flat rock brook birds of prey presentation.

This past weekend, during what I considered my birthday weekend and therefore an extension of my birthday, I attended a Flat Rock Brook birds of prey presentation in Ercel Webb Park.

IT WAS INCRED. I love birds and birding and all things bird and have been waiting for the opportunity to see one of these presentations. I saw their recent presentations at Lincoln Park and another park I forgot on social media and couldn’t wait for the chance to go to one myself.

THIS WAS MY CHANCE.

I do think that these presentations are probably intended for children and like…FINE. But I signed up and I went and I saw some birds and you’re never too old to learn something new and hang out with birds. Deal with it.

On Saturday afternoon I headed over to Ercel Webb Park and I was super pumped. First of all in my mind this particular park was called “Lafayette Park” because it’s by Lafayette Pool/Aquatic Center/whatever. I feel like I have even referred to it as “Lafayette Park” and other people have known what I was talking about.

It’s not called “Lafayette Park.” Sorry.

JK I LOOKED IT UP AND IT IS REFERRED TO AS “LAFAYETTE PARK” IN A LOT OF PLACES ON THE INTERNET. There must be some kind of transfer of power/responsibility going on but I’ll have to look into that another time because THIS IS ABOUT THE BIRDS. But PS “Friends of Ercel Webb Park” helped get this event going and introduced the birds and bird pros.

As I was walking over I saw two hawks flying over MLK Drive. I am NOT LYING, they were there. I don’t know what kind but I DO know they weren’t seagulls or turkey vultures because I checked. I CHECKED. So I was super pumped that I saw some birds on my way to see more birds.

When I arrived at the park I saw that they had a cute little pumpkin patch set up for the kids. Since I AM a kid and I had registered myself for the event I took a pumpkin and I don’t regret it. I love pumpkins.

They provided Thanksgiving stickers to put on the pumpkin which I felt was very inclusive and respectful to this most valuable but often ignored November holiday. Great work!

After securing my pumpkin and stickers I proceeded to an open area where there were circles spray painted on the grass, 6ft apart. This was the first place I saw circles like this in person! I’ve seen pics of them doing it in parks in NYC but never experienced it for real and I liked it.

I laid out my blanket, put some turkey stickers on my pumpkin, and took out some knitting to work on while I waited impatiently for the birds to be revealed.

They really built up the suspense with the bird reveal because they had the birds in dark boxes! I’m no expert but I do know that birds feel safe and calm and probably like it’s time to take a nap when they’re in a dark, enclosed space. My pet budgie really likes it and I think he’s qualified to tweet for all birds.

It felt like actual years went by but it was finally time to take the birds out and I’ll tell you all about what I learned!

tilly – eastern screech-owl.

Tilly the Eastern Screech-Owl was napping HARD when they took her out of her box. Since she’s nocturnal it was during her sleep time.

Tilly ended up with Flat Rock Brook because she got attacked by a cat and is blind in one eye. She wouldn’t be able to live her badass screech owl life in the wild, so she lives a badass screech owl life as a bird ambassador and I think that seems okay with her.

During Tilly’s time in the spotlight she started to wake up and move around a little and she was really, REALLY cute.

But also a fierce predator that dines on small rodents and insects. YUM.

Toward the end they played a screech owl sound for us. They said they were going to play it before they played it and I was like “OMG Tilly is gonna LOSE IT!” because that’s what my pet bird does when I play pet bird sounds.

Tilly did not lose it and actually didn’t even notice. I guess she’s just too cool for school.

titus – american kestrel.

Titus, on the other hand, LOST IT. As soon as they took him out of his little box he was yelling and flapping and seemed completely outraged.

Sorry I couldn’t get a good pic of Titus but he was a lovely bird.

Kestrels as a species maybe get a little outraged sometimes, I’m not sure. They’re a type of falcon and were described as “feisty.” They’re common in cities, so be on the lookout!

I also learned that Titus was hit by a car and had one wing that didn’t heal correctly so he couldn’t be released back into the wild. Because he can’t fly. HE IS A BIRD AND CAN’T FLY. HOW RUDE OF THE WORLD.

Honestly I think he’s still pretty pissed about it and I guess I would be too.

jones – red tailed hawk.

Jones! Hello! I love you!

Before they took Jones out they were like, “Just want to warn you, this thing is huge.” And they took her out and SHE WAS HUGE.

I’m used to seeing these guys in the sky in the field behind my parents’ house, up in tall trees at Lincoln Park, and in every state I’ve ever traveled, soaring over the highway. They’re all around!

But it’s super nuts to see one so close because they are ENORMOUS. So large and beautiful and perfect and asking to be my best friend.

Sure!

Loving. It.

Poor Jones was shot by a shotgun and honestly if I remember correctly I have met other hawks that were similarly disrespected. LIKE WHY?!

Additionally Jones has a female Red-tailed Hawk friend named Ramona she lives with, and SHE got hit by a car. I’m so glad there’s a place for the birds to live that will take care of them and watch out for them and also bring them out into the community to hang out with me and other children.

josephine – great horned owl.

Josephine the Great Horned Owl was hurt by garbage humans in a slightly different way. She was found as an owlet, and because she was very, very young, she imprinted on the (not owlet professional caregivers) people that were taking care of her and never learned how to live that owl life.

So now she needs human assistance to live some kind of owl/person hybrid life. SHE IS LIVING A LIE.

But she was very beautiful. VERY. And the most amiable of all the bird ambassadors, I guess because she was the most comfortable around humans and/or didn’t feel like taking a nap like Tilly.

They talked a bit about bird body language with Josephine, I think as a way to highlight how comfortable she seemed compared to the other guys. She really was just hangin out, owling around. And stuff.

I study my pet bird’s body language very closely and I think he wants me to get out of his face most of the time so I found this part very interesting.

And then it was over! It went by so fast! It also started to get cold as the sun went behind the buildings around the park, so I was ready to pack it up and go home.

I can’t wait for there to be another bird presentation in a local Jersey City park. I don’t care if it’s the same birds and bird pros and the same presentation with the same information, I will go INFINITE TIMES.

MAYBE I’LL SEE YOU THERE.

john g. slaby’s slow summer macadam at deep space gallery.

This past weekend we attended the opening for John G. Slaby’s show “Slow Summer Macadam” at Deep Space Gallery and it was the highlight of our Saturday night.

I’ll go ahead and say it: Saturday was the best day of our collective lives in 4 years. Things are looking up! It was also a beautiful day weather-wise in the northeast. People were out and about, and they were PUMPED. An art opening was the perfect place to be!

And the art was GREAT. I’m no profesh and my opinion does not matter but as a casual art observer I was INTO IT.

skies.

Almost all of the pieces I really enjoyed had some aspect of a colorful sky in them. Like a super bright cloudless blue or a post-sunset twilight pink/purple. The paint colors for the skies took me to A PLACE.

animals.

Many of the pieces of art had animals! You know how I feel about animals, you guys. So each of the following pieces of art will come with an unsolicited personal story about an animal or two. You’re welcome.

Bats!

This one with the bats was my most favorite in the whole show. I LOVE THESE BATS. Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling a residual “spooky time of the year” feeling. It’s a good feeling to feel.

Part of the theme of the show was this nostalgia regarding growing up in a rural/suburban kind of place and being out and about with pals getting into trouble or wishing there was maybe just a tiny bit of trouble to get into but it was too boring for even that to happen. I guess that’s my personal interpretation of that kind of nostalgia. BUT part of being outside when the night falls and you’re hoping for some (good) trouble is that the bats start to come out! Like they’re flying around in their super fun erratic way and you’re like, “THE NIGHT HAS ARRIVEDDDDD!”

Also I just learned a bit about bats in a webinar I attended a couple of weeks ago that Wild Bird Fund put on. Completely unrelated to art but I learned some cool stuff about bats and what “torpor” means and what to do if you find a sleepy/injured/acting weird bat to help it. So like, I’m flying high on bats right now.

Bird nest and mouse!

My second favorite painting was this one of a “School” sign featuring a huge mess a bird made just by living there and a cute little mouse looking on in the bottom corner.

I just love how the bird nest is all haphazard and the bird(s) just went to the bathroom all over the whole thing. Because that’s what birds do. I love birds but they’re a huge mess.

It’s a super mundane every day thing, the bird mess on a public building, and I found a weird comfort in looking at that. Kind of like when I see pigeons roosting (also making a HUGE mess) under the awnings over top of bodega windows. Birds are just hanging out and watching us and making a mess. That’s their life.

The tiny mouse peeking in also made me glad. I currently have a mouse in my house and for now he’s my friend. He hasn’t eaten anything or chewed anything or even made a mess so I’m not mad at him. I also only see him once a week or so. Anyway I love the mouse. Yes, I knowingly live with a mouse. I SAID he stays out of the way. Deal with it.

The last of the animal friend paintings I noticed was this one that includes a TON of animal friends looking on.

I talked to Slaby a little about the animals and how much I loved them and he mentioned he included them because animals are always around and observing us. And he’s right! I love that. I don’t know what else to say besides, “I love that.” Hopefully that’s enough. Even in a city the animals are always around.

This painting looked like it had raccoons in it and I was like, “I have two raccoons that live on my roof and hang out on my fire escape!” Then I realized that sounds weird. Maybe. But then the artist was like, “Yeah raccoons are cool, they’re so BAD.” But like good bad because they are HILARIOUS and ADORABLE. I said the “hilarious and adorable” part inside my head but I feel we were on the same page regarding general raccoon bad-assery and I was pleased.

scary catholic.

“Scary Catholic” is a genre of art I invented and some of Slaby’s art in this show fit the description. Maybe I didn’t invent it. I don’t know. Google it.

There was a small section of “Scary Catholic” that looked different from the other art. I believe he said it was inspired by a childhood of Catholic school and altar boy duties.

The artist graciously welcomes chatting next to the Scary Catholic.

One of the pieces was a rosary made out of skateboard wheels, YOU KNOW I loved that.

But “Scary Catholic” is scary because Catholicism is scary to me. Religion in general is terrifying but Catholicism does a good job of making stuff look super creepy and sometimes bloody. But also very richly colored! Which makes it art!

This leather jacket is so badass but I’m still scared of the Jesus. Or whoever.

influence.

I’m totally going to paraphrase because I had a few drinks and didn’t write this down, but another topic Slaby was kind enough to discuss with us was the concept of influence and how certain ideas/cultures end up in places that seem unlikely. He talked about growing up near Wilkes-Barre, PA in the 90s before the internet as we know it now, and how it took “someone visiting their cousin in the city and then bringing it back” for him and his friends to learn more about skateboarding culture.

This was relatable, as I also lived in the middle of nowhere with limited outside influence and I remember the first time I made friends with kids from Bergen County at Rutgers and I was like “Where are they GETTING these clothes because I NEED them” <Goes to Garden State Plaza for the first time in 2004 and buys all of Bebe>. I mean skateboarding and North Jersey Mall Culture are two completely different things but like, I GET it. It has to come from somewhere, when you’re from nowhere. And that was a mind blowing thing to make art about.

macadam.

I should have asked about this as well but I had no idea what “macadam” meant. I googled it just now and it says “Because of the historic use of macadam as a road surface, roads in some parts of the United States (as parts of Pennsylvania) are often referred to as macadam, even though they might be made of asphalt or concrete.” So I guess that makes sense. There was one piece that was very… road inspired. PS Pennsylvania is HAVING A MOMENT right now.

I really liked the texture!

And I guess you do need asphalt/concrete/macadam for the skateboarding. As I’ve said before I’m a skateboarding admirer to the core but I don’t REALLY know anything about it.

So that was the show! I also got these really fun skull stickers. Not part of the show, but now part of my life.

John G. Slaby’s Slow Summer Macadam is at Deep Space Gallery until 11/29. Slide into their DMs on Instagram at @deepspacejc to set up a time to visit and GET UR BUTT THERE.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

ghost of uncle joe’s dress rehearsal.

Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.

In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.

Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!

I’m obviously going on Halloween.

Here’s the schedule for your informaish:

But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.

The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.

And I’m sorry.

I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.

And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.

Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.

They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!

I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.

It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.

Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.

distort “reaching for the steal”at deep space gallery.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Jersey City’s own Distort at Deep Space Gallery. I attended the opening last night and it was freakin fantastic. But TECHNICALLY the opening is all weekend so you should prob get your ass over there.

I was incredibly beyond excited to get back to a semi-normal-feeling Deep Space weekend opening. Like, it was the evening and people were THERE and we could look at art and also CHAT. I realized that perhaps IT WAS THE CHATTING I’D MISSED MOST.

I’ve been to a few of their openings in normal times and one or two during post covid times. Or like WITHIN covid times. The times we live in. And during covid times they have done a great job of keeping it to only a certain number of people inside, making sure they wear masks and sanitize their hands, and overall just following the basic rules that keep us all alive.

And I applaud them!

This time around, because it was a local artist more people know about and I think they expect more people, they are more strictly observing a reservation policy just to keep things organized. So email them at deepspacejc@gmail.com or DM them on Instagram at @deepspacejc to make one! RUN DON’T WALK!

As always the artist was in attendance so we could ask him questions but this time I was too busy catching up with some pals I haven’t seen in a while. We’re hoping to maybe go back for a bit on Sunday and I can ask my questions then. Oh shit better make a reservation…

As for the show…LOVED IT. I guess I always “love” everything I write about but just know I don’t write about things I don’t love unless they really, really outrage me.

It’s true that I love bright, loud, vibrant colors, but the slightly muted colors of Distort’s work also appeal to me. They gray tones combined with blues/greens/purples actually remind me of my best bird pal the pigeon, in the best way. Like they look gray but when you look close at some of them you can see the greenish-purple sheen of their feathers.

AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

I also like the use of cityscapes in the background or foreground or randomly in the paintings. I think I recognized Philadelphia? Maybe I just thought I saw it because it’s in my mind because I’m going there next week? Something to ask if we go back on Sunday. Still need to make a reservation.

Wait JK I lied about that. There is a live Zoom tour by Distort at 3:10pm on Sunday October 4. That’s where I got “Sunday” from. Jeez I need to start writing shit down. You can register at thejcast.com/jcast-live

I believe that some of the work is on a canvas of a kind of metal, and some of it is etched to make designs with some of it also being painted. It’s cool! I like the combination of the two and can’t remember seeing it anywhere else, besides other times I’ve seen this type of work by Distort around the town.

There were also fun/exciting/mind blowing 3D elements around both of the rooms.

The walls were painted to look like exposed brick and then some kind of plastery(?) material was used to make it look like parts of the wall were soft or liquidy or like curtains or something and got pulled to the side to expose the exposed brick parts of the wall.

AND since it is OFFICIALLY SPOOKY SEASON it was a nice spooky touch to have a creepy hand reaching out of one wall.

And some creepy heads coming out of another.

These probably weren’t nods to spooky season and were likely meant to convey something else but they made me happy either way.

This one made me unhappy because it’s “a little kid getting a gun on Xmas morning” kinda vibe. I think maybe it was supposed to make me unhappy. But I’m terrified…TERRIFIED of guns so gun arts always make me very nervous. I feel as if the gun is able to jump out and kill me. Which is perfectly rational, you guys. Guns are awful.

This one I loved because I made a little joke about the woman crying and holding her shoes in it and was like, “This is me on a Saturday night at Rutgers.”

Har har I think only I thought it was funny. Very good piece, either way.

Oooo this was a very fun and interactive tiny hall/tunnel made of mirrors to look into. VERY FUN. VERY INTERACTIVE.

And of course, lady lib. LADY LIB 4EVA. LADY LIB IN EVERY ART SHOW EVER. LADY LIB 4 PREZ.

Also be sure to browse the shop downstairs when you walk in! They have a ton of records, housewares, jewelry, and clothes. A WHOLE BUNCH OF COOL STUFF.

They’ve just done a bit of reorganization in the shop and it looks great!

The opening weekend for Distort “Reaching for the Steal” at Deep Space Gallery continues today Oct 3 12pm-11pm and tomorrow Oct 4 12pm-8pm. RSVP AND GO TO THERE.

kyle orlando – always nervous at deep space gallery.

Last week I had a ladies night with my pals that set me up for a weekend-party-shan-spiral I’ve only just recovered from. BUT I was fortunately able to make it to Kyle Orlando – Always Nervous at Deep Space Gallery.

The show was great and I was glad I saw it, albeit only for a quick moment while I stood there, exhausted, and stared at the art and smiled softly. As I thought about how sleepy I was and almost fell asleep right there. And it was my own fault. Because alcohol is a depressant.

But I was there! And I loved it!

I always love it. Deep Space is one of my top 5 fav places in JC and that says a lot because I love 94% of the stuff in this gosh darn town.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with the artist because I was a walking zombie but he was there for questions, and if I had been able to speak I would have said, “What kinda cat is this?”

The cat appears to be like a leopard or a cheetah or a jaguar? But then there’s some confusing thing with panthers where some of them have spots? And “panther” means the same as one of the other things? And “puma” is in there somewhere? I get confused with these cats. Maybe he’s just a generic kind of cartoon cat created for art purposes only that doesn’t have a species? Which like, is totally fine. I’ll allow it.

The “Always Nervous” cat, as I would like to refer to him, is a fun animal to have on hand and have him get into all sorts of shenanigans and that’s what I felt like each piece of art was.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Jumps Over a Rainbow.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Hangs From a Tree in a (hopefully?) Playful Way.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat IS America.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Can Also be Pink and Hey Shanimal I Know You LOVE Pink.” Ugh I do. I loved this one best.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat in Marker on a Tote Bag and That’s Cool AF.” Okay jk I liked the tote bags best.

These silly titles I used are not what these paintings are called but what I took from them and that’s something very positive. LOVED IT. It’s interesting to see the same thing but in a bunch of totally different ways, in different colors with different things around it. You know, the same but…DIFFERENT.

Additionally if I had been alive that day I would have asked Kyle Orlando, “Hey why is it called ‘Always Nervous’?” Because I am mostly always nervous and relate to that on a personal level. I’m sure I could look it up or ask the nice folks at Deep Space. Or even ask Kyle Orlando because you can find him on Instagram at @klando.

Hey how about maybe you go ask him?! I’m feeling shy.

Overall I loved this show. Of course, I already said that. But I’d like to say it more. I thought the gallery looked really cool with all these Mr. Nervous Cats around. Also I hadn’t been there in the day time for a while so it looked really pretty with the sun shining in and when I looked out the back window it looked like I was in the forest somewhere and not even in Jersey City. I never noticed that. Weird!

The next show at Deep Space is a big one and everyone is very freakin pumped about it. It’s called Reaching for the Steal and has work by Jersey City’s own Distort.

Opening weekend is next weekend! Oct. 2 4-11pm, Oct. 3 12-11pm, and Oct. 4 12-8pm.

They’re social distancing pros at Deep Space so email deepspaceJC@gmail.com or slide into the DMs – @deepspacejc to set up a time to go.

I’LL SEE YOU THERE FOLKS. AND I WON’T BE TIRED THIS TIME.

rally for liberty state park…again.

Not this past Saturday because I was at a wedding but LAST Saturday we attended a rally for Liberty State Park. I haven’t posted about it until now because I wanted to be very thorough and look things up and fact check like what people do in REAL JOURNALISM. As a classically trained journalist sometimes I like to do that. But it does take a lot of work, so not like, EVERY time.

As you can see, this took over a week to post so I guess I made the right choice in not pursuing a journalism career. Also in the end you’ll see that it’s mostly my opinion so who even cares.

This is the third time that we have gone to protest to protect Liberty State Park on behalf of the Friends of Liberty State Park. Their big issue is preventing the Caven Point section of the park from being developed by the nearby golf course. Caven Point is a natural area where a lot of migratory birds hang out. As well as a ton of other animals like harbor seals and also shanimals.

Yes, I hang out there.

The protests are always held in the southern part of the park, close to Caven Point. To me this part of the park feels like the most “state park” part of the park. I think it’s the parking lot.

On the way in, we noticed an odd box truck with screens on both sides, playing a commercial for Liberty State Park. This commercial seems okay on the surface, but it is not okay. This commercial is a trap. It was created by Liberty State Park for All, an organization that receives funding from Paul Fireman, billionaire and face of the movement to turn Caven Point into 3 holes of the Liberty whatever golf course.

This group has been working on blatantly misleading the community into thinking that Friends of Liberty State Park are somehow against keeping the park maintained and available to everyone. They’ve targeted citizens in Wards A and F (Greenville and Bergen Lafayette, respectively) to try to convince them that the Friends of LSP are against cleaning up the park and developing the park for the community, and that they only care about birds.

You know how much I care about birds. But the whole “bird” thing turned into a whole rude AF target for Liberty State Park for All. Like making fun of people for liking birds and wanting to protect birds. OKAY COOL THANKS JUST MAKE FUN OF THE BIRDS THAT’S REALLY HELPING SHIT, YOU GUYS.

The thing is, it’s very obviously not just about the birds. They just had to find something to focus on, to pick at. To create the narrative that we’re protesting against something that would actually benefit people and therefore we’re being lame for only thinking about birds. But making Caven Point part of a golf course wouldn’t benefit people at all. It certainly wouldn’t benefit “the public.” The public that lives in Jersey City and across the state.

It is a private golf course. It would not benefit the public in any way. Even if Paul Fireman expanded the golf course into Caven Point AND gave Liberty State Park private billionaire money to build some public stuff, like basketball courts, the public would still suffer. There are public funds for things like basketball courts, pools, amphitheaters, and everything else in the OG LSP “Master Plan.” We don’t need to make a deal with the devil madly fiddling away on top of a golf hole to get them. Are they called “golf holes?” I don’t know.

As we entered the park, there were “counter protesters.” I put this in quotes because there is reason to believe that they weren’t actual protestors and were paid to appear and protest. All of their signs were the same, in the same handwriting and said the same thing. As if someone had made them and passed them out. When directly asked what they were protesting for or against…they had no idea.

Everyone has a right to protest of course. And it’s fine, they weren’t doing anything wrong. But it’s suspicious that they were present under such conditions. IAs if they were being paid to participate, or were iuuuuuuu false information, or even worse were given no information at all. Which is actually what seemed like was happening. And it was creepy and weird and dare I say dystopian, just like the intentionally misleading commercial on the box truck.

We arrived at the protest to save Caven Point with a small sign in hand and took some pics with lady lib and then we were ready to protest.

Sadly it seemed like there were less people there than the last time we went to protest in January. And that could be for many reasons, COVID being the biggest one I guess. It was a Saturday, it was hot, people are just over it, etc. I don’t think there were less people because some of the people that were for protecting Caven Point last time are now against protecting Caven Point, but I didn’t have time to conduct an official survey. I think it was just people being people. And not showing up. That’s a people thing.

But the people that DID show up were great and there were a few really awesome speeches from some great NJ folks. I’ll share with you my notes:

Sam Pesin, President of Friends of LSP – “We’ll get started soon, you enjoy the sun!” I liked that nice little welcome.

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro – “Some people can’t afford The Shore or Great Adventure and this park is that for them.” This was so beautifully Jersey and I couldn’t agree more.

I didn’t make proper note of who said this but I have the line, “In the dark halls of the statehouse…” in my notes and I think that was a clever dramatic device on someone’s part. Nice work.

“If you don’t show interest in politics, politics will stioll show an interest in you,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. Also, “If they tried to do something like this in Central Park hell would freeze over. Why would we let it happen here across the river?!” YEAH.

Although he’s recently been a little questionable as far as likability in certain circles, circles that touch my personal circle as far as Jersey City society Venn Diagrams go, Mayor Fulop does say “Trenton” with a full-on NJ accent, “Tren-in,” like the “t” is silent, and that always makes me happy. And I’m sorry I guess. But I was glad he was there and for his support on this partcular issue at least. For now.

The mayor.

Ward E Councilman James Solomon appeared in an NJCU hat and I wrote in my notes he was “tryna be eyyyyy cool JC guyyyy,” emphasis my own. In the end he did reference the hat and also that he teaches at NJCU which I didn’t know so I guess I revoke my mean girl comment. Although I still haven’t forgiven him for the time when I used to live downtown and he knocked on my door and tried to engage me in some kind of political process when I was very hungover and clearly wearing my pajamas. That was too much for me. But I still like him, he’s doing good things. It’s fine. I’ll be fine. Ward E is Downtown, for your records.

I’d like to pause and say that Dancing Tony dutifully sanitized both mics and mic stands in between speakers. Thank you. HE RUNS FREAKIN FUN YOU GUYS.

New Jersey NAACP Armed Forces and Veterans Chair (and acting Environmental and Climate Justice Chair) Keith Bodden came out with a pile of literal hats (and a literal hat assistant man) to show all the different “hats” he has worn in his life and still wears now. I LOVED IT A TON YOU GUYS.

HATS!

I have in my notes that Frank Gilmore was the “best guy” but I guess I was tired at that point and I didn’t write down why. But just know that he freakin killed it.

A local 8th grade student came up and read a letter to the editor she wrote. She did a beautiful job and was very composed and well spoken, I felt proud! I got a little tearful when she brought up some things about the birds. You guys know I love birds. The whole time I was like, “maybe we need to make it less about the birds so people can’t tease us about the god damn birds,” but then I was like, “well…I do like the birds.”

Speaking of birds, Shayna Marchese also spoke a bit about the birds! She’s a photographer who takes AWESOME pics of birds in NJ. All birds all the time. I LOVE HER INSTAGRAM GO TO THERE. A TON of the birds she captures are within Liberty State Park and Caven Point specifically so you can really see what the area has to offer as far as nature, even in such an urban setting.

@shayna.marchese on Instagram GO NOW!

I don’t know when the next vote for the LSP Protection Act is, and I couldn’t find it online! I did find some information in all of the following locations, and I encourage you to check them out. I do think they will be updated once they have a date in mind.

Friends of LSP

Baykeeper of NY/NJ

BAYKEEPER + Good Boi

summer emo night at porta jersey city.

Guys, I was already having a hard time and then my bird died so I haven’t written about Emo Night at Porta yet. Emotionally I just couldn’t bear to really rave about something I wanted to give a rave review to. But it happened almost a week ago so I’ll tell you a bit about it now before it turns into like ten years ago.

Emo night! Porta Jersey City! Phil Nasty! Drink specials! Rooftop! Woo!

Just trying to get myself pumped here.

Honestly it was a really great night. You know I LOVED the emo night back in January and I wasn’t even drinking back then. So this one was like EVEN BETTER and as I mentioned my birdie died but at this point she was just sick but I was still very sad so it was nice to be out for a couple of hours and also leave her alone and quiet which is what the vet recommended but I couldn’t resist peeking in her little cage every 2 minutes to check on her.

So yes, I needed a drink. Thanks for asking.

They had an awesome looking cocktail that I should have gotten but didn’t and I still feel residual regret about it. There was cold brew involved which I’m always on board for.

Another drink special was Miller Light in a can but it was in a BLACK CAN because this is EMO and we are SAD and also…I’m sad about my bird. So I drank the black can.

We ordered our usual 14 1/2 which is the spiciest, meatiest pie in town and we love it so much. In two towns, because it’s also better than all the spicy-meaty choices in Hoboken. So there.

I did have some leftovers but my pal put them in her tote and then I forgot them when I left and they were lost forever.

I was too sad about my bird. I couldn’t be trusted. My mind was not right.

Music was also included in emo night! Music was the whole point of emo night! Don’t act like you forgot!

Phil Nasty played the greatest emo bangers this side of 2005 and everyone had the time of their lives singing along at the top of their lungs. It’s just the way we roll.

As a special added bonus there were fun little song quotes on sticks for taking pictures. I was super super super (SUPER X3!) excited when I saw them and no one else got excited at first and I felt like a loser but then people did so it was okay. Maybe I should care less about being a loser but if I did I guess I wouldn’t be emo. So in the end I DID fit in?

Anyway I loved it. Loved every second. I’m so glad to be back in the world and I am grateful for every second. I felt happy and lucky to be up on the roof with a bunch of pals and like-minded jersey city individuals. It was a beautiful evening and PERFECTLY socially distanced so don’t think for a SECOND that they blew it there because they def KILLED IT and gov murph himself would be proud AF.

Marianne and Phil and Porta and probably some other really cool fun fab folks did a great badass job and I’m so pumped I went.

Whew, okay. Glad I got to tell you about that and give it the enthusiasm it deserves. Gonna go cry more about my bird now bye.

artist talk with kati vilim and debra lynn manville

I attended an artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville at &co in Jersey City last night, and I got PUMPED AF about abstract art.

Our fab pals from Deep Space Gallery hosted the artist talk. Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, along with two other artists, are in a show at Deep Space Gallery RIGHT. NOW. The show is called “Circle the Square.” Look it up. I can’t do everything for you.

(JK here is the link)

Snacks!

You may or may not know that the last time I went to an artist talk hosted by Deep Space Gallery I felt excited and elated and exuberant during and after. BEFORE the talk I did not know what to expect. But during and after I was like WOO!

So this time around, for the artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, I knew what was coming and I knew I was gonna LOVE IT. First of all, &co is a delightful space in which to spend an evening. It’s just adorable. Or maybe not “adorable” but like…I LOVE IT. Last night they had strawberry and cucumber infused water like can you even believe it?! It was delicious.

But most importantly, I really, really enjoy learning more about the artists’ process and how they made certain pieces and what they’re made out of and why they made them, even if they don’t really have a reason, and on and on and on. I could listen forever and really love their stories. During the talk I furiously wrote a ton of notes about things to look up later. Some of these things will pop up below HOPEFULLY. If I have time to look them up and don’t fall asleep on my couch before I do.

JK I never accidentally “fall asleep on the couch” that is for losers.

Now for the art!

kati vilim.

Both artists spoke about some art terms I didn’t know and was glad to learn because I miss going school and learning every single day and sometimes I cry about it.

Kati talked about non-representational art, non-referential art, and generative art.

My biggest takeaway from this was that generative art is made with the assistance of robots. And that’s sick as hell.

She also shared some thoughts about abstract art like, “Abstraction is part of our every day life,” and suggested that we look at abstract art without trying to figure it out and talk about it because, “When we verbalize an experience, we take the feeling away from that experience.” I am here for these vibes.

One of the really great (in my opinion) things she talked about was how art has its own language and anyone in the world that speaks any language can understand the language of art and feel the feeling the artist is hoping to convey. Awwww! It’s a small world…it’s an art world!

Okay sorry got too excited there.

Some of my favorite works she showed were made with an iPad, a mix of manual lines she drew and images that were generated with the help of a computer program. There were permutations involved (which is MATH) so it made me a little nervous and I felt shaken up when I heard the word “permutations” but it was okay don’t worry. It was generative art! With robots! I didn’t get any pics of those because I was in the zone staring at them and I’m not sorry.

debra lynn manville.

Up next was Debra. She had some interesting back stories for her art and told her tales in a funny and charmingly self deprecating way.

Much of her art in the show at Deep Space references the idea of a “Twin Flame,”and was inspired by a past relationship. Most of the pieces have doubles of the same image/figure.

In the beginning of her art career, she was making collages and moved on to painting. But she eventually experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts and started to have visions she couldn’t keep up with using that medium.

She looked to Instagram (MY FAV) for inspiration and to connect with other artists. “Instagram was a great place to talk to people and get the support of other artists,” OH HELL YEAH DEBRA. The @1milliondiamonds Instagram account was born from this need to connect and be inspired. And it’s a badass curatorial project if I ever saw one, you guys.

Debra also brought up the idea that art is a language, but took it one step further and suggested that art as a language is also separated into different dialects. She showed some examples from 1 million diamonds where similar artists consistently liked each other’s work. As in, they recognized the style as their language and gave it a like because they were like, “Yeah! We speak the same language!”

I thought that was super interesting because I love languages but this is like a language without words and then my head exploded.

detroit.

To me it’s worth mentioning that both artists spoke about Detroit. Kati did some work with ArtBlock, and Debra had a 3 month residency at Red Bull House of Arts.

I’ve only been to Detroit once but I love it forever and want to go back. And I just wanted to talk about it here and give it a little hug. K that’s it.

circle the square closing reception.

The closing reception for Circle the Square is this Saturday, 2/29 from 6-11pm. Deep Space Gallery is located at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City. It’s a party and it’s fun and there’s art and fun people and also a DJ. You can also find some wares downstairs from Xtina. YOU REALLY CAN HAVE IT ALL. GO TO THERE.

Coming soon!

fat tuesday at south house.

This is gonna be quick but last night I went to Fat Tuesday at South House. Which was also quick, because all Tuesdays are school nights unless you take off on Wednesday and I didn’t…THIS time.

Fat Tuesday at South House has been pretty badass the past two years I have gone. All of the servers and bartenders were wearing fun black light enhanced face paint. Some of their face paint designs were super intricate and therefore very impressive.

Neon circles on strings were hanging from over the bar, also enhanced by the black lights. Kind of like a neon chandelier! A neonnnnn channndelierrrr. Just wanted to say it again.

They had a ton of Mardi Gras decorations, that is just a quick sampling. I really, REALLY appreciate South House’s full on, ALL IN, approach to themes and holidays. Their Halloween and Xmas decorations are also incredible but that can be discussed at another time.

In addition to the incredible decorations, they had a fun brass band called “Shaghorns” for our entertainment. The same band played last year and I loved them then too, SO THIS IS A NICE LITTLE TRADISH.

I have only been to New Orleans once and what I loved most was the music. I guess that’s probably what everyone loves most. Duh.

Fat Tuesday at South House included hurricanes! As in the drink. Too soon to joke about actual hurricanes. For anyone anywhere near the sea. Pray (to the pagan nature gods or whatever) for us.

Not exactly sure what is in hurricanes, I think fruit juice and rum. These were delish! They included black and red (THE EXPENSIVE KIND) raspberries and I enjoyed them throughly.

We were there for about an hour. I had two hurricanes, listened to some music, and admired the decorations. Then it was time to go home.

Today I woke up at 6:30am to go to the gym and I didn’t feel very bad at all. MAYBE I CAN HAVE IT ALL?!

Ash Wednesday always creeps me out because every time I see a person with a forehead mark I’m like, “AH WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR FOREHEARD?!” And then I’m like “Oh Ash Wednesday. Whatever that is. Not gonna look it up because I don’t care. But I DO care that this person isn’t hurt in any way. The end.”

Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? Where is your fav place to go? What are your thoughts on New Orleans? Hurricanes (again, NOT the storms)? South House? Isn’t South House beautiful?! It’s right on Newark Ave in Jersey City. Go to there.