Fruteria Juice Bar blends Healthy Drinks with Good Vibes

By Sally Deering

Sheldon Hall Fruteria Juice Bar

Sheldon Hall, Owner of Fruteria Juice Bar

The blender whirls full blast as Sheldon Hall, owner of Fruteria Juice Bar pops mango, pineapple and papaya chunks into a plastic pitcher for one of his signature smoothies, the Caribbean Queen. Throughout the day, customers stop by the tiny juice bar on Park Avenue in Union City with its green and yellow walls adorned with mermaids juggling fruit, and other eclectic artworks, for one of Hall’s delicious – and healthy – smoothies, veggie and specialty drinks. Continue reading

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Earth Day 2015; “It’s Our Turn to Lead” Liberty State Park Celebration to Raise Eco Awareness

By Sally Deering


Poster for Earth Day 2015 It’s been 25 years since Hudson celebrated the first Earth Day in Liberty State Park and on Sat, April 25 – rain or shine — the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA), Friends of Liberty State Park, and local and state community activists will be at the waterfront park to enlighten local residents on ecological issues in Hudson and the world-at-large.

Earth Day 2015 will kick off at 10 am with a 5k Walk and Run through the park; and for the kids there’ll be  kite flying, arts and crafts, inflatable rides, interactive games, contests and giveaways, with a steady flow of entertainers on the main stage; and refreshments, too. Hundreds of volunteers from city and state community groups and organizations will present displays on local and world-wide ecological innovations and reforms to inform visitors about the eco future.


Earth Day Balloons 2015“This year marks our 25th anniversary of Earth Day Celebrations here in Hudson County and since its inception, the goal has always been to raise environmental awareness among members of the community,” says Mary-Ellen Gilpin, Director of HCIA’s  environmental programs. “The fair creates an opportunity for residents, young and old, to enjoy themselves while learning the importance of ‘reducing, re-using and recycling’ and protecting our urban environment.”

The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA), founded in 1974, provides strategic planning and coordination of public policy initiatives on behalf of Hudson County municipalities and residents. The authority is responsible for a vast range of services including low interest financing for public and private initiatives, solid waste management, environmental education, recycling and transportation management, recreation services, and alternative energy initiatives.

From the 5K run/walk, to the informative displays and tents, and green communities’ marketplace, Hudson residents will have a wide array of things to do and see at the fair, Gilpin says.

“View the winning posters drawn by students for our 9th annual Earth Day Calendar art contest, or make a pledge to help the environment at the ‘Wishing Tree’,” Gilpin says. “This year will be the largest Earth Day Fair we have ever run. It is more important than ever to make sure our communities understand what resources are available in the county to help protect our environment, together.”


Earth Day The national Earth Day theme this year is “It’s Our Turn to Lead” focusing on the unique environmental challenges facing our world, and especially our urban municipalities. All attendees at LSP are invited to visit the Wishing Trees to make a pledge to perform one act that can lead the way to make our Hudson municipalities “greener”.

“On behalf of myself and my fellow commissioners, I would like to invite you to join us in Liberty State Park for a celebration of 25 Years of Earth Day in Hudson County,” HCIA Chairman John L. Shinnick says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring residents together to learn about the environment and spend time with their community. It’s a great day of free outdoor fun for the whole family.”


Earth Day Globe Exhibitors at Earth Day 2015 will include city and state government agencies, community groups, service organizations, health care service providers, ‘green’ retailers and non-profits with ecological missions like Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy, Citizens Climate Lobby, Student Conservation Association, NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection, and the NY/NJ Baykeeper. The NY/NJ Baykeeper in Keyport offers eco cruises and kayak tours that launch from Keyport. Representatives from the NY/NJ Baykeeper will be at LSP to raise awareness to the needs within NY-NJ Harbor.

“Many residents throughout New Jersey don’t know how to access their waterways to use them for recreational purposes and learn more about their environment,” Sandra Meola of the NY/NJ Baykeeper says. “Baykeeper’s interactive kayak tours and eco cruises aim to connect the public to their waterways. By doing so, we advocate for the protection and preservation of our waterways within the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary.”


 Friends of Liberty State Park is an all-volunteer, non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, conserving and promoting Liberty State Park. Since 1988, it has advocated for the protection and improvement of this open space park, and more than 5 million visitors come annually to enjoy this recreational, natural, historic, and cultural public resource. It all began when local residents Morris Pesin and Audrey Zapp, and historic preservationist Ted Conrad led a citizens’ movement to transform a waterfront wasteland of abandoned rail yards and decaying piers into a park. Sam Pesin, the son of Morris Pesin continues his father’s advocacy as director of the Friends of Liberty State Park.

“Earth Day is a time for us all to celebrate Mother Nature and think about doing all we can to contribute to a clean and healthy environment,” Pesin says. “We must all be activists in protecting the beauty, necessity and spiritual power of nature and open space.  Liberty State Park is our great urban waterfront open space which enriches our urban quality of life.”

At 11 am, following “Walk for LSP” and the HCIA’s 5K Walk/Run, a “Kids’ Kingdom” area will open with environment-themed displays, information on services available throughout Hudson, and tree seedlings, compliments of the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry.

Throughout the day, strolling entertainers like a juggling stilt-walker, “Earth Boy”, “Buster”, “Woodsy” and “Garbage Goat” will interact with festival-goers, and. DJ Mickey will emcee the stage acts. Here’s the line-up:


11 am-Noon  Race Award Ceremony 

12 pm-12:30   DJ Mickey

12:30 1:15      Field Station: Dinosaurs:

“The Dinosaur Troubadour and Mighty T-Rex” 

1:15– 1:30      DJ Mickey

1:30– 2 pm     Carl Brister in Concert

2 pm–2:15      DJ Mickey

2:15– 2:45      Field Station: Dinosaurs:

“The Dinosaur Troubadour and Mighty T-Rex” 

2:45– 3 pm     DJ Mickey

3 pm–4 pm      John Christian Band

 When Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise took office in November 2002, he made protecting Hudson’s local environment and remaining open space one of his top priorities.

“We want our kids to get out there and enjoy all the beauty that Hudson County has to offer,” County Executive DeGise says. “Celebrating Earth Day in Liberty State Park is an excellent way to help get our kids back-to-nature; while learning to protect our unique environment.”




Sat, April 25, 10 am-6 pm


Liberty State Park

200 Morris Pesin Drive

Jersey City

(201) 915-3402


Hudson County Improvement Authority

(201) 324-6222


Friends of Liberty State Park



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Stand-Up Comic Brett Druck Hones his Laughs Being Funny is Serious Business

 By Sally Deering

Brett Druck

Brett Druck

It’s been said that doing stand-up stands out as one of the toughest show biz paths to take, a lonely venture of telling jokes to a boozy crowd with the intention of getting them to laugh at your hilarious observations.

Even Jerry Seinfeld started that way.

The difficult life of a stand-up comic hasn’t deterred Jersey City’s Brett Druck, a funny man who has taken his observational humor to comedy clubs in New York and New Jersey, Sirius XM Radio and TV. He plays comedy festivals and just began performing at colleges – his first will be Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, and he’s working on his first comedy album. Continue reading

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Advance Realty’s Willow14 Hoboken Mixed-Use Development to Feature Luxury Residential, Retail and Parking Components

New building Willow14 in Hoboken

Willow14 in Hoboken

Advance Realty Announces Completion of Below-Grade Parking Garage and Start of Vertical Construction at Willow14 in Hoboken, NJ


HOBOKEN, N.J. (April 13, 2015) — Advance Realty — a leading Northeast U.S. owner, developer and manager of Class A multifamily, mixed-use, retail, office and flex-space properties — today announced that it has begun the vertical construction of Willow14, its seven-story, mixed-use development project in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Located at the corner of 14th Street and Willow Avenue, the building will feature 140 luxury apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a four-story, below-grade parking garage. Continue reading

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Bayonne Bridge Construction Project Update

Bayonne Bridge Construction Updates River View ObserverBayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has provided new information about the latest developments in the Bayonne Bridge construction project.

At Pier N2, south of 1st Street, by the shoreline, footings are under construction.  At Piers N3, N4, and N5, located south of 1st Street, work has been completed for now.

 At Pier N6 & Pier N7, north of 1st Street (between 1st and 2nd Streets), drill shaft work and excavation for sixteen footings are underway.  The Port Authority will be working in this area until December.  Continue reading

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25th Cathedral Arts Festival to be held Apr. 18th in Downtown Jersey City

River View Observer Cathedreal Arts Festival

2013 Cathedral Arts Festival, Grace Van Vort Church by Steve A. Mack

Grace Church Van Vorst celebrates Art and Community

 By Sally Deering


Bronze Sculpture by
Seth Alexander

Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, many considered downtown Jersey City a tough and gritty place for off-the-grid artists and blue-collar workers. It was during that time Grace Church Van Vorst, an Episcopalian parish in downtown Jersey City opened its big red doors on Erie Street, and welcomed local residents, many of them artists, to participate in the Cathedral Arts Festival.

On Sat, April 18, Grace Church’s big red

Painting for 2015 Cathedral Arts Festival

By Kathyrn Mecca

doors will open once again, this time for the 25th anniversary of the Cathedral Arts Festival beckoning local residents and friends to once again enjoy a gala of art, entertainment, food and drink. Under the leadership of Reverend Laurie Jean Wurm and congregants Bayla Kallstrom as chairwoman, Amy Elise as head art curator and other dedicated artists and residents, the Cathedral Arts Festival will once again bridge art and community in this neighborhood parish.

Continue reading

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For Hot Sauce & Rubs, Call Uncle Bud!

Fire & Spice

By Sally Deering


Uncle Bud drawing

Tony Alexander aka Uncle Bud

 After telling his buddies the hot sauce on his

Uncle Bud photo

The real Tony Alexander
aka Uncle Bud

wings wasn’t making him sweat, Tony Alexander’s friends told him if he didn’t think the sauce was hot enough, he should make his own.

And that’s exactly what Alexander did.

That challenge happened a few years back and now Tony Alexander goes by the nickname Uncle Bud, chief cook and bottle washer for his own brand of sauces guaranteed to bedazzle any dish, even two fried eggs. Alexander sells his sauces at the Riveview Farmers’ Markets on Sundays in the Heights (May-November) and at the Grove Street Plaza for Groove on Grove on Thursdays. Currently, he’s in the process of getting his sauces into a big box store that sells whole foods.

Continue reading

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Harpeth Rising to Perform at Spiral Sounds

Spiral Sounds Concerts on April 24th at 7:30pm.  




Since their formation in 2009, Harpeth Rising has been building a reputation by breaking down musical boundaries.  Their virtuosic instrumentals of banjo and violin mixed with cello and foot percussion create an exciting and unique blend of musical genres that include folk, rock, bluegrass, and roots music.  Their original lyrics, conveyed through powerful three-part vocals, are both gritty and poignant.  The all-female group met while studying classical music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and were united – and continue to be driven by – their eclectic musical interests.  Within one year of their formation and their move to Music City, they were voted ‘Best Local Band in Nashville’ by the Tennessean.  Harpeth Rising has been touring both nationally and internationally for four years with performances that include the Kerrville Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, London Folk Festival, Blissfest, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Music City Roots, The Bluebird, and ROMP Music Festival.

After an impressive discography of four studio albums in four years, Harpeth Rising released their first live album in November of 2014.  The album consists entirely of performances at The Dreaming Tree Coffeehouse in Baptistown, NJ and includes both original songs and previously unrecorded covers the trio’s fans had been requesting.  A unique feature of their live shows, Harpeth Rising’s covers range from Led Zeppelin to Pete Seeger with unparalleled freshness and originality.  The trio’s most recent studio album, ‘Tales From Jackson Bridge,’ reached No. 6 on the Folk DJ Charts and No. 15 on the EuroAmericana Charts.  While ‘Tales From Jackson Bridge’ remains true to Harpeth Rising’s folk and classical roots throughout, it expands on their blues, Latin, and rock influences and adds in some new flavors such as Texas Swing and Gypsy Jazz.  This constant innovation combining old and new genres of music, technical mastery, and heartfelt sensibility has earned Harpeth Rising the distinction of one of the most engaging and dynamic new groups in folk music today.  The album has been named on the Americana Radio Top Five Most Added List, the Roots Music Report’s Top Forty, Alternate Root’s Top Ten Songs of the Week, and Amazon’s Top Twenty Hot New Releases in Roots Rock.

The trio will be performing in Jersey City for Spiral Sounds Concerts on April 24th at 7:30pm.  Located in an 1870 Victorian townhouse in the waterside neighborhood of Paulus Hook, Spiral Sounds Concerts provides a unique opportunity for an intimate performance with celebrated acoustic musicians and songwriters.  There is a suggested donation of $20 for the artist and reservations and more information are available at


“The vanguard of a new species of progressive folk.” – Jason D Hamad, The No Surf Review
“Harpeth Rising play their cards with class and conviction.” – Lee Zimmerman, No Depression
“The future of original string music” – Moonlight on the Mountain


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A lifestyle and entertainment publication serving the Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Secaucus and Guttenberg Waterfront Communities


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