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April, 2003

Inside This Edition: Rod's 1890's Ranch House in Morristown, NJ; Battleship New Jersey in Camden, NJ; Movie Review - ON THE WATERFRONT; Tribecca Night Club in Fort Lee, NJ and Feature - Jersey Heroes - Spring in Jersey


Jersey Food - April, 2003

With so many new restaurants opening each month, we have the tendency to seek out the next special in-place to dine.  We should, however, keep in mind that there are many tried-and-true old stand-by's that consistently provide good food, good service, and an overall pleasant experience.  One of these consistently good standby restaurants is Rod's 1890's Ranch House in Morristown, NJ.

On a recent Sunday, our party of six decided to try Rod's Sunday Brunch.  This is definitely not a dieters special, but we all need to indulge ourselves once in a while.  This is truly a delightful experience.  Different stations are set up to cater to your needs: a carving station with perfectly cooked roast beef, an omelet station with every conceivable filling that you can think of, as well as Eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage, corned beef hash and on and on.  In addition to breakfast fare, you can choose from many items suitable for dinner.  Salads and a beautiful array of fruit fill another station; fresh salmon and cream cheese another.  If you have a need to satisfy your sweet tooth there is yet another table filled with pastries, cakes and cookies of every size and shape.   All of this takes place in a wonderfully unhurried atmosphere with great attention paid to your comfort and needs.

If Brunch is not your cup of tea, then you should Try Rod's regular menu for lunch or dinner.  You will find it to be equally satisfying.  Do try all the new spots, but don't forget about the older reliable ones.

Rod's 1890's Ranch House - Morristown, New Jersey 

 


Jersey Treasure - April, 2003


Floating on the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey is a floating monument to freedom called Battleship New Jersey.  This awesome vessel remains one of the most notable in naval history in service during WW II, Korea, Vietnam and beyond.  The New Jersey provided support during the Beirut crisis in 1983 and remains America's most decorated battleship.

One cannot help but be overcome by the spirit of America and all it stands for while standing on her decks.  The New Jersey became part of many people's lives as servicemen were called to serve on her.  Those who served on her came from all walks of life, all ethnic backgrounds and from hometowns throughout America to serve under one flag for freedom.

Visitors can tour this amazing ship, and I was struck by just how much there is to learn by visiting her.  You will see first hand what it must have been like to serve on board by climbing the steep metal deck ladders.  You will be able to peer out the windows over the bow.  Many sailors never saw certain areas of the ship such as the officers mess to the highly secure communications center.  While touring the ship you will see these areas and learn much from an extremely knowledgeable staff of guides.  One cannot help but be overcome with pride while touring this marvel of American engineering and military might.    

The Battleship New Jersey is a true Jersey Treasure as it represents our diverse culture here in New Jersey.  It's a gift to have it here in New Jersey for what is probably its final mission which is one of education and public awareness.  If you tour the "Big J" you may leave as I did with a clear understanding of what peace through strength really means.

Battleship New Jersey - Camden, New Jersey 


Movie Review - April, 2003

Video Rental Pick:

ON THE WATERFRONT - Not Rated  No mistaking the boundaries between good and evil in this 1954 black and white classic.  The blackness of evil and the light of right are so easily recognized that it adds to this films charm and artistry.  Marlon Brando's character, a washed up boxer, laments that he "could have been a contender" as he reflects on his life.  Marlon Brando and the film were contenders at the Academy Awards that year as much of the hardware landed "on the waterfronts" cast and crew.  Brando took home the best actor as befitting his talents for making the film memorable.  Among the awards was one for best cinematography and one look at these beautifully composed scenes you will see why. 

The story is a simple one of a corrupt union boss and the loved "Hollywood" theme of inform on evildoers at your own peril.  Brando searches his soul to do what's right.  The simplicity of the dialogue and scene construction prove that often less is more and is a great canvas for Brando's portrayal of a challenged soul.  

Rod Steiger delivers a command performance as the Attorney for Cobb (the corrupt union boss) and Brando's older brother.  Although nominated for best supporting actor for his work, a fickle academy failed to recognize his performance with an award.  Brando's goody goody girlfriend played by Eva Marie Saint did win for best supporting actress.

It's always great to look back at universal themes explored in classic movies and makes this a must see for anyone who likes the best of the best. 


Jersey Clubs and Nightlife - April, 2003  

Tribecca Night Club in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is a great place to hang out on a Friday night.  This multi-level building which looks very non-descript from the outside offers various types of music depending on what level you're on.  On this recent Friday the top floor offered some great Latin sounds.  Just below on level two was your basic dance fare although the crowd was far from basic offering a nice mix throughout the club.  The mood was laid back with some great music on the main floor as partygoers arrived and began to relax.  A big plus for Tribecca and benefit for this ethnically diverse neighborhood is the ability and willingness to deliver distinct and various moods for each floor of the club.  The service at Tribecca was warm and friendly and fast!  Tribecca offers a great Friday night experience on many levels and should be on the list of all Jersey partygoers.  Be sure to get there early for a good parking spot as it can get tight.  Also be sure to feed any hungry parking meters you might run into at your slot as they are in all likelihood active.  A few pennies in the old meter will preserve your budget and memory of a great night out at Tribecca. 


Tribecca Night Club - Fort Lee, New Jersey 


Jersey Feature - April, 2003

Jersey Heroes - Spring in New Jersey

This spring offers those of us here in New Jersey an end to this brutal winter and the beginning of what will probably turn out to be a delightful spring.  We should have a beautiful spring here, but for our Jersey Heroes off serving in Iraq, this spring is definitely different.   The end of this brutal winter will certainly be the beginning of the end of one of the most brutal regimes in world history.  Many from New Jersey have joined the armed forces and are now facing real danger as they serve their country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Springtime in New Jersey will have to wait for them as they answer the call to duty to rid the world of a dangerous menace and growing global threat.  Those from New Jersey away from home will be homesick before too long and we should all pray for their safe return.  While many joined the military never imagining that the future would entail going to war much less war in Iraq, all knew the risk and freely accepted the responsibility it entailed.  These brave professionals are presently making a substantial contribution toward ensuring our safety here in New Jersey and nationwide.  It's up to these brave professionals to do the "heavy lifting" to get the job done and home safely.  These Jersey folks along with the coalition are heroes and among the worlds finest.  We owe these folks a great deal for their contribution to our safety and long-term security as they serve under the American Flag.

Spring is here in New Jersey as the cherry-blossoms will bloom in Branch Brook Park and the landscaper will emerge with his plow stored and his truck filled with mulch at the ready for the spring clean-up.  The trees are blooming as they always have, and the fields are getting greener as some of our own are enduring vicious desert sandstorms, little sleep and deadly threats.  The moment or two they have to reflect each day will be on family and returning home safely to them.  They will almost certainly be thinking of this special time in New Jersey and what it must be like to be back home with friends and family and a home-cooked meal.


Weathering a spring sandstorm in Iraq is much different than enjoying spring, New Jersey, beach weather in the sand.  The road to Baghdad is far more dangerous than the road to Atlantic City unless you are in a bus (just kidding) filled with folks destined for battle against the one armed bandit.  It's good to keep good humor and have faith in this difficult time but shameful to ever forget the contribution and sacrifice these Jersey heroes and their partners are making and will continue to make in the future. 

Whatever your views are on the present situation, the men and women from New Jersey serving this spring deserve your prayers, respect and thanks for a job they will carry out to the best of their ability.  Springtime is a time of rebirth and renewal here in New Jersey and around the world.  For all the brave soldiers in Iraq this is your spring and your rebirth as evil crumbles beneath your feet and a new day begins to dawn.  Wherever life will take you when you leave the battlefield you are forever blessed for being part of one of the most historic and meaningful events in world history.  You are the few, the precious few, who put their feet on the ground and in the air to make a stand for good and decency for all of humanity.  Your contribution will allow freedom to reign here and beyond.  For those in Iraq who will return home here to New Jersey when the job is done our sandy beaches will be ready for your tired feet and your brave souls. 

Jersey Heroes - Spring in New Jersey  written by Jerry Butler


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