Wednesday, December 9, 2009

House Inspiration

I'm grooving on this bedroom at the moment. Our "master" bedroom is a very similar color but with silver accents and carmel-colored wood furniture. I could easily get from there to here:

Birthday Trip to DC

Record merchant in Dupont Circle.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Medieval Times

Have I mentioned that we're just down the road from the Lyndhurst location of Medieval Times? I've not been there since I was a kid (when it first opened) but Linnea wanted to go for her 30th birthday, so we did. Our knight, the blue knight, lost.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best Halloween Decoration

I love this house and they did an amazing job decorating for Halloween. The little cupola with the gargoyle is not part of the structure - cool, huh? Best thing, it is right down the block from my house.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Get 'em While They're Hot

2 Boys still available at RAHO (their sister was adopted). They are not only cute but playful and cuddly, a great combo. Call (201) 933-4111 for more info.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kittens at the Rutherford Animal Hospital

The Rutherford Animal Hospital has 3 cute-as-can-be kittens available for adoption. I played with two of them today and they are spirited but gentle (already learning to retract their claws when they swat at human flesh!). As someone who lives with an orange and white cat, I can attest that they're a wonderful mix of spunky and laptastic.

I'd guess they weigh about 2lbs and are proximately 4 weeks old. The RAHO can give you the exact specs. Alas, I did not get a picture of them, but they look a similar to Wyatt (picture above) but with a little more orange.

Rutherford Animal Hospital
755 Rutherford Ave
Tel: 201 933.4111

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


WHAT? New Jersey Zombie Walk and Zombie Fest
WHERE? The Carousel House in Asbury Park, NJ (700 Ocean Ave.)
WHEN? Saturday, October 3rd.
TIME? Events begin at 11:00am, Walk begins at 5:00pm.
HOW? There's no sign up or registration. Just show up and grab a wristband.
WHO? It's open to everyone, zombies all ages and undead pets (on leashes).
COST? It's entirely free, although there’s cool merch available to purchase.
MAKEUP? You can do it at home, use our free makeup on-site or get a professional makeover for a $10 donation.
LATE? Just join the walk where ever it may be lurching in progress.
RAIN? We walk rain or shine. Hail and locusts are a maybe.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Castle

Felician College has begun a 2-year, multi-milion dollar interior renovation of Iviswold Castle on the Rutherford campus. They began with an exterior renovation several years ago and have also been removing the additions, mostly made by Fairleigh Dickinson College over the years. In the process they've found some amazing historic details, including a whole chandelier and renaissance-style frieze!!

Iviswold was built as a private residence in 1869, when it was called Hill House. David Brinkerhoff Ivison bought it in 1887 and hired William H. Miller to expanded it. It was then renamed Iviswold. Felician College bought it from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1997.

A little but about Miller and Ivison: Miller was the first graduate of the architecture school at Cornell University. He is best known for his buildings in Ithaca and at Cornell. Ivison was the president of the American Book Company, an educational book company founded in 1890 when several other publishers, including Iveson, Blakeman and Co consolidated. Ivison was born in 1835 in Auburn, NY where his father was in the book business (binding and selling).

The Castle c1942

From the FDU website:
"The Castle," as it was known to Rutherford, underwent complete remodeling before its official opening as a college in September, 1942. It was built in 1886 of brownstone hauled to Rutherford by horsepower from the stone quarries in Belleville, New Jersey.. Modeled after the French chateaux, Chaummont and Amboise, it cost $350,000 to complete and had 25 rooms, two portecocheres, and five tennis courts. The estate had several owners after the Ivison family, and in 1911 a swimming pool was added. In the late 1920s the building housed the Union Club.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An offering for the trees

Since Rutherford is the Borough of Trees, it seem particularly fitting to recognize that today is Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox. It is a time of balancing, rebirth, harvest, and of honoring the forests and "The Green Man." At this point in the year in many cultures we recognize the turning of the season (the Persephone story, passage of the Goddess into Crone, New Year, etc). I'll be enjoying the outdoors, eating the fruits of my neighbor's apple harvest (they went apple picking last weekend), and raising a glass of wine to the trees.

On this day when day and night are equal, may you all find balance, abundance, and fortitude for the coming season.

Some traditional offerings: honey, apples, wine, nuts, grapes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Famous Rutherfordians: John Marin

No. 8 Winter c1930 by John Marin

Artists John Marin was born in Rutherford and grew up in Weehawken, NJ (as did I). He studied with Thomas Anshultz and William Merrit Chase at the venerable PA Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He had his first exhibition at 291, Alfred Stieglitz's NYC gallery, in 1909 and Stieglitz continued to be a friend and mentor throughout his career.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Made in the Shade

The Rutherford Shade Tree Committee (who knew?) is working toward more stringent ordinances to protect old shade trees in town. The current ordinance protects trees on public property, such as parks, highways and streets. The proposed changes would protect some trees on private property as well. The committee is particularly interested in protecting trees that may be cut due to sidewalk damage. While this is sure to get folks up in arms ("not in my back yard!") I think it is wise to explore protecting our resources, particularly in an area where flooding and soil erosion are prevalent. I'll be watching this topic.

Monday, September 14, 2009

By the way, the Giants won

Photo: Barton Silverman/The New York Times

Osi Umenyiora after returning a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown that put the Giants ahead, 17-0. "I play a little running back in my dreams," he said.

Word to the Wise

Yesterday was the opening of both the Jets (at Cowboys) and Giants (home) football seasons and I made the mistake of going to the local supermarket. I know better and had even made a promise to myself to not go to the supermarket on Sundays during football season. Alas, I forgot it was the first day until it was too late - I had people coming to my house to watch the games. More to the point, they were coming to eat home-made buffalo wings and nachos and my fridge was bare. There are fun things about living one town away from Giants' stadium, where both the Giants and Jets play (LOTS of spirit), navigating the supermarket pre-game is not one of them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Huntrest House

This is my favorite house in Rutherford. It is a very unique Craftsman Bungalow built in 1910 by Emma and Frank Beasley. Frank Beasley was the assistant postmaster for Rutherford and even mentioned in a 1903 article in the NY Times, but something must have gone wrong because the couple sold the house in 1917 to Uster Theodora and Cyprian Cyrail Hunt (you can't make those names up) who named it Huntrest.

It is on Gouverneur Ave one block from my house so I can see it whenever I like. When we first moved in the house looked something like the picture below, although in worse repair. My sweetie thought I was nuts for loving it. Since, a new owner has bought the house, restored it beautifully (at least from what I can see outside) and had it put on the Historic Register. THANK YOU!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Famous Rutherfordians: Charles Evered

Charles Evered and actor, Eric Stoltz,answering questions in Charles Evered's "Nuts and Bolts" workshop. Photo by Robert Pushkar.

Charles Evered is a playwright born in Passaic and raised in Rutherford. His undergrad degree is from Rutgers and he holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama. Recently his film "Adopt A Sailor," starring Bebe Neuwirth, Peter Coyote and Ethan Peck, was premiered at Williamstown Film Festival. His newest play, "Class," is scheduled to be performed at the Cape May Stage in 2010. More of us may know his work on the TV series "Monk."

Check out his website

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Famous Rutherfordians: John Dull

Next in my line-up of famous Rutherfordians: John Dull, folk music artist and promoter.

Excerpted from Dull's website...

A former high school and college football player and coach, John’s artistic perspective is straightforwardly unique. His fluency in the Russian language adds dimension to performance, as his repertoire includes traditional Russian folk tunes. He is known for sincerity and depth in presentation

As a performer, this singer/songwriter has appeared with all of the artists mentioned on the homepage, including Emmylou Harris; Pete Seeger; Tom Chapin; Tom Paxton; Odetta; and "Uncle Floyd" Vivino.

John’s originals are highlighted on Bob Sherman’s, “Woody’s Children”, the longest running folk radio show in the U.S. now airing on WFUV 90.7 fm NY. The artist is also a frequent performance guest on WFDU 89.1 fm folk radio, NJ.

Of John’s most current album, “Long Road to Home,” Tom Paxton wrote, “I listen to hundreds of albums each year. John’s stands out as one of the best. His songs find their way into your head and into your heart.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Landscape With The Fall of Icarus

William Carlos Williams was born September 17, 1883 in Rutherford, NJ. He wrote the poem "Landscape With The Fall of Icarus" after seeing Pieter Breughel's painting after which he named the poem (image above).

Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Location of Rutherford time capsule still unknown

FROM THE LEADER NEWSPAPER - Click to view the article on The Leader website

By Susan C. Moeller / Senior Reporter

RUTHERFORD — On Nov. 25, 1920, World War I had been over for approximately two years, Warren Harding had just won a landslide election to the presidency and a decade known for its opulence and decadence was under way.

In Rutherford, the borough council was ready to commemorate those who served in “the war to end all wars” — an unfortunate slogan that proved resoundingly false. A monument designed by local architect Edgar I. Williams had been dedicated six months earlier.

At a special meeting the morning of the 25th, the mayor and council assembled a box of records that had been gathered ahead of time. The clerk sealed the box and the council proceeded to the newly constructed WWI monument at the intersection of Park and Passaic avenues, according to borough historian Rodney Leith. The box, which Leith assumes was made of metal, was placed somewhere near the base of the monument.

Unfortunately, there’s no remaining record of the box’s location — no infamous “x” to mark the spot. And, 89 years later, the time capsule is still concealed, still hiding.

An attempt was made Friday, Aug. 14 to find the box. Preservationists working to restore the monument checked one logical hiding place — behind a bronze plaque at the base of the monument, but instead of an open vault, they found only a blank stretch of the concrete-like mix from which the monument was constructed.

Local historian William Neumann, who helped to secure funds for restoration of the monument, had suspected that the box might be behind the plaque ever since he noticed that the plaque did not seem to be tightly secured.

A shadow of doubt still remains in his mind. There are no visible edges to the concrete behind the plaque. But, it does sound a little hollow, Neumann said.

The time capsule is not a treasure chest by any stretch of the imagination. But, the records inside have historic and possibly sentimental value.

According to a resolution adopted by the borough council on the day the box was hidden, it holds records including information from the citizen committee, which raised money for the monument, a list of Rutherfordians who served in the war, a record of activity of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and a report from the “Friday Knitting Group.”

Finding the box would allow for any of the documents inside to be copied or repaired. But, Neumann and Leith aren’t sure yet if more extensive efforts to find the capsule will be made.

Neumann is in favor of leaving the box where it is, hidden. No specific direction was given as to when the box should be opened, he pointed out. And, if the concrete behind the plaque is concealing something, it may be an intentional part of the design. “If there is something behind it,” Neumann said, “Maybe that’s what they wanted to do, was for it to stay there.”

Time capsules, which are sometimes stowed in the cornerstones of public buildings, could be considered the final statements of a structure, intended to be found when all else has crumbled, Neumann suggested.

But, the WWI monument isn’t at its end yet. “We are in the middle of the life of this monument.”

The lost box of records in the WWI monument is probably not the only time capsule that will have to wait for someone to stumble upon it.

“There are probably dozens of them stuck around town,” Neumann said. “Many times the information on where they are gets lost.” It’s the number one problem with time capsules, he added.

As for the box in the WWI monument, “I’ll leave it to eternity to figure that one out,” Neumann said.

“We have no idea where it is at this stage,” Leith said.

The borough will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Edgar I. Williams in October. A rededication of the WWI monument is scheduled for Oct. 2. The event will be an opportunity to honor the designer of the monument and the service people it was built to memorialize, Leith said. There are plans in the works to place a second time capsule in the monument.

Maybe this time, directions on how and when to find it will survive.

Furloughs End

Tuesday, August 18th at the Mayors’ request, the Council unanimously voted to end the employee Furlough program effective August 24th. The Furlough program was instituted on July 10, 2009 to reduce expenditures and assist in balancing the budget.

Mayor Hipp stated “In these difficult economic times it’s important to maintain services to our residents while keeping a lid on property tax increases. However I know the furloughs have caused a disruption to our residents and a hardship to the employees who participated in the program. As a result of the monies the Borough received from EnCap, we are looking at a modest budget increase 1.49%.”

New trash and recycling schedules will be mailed to residents next week that will include leaf pickup and will cover the remaining months of 2009.

All Borough administrative offices will be open 5 days a week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

For further information please visit the Borough’s Web Site at or call DPW at 201-460-3038.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rutherford, The Movie

A friend of mine helped make a wonderful short film that has just been released. It was filmed in Rutherford, in two locations:
1. Inside the photo studio on Glen Road (I can't find the name) and on the street outside
2. Our house (!!!!) and on the street outside.
Don't miss the "behind the scenes" footage.

Click here to view the film: Portraits

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Banana Split Day

It is National Banana Split Day so be sure to visit Ice Cream Charlie's or Dairy Queen on Park Ave in Rutherford.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Risotto House

When I first moved to Rutherford friends who knew I was a "foodie" congratulated me on my choice from a culinary perspective. They were thrilled to come out and eat their way through town. One exception, Risotto House on Park Ave. Everyone told me to stay away. Now I hear they've a new(ish) chef, co-owner Luis Tito. Tito used to work for the Bastianich family at Felidia and Becco. That sounds like street cred to me. I say its time to try Risotto House.

Risotto House
88 Park Avenue
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 438-5344

Station Square ca 1909

Talk It Up! Teen Book Discussion Group

Do I have any teen readers out there? How about parents of teens? This one's for you:

Talk It Up
TONIGHT 7PM - 8:15PM at the Rutherford Public Library
Contact: Susan Rappaport 201-939-8600 ext 19

"All teens entering the seventh grade and older are invited to our summer book discussion group. We meet for six weeks and four of the books are on the summer reading list from school. The first half of the program we discuss the books and in the second half we play a really fun version of Family Feud. Come join in on the fun! Food, presents and new friends are available. Registration is mandatory so come in, call or email but you must register!"

By the way, that picture was not taken at the RPL. It's just for visual interest - give me some poetic license.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Overheard in Rutherford 2: An Evening with the Borg 08.21.09

Once again, courtesy of Elisabeth (Thanks!!)

Borgism (bôrg´iz ǝm) n. thought stated while hanging with the Rutherford Borg, removed from its original context for comic effect.

1. You never know what kind of friggin' cow you're going to get, and that's reality.

2. His kombucha exploded.

3. It's nightmarish and stupid and I don't know what you're talking about.

4. Mary already drank half the bottle. Were drinking the other half to keep her alive.

5. I have butterfly butt.

6. There are a lot of flavors you could add to vodka that would make me want to drink it. Skittles is not one of them.

7. I didn't get malaria this week.

8. You should have probably started with fire walking.

9. Vil-la! Vil-la! Vil-la!

10. Pee anywhere you want!

11. Coffee makes me nuts. I mean, more so.

12. I'm wearing five layers of underwear right now.

13. I don't want my threats to lie around doing nothing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cupcakes Galore

I bought 3 cupcakes to try tonight after dinner at Daruma (review to come)...

Earl Grey Blueberry:

1. As with many of their cupcakes, the overall feel of this one is a little heavy and the cake is slightly greasy.
2. Smell is wonderful - strong bergamot mixed with blueberry pie. A good combo.
3. My sweetie thinks the icing is a little grainy bUt I like it. Not too sweet but rich and tasty. How can vegan buttercream frosting taste rich and buttery?
4. The cake is dense but not too firm. A scent of Early Grey tea but not a strong taste of it.
5. Filling classic blueberry pie. Fresh taste and fresh blueberry on top.
6. Of the Sweet Ave cupcakes I've tried, I'd put this in the top 5. (#1 of the 3 tried tonight)

Thai Coconut Curry:

1. Cake is a little drier than their usual; more like a muffin. My sweetie likes this density particularly.
2. Smells like coconut curry
3. Light on the frosting, which is nice. Toasted coconut is a good addition in my opinion but my sweetie would prefer un-toasted.
4. As with the bergamot, more of a smell of curry than a taste.
5. A little too sweet. I'm a big fan of chili in chocolate and I think this needs a similar balancing factor.
6. Less successful than many of their cupcakes but I appreciate the effort. #2 of 3.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

1. Not much smell. A little vanilla smell, a little mass-market cookie dough (there's actually cookie dough in the middle!).
2. Comparatively bland.
3. The cake is nice, classic.
4. Frosting is too sweet and grainy.
5. Good concept (the stuffing with dough).
6. #3 of 3. Not really successful.

Sweets to Come

I'm planning on walking over to Sweet Avenue today to buy some cupcakes, specifically the Thai Curry which I've been wanting to try. I'll let you know how they are.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today is Wednesday and we all know what that means: tomorrow is the day for my favorite flavors at Sweet Avenue Bake Shop! I've not tried them all, but check out this selection:

Black & White
Dark Side of the Moon
Jet Black
Sexy Sadie
White Room
Blueberry Earl Grey
Chocolate Sundae
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Thai Coconut Curry
Old Skool

Awesome, right!?!?

In case you don't know about Sweet Avenue, here's a little blurb from their (great) web site:
"Everything we make at Sweet Avenue is totally vegan. That means that all of our cupcakes, cookies, and everything else are all dairy- and egg-free. They're also 100% cholesterol-free, completely cruelty-free, better for the environment, and 156% awesomer than non-vegan desserts. Seriously. You can take that to the bank."

If that sounds gross, just wait until you taste. I actually did not know the cupcakes were vegan until a vegetarian friend told me and I'd been eating and enjoying them for months. And, NO, I don't have some sort of strange taste disorder. I'm a very good cook and sweet stuff connoisseur. Try it, you'll like it.

Sweet Avenue Bake Shop
153 Park Ave.
Rutherford, NJ 07070
201.935.BAKE (2253)
Mon — Closed
Tue-Sat — 11am-7pm
Sun — 11am-5pm

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First-ever (201) Restaurant Week

Alas, there are no participating restaurants in Rutherford for some unknown reason, since there are so many good ones here. But, use this as an excuse to patronize your local eateries.

(201) Restaurant Week runs October 4-8 & 11-15

Experience some of Bergen's top restaurants and finest cuisine at an incredible value! Dine out at participating restaurants and take advantage of a prix fixe, three-course lunch for $16.95 and dinner for $29.95. No tickets or passes required. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

A donation will be made to Table to Table, a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable excess food and delivers it to organizations that feed the hungry in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties.

For more information, please call (201) 646-6954.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rutherford Mayor to Pay Taxes

Rutherford Mayor, John Hipp, claims he's going to pay his taxes this week.

For those of you who have not been following this story, our Mayor owes $6300 in property taxes that he's not paid this year. I applaud the Mayor for publicly vilifying land developer, EnCap for not paying its $1.6 Mil in property taxes to Rutherford but his attention to that matter does not excuse his own non-payment. He claims that he has not been able to pay because his law practice is struggling while he spends most of his time being the Mayor (a job with a stipend of only $4000 annually). I'm sure EnCap, which paid it's bill 2 weeks ago, had an excuse too. For a man who ran on the platform of financial responsibility, this is absurd.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rutherford Community Food Pantry Needs List

I know I blogged about the Rutherford Fool Pantry yesterday but I want to make it really easy for readers to donate. Here's what they need and a few things they don't. Please help out if you can. The drop off address is at the bottom.

*Oatmeal, Grits
*Pasta, all varieties
*Mac and Cheese
*Canned clams and clam sauce
*Hearty Soups, NO Chicken Noodle
*Canned Fruit, pineapple, fruit cocktail, peaches
*Pasta sauce, Canned Tomatoes
*Jelly, Peanut Butter
*Shaving cream and Razors
*Baby Diapers size: Newborn, 1, 4, and 5
Canned Corn
Iced tea mix
Canned Beets, Spinach, Mushrooms, Peas and Carrots
Pancake mixes and Syrup
Cake Mixes
Jello and Pudding boxes
Condiments: mustard, mayo, salad dressing, oil, vinegar, bread crumbs, ketchup
Rice, white, brown, Spanish
Tissues, toilet tissue and paper towels
Laundry detergent
Bar Soap, Deodorant
Shampoo, conditioner
Bath powder
NO Baked Beans or Pork and Beans
NO Peas
NO Green beans
NO Baby Food or Formula
NO Cranberry Sauce
NO Canned Beans
*Please remember we cannot accept expired food.

Rutherford Social Services
Borough Hall
176 Park Ave.
Rutherford, NJ

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rutherford Food Pantry seeking donations

Thanks to the good people at (201) Daily....
and courtesy of ever vigilant friend, John

Rutherford Food Pantry seeking donations
Police, volunteers and the mayor helped unload a truck full of food for the Rutherford Food Pantry last Friday. Although the pantry workers make an emergency trip to a state-run pantry in Hillsdale that day, the pantry located in borough hall is desperately seeking donations of food and other items.

The pantry has seen a sharp increase in families needing to "shop" at the pantry says volunteer Jackie Bunker-Lohrenz, adding that as of last Wednesday pantry shelves were almost bare. Clients are now numbered at more than 100.

If you would like to donate, please see the list of items needed at Donations can be dropped off 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the pantry is not open, bags or boxes can be left outside the door.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rutherford Residents Can Pay Taxes Online

Maybe the Mayor should take note!

From the website:
The Borough of Rutherford will allow residents to pay their taxes online beginning August 3, 2009. The Borough council approved this measure as a convenience to residents who may want to avail themselves of this program.

Visa and MasterCard payments will be allowed through a link on the Borough’s website. This is offered as an option to residents who will still be able to pay by cash or check either in person at Borough Hall or by mail.

For those who wish to take advantage of this option there will be a 2.59 percent fee that will be based on the amount of the tax payment. In a traditional retail situation this fee would be absorbed by the merchant or service provider. A municipality cannot absorb this fee. If the taxes are delinquent the taxpayer must call the Tax Office for the exact amount due as interest is calculated on a per diem basis. That number is 201-460-3005.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Overheard in Rutherford

Thanks to Elisabeth, who complied this list:

Borgism (bôrg´iz ǝm) n. thought stated while hanging with the Rutherford Borg, removed from its original context for comic effect.

1. I'm not quite young enough to be an aphid.

2. He used to like me. He used to like a lot of guys. Then he got married.

3. Get it off me!! Get it off me!!

4. I'm going to slow down the car -- you just get the hell out.

5. I've never stolen a baby. Not once.

6. Just put them in a padded room and let them knock themselves off the walls.

7. I'll feel better when there's a toilet.

8. I brought some lube!

9. You can actually do something for him which is murder three people.

10. I didn't know I looked that funny.

11. I love the bats because I've only been bitten once.

12. Can you visual-Earth the baby?

13. I killed him, and his successor was crazy.

14. Is this some kind of weird cougar terminology?

15. I have this problem with being logical.

16. The way you're going to do it is stupid and horrible and will lead you to death.

17. Oh, young hussy like you, of course you know his number!

18. I've come here to eat.

19. Guys, it's 3:00 in the morning. I'd like to get back to my hotel. Can we just finish this business and I'll be on my way?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Outlet Style

When I go to Maine I always stop at the LL Bean headquarters in Freeport. I also like to explore the other shops there and the outlets. That is another thing I can ABSOLUTELY do here in NJ. Secaucus is under 6 miles from Rutherford is the original outlet center. When I was a kid the stores were actual warehouse shops, selling off seconds and last seasons stored goods. Now things are more upscale, which is both good and bad. There's a heck of a lot of shopping there:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When I visit Maine I love to hike and enjoy the outdoors. On recent trips, I've toured the Penobscot Bay islands by boat, seen bald eagles on Mount Desert Islands and gone on various hikes. I could do similar things locally but I never do these things at home. I should, there are plenty of opportunities. Here are two examples:

The NJ Meadowlands Commission offers guided boat tours of the 30+ miles of wetlands bordering the Hackensack RIver, short hikes along the meadowlands, and strolling and admiring the wildflowers in their various parks.

The closest to Rutherford is the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission Environmental Center is an 87-acre impoundment and 10 acres of park land. There is a boardwalk nature trail (made of recycled plastic boards) through the meadowlands, with bird blinds. Also, a nature center, "Trash Museum", and panoramic views of the wetlands. 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, - Tel: 201 460-8300

Branch Brook Park offers 359+ cares of open meadowland and small patches of woodland on gently rolling terrain.It boasts over 2,000 cherry trees, a larger number and variety than the famous Washington, Each year the park hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival that attracts over 10,000 people a day.

What are your favorite outdoor activities around here?

Google Classic

I had some things in mind for my next entry and, of course, I'm fact-checking them using Google. How did we live with out internet searches? Oh, yeah, the library. I don't know the origin of this image but I'm reposting it from

The Maine Idea

I apologize for the "radio silence" and promise I've not been playing with the Wii this entire time (6 days). I've been in Maine for some of it. I love Maine - the natural beauty, the quiet, the locavore food, the attitude, the shops. Returning from this visit I decide to think about some of the things I do while I'm in Maine and find similar activities locally, around Rutherford. I'll post some ideas today, so check back!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pizza from Josie's...

...and RockBand 2


Today's post is going to be short because we bought a Wii and because my sweetie is on the way back to the house with RockBand 2. Also on the way to the house is a pizza from Josie's in Lyndhurst. There is a LOT of good pizza around Rutherford but Josie's is one of my favorites. The two best things, IMHO, are the pizza with pear-tomatoes & portabello mushrooms and the Chicken Scarpiello Sandwich. Check it out yourself and let me know what you think!

Josie's Pizzeria
228 Stuyvesant Ave.
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rutherford Station ca 1906

The original train station for the Erie Railroad/Bergen Line, at the junction of Park Avenue, Union Avenue, Erie Avenue and Orient Way, was built in 1862. The current station was built in 1898. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and looks very much the same today, especially after undergoing a recent renovation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

While on the topic of housing, here's an interesting graphic courtesy of It shows the age of Rutherford houses in comparison to others in the county and state

One of the things I love about Rutherford is the housing stock. Much of it is Victorian and Edwardian (including Craftsman bungalows) with original detailing. Even in modernized homes, one can see glorious old features peering out from more modern “improvements” Our house has the original chestnut wood moldings in the living and dining rooms (which I've been attempting to strip and renovate for a year), original oak floors in the lower portion of the house, a classic Edwardian stair leading to heart pine on the second floor, and a few of the 100+ year old doors and mullioned windows.

Take a look at this amazing interior

By the way, please, please, please don't throw out antique doors and windows and replace them with new hollow-core and vinyl junk. They're easily fixed so they don't leak or stick, are beautiful, and long lasting. If you absolutely must get rid of them, email me and I'll take as many as you have. Really, I'm not kidding.

Monday, July 27, 2009


There are a couple of really cool antiques shops in Rutherford. I love one in particular but I'm not giving away the location here, at least not now. I will say that they have particularly lovely waterfall deco, so when I saw this post on (also from Rutherford) it made me smile. Another reason to live in Rutherford – antiques.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Giants Stadium Final Tours - Aug. 8, 15 and 22

Ok, it is not Rutherford, but close enough.

After 33 seasons, Giants Stadium will close its gates and, ultimately, implode. Although we can all agree Giant stadium was badly designed and badly built, an over all lousy football viewing venue, it was iconic.

For all those who wish to bid the old place farewell, final tours of the stadium will take place 10 a.m. Saturdays, Aug. 8, 15 and 22.

Giants Stadium
Meadowlands Sports Complex
50 State Route 120, East Rutherford.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 5-12 and seniors 60 and older, free for children younger than 5. Yep, you guessed it, you can buy them at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Reason To Live in Rutherford

When we first moved to Rutherford I thought it was odd how many people had above ground pools. The house we eventually bought has one too and I thought it would be a drawback - too much work. Nope, perfection.

Friday, July 24, 2009

On The Road Again

I've spent a lot of time in a car, on highways today getting to and from a corporate event in Connecticut. It made me think of how much I loved car trips as a kid. There's something mesmerizing about watching all that scenery flow by out the windows. I've lost some of that wonderment but still take pleasure in watching the side of the road roll past.

Ian Frazier wrote a marvelous piece for the New Yorker about Route 3, the road anyone commuting to New York from Rutherford (or Montclair, where Frazier lives) has to travel. His descriptions are evocative and spot-on. He also includes some very interesting statistics. Most importantly, he brings a little wonder back to a road we travel each day.

Route 3 by Ian Frazier

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dining Under the Stars

Every Thursday evening in July Park Avenue has been closed to traffic for Dining Under the Stars. The downtown restaurants set up tables for outdoor eating while musicians stroll the street serenading the diners.

Tonight was to be my first Dining Under the Stars experience - I had a reservation for 5 at Paisano's (one of my favorite downtown restaurants). Alas, the event has been closed due to inclement weather. I've not minded all the summer rain this season, but I do now.

Next Thursdsay is the last night for Dining Under the Stars (sponsored by the Rutherford Downtown Alliance and The Leader Newspapers). Come on down.

An Unholy Alliance

Today's big news is certainly big. 44 people, including local politicians from neighboring Secaucus, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Ridgefield were arrested this morning for corruption and money-laundering. It seems there was an unholy alliance of rabbis, religious educators and town mayors (the former bribing the latter). As if that were not bad enough, one man involved (he was from Brooklyn) brokered the sale of a human kidney and has been doing so for 10 years. Just how does that fit it?

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both have good, in-depth articles.

I wonder if this will give United States Attorney, Christopher Christie, under whom the investigation began, an advantage over incumbent Governor, John Corzine, in the upcoming gubernatorial race. What do you think?

Round and roundabout

 published an article recently about roundabouts, positing that they are safer and more efficient than “T” or “X” (what we in most parts of the USA think of as “regular”) intersections. I think the author, Tom Vanderbilt, is right. The best part, Rutherford has its very own roundabout. Safety first!

Here is the Slate article:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Garden State

Bounty of our farmers market in Williams Square.
The two kinds of tomatoes and the blueberries are from Matarazzo's Farm

Shakespeare in Our Park

On Friday, July 24 at 7PM The Next State Ensemble of Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey will perform an abridged version of Shakespeare's “The Taming of the Shrew” in Lincoln Park. The performance is free, thanks to the Rutherford Public Library.

“The Taming of The Shrew” is one of Shakespeare's earlier works (c1590). It is a a very fun, energetic, and accessible romanic comedy. The story will be familiar to most of the audience as it has inspired many modern rom/coms, including “Kiss Me, Kate” and “10 Things I Hate About You” As a bonus, the misogynist themes of the play can spark a great debate.

My favorite way to enjoy these performances is to bring friends, a blanket and a picnic supper.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Location, location, location

Rutherford is conveniently located 8 miles west of NYC and 12 miles from Newark International Airport. It spans 2.8 square miles of Bergen county and has a population (as of the 2000 US Census) of 18,110. Bordered by East Rutherford to the north/east, Lyndhurst to the south/southwest, Clifton and Passaic to the west, and Secaucus to the southeast, you can find almost any amenity, service or merchant close by.

There is direct train access via the Main/Bergen NJ Transit line to both NY Penn Station and Hoboken's Lackawanna Terminal and the NJ PATH trains. In addition, there are two express bus lines and several local taxi companies. The Downtowner, the borough's commuter bus, runs to and from the historic train station during rush hours. The schedule for the Downtowner is available

Rutherford is surprisingly bucolic for a “bedroom community.” Its sits on a ridge overlooking the Meadowlands and is called “The Borough of Trees.” Three bodies of water, Berry's Creek, the Passaic River and the Hakensack River flow in the borough. According to Wikipedia, “Berry's Creek harbors the last remaining Northern Harrier nest site in the Meadowlands. It is heavily used by wintering raptors.” Both the Passaic and Hackensak are industrialized rivers but the Passiac, specifically, can be picturesque from local vantage points. The Nereid Boat Club on Riverside Avenue offers a lovely vista as well as on of the NYC area's only calm water rowing sites.

More on Rutherford history to come.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Books In R'ford

Since Rutherford Book Exchange moved to North Arlington, there are no general bookstores in Rutherford. Yes, there is a bookstore, Resurrection Books on Glenn Ave, but it is a specialty Christian bookstore. Since I'm an avid reader this makes me sad and I daydream about opening a bookstore/cafe downtown. Until that happens, there is a saving grace: the Rutherford Public Library.

The Rutherford Public Library (RPL) has an excellent selection of books, DVDs and CDs. The collection is ably curated by Director, Jane Fisher. If you can't find it within the walls of the RPL you are likely to find it at one of their “sister” libraries within the Bergen County Library System (BCCLS). Place your request in person or online at and the item is delivered directly to the RPL for you. I highly recommended the “Book Bag” feature (like the Amazon wish list). I even keep it open while reading book reviews so add items in which I'm interested to my Bag. Oh, did I mention that you can download free audio books too? Nice!

RPL also has children's programs, book discussion groups, ESL discussion programs and much more. Are you a budding poet? Check out the new poetry programs “second wednesdays” on the terrace of the William's Center and the free drop-in poetry workshops in the RPL's glass room. More information is available on their website.

Rutherford Public Library

150 Park Avenue, Rutherford, NJ

Finding Community in Rutherford

I've lived in Rutherford, NJ for 4 years and I'm still searching for the "best" services and merchants the town has to offer. I'm lucky, I have friends (the borg) and we share information but I'm jealous of my friends in other places - Park Slope, Brooklyn or Easton, PA to name two - who have access to community-based blogs that give them the inside scoop. I've only found one,, but it does not give much information and is not updated as often as I'd like.

As they say, "if you want something done right, do it yourself." Here goes...

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