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Community Guide


July, 2003

Inside This Edition: Coco's in Florham Park, NJ; Yoo-Hoo! - Invented in New Jersey; Movie Review - ABOUT SCHMIDT; Joey Harrison's Surf Club in Seaside Heights, NJ, and Feature - Endangered New Jersey - Jersey City Medical Center

Jersey Food - July, 2003

Many of us who live in New Jersey don't realize just how unique our State is.  Whatever you need or want at any given time is usually within a short distance from where you live and work.  This certainly is true of restaurants, large and small, intimate or fancy.

This month's restaurant, Coco's in Florham Park, is a real find.  Located on Ridgedale Avenue, you definitely have to be looking for it or you might drive on by.  Coco's is not much to look at from the outside, but when you enter, you are struck by an interior that is intimate and serene.

The tables are set with crisp white linen and everything feels clean and freshly assembled.  The staff and owner are young, pleasant and enthusiastic.  The restaurant is under new management and they're doing a terrific job.  The menu has a wide variety of offerings for a small restaurant and the chef is more than willing to accommodate your special requests.

Our group enjoyed various salads - all fresh and flavorful.  We somehow, always seem to order some type of fish, veal and chicken dishes and this day was true to form.  Everything was delicious and came to the table in a timely fashion.  The warm bread was outstanding as evidenced by the need for a second basket.  Having enjoyed our dinners so much, only one of us had room for dessert - Godiva chocolate cake.  Oh my, was that good!

If you are looking for a pleasant dining experience, do try Coco's.  It's reasonably priced and oh so good.

Coco's - Florham Park, New Jersey 

Jersey Treasure - July, 2003

Yoo-Hoo! Chocolate Beverage- Invented in New Jersey

Who could imagine growing up in New Jersey without an ice-cold Yoo-HooYoo-Hoo Chocolate Beverage was created right here in New Jersey by an ambitious entrepreneur named Mr. Natale Olivieri.  Invented in the 1920's as a chocolate beverage that could be sold without fear of spoilage, Yoo-Hoo remains one of the most distinctive chocolate drinks on the market today.  Leave it to a guy from New Jersey to create something so good and unique that it can't be copied.  Mention Yoo-Hoo anywhere it's available (which always seems to be expanding) and images of chocolate refreshment appear.  Mention it to anyone from New Jersey and it's like calling an old dear friend.  Sure chocolate milk is good but sometimes one just has to reach for a Yoo-Hoo. 

People from New Jersey, young and old remember Yoo-Hoo growing up.  This unusual drink is  in a class all by itself much like the people of New Jersey.  Think what you want about the people in New Jersey but the phrase "we aren't unique" never comes up when referring to people from this State.  Yoo-Hoo may not be as important as say the inventions of Thomas Edison, but even he may well have refreshed himself with a Yoo-Hoo working as hard as he did on his inventions over in West Orange.
  Even the old bottles Yoo-Hoo came in would make a nice collectable, like the "Yoo-Hoo" embossed glass one's from the early fifties to the sleek thin bottles of the seventies. 

Creativity and unique vision abound in New Jersey and there will surely be more great inventions to come from bright minds in our state for the world to enjoy.  The words TRENTON MAKES THE WORLD TAKES spans the bridge over the river in Trenton.  Maybe it should be changed to NEW JERSEY MAKES THE WORLD TAKES.

Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Beverage - Carlstadt, New Jersey 


Movie Review - July, 2003

Video Rental Pick:

ABOUT SCHMIDT - Rated R - Warren Schmidt was about to retire to a life of new beginnings.  What he didn't know was that his new beginning would be one of self-discovery and thoughtful but often painful reflection on the past.  Warren did what most survivors in the corporate world do, he put in his time for that magic day of retirement.  Any corporate job generates reams of paper, and Warren had all his neatly filed for his replacement to take over.  After a visit to see his new replacement, Warren saw his life in those files neatly piled in the dumpster area awaiting disposal.  He was now on the outside of his old life looking in as the reality of retirement hits home.

Warren seemed to have plenty of money for a nice retirement.  His loving wife even cooked him a meal in their new RV in the driveway parked at the ready to hit the road of retirement.  Life got even worse for Warren as his plans for the future were wiped out with his wife's sudden passing.

Jersey's own Jack Nicholson delivers a command performance as Warren Schmidt on the road of self-discovery.  Suddenly gone is just about everything Warren ever knew except his daughter.  He tries unsuccessfully to fit into her life.  The only solace this old-timer has left is his letters to his new foster child from Tanzania.  Feeling like a complete failure by not even being able to save his daughter from marrying a "nincompoop," Warren gets a gift of a lifetime as one of the seeds he has sown bears precious fruit.
  This film will bear fruit for all thoughtful film-goers who will enjoy a very well-acted and well-written tale ABOUT SCHMIDT.

Jersey Clubs and Nightlife - July, 2003  

Joey Harrison's Surf Club offers the beach and so much more.  The Jersey Shore is alive this time of year being in full summer mode.  Summer mode at the "Surf Club" means beach access and full access to some of the best entertainment in the Ortley Beach area.  The bars at the club are many with a couple just feet from sand and sea.  The patio offers up a nice outdoor bar and eats.

The Surf Club makes good use of its amazing seaside location by offering up plenty of bar specials and entertainment.  Joey Harrison's is a great place to enjoy one of their well-known summer afternoon parties and even a special event.  The club plays host many nights to some of the hottest artists on the DJ scene and packs in plenty of club-goers.  Many afternoon regulars simply go home, shower and change to return for hot nighttime fun.  The crowd is a nice mix of young and old, and the Surf Club is a must place to hang out and enjoy when "down the shore."

Joey Harrison's Surf Club - Seaside Heights, New Jersey 

Jersey Feature - July, 2003

Endangered New Jersey  - Jersey City Medical Center

Many of us here in New Jersey value and treasure our diverse and unique culture.  Monuments of our early past are in danger of being lost forever.  It's important to integrate the past with the future otherwise our history will be washed away with the next wave of  "progress."  New Jersey remains desirable and vital, but some of our great monuments are only desirable to those who would use the wrecking ball.  One such building in danger of being lost forever is The Jersey City Medical Center

A place like the Jersey City Medical Center gave birth to many from New Jersey and it will most certainly give birth to a great debate as to its future.  One thing that can't be debated is it's sheer size (over a million square feet) and the fact that it remains one of Jersey's most stunning examples of art-deco architecture.  Destroying it would be tragic and harmful to the city and to the State.  It took much vision to create it, but it doesn't take much to wreck it.  This impressive structure was built as a solution embodying a new vision in medical care, and its future should be based on sound vision and respect for that achievement.  The building will certainly never again serve the function as a hospital but the opportunity to serve the community is there without question.  The ideas of what to do with the building will surely outnumber the actual real options, but there must be a couple of real possibilities out there.  So the question remains…  What to do with this part of Endangered New Jersey?

Trenton is our State Capital and should remain so.  The economy of New Jersey is bigger than some entire countries.  It's seems befitting in a State as vibrant as ours to have a portion of our State government up in North Jersey.  Moving government functions into this building will serve the public and pave the way for entrepreneurship and private investment in the unused portion.  A building this size is clearly a mini-city and with some State Government offices as an anchor, other for-profit enterprises could be built around this anchor.  The ideas are only limited by imagination, and it would not surprise me to see massive interest in this beautiful structure if it can be save from the wrecking ball by getting off the endangered list and onto the A-list of top New Jersey protected historical treasures.

Endangered New Jersey  - Jersey City Medical Center    written by Jerry Butler

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