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September, 2003

Inside This Edition: Hunan Chinese Room in Morris Plains, NJ; Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, New Jersey; Movie Review - THE QUIET AMERICAN; Calaloo Cafe in Morristown, NJ, and Feature - New Jersey - Inventing For The World


Jersey Food - September, 2003

Finding a "good" Chinese restaurant is not an insurmountable task; finding a "superior" one is not quite that easy.  This month, however, we found that well-above-average eatery.  Hunan Chinese Room in Morris Plains turned out to be a most pleasant dining experience.

The atmosphere of Hunan is serene and efficient without  being intrusive.  As the restaurant has a liquor license, we, were able to enjoy  pre-dinner cocktails without being rushed.  The food was delicious.

A standout choice was the Crispy Jumbo Prawns and Honey Walnut Salad.  The word salad may lead you to believe that this was a cold dish; not so, it was warm and luscious.  Two other favorites were baby shrimp in curry sauce and chicken in a spicy garlic sauce.  Everything was well-prepared including the brightly-colored, fresh vegetables.

If you are dieting or have special needs such as salt restriction, Hunan will adjust the food preparation for you.  Banquet facilities are available as well as take-out.

This restaurant is clean, well run, and you can see and taste the freshness of the food.  The service is pleasant and professional.  What's not to like?  We will return-soon.

Hunan Chinese Room - Morris Plains, New Jersey 


Jersey Treasure - September, 2003


Imagine a crystal blue sky atop one of the higher mountains in Essex County with an  unobstructed view of Manhattan.  Does such a place exist in New Jersey?  Many would be surprised to learn that it does!  Sitting on top of one of the most beautiful mountains in all of New Jersey is the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange.  Dining out on the patio of this Jersey Treasure offers one of the most stunning views of Manhattan in all of New Jersey.  Add to that some great food, cool drinks and Jersey people and you have something quite rare and very special.  It's not very often that one can get such a unique dining experience, and the Highlawn Pavilion offers something rare which cannot be duplicated.

The Highlawn Pavilion structure itself actually began as a scenic overlook complete with refreshment stand after being constructed in the early 1900's.  Edison's famous lab is nearby down the hill, but legend has it that a portion of the pavilion was used by him on secret war-time military projects.

On a recent visit our party of four enjoyed an evening breeze and sunset out on "the patio."  The view of New York was nothing short of spectacular and cannot be overstated.  We all enjoyed this very unique Jersey Treasure made even better by the cool drinks and good food we all enjoyed.  The barbeque chicken pizza is a new addition to the menu and was quite good and very filling.

There is tremendous history in this part of New Jersey, and it's so nice to see much of it saved from the wrecking ball.  The Highlawn Pavilion has transformed this once blighted area long since forgotten into a vital and unique place.  Experience this Jersey Treasure and you will be glad you did!

Highlawn Pavilion - West Orange, New Jersey 


Movie Review - September, 2003

Video Rental Pick:

THE QUIET AMERICAN - Rated R - Most Americans think of political posturing and anti-war demonstrations when thinking of the conflict in Vietnam, but few ever knew that the French were there before us.  Why would France want to maintain control over this very poor country?  The United States has always in recent history wanted countries to become positive self sufficient nations capable of meeting the needs of it's people.  To achieve this goal has often been difficult and sometimes fought by less than overt means.

Pyle, (played by Brendan Fasier) drops into Fowler's (played my Michael Caine) world as a seemingly harmless humanitarian on a mission to eradicate an eye disease.  Fowler is a British journalist on assignment to cover Vietnam.  What takes place in the next 90 plus minutes in this film is nothing short of stunning and very moving. 

Good versus evil once again takes center stage as Fowler writes about change and Pyle initiates it.  This amazing film will transport you back in time to a nation in play so-to-speak by outside forces culminating with the eruption of full-scale war.  THE QUIET AMERICAN is beautifully photographed and written with many twists and turns along the way.  It is also perfectly cast as all the actors fit and play their parts very well.

With the events of 911, this film was delayed in being released, with good reason, as all Americans had much to deal with during that time.  No Vietnam movie has ever been made like this and captures the subtle tones and political agendas leading up to the war with clarity.  It's clear that this film stands among the very few really good films about Vietnam and it deserves a look.  You won't be disappointed!


Jersey Clubs and Nightlife - September, 2003  

Calaloo Cafe offers a great place to go hang out for a drink and has a nice laid-back crowd.  Inside is a large elevated circular bar which can get a little noisy, but for the most part is very comfortable.  The service is quite good and on a recent trip we never waited more than a minute or two despite the bar being crowded. The whole place has a nice tropical feel to it and even has a nice tiki bar outside in front, which is where we hung out with the 25-35 year-old crowd.  Calaloo is a good call if meeting up for drinks for a quiet evening with some good people-watching.  It's also a good place to meet up before heading out to a nightclub.  If Calaloo is the first stop or the only stop in your evening you will enjoy a nice distinctive Jersey experience.

Calaloo Cafe - Morristown, New Jersey 


Jersey Feature - September, 2003

New Jersey - Inventing for the world

Mention the words New Jersey to and outsider and we all know the kinds of negative thoughts we usually get.  Few outsiders know that without New Jersey the world would be a far different place.  New Jersey has invented for the world.  Many Jersey natives may be shocked to know just how much came out of here.

New Jersey has given the world light via the light bulb invented right here in New Jersey.  Want a new sound to go with that light then if you rocked on over to Mahwah in 1940 and you may have heard the first sounds from Les Paul's new invention called the electric guitar.  Were you hanging out in Camden in 1933?  If you were then you probably checked out a new Jersey invention called the drive in movie theater.  The phonograph and filmmaking are all from New Jersey.  

One might think, yeah that's great but what have you done for me lately.?  Okay, how about color television, liquid crystal display and even the videotape recorder, all invented in New Jersey.  Jersey people and companies are always hungry for new invention and they always deliver for the world.  New Jersey has and continues to make amazing and important contributions to the world.

Ask anyone from the 30's how important condensed soup was in this time period as people struggled to survive and make ends meet.  Condensed soup was invented in New Jersey which became Campbell's soup.  The tomatoes used in the early years that went into the soup were grown here in New Jersey as well. 

On a lighter note the boardwalk was invented right here in Atlantic City New Jersey.  Salt water taffy was also invented out at the beach in New Jersey.  Also invented here is that favorite chocolate beverage beloved by many called simply Yoo-hoo.

New Jersey is simply one of the most vital places for invention in the world and the highlights here are few of many.  There is so much to love about New Jersey and Inventing For The World is surely one of them!

New Jersey  - Inventing For The World    written by Jerry Butler


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