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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