company, who lost their century-old firehouse in a sale by the borough earlier this year. Fifty-year member Herk Forgione said the company was “very, very sad” to lose its home. But the volunteer firefighters were glad to be back for a few hours Sunday, overseeing an annual fundraising show that attracted some 280 gleaming classics and lots of families. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ART SHOW AT SALON CONCRETE

salon concrete 1 100413salon concrete 3 100413Drawing a crowd to Red Bank’s Salon Concrete last Friday night was a show of paintings and other works by Little Silver artist Mike Ciccotello. “Other works’ included customized skateboard decks (see below). One attendee wore Ciccotello sneakers, right.

The show is slated to run through December. Salon Concrete is at 123 Broad Street. (Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: GUERRILLA ART OFF THE WALK

‘Anonymous’ artists plan to crash the Art Walk planned for Friday night in Red Bank, displaying their works in unexpected places. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Friday night’s Art Walk in Red Bank, the latest in a series, comes with a twist: guerrilla displays of creativity.

With the blessing of Art Walk’s organizers, a group of artists who wish to remain anonymous plan to stage an alternative, if symbiotic show that’s off the map, both spacially and aesthetically.

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RED BANK: MING CHEN FLIES WITHOUT A CAPE

Ming Chen, right, talking smod with Michael Zapcic at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash last month.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Bites2_SmallAMC’s Comic Book Men, a reality TV show set at Red Bank’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash that airs its season finale tonight, features a cast renowned for snide and jaded banter on the world of comic books, movies, and television.

Throughout their playful, occasionally ball-busting discussions conducted online on ‘smodcasts‘ that anchor the show, store employee Ming Chen tends to be the brunt of the jokes due to his laid-back, friendly and unassuming disposition.

Chen, 38, started on his path to comic book heaven in 1996, while attending the University of Michigan. There, he studied everything from economics to organic chemistry, until he found himself skipping class to follow his true passion: web design. Chen says he “fell backwards” into his life as a professional nerd after he created a fan website for Kevin Smith’s movie ‘Clerks,’ which prompted Smith to offer him an internship. Since then, Chen has formed lifelong friendships with Smith and the cast, which includes Bryan Johnson, Michael Zapcic, Walt Flanagan, and “Steve-Dave.” This chemistry, Chen says, is what creates the show’s natural feel.

redbankgreen sat down with Chen, who also hosts the show “Puck Nuts” and is often featured on the podcast “Tell ‘em Steve-Dave,” for an installment of our infrequent Human Bites feature, which focuses on people and their passions.

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BUMPER-TO-DAGMAR TRAFFIC DOWNTOWN

packardsClassic cars began purring into downtown Red Bank late Wednesday afternoon for a charity car show that’s scheduled to overtake Broad Street and other downtown streets until 10 p.m. Above, a 1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible, as seen through the rear window of a 1937 Packard Limousine. (Click to enlarge)

PUTTING THE SHAKE BACK INTO A CREAKY HIP

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We’ve said it before: the ‘Hip City/Hippest Town in New Jersey’ designation for Red Bank has got to go. It’s so rusty it creaks. Even the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter steer clear of it in marketing the town, they tell us.

Ah, but hips, well… they can stay. After all, they’ve only just arrived, in a sense, and they’re doing their, um, parts to help give the town some renewed sizzle as a destination for fashion-conscious women.

How recently? redbankgreen readers may recall that it was just over a year ago that Red Bank had its first-ever lingerie fashion show, or the first one in recent memory, at least. Sponsored by lingerie retailer Sweetest Sin Boutique and held at the now-shuttered Ashes Cigar Club, the packed-house event brought a flash of sexy to a downtown that’s better known for family-themed doings.

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BUSTIN’ IT AT THE DUB, TAKE TWO

sinead-dunneSinead Dunne models a swimsuit that will be featured in the show. Below, Ruthie Chaparra in a kimono-style dress. (Click to enlarge)

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Somehow, little old Red Bank survived its first century-plus of existence without an outdoor fashion show featuring skimpily clad amateur models.

Rosa Davis of Bella Mystique filled that cultural void with panache on a chilly night back in April. That’s when several dozen customers of her Broad Street boutique strutted a red carpet laid down outside the Dublin House on Monmouth Street.

The place was packed, the music was throbbing, and there was enough jiggle in the courtyard to boost the ambient temperature by a couple of degrees.

So why wait another century to do it again? Even if the temperatures are now tropical quality.

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