fat tuesday at south house.

This is gonna be quick but last night I went to Fat Tuesday at South House. Which was also quick, because all Tuesdays are school nights unless you take off on Wednesday and I didn’t…THIS time.

Fat Tuesday at South House has been pretty badass the past two years I have gone. All of the servers and bartenders were wearing fun black light enhanced face paint. Some of their face paint designs were super intricate and therefore very impressive.

Neon circles on strings were hanging from over the bar, also enhanced by the black lights. Kind of like a neon chandelier! A neonnnnn channndelierrrr. Just wanted to say it again.

They had a ton of Mardi Gras decorations, that is just a quick sampling. I really, REALLY appreciate South House’s full on, ALL IN, approach to themes and holidays. Their Halloween and Xmas decorations are also incredible but that can be discussed at another time.

In addition to the incredible decorations, they had a fun brass band called “Shaghorns” for our entertainment. The same band played last year and I loved them then too, SO THIS IS A NICE LITTLE TRADISH.

I have only been to New Orleans once and what I loved most was the music. I guess that’s probably what everyone loves most. Duh.

Fat Tuesday at South House included hurricanes! As in the drink. Too soon to joke about actual hurricanes. For anyone anywhere near the sea. Pray (to the pagan nature gods or whatever) for us.

Not exactly sure what is in hurricanes, I think fruit juice and rum. These were delish! They included black and red (THE EXPENSIVE KIND) raspberries and I enjoyed them throughly.

We were there for about an hour. I had two hurricanes, listened to some music, and admired the decorations. Then it was time to go home.

Today I woke up at 6:30am to go to the gym and I didn’t feel very bad at all. MAYBE I CAN HAVE IT ALL?!

Ash Wednesday always creeps me out because every time I see a person with a forehead mark I’m like, “AH WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR FOREHEARD?!” And then I’m like “Oh Ash Wednesday. Whatever that is. Not gonna look it up because I don’t care. But I DO care that this person isn’t hurt in any way. The end.”

Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? Where is your fav place to go? What are your thoughts on New Orleans? Hurricanes (again, NOT the storms)? South House? Isn’t South House beautiful?! It’s right on Newark Ave in Jersey City. Go to there.

jersey city date night.

I’m heading home to my parents’ house for the weekend and I’m going to miss Jersey City as I always do. So I’m going to take this moment to reflect on a recent badass Jersey City date night.

I don’t know about you but I like date nights to be in more than one place. Like, drinks here, snack there, dessert there. I mean basically drinks everywhere but you’re going more than one place on this date, is what I’m saying.

Date face.

Downtown Jersey City is the perfect place for this because everything is within walking distance. Okay maybe not “everything” but there are quite a few things you can walk to.

On our Jersey City date night we went to Franklin Social, dullboy, and Fox and Crow. Franklin Social and dullboy are downtown, and Fox and Crow is in the heights. Franklin Social is the new new so I was excited to try it.

Okay here we go.

franklin social.

First stop, Franklin Social! And it’s Franklin as in Benjamin Franklin. Which I…frankly…find odd because he’s a historical character that Philadelphia usually fawns over, not NJ or NY. I love a Philadelphia jawn but I’m just saying it’s out of place. It’s fine though I’ll take it. He was apparently a cool guy besides all the normal white dudes being shitty in history stuff.

This place was PJ Ryan’s previously, which I was bored by. I’m sorry PJ Ryan’s but you weren’t my fav. I wish you well though.

Now it looks totally diff and also great in there! Warm looking simple wood kinda vibes in front and really fun patterned wallpaper in the back. There’s also a middle courtyard kind of area that has tables for nicer weather times, however far away they may be. <sobs>

We sat in the back wallpapered part. I got a cocktail first. Their cocktail menu has drinks named after different…virtues? “Frugality,” “Chastity,” “Temperance”…ugh I hate and oppose all of these concepts but it’s fun to have cocktails called different types of words so I’ll give them that. I forget which one I got but there was something in it that didn’t speak to me so I ordered a sparkling white next and that made all my dreams come true.

For food, we decided to share some things because we like to eat many different things and you gotta keep the magic alive somehow.

First we had hummus which was pretty good. It didn’t come with enough chip-like items to dip so we asked for more chip-like items and they arrived without delay so that was grand.

My choice for a small plate was the fried delicata rings. I really enjoy delicata squash and I was pumped, but I don’t know why I thought I would like something fried because I usually don’t like stuff that is arbitrarily fried. And I didn’t. But I DID pick the fried part off easily and just ate the squash dipped in the delish accompanying sauce so that was a win.

Our shared entree was scallops, THE GREATEST ENTREE IN THE LAND. I FREAKING LOVE SCALLOPS. They freak me out if I think too hard about what they actually are…like what ARE they? But I try not to think about that and just move forward thx.

The scallops were served in a puddle of what we surmised was some kind of puréed root vegetable and it was REAL GOOD. They also had a bit of sweet stuff on them like a maple or something? And then broccolini. YUM.

Dessert was two chocolate truffles and they were also REAL GOOD YOU GUYS.

This is a weird pic but this is the truffles. Deal with it.

dullboy.

Next up was dullboy. I love dullboy! They have great cocktails and wines and fun snacks. I think their burger is also good but I don’t eat burgers, I’ve only HEARD it was good.

I love the atmosphere there, typewriters and a whole library of books hanging on the wall. But not on shelves, like stuck to the wall in a big mass of books and you can see all their covers. Maybe I’m not explaining this well. I guess you just have to go to see.

Book wall behind my date.

The theme is from The Shining and the whole “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” thing. But i only know that because people told me that. I’ve never seen The Shining. I’m sorry.

Sry never saw it.

On this particular Jersey City date night they had some special decorations! Because it was Valentine’s Day! The table was covered in rose petals which I thought was really glam. It’s already so dark and cozy in there it is really perfect for a date. Like, a good date with someone you actually like and want to be romantic with, a first date so you can hide in the darkness and weigh the whole thing out and the other person can’t really see you, a date with someone you’re just hooking up with, again because of the darkness, so other people in town that you’re hooking up with can’t really see you together on a “date”…the list goes on! Highly recommend! Mostly for the cozy darkness.

Romance!

There was a plan in place to get oysters here but I think they only have those on Tuesdays and we blew it. But we DID get some very flavorful Brussels sprouts. I kinda went through a Brussels phase where I was super into them and then I got over them. But when they’re flavored really well I’m back in love with them again and THESE WERE.

Bad pic but GOOD BRUSSELS.

I got a cute little bottle of wine, a sparkling rose. They have “cute little bottles” (not an official name unforch) of wine there that are like 2 or 3 glasses I guess. I don’t know I lost count. But it was good.

Little guy! Cute!

keyhole.

Oh! Curveball! Did you think I was going to forget Keyhole? BECAUSE I DIDN’T. Keyhole is a dive that has recently un-dived itself slightly but it has retained its charm.

I believe it used to be called “Rolon’s” but people call it Keyhole because it has windows that are shaped like Keyholes. Boom. That’s what it’s called now.

In Jersey City people are always competing to be like “I lived here first” and Keyhole is a cornerstone of this competition. People that remember Keyhole as a “real dive” where “old dudes used to play <some game for old dudes, I forget>” are like the “real true Jersey City residents.” Okay guys. Cool. We get it.

But I will say that I DO remember when it was that version of Keyhole and I also remember storming in there in like 2010 and being like “Haiiii what IPAs do you guys have on tap?” And they were like “WTF bitch we only have Bud heavies move it or lose it.” And all the old guys playing whatever old guy game it is they were playing in there did not know what to make of THAT and I blushed for one of the very few times in my life.

So yes we went to Keyhole on our Jersey City date night! And it was grand. I really do love that place. It’s straightforward and people are friendly there and they have food menus from local restaurants that deliver there since they don’t serve much food and I love that. Omg sometimes they have chili in a crock pot and hot dogs like on a Sunday…okay this is turning into a Keyhole Appreciation Post, sry. PS it’s cash only just so you’re prepared if you ever wanna go. Ur welcome.

fox and crow.

Last stop was Fox and Crow! Fox and Crow is in The Heights and the first time I went there I was like where even IS this?! But now my boyfriend lives around the corner so I’m like oh that’s where it is.

I don’t remember what I drank there but it was probably wolffers rose cider because they have it and I wouldn’t think of drinking anything else when wolffers rose cider is in the cooler, my dudes.

The best thing about Fox and Crow is that they have live music and it’s like, dignified seeming live music. Like some jazzy jazz. And it’s fun and relaxing to go in there and sit down with a drink and get jazzed with the jazz.

Also any time I’m in a room with a standup bass I just want to be its best friend. I love those big ol things. It’s like the whale of the instrument word, all big and beautiful and making haunting sounds.

I guess that was a weird analogy but I’ll leave it.

It was a great Jersey City date night! And I hope to do it again soon. Do you enjoy a Jersey City date night or two? What places do you like to go to? Have you tried anywhere new? Let me know because I want to try new things TOO.

galentines brunch at porta jersey city.

Yesterday was the annual Galentines Brunch at Porta Jersey City also known as the BEST DAY OF OUR COLLECTIVE LIVES.

In the morning I woke up very hungover from my Valentines Day date the night before. But it was time to get freakin serious so I had my boyfriend go get me some Diet Coke and Excedrin at the bodega. And I definitely appreciated it and said thank you. Just making sure you know that.

I took the Excedrin and tried to collect my thoughts and feel better as quickly as possible. I had to be at trampoline class at JaneDO by 11am. It was required.

After trampoline class I sprayed myself with some spray deodorant and headed to Galentines Day Brunch at Porta Jersey City in my gym clothes. If you know me, you know that I HATED doing this because I don’t like to wear gym clothes when I’m not at the gym and especially sweaty ones. And I also like to wear specially selected and beautiful outfits for certain occasions. Especially if I feel pictures will be taken. Since I wasn’t dressed how I would have liked to be dressed I felt disgusting AF.

Everyone at Galentines Day Brunch also looked so darn cute and I was very sad that I was in dumb boring sweaty gym clothes. I just need you all to know that. I was so sad that I had to drink two strawberry mimosa carafes.

I had to.

Just FYI the only way to drink a mimosa carafe at Porta is to insert a straw directly into the carafe. It’s the rules. Speaking of mimosa carafes they had adorable little menus for you to order custom mimosa carafes and bloody Mary’s. YES.

The bloody Marys were made with Misunderstood Whiskey which is delish and the only whiskey I will happily and willingly consume. I don’t like whiskey overall but I DO like Misunderstood Whiskey. They also gave out koozies that say “whiske all day” and we found those hilarious, relevant to our lives, and adorable.

For foods a few of us got “all the bacon and eggs” and shared that. Someone got the “treat yo self sandwich” and I had a bite of that. Another gal got the waffles and they looked delish! And yet another opted for a salad. Which is great but it kicked off a conversation about how much I hate vegetables. And no one else really hates vegetables and I feel like a child and a loser. But I, in fact, still hate them and won’t stop hating them. Thx.

In addition to consuming food and drink we played MASH. Did you ever play MASH at sleepovers growing up?! Why is it the best?! Why don’t we play MASH every day?! I think we really should. In my MASH I live in a house in Key West with Lakeith Stanfield and a tiger and I don’t have a job. But like, in a good way, because I don’t HAVE to have a job. I’m fully on board.

Once I got good and mimosa-d up I also made a vision board at the table run by the gals from Mint Market. I’m not allowed to shop during Q1 because of a dumb New Years resolution so I had to try very hard to avoid their wares. But I had a lovely time sitting at their table in the sunshine drunkenly zoning out and creating a “vision board” which really has no visions for the future beyond “I really hope I see a bear sometime soon” and “hedonism.”

Either way I’m really proud of it.

The atmosphere at Galentines Brunch at Porta Jersey City was TRANSCENDENT. Everyone was laughing and drinking and smiling and dancing and being galentine-y. It was a joyful place to hang and catch up with pals. Overall I’m a huge proponent of lady brunch times so I think we should just do it every weekend in this same spirit. Like why not?

After brunch we went to Six26 next door for some drinks and to catch the end of drag brunch. Which DOES happen every weekend and I would like to return. After THAT I think I may have gone to Downtown Yogurt but things are a little…dark. Can we maybe consult some security footage? I think that may be helpful.

I do know that I got home around 6pm and I woke up at 9:30pm and did not know where the time had gone.

That’s the risk you take when you go to Galentines Brunch at Porta Jersey City. And it’s worth every penny and lost brain cell.

Did you go to Galentines Brunch at Porta Jersey City? Did you go to Galentines Brunch anywhere else? DID YOU LOVE IT?! You better have. Because it’s great.

circle the square at deep space gallery.

Last night was a new opening at Deep Space Gallery YESSSSS. The show is called Circle the Square and it features work by Orlando Reyes, George Goodridge, Kati Vilim, and Debra Lynn Manville.

You guys know I love this place and there aren’t many ways to express my love in which I haven’t expressed it already BUT I was feeling some extra great vibes last night. I feel ew AF that I just said “vibes” but I guess that’s the only word for it unless I invent a new one. I saw some people I know and was glad to see them and talked to some nice new folks as well.

Part of what I really like about Deep Space Gallery, and I’ve said this before, is that it just always feels so welcoming and anyone that works there or goes there or is drinking a plastic cup of wine there is so friendly and open. It’s a magic place.

I wished that I could stay longer and drink wine because it felt like the electric possibility of making new pals was in the air. I don’t know WHY, I just FELT IT, okay? But I’m trying not to drink during the week so that didn’t happen. I’m sorry.

There were Valentine’s Day cupcakes that I DID eat. Because there is no chance in the world that I wouldn’t eat treats that are made available to me.

Now for the art!

orlando reyes.

THE COLORSSSSSS. You know I never shut up about the colors and I’m going to keep going on loving the colors and not shutting up about them forever and ever until I die. And you can pry the colors from my cold dead hands.

So deal with it.

These were all different colors but they all went together well and looked bright and happy and there were a lot of circular shapes (Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery).

My friend told me she told the artist that she thought they looked like placenta paintings. And in a way they kind of do.

Then things went off the rails and everyone was talking about lactation and I’m still not sure why.

But it was a grand time and I love the paintings. I’m not sure how these shapes are made. It seems like some kind of chemical reaction or something but that’s merely speculation.

george goodridge.

Ooooo yeahhhh these were shapes. Well the ones I liked best were 3D shapes on the wall and on a little pedestal table.

This shade of blue was so strikingly bright against the white wall I couldn’t stop staring at it. Just stood there and stared like a weirdo for probably too long.

This one made me think of a woman but also a peacock. Is it a woman? Is it a peacock? Lady peacocks don’t have the feathers like the peacocks you see in your mind, only the males do. So maybe she’s a lady human and also a male peacock. Honestly I can’t say. I AM an ornithologist though. In my dreams.

THESE LOOK LIKE RAINBOWS AND I WANT TO BE NEXT TO THEM.

kati vilim.

I liked these and I was trying to figure out how they were made because it looked like a thick tape and paint but I could be way off.

There were a couple that were other colors and not just gray and I don’t know why I didn’t get pictures of those. But I will say that these gray ones actually stood out because everything else was colorful! Sometimes I like gray. This was one of those times.

Also there was THIS one that said it was called “Confluence” and I was like “Heyyyy any Pittsburgh fans in the house?” And everyone was like, “Um what?” And I was like, “Sry nvm.” JK I actually only said that to myself in my head but I do love the golden triangle thx. And also this painting.

debra lynn manville.

To me this one looked like toucans. I don’t really know why but I do know that I love toucans and therefore I love this painting.

I have one thought about this one and that is “OMG YELLOW!” Just like, lovin yellow. Nbd.

All of these pieces were lovely and sturdily sized squares and would be perfect for a living room or like over your bed. I’m not professional at where things would look good in your house or whatever but I just think that would be fab if that’s what you’re into.

I’m so impressed with how different the space looks at every show that I go to. It’s not very big at all but they can do a lot of dynamic things with it….or maybe it just looks totally different because the art is different. But either way I’m impressed.

My exit from these openings is always quick and random because I feel awkward saying bye and it almost feels like a game now. Like, how can I best slip out unnoticed?! I think I did a good job last night. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery is happening now! Until February 29. GO TO THERE. K THX.

dinner at broa in jersey city.

My plan for today was to attend the Jersey City Oddities Market, one of my fav things to attend, and write a post about that. But I was a bum and didn’t leave my house and still feel guilty and gross about it so I’m going to tell you about last night’s dinner at Broa in Jersey City.

IT WAS EFFIN DELICIOUS.

Broa is on Grove St, very close to the Grove St PATH station, in the heart of downtown Jersey City. I lived downtown for 8 years and I never once went to Broa so this was my first time.

And I blew it. BECAUSE THIS PLACE WAS AMAZING.

It appears that they always have a different menu and you never know what they’re going to have because they don’t post it online, so when you get there it’s written on a chalkboard by the door and you read the foods they have and just go with it.

The food was described to me as “Portuguese tapas” and I have limited knowledge of both Portugal and tapas so I’m going to trust the person who told me that. All I know is that it was incredible.

If you’re in a group of 6 or more for dinner at Broa in Jersey City you can get a tasting menu for the table for like 30-something dollars and this seems to be the best arrangement because you get a TON of food and get to experience it all.

The best meals always start with cheese and this one certainly did. It was a liquid-y cheese. Prob not the right adjective in the cheese world but it was for dipping or spreading on crackers. I enjoyed it a great deal.

cheese, crackers, honey. dinner at broa in jersey city

There were two different salads of beans that were flavored deliciously and I was like “these would be great to meal prep and bring for lunch.” Even though I prob won’t do that. I just wanted to sound like I had my shit together.

At some point some clams came. I don’t love clams but I usually love the accompanying broth and this broth was no exception.

clams, dinner at broa in jersey city

The best part of the meal was flaming sausage. OH MY GOSH IT WAS DELICIOUS. AND ALSO ON FIRE. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SOMETHING COOL EVEN COOLER IS TO SET IT ON FIREEEEEE!!!

sausage and fire, dinner at broa in jersey city

Toward the end came some kind of chicken cake? It was the consistency of a crab cake and it was chicken. I think. But it had broccoli rabe and an egg on top. Some people like my mom think the only way to make something cool even cooler is to put an egg on top. And maybe that’s true!

For dessert there were little egg pastry custard things, one for each of us. It was a birthday dinner so one of them had a candle for my pal! I ate mine and 3/4 of another one because someone only took one bite of theirs. Only the strong survive.

Birthday! dinner at broa in jersey city

Dinner at Broa in Jersey City was bad ass! The food was great, it was nice and warm and cozy, and it was BYOB, YUSSS. I brought White Claw because wine gives me a headache and because I’m classy AF. You’re welcome.

When we left dinner at Broa in Jersey City…we all really smelled like garlic. It was a cloud that surrounded us. My coat still smells like it. And my hair even after I took a shower.

BUT IT IS WORTH IT. I loved every bite. You should also have dinner at Broa in Jersey City SOON.

last place winners grand opening.

I woke up this morning still jazzed as hell from the Last Place Winners grand opening party.

IT WAS BAD ASS.

THERE WAS BANANA PUDDING.

Maybe I was annoyingly excited about the banana pudding and upset people when I screamed, “OH MY GOSH THERE IS BANANA PUDDING?!” And I’m sorry for that but…I was just excited.

AND IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

Beyond the banana pudding, the Last Place Winners grand opening party was great because this store is great. The walls are painted vibrant AF blue, red, and yellow. And you know if it’s vibrant and bright and intensely colored…IT IS MY MOST FAVORITE THING EVER.

So I walked in and went right into “staring intently at colors” mode. As I was admiring the colors, I noticed that the racks holding the clothes were constructed from trees and ropes! I lost my mind, I found it so cool. Pretty sure they were birch (a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula) trees? I love a tree like it’s my family but I’m not good at identifying trees so sorry if I’m wrong about this one. I don’t know, google it or something.

The tree racks were kick ass and then the clothes hanging ON the racks were also kick ass. My boyfriend got a white “Fuck Trump 2020” hoodie. Looks great on him, I have to say. They had some other awesome hoodies and T-shirts, and also some shorts made out of unusual fabric for shorts (like…wool?) that I found very amusing.

Most of the clothes were men’s clothes, but they had one rack of women’s clothes by Brittany Jeanne (also a Deep Space Gallery artist!) These clothes were all made out of the most interesting fabrics and offbeat combinations of said fabrics. Our collective favorite women’s piece was a denim vest with a sequin virgin mary looking gal on the back and it was lined around the edges with a VERY SILKY SOFT black fur that I think was rabbit but could have been something more exotic. Edited: The vest was actually made by Renee Flowers, Lastplacewinners Head Tailor!

Clothes for the gals.

Ugh. Beautiful.

The man of the hour makes a speech!

At one point I was able to speak to the man in charge, I believe his name was Kip (I had a lot of vodka lemonades and I’m bad at names and also at journalism even though I am a classically trained journalist). He spoke about why he created the birch tree racks and added the astro turf grass to the floor (at one point I screamed, “OH MY GOSH THERE IS GRASS ON THE FLOOR!” Def the most annoying person there. Sorry again). And the reason was…nature! He said since we all grew up in an urban environment he wanted to change it up and bring some nature to Jersey City.

Again with my vodka lemonade-ed annoying ass, I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh I grew up in NATURE so I definitely appreciate having some nature down the street from me now!” And he was like…cool. Jkjk he was super nice and I love his store forever and ever and thank him for his hospitality. And the city-nature.

One of the BEST things in this store and at this party was they had a bunch of cool crocheted hats around! At first I thought they were knit, because I personally knit and wanted to feel validated, but then my pal Norm set me straight and was like “Nah, crochet.” And I took a closer look and was like, “Damn, you’re right.”

So these awesome fucking handmade hats were all around and some dudes were rocking them and they were beautiful AF pieces of art. I was trying to figure out who made them, and if they were there, but I couldn’t locate an answer. I’m going to have to go back to get one I love them so much.

Next door to the Last Place Winners grand opening party and store was a really cool furniture store. For some reason they let us come in and browse and take pictures of ourselves. I made a friend to talk about Philadelphia with. I love Philadelphia and everyone around here is always rude about Philadelphia. But I love it and I made a Philadelphia appreciating friend so there.

Overall I haven’t had like a “real Friday night” in a long time and this party was perfect. It was in a cool store, there were snacks, we made new friends, there was a DJ, we mingled among lovely clothing and accessories, and the place isn’t very far from my home, which always makes me happy since my new home is by…nothing.

Cool pals on the town!

Last Place Winners is located at 225 Monticello Ave in McGinley Sq (Jersey City, NJ). It’s awesome and you should go. I’m def going back for one of those hats so I’ll see you there.

rally to support the liberty state park protection act.

Yesterday I attended a rally to support the Liberty State Park Protection Act and it was bad ass.

Well, it’s not bad ass that protecting the park against privatization continues to be a thing and has been for many years. BUT the rally to support the Liberty State Park Protection Act ITSELF was bad ass.

The issue is this: a billionaire named Paul Fireman (booooo) wants to amend the Liberty State Park Protection Act to exclude a special area of the park called Caven Point. He wants Caven Point removed from being protected so that the Liberty National Golf Course can add three new golf holes in that space. Fireman and his minions have been trying to spread misinformation – that this area needs to be rehabilitated – and trying to make a “compromise” – that if they can have Caven Point they will offer golf programs for urban youth.

The golf thing.

This is an outrage and needs to be stopped. The vote for the Liberty State Park Protection Act is tomorrow, and there is still time to stand up against it. You can find Speaker Coughlin on Instagram or Twitter and let him know that the Liberty State Park Protection Act should be passed as is, with no amendments.

The Liberty State Park Protection Act is supported by the following politicians: Sandra Cunningham, D-Jersey City, and Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, in the Senate and Raj Mukherji and Angela McKnight, both D-Jersey City, and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, D-Bayonne, in the Assembly. It can’t hurt to remind them that you’re grateful for their support and that they should also resist amendments and “compromise” at all costs! Edited to add: Senator Cunningham in particular has recently expressed willingness to compromise and amend the act, and we need to urge her to not let that happen!

There is a chance it may not be brought up for a vote in the Assembly tomorrow and may be pushed to the next session for them, but the sentiment is that we will keep fighting until the vote happens!

Back to the Liberty State Park Protection Act rally, there were a ton of people there! Our Uber dropped us off at the end of Morris Pesin Dr, and as we walked toward the flag plaza we noticed more and more people walking in the same direction! I was surprised that this many people showed up, but it was in the hundreds, and the more the merrier!

It may have helped that it was an unseasonably VERY warm day yesterday. It was the perfect day to be outside and to be fighting for the preservation of nature and public space. I was so excited to be there and I was so SO excited to see that many people there.

The whole thing was put together by Sam Pesin and the Friends of Liberty State Park. This is a group I became aware of only a year and a half ago and now I follow everything they do and get very pumped up about it. It makes me so glad that there is a strong and wise group of people fighting on the front lines for our park.

Sam “The Man” Pesin.

I got there a coupleeee of minutes late but in time for the first speaker, a representative from Sen Mukherji’s office. I didn’t write down info from all of the speakers in my notebook to remember, so I’m not going to talk about all of them, but they were all great and I’m sorry I couldn’t write fast enough.

Next up was the BAYKEEPER. What the heck is a “baykeeper” and why isn’t it my job?! I’d like to “keep” the bay. The speaker with the honorable title of “BAYKEEPER” was Greg Remaud. He spoke about how the golf heads and Caven Point are neighbors, and ended with, “Stop coveting your neighbor’s property!”

After the BAYKEEPER, the Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop appeared for a hello. He was wearing a “Jersey City” baseball hat and had his baby son with him in one of those… “strap your baby to you” contraptions. The baby kept grabbing at the mic like he had something to say. Babies are social justice warriors too! The mayor referred to Liberty State Park as “The Jewel of New Jersey” and I’m pretty sure he’s probably called it that before but it just made me really happy and proud. To be standing in THE JEWEL OF NEW JERSEY. THIS RARE AND PRECIOUS JEWEL. OMG IM GONNA CRY.

If you thought the BAYKEEPER was cool there was also a RIVERKEEPER. I mean I don’t know how this rally could have gotten any better. He was wearing a “Make America Green Again” hat and I was super into it. I didn’t catch his name but he will always be the mighty RIVERKEEPER in my mind anyway.

But seriously how do I get those jobs?

Jeff Tittel from the NJ Sierra Club was next and he was PUMPED. UP. Super into his energy. He spoke about John Muir (love some John Muir) and how he had started the Sierra Club. He elaborated on John Muir and his mission some more and then I started to get tearful because John Muir always makes me tearful. It’s just too emotional, the love for the nature. I’m going to cry now. I need to stop.

He then said, and this was my favorite quote of the day, “We need to tell the Statue of Liberty we have her back! <in NJ her back is to us and we could see her right there, with her back to us> And we will never let this land be developed! This is our Yosemite! This is our Yellowstone!”

OMG WHAT?! <SOBS AUDIBLY>

He was just my favorite because he was so pumped up and it was contagious. Thank you Jeff Tittel you are an NJ treasure my friend.

Can’t get enough of this guy tho.

Last up was Ken from CWA1037. I don’t know what that is but I’ll look it up. Okay it’s a labor union in Newark, cool! He mostly talked about their support for the park and the protection act. The most interesting thing he brought up was a history story regarding the “Bread and Roses Strike.” I had never heard of this one before but it was a strike of factory workers in Massachusetts in 1912 and they were like hey we need to get paid fair (BREAD BABY) but we also need better quality of life – fresh air and free time, THE ROSES, FOLKS. So he tied that in, about how we’re living in this urban area and we’re working hard and we need our park because it’s our “roses.”

OKAY TIME TO CRY AGAIN.

Then it was really time to cry because the rally was over and we all sang “This Land is Your Land” together. And it was lovely. So very nice. I’m not usually into like, “America,” but the parks get me every time. They’re really, really special. Maybe that sounds corny but they are. Liberty state park is a state park, but it’s right by lady lib and she’s National AF. It’s really so wonderful that I have that in my backyard. Mostly because I live in an apartment and DON’T HAVE A BACKYARD so I need this to be my backyard! Come on!

After the rally I went on a stroll over to Caven Point and really enjoyed it and the beautiful day. I saw a ton of birds and a tiny tiny horseshoe crab and a few signs with “No Golf Here” written on them.

I love Caven Point because in certain parts you can’t even tell you’re in a city. The plants are too tall and they cover the view of the skylines and it’s weirdly quiet.

Guys I love it so much there. Please help us fight to keep it public. DO IT.

wfmu natural wine fair.

I checked out the WFMU Natural Wine Fair on Saturday afternoon. It was a sold out event and was pretty crowded, but I was still able to take a lap and taste most of the wines even though I arrived late.

We had planned to go as a group for my friend’s birthday, so I bought a ticket immediately because maybe I’m insane. A couple of weeks later, at a normal person time to buy a ticket, the others went to buy their tickets and it was sold out!

Flyer for WFMU Natural Wine Fair

So I had to make this intrepid journey around the WFMU Natural Wine Fair alone. It was hard but someone had to do it.

The WFMU Natural Wine Fair took place at Monty Hall, where I have seen many lovely bands like Cults, Shannon and the Clams, and Desir Decir. It’s a Jersey City institution! It was kinda wacky to see it set up for something that wasn’t a rock show but I guess I was okay with it.

Monty Hall, WFMU Natural Wine Fair

There were tables set up with wines to taste, 8 different “stations” in all. Still not 100% clear on the distinctions between the stations but at first glance the wines seemed grouped together in an arbitrary way.

Crowd at WFMU Natural Wine Fair

EXCEPT for the “Wines of Georgia” table. These were all…wines of Georgia! No, not the state Georgia. The country Georgia, ever heard of it? Not to brag but I had heard of it BUT I had NOT heard about the wine. Apparently it’s a thing! And it was the first place they made wine as we know it in the history of time!

The man in charge of the Wines of Georgia table at the WFMU natural wine festival asked me, “Do you know about the wines of Georgia?!” as I walked over. All I heard was “…wines of Georgia?!” because I’m deaf in one ear and it was loud AF in there. In a “can’t hear” situation, if the speaker seems pretty jovial, you have two choices: ask them “WHAT?” and prob annoy the shit out of them, or nod and say, “YEAH!” at a level of enthusiasm that matches theirs.

Wines of Georgia, WFMU Natural Wine Fair

I chose the latter but realized later, when he did the pitch for other visitors, what he had actually asked me and then I was like “eeek sorry bye.” The Wines of Georgia was the most memorable and informational table though. It left its mark on my soul.

At one table the woman doing the pouring seemed appalled that I didn’t rinse my glass first and then it seemed like she didn’t like me at all. So that kinda sucked. But I do realize that maybe I wasn’t respectful to wine culture and as a steward of wine culture she was hurt and offended and for that I apologize.

She also asked me where in JC I live and when I told her she did that super dismissive, particular to Downtown Jersey City thing where certain kinds of people down there don’t comprehend where any location west of 78 and south of Montgomery St COULD POSSIBLY BE and they are completely EXASPERATED BY IT.

So maybe I just have a chip on my shoulder regarding the lack of local geography knowledge. Because it is a TRAVESTY.

Second largest city in NJ, I know I know.

Speaking of wine culture I’ve been to a ton of wine events but never retain any of the information. So every time it’s like I’m learning for the first time! And I think that’s kinda fun.

To my surprise you couldn’t purchase any wine there and were encouraged to stop by one of our great Jersey City wine purveyors: Cool Vines, Riverview Wine and Spirits, Frankie, or Pet Shop.

The after party for the festival was at Pet Shop. Later on, at Pet Shop, I drunkenly gushed to whoever would listen to me (which is way less people than you might think, UNFORCH) about this adorable after party sign. Look at all the happy little wine people! It brings me joy.

Overall the WFMU Natural Wine Fair was grand and I’d go again. But I would bring friends next time. Although I don’t mind doing things alone because then I can walk as fast as I want. But it would have been good to have pals to discuss wines with. Did you go to the WFMU Natural Wine Festival? Did you go to the after party at Pet Shop? Do you think they’ll do it again next year? I mean…how can they not?