Category Archives: Interesting People

Jon D’Amore Delivers His Next Book, Deadfellas


Jon D’Amore Delivers His Next Book,  Deadfellas

by  Diane Lombardi-Fleming

Jon D’Amore Delivers His Next Book,  Deadfellas

Hudson County native and the author of his bestselling memoir, The Boss Always Sits In The Back, Jon D’Amore has published his long awaited sequel. Except that it’s not really a sequel. Deadfellas incorporates the best (and the worst) of the North Jersey mob with a supernatural theme, which makes for a satirical tale where everyone involved gets their just reward. Where “The Boss” was based on D’Amore’s true life events, Deadfellas stays with the Jersey mob theme, but the story is fiction. “No one would have guessed that mixing the underworld with the real underworld would result in such an entertaining combination,” D’Amore says, after receiving reviews from literary insiders and other authors fortunate enough to get advance copies. Continue reading Jon D’Amore Delivers His Next Book, Deadfellas

OPERA SINGER GOES POP Giselle Bellas Breaks Out on 5th Season of LOUIE

Singer’s Debut EP Due Out Soon

 By Sally Deering  

Opera singer to pop singer Giselle Bellas
Giselle Bellas

She got the call, and an hour later opera singer Giselle Bellas of Jersey City was in Avatar Studios in Manhattan working out a song with Louis C.K. for the 5th episode of his Peabody and Emmy Award winning TV Show LOUIE (Thursdays, 10:30 pm,  FX). Louis C.K. sang the lyrics he wrote into an iPhone and left Giselle to collaborate with his band SweetPro, which does all the original music for the series. The result: Giselle sang a haunting tune called “Diarrhea” that plays over the episode’s losing credits.


Giselle Bellas
Giselle performs with Keenan McRae at
Jersey City Fashion Week at Liberty Science Center

Since that fateful call made by Giselle’s producer Adam Tilzer, who is also the sound engineer on LOUIE, Giselle has turned in performances on six LOUIE episodes collaborating with Louis C.K. and SweetPro and singing tunes that show off her vocal versatility, 4-octave range and sense of humor. Continue reading OPERA SINGER GOES POP Giselle Bellas Breaks Out on 5th Season of LOUIE

LORD OF THE SQUARE DANCE Howard Richman gets Dancers Swinging

Adding Flair to Tradition, Richman’s Dancers Promenade to Madonna

 By Sally Deering

Howard Richman Lord of the Square Dance Slip the Clutch, Shoot the Star and Roll Away with a Half Sashay; these may be non-sequiturs to most of us but to square-dance fans these terms get them twirling on the dance floor and if Howard Richman’s calling the dance, there might be some Madonna in the mix.

Square Dance calling may not be a typical job found on a resume, but Richman does it to add to his income as a theater artist and he travels throughout the Tri-State area to gyms, schools and church halls to put people through their paces on the dance floor.

Continue reading LORD OF THE SQUARE DANCE Howard Richman gets Dancers Swinging

Teresa Guidice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey Makes Appearance at Jersey City’s VB3 Restaurant

River View Observer Staff Writer-Photo by Steve A. Mack

On Wednesday, July 23rd reality TV Celebrity Teresa Guidice appeared at Jersey City’s popular restaurant VB3 to promote her new line of wine Faberlini.

Ms. Guidice  of The Real  Housewives of New Jersey fame has also  written 4  cookbooks of which 3 hit the NY Times Best Selling Author list. The popular reality star  has her own hair care line called “Milania” named after her daughter and has also appeared on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.

She can be seen in this seasons The Real  Housewives of New Jersey airing on Sunday nights at 8pm on the Bravo channel.

Legendary Locals of Jersey City-Book by John Gomez Shines New Light on The City’s Movers and Shakers

    By Sally Deering        Photo of John Gomez by Bob Foster, Hoboken Historical Society 

john gomez headshot 2

Published as part of the new Arcadia Publishing imprint Legendary Locals, John Gomez’s book LEGENDARY LOCALS OF JERSEY CITY shines new light on the people of Jersey City, past and present who stand out in the crowd. LEGENDARY LOCALS OF JERSEY CITY (Arcadia Publishing; 128 pgs.; $21.99, soft cover😉 focuses on Jersey City’s Who’s Who and “Who Was”

riverviewobserver.netAt first, when Gomez, who is also the founder of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy was approached by Arcadia Publishing to do the book, he was reluctant.

“I write about buildings,” Gomez says. “I’m an architectural historian, but then I thought we can’t have buildings without the people in them, so I agreed. I had a list of 500 people and had to shrink it to 150.”

Gomez decided to include information in the book that people who are historians would not necessarily know. To accomplish this required a lot of research, he says, and when he decided to add Jersey City Mayor Frank “Boss” Hague to the list, he came across surprising tidbits like the time Hague had a run-in with Russian communist Leon Trotsky in Journal Square. Hague, who was anti-Communist, learned Trotsky was to make an appearance in Journal Square to recruit communists and Hague was there to kick him out. Continue reading Legendary Locals of Jersey City-Book by John Gomez Shines New Light on The City’s Movers and Shakers

Bambino Chef: Where Kids Learn to Shake ‘N Bake

  Rene Gonzalez Teaches Kids Healthy Cooking is Fun

By Sally Deering


Bambino Chef Jersey City
Rene Gonzalez owner of Bambino Chef

Would your children eat a Spinach Brownie?  How about a Mac & Cheese Cupcake with Vegetable Puree or a Cauliflower Pizza?  They might if they made it themselves.

Those crazy concoctions were created by Rene Gonzalez, founder of Bambino Chef, a cooking school for kids in Jersey City. Inside Bambino Chef’s storefront there’s a kitchen with brightly colored utensils where kids don aprons, create food they make themselves and in the process learn to be empowered in the kitchen. At Bambino Chef, Rene creates recipes for cookies, cupcakes, pizza – the sky’s the limit and the dishes she creates help give kids a good attitude toward their taste-buds’ nemesis, the vegetable. Continue reading Bambino Chef: Where Kids Learn to Shake ‘N Bake

Jersey City’s Danny Martinez Remains in Top 15 on CMT’s SWEET HOME ALABAMA

Danny_Martinez (2)Jersey City’s Danny Martinez is one of fifteen bachelors remaining on CMT’s new series SWEET HOME ALABAMA.  These bachelors from big cities and small towns are vying for the affections of Kelsey Smith, a beautiful southern girl from Alabama, in the fourth episode airing Friday, December 6 at 10:00 p.m., ET/PT.

On this all-new episode, Kelsey takes her remaining suitors to an elementary school class to see how they interact with kids, since she is studying to become a teacher. Later, one of the city guys attempts to learn to two-step at an authentic country bar. When elimination night comes around, more men will be sent home.

Danny Martinez of Jersey City, NJ. is one of the bachelors competing for Kelsey’s heart in the fourth season of the popular dating reality series. Martinez, a 25-year-old student, describes himself as handsome, fun, charming and loves to party. He loves partying so much that he averages around 12 hours of sleep every week. When it comes to relationships, Danny believes it’s the man’s role to protect and provide for the woman.


Odd Teen Out -Joe Montaperto suffers an Identity Crisis in his new Memoir THE EDGE OF WHITENESS


By Sally Deering


The_Edge_of_Whitenes_Cover_for_KindleJoe Montaperto grew up in the 1970s, a time of race riots, culture-clashes and mash-ups. Born and raised in an Italian Brooklyn neighborhood, Montaperto’s parents moved him and the family to Roselle, New Jersey, with the hope of getting away from the racially-charged clashes playing out on Brooklyn’s streets. Instead, the teenage Montaperto enrolled in a high school where African-American teenagers were bussed in from the inner-city and Montaperto, who is of Italian dissent, how to find a way to cope in this unexpected and sometimes violent culture clash.

This all happens on the first page of THE EDGE OF WHITENESS, Montaperto’s memoir published by Oak Tree Press and available on and Montaperto’s website ( On Thurs, Jan.9that 6:30 pm, Montaperto will read excerpts of THE EDGE OF WHITENESS at the Heights branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library on Zabriskie Street.

“It was a story I had to tell,” Montaperto says. “I was born in Brooklyn and we moved to Roselle New Jersey. It was an insidious town – it looked pretty nice, but it was kind of a dangerous place. We were from Brooklyn. We lived in an Italian neighborhood and we moved to Roselle. It was very white and the high school was mostly black. It was kind of a weird cultural shock, like Jackie Robinson in reverse. I remember feeling totally on the outside from everybody. It was pretty rough until when I turned 15. I suddenly looked Puerto Rican and I learned how to box and that probably saved me, those two things.”

Continue reading Odd Teen Out -Joe Montaperto suffers an Identity Crisis in his new Memoir THE EDGE OF WHITENESS

Community Pillar- St. Dominic Academy to Honor Maryanne Kelleher, Director of Jersey City Cultural Affairs

By Sally Deering

MaryanneKelleherheadshotOn Thurs, Nov. 21, Saint Dominic Academy (SDA) will honor Jersey City Cultural Affairs Director Maryanne Kelleher, Class of ’90, with the Dominican Pillar Award, the highest honor given to “outstanding individuals whose personal and professional lives reflect the values of Saint Dominic.” The 15th Annual SDA Leadership Awards Gala will be held at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville and the money raised will to go to SDAs scholarship fund.

“It is a special thing to be honored by the community that I serve,” Kelleher says, “but to have SDA reach out to me to say, ‘You’ve done well, kid,’ twenty-three years after graduation is a whole other experience all-together.  This is very touching and a personal honor which I will cherish for years to come.”

Jersey City’s Director of Cultural Affairs since 1996, Kelleher has worked for several administrations including Mayors Bret Schundler, Glenn Cunningham, L. Harvey Smith, Jerramiah T. Healy, and the newly-elected Mayor Steven M. Fulop. Her primary mission as a public servant, she says, is to remain keenly aware of the needs within the creative, ethnic and preservation communities and advocate on their behalf to realize their goals. She encourages Jersey City artists — dancers, actors, writers – to contact her office if they need help with their projects.

Continue reading Community Pillar- St. Dominic Academy to Honor Maryanne Kelleher, Director of Jersey City Cultural Affairs

Operation Christmas Child 2013

   Michelle Mandaro and her Family fill Shoeboxes with Holiday Gifts for Underprivileged Children

 By Sally Deering

Michelle Mandaro and family
Michelle Mandaro and her children Alexander 9 and Emilie 7 collect items all year long for Christmas Shoeboxes


Not all shoeboxes are the same; some hold heels, some hold sneakers; while still others hold toothbrushes, combs, socks and a whole lot of love.

Since 1993, more than 100 million children have received shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child, a project from the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse ( with more than 100,000 volunteers creating and distributing the shoeboxes  filled with trinkets to put a smile on a child’s face Christmas morning.

Operation Christmas Child brings shoeboxes filled with trinkets – both the necessary and the fun kind – to underprivileged children throughout the country. Participating for the fifth year are Michelle Mandaro – owner of Amelia’s Bistro in Jersey City – her 9 year-old son Alexander, and 7 year-old daughter Emilie.

“My sister-in-law Fortune Mandaro has been doing it for 20 years,” Michelle Mandaro says.  “This is my fifth year doing it with my my children. Last year we created 54 shoeboxes and this year we’re making 60. My kids love shopping for the boxes they love stuffing the boxes, they write letters to the children and they receive letters back.”

Continue reading Operation Christmas Child 2013